As we reported back in February from the New York Comic-Con’s panel with Disney Publishing Worldwide, Gemstone got a poor reception from the audience who felt that the publishing house wasn’t giving Mickey and pals the comic presence they richly deserved. To the panel’s credit, Disney’s response was fair and ambiguous: as long as the relationship was mutually good, it would stay.
Shortly after that, word that Gemstone was losing the franchise starting to spread and Gemstone published a notice on their website stating that the economy has forced them to make cuts which placed the Disney comics in limbo.
Today we get word courtesy of Newsarama that BOOM! Studios has picked up the rights to publish the Disney comics going forward. BOOM!, which has since created the Boom Kids line to handle its incredibly well-received publications based on the Pixar and Muppets properties.
While BOOM! has obtained the rights to re-print the older comics, they will be introducing all new comics featuring Mickey and pals, beginning in September with Disney’s Comics and Stories #699 and Mickey Mouse and Friends #297. BOOM! maintains they do have plans for the classic strips as well.
Another property talked about during the NYCC09 panel was the Disney Classics characters getting comic books as well. With this sort of momentum and success, there’s little doubt that BOOM! may soon be offering comics based on properties such as The Little Mermaid as well.
Courtesy of the Newsarama article, here’s a summary of the first new issue of Mickey Mouse and Friends:
One of the longest-lived, most-successful comic book series in the industry’s history comes to BOOM! and brings a little magic — presenting Wizards of Mickey! Student of the great wizard Grandalf, Mickey Mouse hails from the humble village of Miceland. Allying himself with Donald Duck and his pet dragon named Fafnir, and team mate Goofy, Mickey’s come to the great tournament to get his revenge on Peg Leg Pete, who has stolen the Rain Crystal from Miceland! Join Mickey Mouse and his friends on an epic tale of magic and wonder!
May 7th, 2009, Los Angeles, CA — Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store announced today that the new BOOM! Kids line of Muppet and Disney/Pixar comics will be available to their customers starting immediately! Newsstand editions of THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK, THE INCREDIBLES: FAMILY MATTERS, CARS: THE ROOKIE and all forthcoming Muppet and Disney/Pixar comics will be hitting the shelves each Wednesday as new comics are released!
“We couldn’t be more excited to be the only comics carried at the Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store,” said BOOM! Kids editor Paul Morrissey. “I can’t wait to see the fans’ reaction to these great books!”
The first Saturday in May marks the annual Free Comic Book Day in which comic book retailers all across North America (and even the world) offer select comic books for free.
One of the offerings this year will be a special edition of The World of Cars #1 from BOOM! Studios. In addition to Cars, BOOM! works hand in hand with Disney and Pixar to produce comics based on The Incredibles, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., the Muppets and more.
The FCBD edition features an excerpt from the #1 issue which reveals
the origins of America’s favorite racer, Lightning McQueen. You’ll also find never-before-seen sketches, character designs and script pages.
For those near Round Rock, Texas, The World of Cars writer Alan Porter Jr will be making an appearance from 11 am – 1 pm.
To learn more about Free Comic Book Day and to find a participating comic book retailer near you, as well as see the rest of the day’s offerings, visit the official web site.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (India), a division of Walt Disney Company (India), has announced a licensing agreement with local publisher Junior Diamond to publish Disney comic books, both in English and Hindi.
Featuring Disney’s characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, the 32-page comic book will be priced at Rs 25. Roshini Bakshi, regional director, Disney Consumer Products said, “Every month, we will print 50,000 copies for each character and launch 2 titles under Mickey and Donald respectively per month.” Disney is gunning to reach 10,000 points-of-interest within the first month of launch.
BOOM! Kids previews and offers subscriptions to the first series of the Disney/Pixar Incredibles and Cars comics as well as the Muppet Show. In addition, sets of first covers and special limited edition covers are also available for sale.
Comic Book Resources has posted several high-resolution pages from each of The Muppet Show and The Incredibles comic books which both hit the shelves next week courtesy of BOOM! Studios. You can check them out here.
The panel began with Tashana Williams, a licensing manager, discussing the importance of the fab five to Disney in the comics industry and the longstanding relationship with Gemstone Publishing who holds the rights to the property in the United States (much to the chagrin of many of the audience) and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. She mentioned Mickey and the Gang as the current (published Nov 2005) high end, oversized collection which features reprints of all of the Good Housekeeping comic strips from the 1940s through 60s along with additional collections. She mentioned that there are currently over 100,000 pages of fab five comics at their disposal so the ink well won’t run dry anytime soon. In the medium to long term, she said the company is working towards licensing the classic characters (such as the Disney princesses) in comic book form. Read more…
Chip Mosher, Michael Alan Nelson and Ross Richie headed this panel which covered the most recent and upcoming releases from BOOM! Studios. Editor-In-Chief Mark Waid was expected to appear as well but he was unable to make it, although he did send along a video message. Read more…
My Experience at the New York Comic Con 2009 on Friday
Just getting into the show proved to be one of the biggest challenges of the day. Despite passes being offered in advance as early as Wednesday, it seemed most waited until today and probably with good reason: the Jacob K. Javits Center is just too far out of the way for a casual visit (by mass transit, it requires a substantial ride by subway followed by a micro-substantial bus transfer – at least for me anyway). I arrived to an incredibly long and intimidating line (here I’m thinking Space Mountain, maybe even post-refurb). When I thought I was being offered some reprieve by security who started sending folks upstairs, starting with me, it turned out I was being sent to another full line. All in all it took probably about an hour to get my credentials, but I must say this show has grown a lot in terms of size and maturity and they handled it all very well. Read more…
Another interview with BOOM’s Editor-In-Chief Mark Waid, this one focusing primarily on The Incredibles comics and what we can expect to see in terms of the storylines and characters. See this interview from Newsarama.