Pixar Comics License Transferred from BOOM! to Marvel

In the first move this writer had seen to incorporate Disney directly with Marvel's comics publishing arm, it was announced in January that the license to publish Pixar Studios (@DisneyPixar) properties such as "Toy Story", "Cars", and "The Incredibles" has been taken from BOOM! Studios (@boomstudios) and given to now-Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel). BOOM! will continue to publish non-Pixar Disney (@Disney) properties comics such as "The Muppets" and "Darkwing Duck". Oddly, all that has been announced concretely from Marvel is the creation of "Disney Pixar Magazine", a reprint anthology of the material BOOM! produced for Disney/Pixar in recent years, to begin releasing in May.

Graeme McMillan(@graemem) had this to say in an editorial on ComicBookResources.com last month commenting on the news:
"At least reprinting the BOOM! material shows that Disney apparently loved what Boom! were doing – it’s a weird backhanded compliment, after taking the license back for Marvel (“We loved what you guys were doing – It’s just that it has your logo attached. I’m sure you understand”), but a deserved recognition of the great work that BOOM! was doing with the characters and the material. I wonder whether BOOM!’s creators will produce new material for the Marvel books, or whether that’ll fall to more familiar Marvel hands (if there’s any new material at all, of course)"
Interestingly, artist Dean Trippe (@deantrippe) was the first to post a comment under the editorial and rebutted some of McMillan's comments with this statement:
"Boom! was licensing publication of those properties, and it looks from the sales figures like they just decided to stop because they weren’t doing that well for them. Stopping publication would then revert the rights to Disney under any normal licensing deal, which I figure this was. Disney can then put out that same material under Marvel, which they own, and that works out to greater exposure for the creators who worked on those Pixar books. Since the creators, I’m sure, knew they were doing work for hire on properties they didn’t own on comics they didn’t receive royalties from, and Boom! no longer felt like it made sense for them to keep putting the books out, and Marvel/Disney thinks it might make sense for them to, this all seems relatively uncontroversial to me"
Meanwhile, last month BOOM! announced reconfiguring its kids comics line as an imprint called Kaboom! (Cute! Brilliant!) Whether this is in reaction to the loss of the Pixar license is unclear.

[via CBR-Robot6]

I tend to agree with Trippe. This isn't so bad for anyone other than corporate BOOM! Although reprinting old comics INSTEAD of making new ones is a loss for the medium as a whole.


P.S. ~ Dear L&S readers, if you were curious about the history behind this development, we here at The Long and Shortbox Of It have been following the Marvel/Disney merger/buy-out since the beginning:

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  1. Interestingly, I'm commenting here now, too! I don't even think it's bad for BOOM!, since I really do think they're the ones that cancelled these books, due to poor sales. That's the only reason this license would've reverted back to Disney so soon. Seems like everyone's a winner here. :)

    I don't have a dog in this race at all. Just offering my observational notes.

  2. I don't think of it all as very contradictory either.

    Just presenting the slightly different points-of-view on the same topic and focusing in on the implications of Disney/Marvel relationship for the health of the industry as a whole, as that's what interests me most.

    Color me curious, Dean: What leads you to the thought BOOM! canceled them and Marvel is picking them up off the ground as opposed to a, totally sensible to my mind, publishing rights simplification move on Disney's part? Is there information I'm missing? I don't really watch Diamond's sales numbers in any serious way. Perhaps I should start.