Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

CBF Quick Picks #141 : The Dark Horse Dilemma?

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Star Wars
[display_podcast]

We all knew it was coming. Disney is giving Marvel the keys to the Star Wars comic book kingdom in 2015. The question to ask though is if this is a serious enough affair to threaten Dark Horse’s business.

Hit the Play button and we’ll see if Dark Horse’s catalog is still enticing enough to make it a key player.

CBF Quick Picks #133 : Thor – God of Thunder #4

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Thor
[display_podcast]
It was a matter of inches for the top pick this week.

Star Wars #1 from Brian Wood finally unveiled itself to the masses. Even amongst the concerns of Dark Horse’s holding of the Star Wars comic license, Wood still managed to get a great book out. And you’d think we’ve seen it all with this series set in the original trilogy’s timeline, but Wood somehow makes it all seem fresh.

When it comes down to it though, Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic can do no wrong with Thor: God of Thunder #4. It’s beyond words how exciting this book has become as it explores one nasty villain making an impact on Thor’s entire lifeline. It speaks to Aaron’s diversity in writing and Ribic’s Conan-esque drawings that grabs the reader from the get-go. I look forward to how they’re going to wrap this up and future arcs.

BREAKING NEWS : Disney Acquiring Lucasfilm With New Star Wars Movie In the Works

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A little over 3 years ago, Disney set the pop culture world on fire with its $4 billion purchase of Marvel Comics. Fast forward to today and looks like Disney wants to light it up one more time with a shocking deal.

According to a Disney press release, it’s about to purchase Lucasfilm, Lucasarts, ILM, and Skywalker Sound for a reported $4.05 billion dollars. Much like with Marvel, Disney seems to want to take advantage of the vast history the Star Wars franchise has explored and build upon it amidst its under franchises under its belt.

What’s more shocking is that right off the bat, Disney reportedly has plans to get a “Star Wars 7” movie in the works. George Lucas would still be around as a creative consultant.

Speaking of the man who made sci-fi blockbusters possible, he had this to say in the press release:

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

I have to be honest – I’m conflicted. It’s definitely big news and Disney knows how to market and merchandise. That being said, this is also the same company that almost damaged Pixar’s creative vision before coming to terms and purchasing them. I’m sure people are ready for a change after Lucas’ prequel trilogy left bad tastes in their mouths along with Lucas himself of late saying he is tired of the fanboyism (although to be fair – some of that is justified).

Now you have to ask – what does all of this have to do with comics? Look no further than Dark Horse. Other than Hellboy and B.P.R.D., Dark Horse relies heavily on their licensed properties to compete in the direct market – Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Conan and yes – Star Wars too. Marvel was originally the go-to publisher back at the peak of Star Wars’ popularity in the early 1980’s. Disney now owns Marvel. You get where I’m going with this?

Obviously, this all just happened now, so we know nothing more about Disney’s plans with the companies. But you got to feel for Dark Horse and an uncertain future that’s been brought upon them.

DC Comics Says Change Is Good – Is It?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Around this time last year, we saw many groundbreaking changes occur for the major comic book publishers. Marvel, of course, grabbed the bigger spotlight with the news of their purchase by Disney for $4 billion.

DC, however, had made it a point to slowly show its hand by first unveiling the new division known as DC Entertainment. Rumors came about the rest of the year of new positions and changes that would involve putting more focus on the creative direction of its TV and movie properties. As 2010 dawned, we then came to learn those changes involved Diane Nelson heading up DCE, Paul Levitz stepping down as president, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee as co-publishers, and Geoff Johns as Chief Creative Officer. DC and Warner Bros. were making it a point to mean business when it came to making the most of the many years of characters and storylines they had under their belt.

Then yesterday, the kid gloves came off:

1) DC first announced a bi-coastal move that involves relocating the multimedia portion of their business to Los Angeles while keeping their comic publishing division in New York City. Says Nelson, “Our two offices will stretch and build their respective areas of focus, while prioritizing and aggressively striving to connect and cooperate more strongly than ever before between them and with their colleagues at Warner Bros.”

2) We then learned that Wildstorm, the long-standing studio that helped get Image off the ground running in ’92 and was then purchased by DC in ’99, would close shop by the end of the year and fold into the DC Comics imprint.

3) Lastly, as one would expect from a big move to LA and shutting down one of its studios, there’s talk of an estimated 20% layoff in DC’s divisions. Whether this includes the predicted current employees who would not want or be able to make the trip to the West Coast remains to be seen.

My two cents? It’s no surprise it would come to this. Re-structuring always involves shifting positions and studios and unfortunately also means layoffs. The minute we heard DC Entertainment was created last year, this was bound to happen. One will only hope this results in a more focused direction for its TV, film, and, of course, the comic properties. TV is definitely not an issue if you look at how well their DC animated offerings have been as of late and you can make a case that Smallville has had somewhat of a mini-revival after Geoff Johns put his influence into play.

Films are a different matter. The Green Lantern film coming next summer might change the perception that DC and Warner Bros. can only do Batman flicks as of late, but we’ve known for the longest time that the focus was lacking on what else they could turn into film properties. Marvel is definitely ahead in that chess match, but if you hear what Nelson has to say about the competition, there doesn’t appear to be one. Probably the best thing to say at this point.

As for Wildstorm? I’ll confess to not being well-versed in that universe, so it’s hard for me to judge whether I’ll be missing out on anything. Its early days gave us Alan Moore’s imprint, America’s Best Comics, which had a great impact in the beginning with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Tom Strong, and Promothea. It also brought The Authority and a more adult tone to the superhero team-up book. Warren Ellis and John Cassady’s Planetary explored a great deal of comic book history and pop culture. In recent years though, I can only recall Ex Machina as the one book that stood out to me. Granted, this doesn’t mean Wildstorm’s characters will go away forever, but it’s hard pressed to say how much can be done to create interest for future generations.

One thing’s for sure – I’m sad to see much amazing talent be let go. I wish them the best in finding future work and hope the gifts and skills they bring to the industry overall will not go unnoticed.

What’s your thoughts on all the changes?

Happy 2010 from CBF!

Friday, January 1st, 2010

We’ve arrived at the next decade. Hope everybody enjoyed themselves in 2009 and are prepared for more fury from Mike and myself in 2010. Marvel definitely seemed to enjoy the last of 2009 with the official acquisition of them by Disney made known yesterday.

As we prepare to see what the comic world has to offer this year, we’d like to see what you wish to see come out of 2010 in comic books. We already know Blackest Night is wrapping up in DC, Siege is just getting started in Marvel, and Vertigo is continually pushing new and fresh material at alarming rates. What do you expect to see come out of these books and others? What would you want to see overall this year?

Let us know your thoughts and resolutions for the year to come. We already know what Wolverine’s are. What do you say, bub?

Indeed…

CBF Podcast 13: The Decade in Review Part Deux

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
[audio:CBF13_Decade_Review2.mp3]

Tim and I wrap up (no not rapping, we just talk) our decade in review starting at 2005.  We hope you had a great year (and decade) and we’re looking forward to better and more podcasts, comics, movie reviews, videos and giving you our unique (some say odd, very very odd) take on comics.

Happy New Year everyone!