Possibly because I was busy enjoying the day off work and staying away from online matters, I didn’t find out until this morning that Marvel Comics has been bought by Disney for $4bn, which is pretty surprising.
As Marvel has had the lion’s share of success with comics-to-film adaptations in recent years, I can see why Disney might want a bit of that, and also why they’d want to have some of Marvel’s most recognisable characters – Spider-Man, Hulk and Iron Man, for example – in their portfolio.
There are quite of lot of concerns and questions online about the deal, though I’m most inclined to wonder if Disney’s brand and commercial clout might mean a return to comics being readily available on news-stands and in supermarkets in the US; I think the fact that this generally isn’t the case has been one of the factors in the sales decline comics have seen in the past couple of decades – I discovered comics in my local newsagent (both UK comics and imported US titles), but I have no idea where the next generation of comic readers is meant to come from. So I’d be interested to see if there’s a return to comics being stocked in Wal-Marts and the like.
Oh, and given Disney’s family-friendly orientation, I’d be interested to see what effect their purchase of Marvel might have on the possibility of reprinting the more adult sequences in Marvelman stories from the past. But it may not come to pass…
Speaking of comics, DC Comics have recently offered freebie rings (as pictured) to people when they buy copies of certain comics, and they’ve been very popular. And by ‘very’ I mean weirdly popular, with a lot of online posting of an unhealthily excitable nature. Granted, they’re an amusing little item – and they tie in nicely to the Blackest Night storyline in which the rings appear – but surely they’re not worth that much giddiness. Anyone out there remember Pogs? Chromium covers? Fleeting fads in comic promotion, I think, and a mean-spirited part of me wonders if some people are getting a bit giddy about these rings because they’re the only rings they’re ever likely to give or receive in their lifetime… but that part of me is often silenced by the recollection of how geeky I’ve been about comics and many other things.
Many, many other things.