I'm sure everyone's read the stories today. 

Disney bought Fox entertainment for more than $50 million in stock. Fox will keep its news and sports channels, and Disney gets almost everything else, including the film rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four.

In addition, Disney picks up some non-Marvel brands of sigificance, including The Simpsons, Avatar and Kingsman. Disney also adds Fox's 30 percent ownership of Hulu to its own 30 percent share, for a majority share.

So, what do y'all think?

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If you want comics that aren't super-hero based, there's plenty of manga that explore other genres.

Great point, Cap. In the late Sixties when I began reading more Marvel titles and fewer from DC it was those variations you mention that were attracting me. Although I didn't identify them as such, it was the soap opera elements that had me passing up Batman and buying Spider-Man instead.

Captain Comics said:

* This also brings up another argument I like to make, in that the true breakthrough made by Stan Lee wasn't "heroes with problems," but that he wrote all kinds of genres -- the kind he'd been wanting to write -- but gussied them up in superhero drag. Spider-Man was soap opera (with superheroes). Thor was high fantasy (with superheroes). Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was espionage (with superheroes). And so forth. My argument is that Lee, almost unintentionally, transformed superheroes from a genre into a platform, in that any kind of story could be told with superheroes -- and that by putting Shakespeare or whatever in colorful costumes, he made even the corniest soap opera bigger than life, and therefore more exciting. 

There's another aspect of the Fox deal that I don't see discussed much, and that's the effect it might have on comics.

In the deal, Disney got all the intellectual property from Fox production and cable networks. That includes Aliens, Predators, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons -- all of which are published as comic books by publishers other than Marvel Comics. 

Maybe Disney will leave those franchises be. Or maybe they won't.

When Disney bought LucaFilm, they let the contract for Star Wars comics expire at Dark Horse (after 21 yeas!) and took the property to Marvel Comics. But they also contracted with IDW to do kid-friendly Star Wars books. And IDW still has the "Big Four" of Disney comics: Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney's Comics & Stories

We can probably infer that Disney feels kid-oriented books should be done somewhere other than Marvel. Bongo (Simpsons) might feel relieved. But that would be cold comfort to Dark Horse (Aliens, Predator, Buffy).

I've been seeing gags about the Alien queens being Disney princesses now.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is IDW? So some of the acquired comics property could be moving to Marvel?  ie..Aliens, Predator, Buffy.

To publish Simpsons or Disney comics Marvel would have to find an editor capable of overseeing their production, creative people capable of handling them, and sales people who knew how to sell them. It would have to finance their production itself, and liaise with the divisions of the conglomerate that oversee the properties. Keeping an eye on their production would be part of the Editor in Chief's job.

I suppose if Disney brought their production into Marvel it wouldn't have to share the profits. Possibly the Marvel brand would help sell the comics, as more readers are willing to give Marvels a chance and there's more awareness of its output.

On the other hand, the rest of Marvel's output might swamp them: instead of being big fish in a small pond, they would be small fish in a big one. Also, Marvel might have to share the profits with other divisions of the company, making its bottom line look worse.

I do not think that Disney/Marvel would have any problems on getting an editor capable of handling and overseeing publishing the Simpsons, Disney comics or any of the other non-Marvel comic properties. I mean, money talks and Disney has plenty of that. They could promote from within or lure some editor to jump ship to be on the Disney/Marvel team.

Luke Blanchard said:

To publish Simpsons or Disney comics Marvel would have to find an editor capable of overseeing their production, creative people capable of handling them, and sales people who knew how to sell them. It would have to finance their production itself, and liaise with the divisions of the conglomerate that oversee the properties. Keeping an eye on their production would be part of the Editor in Chief's .

I suppose if Disney brought their production into Marvel it wouldn't have to share the profits. Possibly the Marvel brand would help sell the comics, as more readers are willing to give a chance and there's more awareness of its output. On the other hand, the rest of Marvel's output might swamp them: instead of being the big fish in a small pond, they'd be the small fish in a big one.

IDW is a comics publishing company that focuses primarily on making comics for licensed properties. For instance, this week they put out comics for 24, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, Judge Dredd, My Little Pony, Powerpuff Girls, Transformers, Rom and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Joe Sherrod said:

Forgive my ignorance, but what is IDW?

That's my assumption, Joe -- if Disney wanted to do anything in house, they could simply hire away the entire staff that's doing it wherever they're doing it. 

Joe Sherrod said:

I do not think that Disney/Marvel would have any problems on getting an editor capable of handling and overseeing publishing the Simpsons, Disney comics or any of the other non-Marvel comic properties. I mean, money talks and Disney has plenty of that. They could promote from within or lure some editor to jump ship to be on the Disney/Marvel team.

Luke Blanchard said:

To publish Simpsons or Disney comics Marvel would have to find an editor capable of overseeing their production, creative people capable of handling them, and sales people who knew how to sell them. It would have to finance their production itself, and liaise with the divisions of the conglomerate that oversee the properties. Keeping an eye on their production would be part of the Editor in Chief's .

I suppose if Disney brought their production into Marvel it wouldn't have to share the profits. Possibly the Marvel brand would help sell the comics, as more readers are willing to give a chance and there's more awareness of its output. On the other hand, the rest of Marvel's output might swamp them: instead of being the big fish in a small pond, they'd be the small fish in a big one.

Luke Blanchard said:

Also, Marvel might have to share the profits with other divisions of the company, making its bottom line look worse.

I didn't put that last point clearly. I figure there's a division of Disney that licenses the Disney characters, and if Marvel did those comics it would have to pay a fee, even though it's another division of the conglomerate. So for Marvel it might be more profitable to do Squirrel Girl than Mickey Mouse even if Mickey Mouse would sell more.

Captain Comics said:

In the Golden Age, there were all kinds of genres, because all kinds of genres sold. In the '50s, superhero comics did not sell, and they were dropped in favor of ones that did. In the '70s (and later), as a mass medium became a boutique item, all the other genres dropped one by one until only superhero titles were the last man standing.

If we had comics available in every drug and convenience store in large enough quantities and genre-varieties, I have no doubt that other genres would sell besides superheroes (if the customer can swallow the $3 to $4 price tags). When comics were seen alongside other magazines they often would be impulse purchases. The reason Starbucks survives with what seems to be too many stores is that in many cases it is an impulse purchase.

The customer base at comic book stores isn’t likely to embrace romance, funny animal and other genres in sufficient numbers to keep them afloat. My friend who runs a comic book store once said that he would love to carry other genres but can’t afford to be stuck with too much unreturnable stock. Because they are known not to sell well, he will order copies for those that ask but won’t order display copies. Some (few) comic book stores have deep enough copies (or don’t know better) and will carry comics that sell poorly.

When Disney bought LucaFilm, they let the contract for Star Wars comics expire at Dark Horse (after 21 yeas!) and took the property to Marvel Comics. But they also contracted with IDW to do kid-friendly Star Wars books.

When Disney dropped Dark Horse was it because they didn’t like their approach to the Star Wars material, or was it a snap judgement made just because they could? I think that if they are happy with the comics companies currently doing the other properties they would be wise to leave them be. Setting up an entire new division and hiring existing talent (who may not all want to be hired by Disney) may not be as profitable as it is now. I think that Marvel has attempted non-heroic properties before with little success. Maybe Disney can push more successfully to get the Simpsons and the Disney funny animals into more retail outlets. I think that Disney pretty much let Marvel alone when it was acquired. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Baron said:

I've been seeing gags about the Alien queens being Disney princesses now.

Did anyone create a meme of a Xenomorph wearing princess drag?

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