Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Books & Such, Nashville Office
Weather: Still wet and low 80s
Not only have I not been an ardent comic page reader, I’ve rarely read comic books, which were originally a spinoff or reprinting of the colored Sunday newspaper comic strips. The first of these appeared in the early 1930s, printed on pulp paper with color only on the cover. In the days of the Great Depression, they offered cheap reading and perhaps a badly needed laugh or diversion.
A recent headline about the comic book industry caught my attention: Disney is acquiring Marvel Entertainment! Those of us who write for children know Disney well. There’s Mickey Mouse, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and many more beloved characters in books, comic books, videos, film, plush toys, etc., which have children as their main audience.
Marvel seems to be a different critter, appealing to an older audience and to have more gruesome, scary stories and characters. They say they have over 5000 characters, and even in the book world we’ve heard of The Hulk, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman, and the Black Knight. Marvel also sells games, videos, and right now, they offer great deals on Halloween costumes.
The merger has met with some criticism. Given the difference, if Disney has acquired this mass of characters and storylines with appeal to older readers, what kind of comics and movies will they release down the road? Are they simply enlarging their stable or perhaps trying to compete with some of the werewolves and out-of-body plots in YA fiction these days? What’s your guess?