Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

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Digifiend
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Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by Digifiend » 11 May 2011, 01:55

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/comics/news ... ction.html
Disney has issued an edict ruling that all Marvel superhero content must originate from the US.

The move is expected to have major repercussions for Panini and Marvel UK, who deliver content based on the publisher's catalogue for young readers, reports Bleeding Cool.

Marvel Heroes Magazine has featured work from top creators such as Ferg Handley and Andie Tong, and has competed with Titan's Batman and Rebellion's 2000AD in the news stand market.

As such content is not as widely published in the US, several Marvel titles are expected to be cancelled or overhauled.

Marvel became a subsidiary of Disney in late 2009 following a multi-million dollar deal.

An official announcement of the edict is expected to be made soon.
As it says, this means all of Panini's Marvel titles will have to drop any home created content. It'll probably mean some title cancellations, and that's one less outlet for British creators. :(

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 11 May 2011, 07:00

It has to be said that no-one does Superheroes quite like the Americans, whose contribution to this genre must be as surely recognizable to everyone as Disney imagery itself.


UK comics work best when quirky 'Britishisms' are applied, like in 2000 AD. When British creations in the Superhero field try to compete with the Americans, it's never usually as satisfying.........although that's not to say that the Brits can't come up with good stuff on this score, it's just that they seem better suited sticking to their own unique stuff......and nowt wrong with that.

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by tony ingram » 11 May 2011, 08:12

Digifiend wrote:http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/comics/news ... ction.html
Disney has issued an edict ruling that all Marvel superhero content must originate from the US.

The move is expected to have major repercussions for Panini and Marvel UK, who deliver content based on the publisher's catalogue for young readers, reports Bleeding Cool.

Marvel Heroes Magazine has featured work from top creators such as Ferg Handley and Andie Tong, and has competed with Titan's Batman and Rebellion's 2000AD in the news stand market.

As such content is not as widely published in the US, several Marvel titles are expected to be cancelled or overhauled.

Marvel became a subsidiary of Disney in late 2009 following a multi-million dollar deal.

An official announcement of the edict is expected to be made soon.
As it says, this means all of Panini's Marvel titles will have to drop any home created content. It'll probably mean some title cancellations, and that's one less outlet for British creators. :(
Very sad, and extremely petty. Disney are effectively destroying a tradition that dates back decades and gave us some of the best Marvel stories of all time. Sad.

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by Lew Stringer » 11 May 2011, 09:03

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:It has to be said that no-one does Superheroes quite like the Americans, whose contribution to this genre must be as surely recognizable to everyone as Disney imagery itself.


UK comics work best when quirky 'Britishisms' are applied, like in 2000 AD. When British creations in the Superhero field try to compete with the Americans, it's never usually as satisfying.........although that's not to say that the Brits can't come up with good stuff on this score, it's just that they seem better suited sticking to their own unique stuff......and nowt wrong with that.
Sorry Rab, but have you read any American comics over the last 30 years? Numerous British creators have contributed to or are contributing to hugely successful comics. I trust you've heard of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Paul Cornell, David Lloyd, Neil Gaiman, Mike Perkins, Alan Davis, Doug Braithwaite, to name but a few?

As for UK superhero comics, the two that Disney's decision affects, Marvel Heroes and Spectacular Spider-Man, are very popular here, and have been for several years. Today's UK creators have proven that they can make Marvel superheroes work for a British market. Most importantly, Marvel Heroes and Spectacular Spider-Man are aimed at the children's market, thus bringing kids on board ready for when they're a bit older and can buy other Marvel comics.

Disney's decision to put a stop to this sounds like poor business to me. Why fix something that's not broken? (Or rather why sabotage something that's running perfectly?) Worse, it means that many UK freelancers are now going to lose work, and for what?

A better decision would surely be for Disney to allow the UK created Marvel material to continue, and repackage it for the American/International territories, not cut off a profitable arm of its empire.

Presumably Disney will now either a) expect Panini UK (Marvel UK) to use existing reprints in the comics instead, or b) Disney will create their own kid-friendly Marvel strips in the USA and farm them out to the UK for reprinting. Time will tell.
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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by philcom55 » 11 May 2011, 09:47

I doubt if this means UK writers and artists will be barred from superhero comics aimed at the British market. More likely the editing and commissioning will now be done from America in the same way that the Marvel bullpen took direct responsibility for titles such as Mighty World of Marvel during the 1970s after years of licensing their material to home-grown publishers such as Alan Class and Odhams (of course Stan Lee subsequently realized this was something of a mistake, as a result of which he asked Dez Skinn to set up Marvel UK - without which we'd never have had Alan Moore's Captain Britain!).

- Phil Rushton

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by Lew Stringer » 11 May 2011, 10:17

philcom55 wrote:I doubt if this means UK writers and artists will be barred from superhero comics aimed at the British market. More likely the editing and commissioning will now be done from America in the same way that the Marvel bullpen took direct responsibility for titles such as Mighty World of Marvel during the 1970s after years of licensing their material to home-grown publishers such as Alan Class and Odhams (of course Stan Lee subsequently realized this was something of a mistake, as a result of which he asked Dez Skinn to set up Marvel UK - without which we'd never have had Alan Moore's Captain Britain!).

- Phil Rushton

As I understand it the editing will continue in the UK, but they're not allowed to use new material. (This is a similar contract to that which Panini have on the Collectors Editions, which is why those stopped having new covers several years ago.)

I doubt that the Disney suits who have made this decision know anything of the history of UK Marvel.

All the Marvel Heroes / Spec Spidey UK scripts and strips were sent to the US for approval before publication anyway, and in the age of the internet, with art being sent in digitally, it makes no difference to Marvel/Disney whether a strip arrives from the UK or Timbuktu. So for Disney to only want strips generated in America seems very petty.

