Monday, August 31, 2009


Well, the big news setting the internet aflame today is, uh, Disney's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. Disney-Marvel, anyone?

There's quite a head of steam being let off about this by the fanboys - but I'm not sure I really care much. Does any of this really matter in the big scheme of things? Is it any worse than DC being owned by AOL-Warner or whatever they're called this week? Can comics get any crapper, etc, etc? (You tell me). I don't think I really care any more about corporate buy-outs and suchlike; I think I probably did once; but all that anger kinda wears you down in the end and they'll still do whatever the hell they want anyway. The music and film biz's have already destroyed themselves, so - *shrugs* - whatever.

To the fanboys I'd say: if you feel so strong about the Disney buy-out then put yr money where yr mouth is: write/draw yr own comic, self-publish/self-promote it and just see how you get on. If it's good/original/innovative/entertaining then I'll be the first person to write about it.

Still, there's some lovely boardroom speak peppering the aethernet right now (tho the dubious syntax doesn't give me a great deal of confidence in the combined company's ability to clearly communicate to my own children - it's like they've got marbfles in theif moufs):

Disney believes there’s real opportunity with the Marvel catalog of characters and will work on where those opportunities are greatest and how best to leverage them across the existing Marvel and Disney infrastructure.

And, um:

Disney praised Marvel’s licensing agreements with some of the best video game producers and publishers in the business and said moving forward they will consider what’s best for each individual property as each licensing deal comes up for renewal and that there would likely be a blend of licensed and self-produced/self-distributed titles.

Oo, er:

Disney said the deal was attractive not just because they’re buying great characters, stories and brand, but about working with people who know these characters best and how best to work with them in other media.

Etc, etc. Too early to really say what this all means creatively. Probably business as usual for an ailing artform that's already hamstrung by crossover events and bigger-earning film/toy franchaises. The handful of really interesting creators who work in the mainstream will probably continue to work in the mainstream, and dreck will still be dreck.

I was gonna tell you a very dull anecdote about trying out for Disney some years ago, but it really is boring. Boring and self-indulgent. (Business as usual here, too)

Instead, I'm going to hand over to a *proper* Comic-Book Pundit: my 8-year old daughter Kid Kid Shirt, who only got into comics big-time 2 or 3 months ago (and got me back into them too!), but already has opinions the size of Ego, The Living-Planet (opinions!? wonder where she gets that from?)...

I told her at bedtime that Disney had taken over Marvel and she made a loud howling sound that deeply disturbed her younger sister two bedrooms away: "AWWWW, NOOO!!!" (followed by mock boo-hoo noises...)

Me: "What's that all about?"

KKS: "That's really bad!"

Me: "Why?"

KKS: "I HAAAATE Disney. They run Club Penguin, right? And everything's all about being a member. Once, they did these balloon-rides, but only the members could do them, which is, like, a total swizz. So if they're doing Marvel stuff now, are they gonna...AWWW, NOOO! They're not gonna change the characters, are they?"

Me: "I doubt it."

KKS: 'Cos that would be really terrible if they...y'know, made them like Disney stuff. I really like those characters and I don't want them to change them into, y'know, animals and stuff..." (pulls mock distressed face)

Me: "What, like Bat-Duck? Mickey Hulk?"

KKS: (laughs) "Yeah, that would be sooo rubbish. Rubbish and unfair. I bet that guy, you know, the one who does the Super-heroes program..."

Me: "Stan Lee."

KKS: "Yeah, Stan. I bet he's got something to say about all this! Him and the other guy - Jack (mumbled surname, possibly "Kirffy") - I bet they, well..." (look of startled horror) "The Silver Surfer: is he Marvel or DC?"

Me: "Marvel"

KKS: (shrieks) "Oh, no, Disney aren't going to do The Silver Surfer, are they?" (appalled expression; much arm waving) "Oh, that would be terrible."

(A long discussion follows about The Silver Surfer's powers, surfboard, etc)

I'm so proud of her right now. Not because she's getting into comics, but because she has dyslexia and reading isn't easy for her.

Anything that gets her reading or, rather, wanting to read is cool with me.

Don't you fucking let her down, Disney.


At 3:23 am, Blogger Fritz Bogott said...

This is the best thing I've read all day. I'm actually going to shut down now cause it just ain't getting any better than this.

Our daughters should collaborate on a mini-comic.

At 5:15 am, Blogger db said...

True and true. It's certainly not like Marvel hasn't been whoring itself out for ages, and I still believe that with the upcoming Rapture all these behemoths will topple and die, so yeah, there's a million better ways to spend your time.

KKS, as I have said before, is a genius. For real.

Word Verification: pormo. Promotional pornography, which is what I call the ongoing trend of sex tapes being "leaked" to the internet. I would call it postmodern pornography, but as I've been investigating early '70s pro-occult Horror Porn (once again, it's research for a TODF project) I figure that angle is old news.

At 8:56 am, Blogger I am not Kek-w said...

Marvel's whored itself since day one: people forget that these things are businesses, that Martin Goodman, Stan, etc were just trying to make a living. But that doesn't devalue or take away the fact that they put out things like Stan and Jack's incredible runs on FF and Thor, Stan and Ditko on Dr. Strange, Steranko's Nick Fury, etc, etc.

Also, I don't believe in the simplistic/dualistic view of Mainstream: Bad, Indy: Good...

Did the Indy Underground bring us Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly's astonishing 12-ish Superman...? Nope.

Both sides of the fence produce shite in equal measures.

What I'm seeing right now is an 8-yr old who loves Wolverine as much as I loved Stan and Jack's FF back in the day. And that brings a lump to my throat. Anything that gets her reading/memorising words is great - shite or otherwise - far as I'm concerned.

"Promotional Pornography" LOL! You're on fire right now, Darren!
There's an article/thesis waiting to be written about how the internet has changed pornography - also "self-deliverables" (like the Paris Hilton/Pam Anderson home-made sex-tapes) - that if they hadn't existed woulda have to been made/faked - like Roswell footage - they have an innate hyperstitional basis. Fake Celebrity sex-footage and fake(d) celebrity footage. The idea of Bogus Porn, etc.

At 10:58 am, Blogger Dominic Zero said...

KKS - She's fucking cool.
Maybe Disney will put a stop to Wolverine & Magneto bein in EVERY fucking comic that comes out and put Goofy in there instead. That would be OK.
Is Hannah Montana Disney? Maybe she could be Madamme Hydra.
Has KKS read Millar's 'Old Man Logan'? She absolutely should.

At 5:15 pm, Blogger Pete Um said...

You've just reminded me that I've got an 8 year old son and a massive pile of comics gathering dust. Duh.

At 8:46 pm, Blogger I am not Kek-w said...

It's been a really great bonding thing for me and daughter. Reading together and talking about 'stuff'.

Tho it's weird explaining to her that "some comics are for adults" - that gets a raised eyebrow from her every time. It's actually quite hard for me to find an age-appropriate Wolverine story for her to read (I don't dig X-men, tbh, but I've started browsing that stuff more just so I can find some ishs for her to read) - but she gets the idea that certain comics are 'too dark' - ie not just necessarily adult-themed, but also moody/broody/grim and not much fun to read anyway. She's 8 ys old f'chrisake, Marvel, she wants to read something bright, colourful, fun, but something that will also stretch her a little bit, assist with reading - not blighted with morbidity lol.

I'm enjoying it tho.


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