Wow was this exciting news. Now I know that there is a strong chance that if all the details are worked out and the deal goes through that there could be zero impact to what is happening with Marvel Comics, because the deal is about the ability to exploit the characters and movies. Still you can not help but to think about what this could do as over time it would only make sense to look at the way things are done in the publishing side of the business.
The first thing that came to mind to me is what does this do to BOOM studios in the long run. They have just inked license deals to publish the duck books and they have the Pixar properties. Does Disney just leave that alone or do they look to let their own comic publisher handle it in the future. Do they decide to not wait in the future and make a bid to buy BOOM and put it all under one roof? Tons of possibilities and there has to be some guy somewhere who will start to think about this. Bottom line BOOM has to be concerned as this stuff appears to me to be a good source of income for them.
Next up is the distribution of the comics. Disney has their own retail outlets and I cannot see that they would abide having Diamond tell them what to do and what not to do with their product. Marvel Adventure books could now have a great outlet in the Disney stores and Disney could start to look at the content that comes under their banner and maybe they get worried about the Punisher and/or being the publisher of Kick-Ass and other harder edge books. If they make money, maybe they don’t care, but Disney has always been known to be conscious of their brand. Either way this could affect Diamond and therefore the whole industry. Remember Marvel is often 50% of the entire comic book market. Does Disney force retailers to buy Disney books to get Marvel books? All sorts of crazy thing might happen.
Of course short term this just means that Marvel maybe able to relax a little bit on the publishing side of things and be able to be more like DC is under the Time/Warner banner. Instead of every quarter having to show growth, Marvel Comics can be seen as just maintaining the copyright by publishing the characters. Plus I believe Sony owns the Spider-Man movie rights and Fox owns the X-Men movie rights so pulling all of that together (if they want to) will be a joy.
Short term I do not expect this to have any impact to what we see and I expect to hear the announcements out of Marvel that this has no impact and everything will continue as it always has. That will be true until Disney decides it is not true. Now with Disney having different publishing ventures, trying to achieve some synergy and cost savings is only going to be natural down the road. Plus the type of contracts will be reviewed by Disney’s legal department I’m sure as they need to ensure strong ownership of the properties they want to exploit. What this means is it will have some impact and create some changes regardless of what anyone says.
Should be an interesting process to watch and see how it plays out over the next few years. Remember this is all coming at the same time that the digital revolution is about to hit our industry.
For me I just want to see the Punisher versus Pooh caged death match on pay per view. It should be awesome.