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.
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.
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!"
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?"
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.