The UK creators I've spoken to are gutted by this decision.
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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 11 May 2011, 10:39

half a quadruple post {!}
Last edited by ISPYSHHHGUY on 11 May 2011, 10:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 11 May 2011, 10:42

Lew Stringer wrote:
ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:It has to be said that no-one does Superheroes quite like the Americans, whose contribution to this genre must be as surely recognizable to everyone as Disney imagery itself.


UK comics work best when quirky 'Britishisms' are applied, like in 2000 AD. When British creations in the Superhero field try to compete with the Americans, it's never usually as satisfying.........although that's not to say that the Brits can't come up with good stuff on this score, it's just that they seem better suited sticking to their own unique stuff......and nowt wrong with that.
Sorry Rab, but have you read any American comics over the last 30 years? Numerous British creators have contributed to or are contributing to hugely successful comics. I trust you've heard of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Paul Cornell, David Lloyd, Neil Gaiman, Mike Perkins, Alan Davis, Doug Braithwaite, to name but a few?

As for UK superhero comics, the two that Disney's decision affects, Marvel Heroes and Spectacular Spider-Man, are very popular here, and have been for several years. Today's UK creators have proven that they can make Marvel superheroes work for a British market. Most importantly, Marvel Heroes and Spectacular Spider-Man are aimed at the children's market, thus bringing kids on board ready for when they're a bit older and can buy other Marvel comics.

Disney's decision to put a stop to this sounds like poor business to me. Why fix something that's not broken? (Or rather why sabotage something that's running perfectly?) Worse, it means that many UK freelancers are now going to lose work, and for what?

A better decision would surely be for Disney to allow the UK created Marvel material to continue, and repackage it for the American/International territories, not cut off a profitable arm of its empire.

Presumably Disney will now either a) expect Panini UK (Marvel UK) to use existing reprints in the comics instead, or b) Disney will create their own kid-friendly Marvel strips in the USA and farm them out to the UK for reprinting. Time will tell.




I am well aware of the work of UK contributers like Brian Bolland, Kev O'Neill etc going Stateside, Lew, but this exodus of Brits is basically building upon the foundations established decades earlier by original American visionaries like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Seigel and Shuster, Bob Kane , etc...........without the work laid down by these pioneers, there would have been no later work for British comics-creators, who are basically putting a new slant on original themes created by the Americans.


This is not quite the same as coming up with the 'next Batman' or the 'next Superman' or whatever: I still say that the Yanks are the masters of this field, which they originated.



What these very talented UK contributers are doing in US comics is equivalent to a very talented UK animator going over to California to work on an updated Mickey Mouse: the results may be very good, but basically it's still a Yank creation, through-and-through.

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by Lew Stringer » 11 May 2011, 11:18

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote: What these very talented UK contributers are doing in US comics is equivalent to a very talented UK animator going over to California to work on an updated Mickey Mouse: the results may be very good, but basically it's still a Yank creation, through-and-through.
I think that underplays their talents. Those UK creators were headhunted by US editors for the unique aspects they could bring to American comics.

Anyway, I just wanted to correct your point that "no-one does Superheroes quite like the Americans" when the UK have been doing fine at it for the past several years. The Americans are no longer "masters of their field", when Watchmen and Kick Ass are the most popular graphic novels, and Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely's New X-Men is coming in for yet another printing.

This decision by Disney is more likely to do with the fact that their rivals Panini were creating strips in the UK. It's political.
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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by STARBOY » 11 May 2011, 11:34

Oh that really is bad and pretty unfair news (not sure why its only US Superhero material I take it that won't affect UK originated funny/Disney character work, if that exists in the UK ). The UK all ages mags IMHO are far better the Marvels home spun (ie US) kids/all age material (Marvel SuperHeroes etc) which isn't that bad to be honest but pales side by side with the UK books to me. I would imagine UK titles like "Marvel Heroes" etc leads a lot of readers into the Pannini collectors books when they hit a certain age and any new US originated material might backfire on Disney/Marvel if the new material is as good/relevant to UK kids. Overall this just seems very unfair to me to the creators and to the readers - hopefully its only to go vioa the US and be edited , commissioned there and the UK creators can continue.

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by Lew Stringer » 11 May 2011, 11:41

STARBOY wrote:hopefully its only to go vioa the US and be edited , commissioned there and the UK creators can continue.
Even it that happened (and it seems unlikely at present) it'd mean the UK guys would have to prove themselves to new editors. Chances are not all of them would make it.

Panini UK already have a Disney co-production out. It's a Thor Movie Special containing a new strip produced by American creators. (Based on the movie Thor rather than the Marvel comics costume design.) I expect that's the sort of thing we'll see more of. I also heard recently that Disney are producing their own Captain America comic. Thin end of the wedge...
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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by philcom55 » 11 May 2011, 13:01

I guess it's an extension of the same McDonalds-style corporate thinking whereby overseas branches of Disneyworld are designed as exact copies of the American original! :-(

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY » 11 May 2011, 15:45

Lew Stringer wrote:
ISPYSHHHGUY wrote: What these very talented UK contributers are doing in US comics is equivalent to a very talented UK animator going over to California to work on an updated Mickey Mouse: the results may be very good, but basically it's still a Yank creation, through-and-through.
I think that underplays their talents. Those UK creators were headhunted by US editors for the unique aspects they could bring to American comics.

Anyway, I just wanted to correct your point that "no-one does Superheroes quite like the Americans" when the UK have been doing fine at it for the past several years. The Americans are no longer "masters of their field", when Watchmen and Kick Ass are the most popular graphic novels, and Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely's New X-Men is coming in for yet another printing.

This decision by Disney is more likely to do with the fact that their rivals Panini were creating strips in the UK. It's political.
I'm not trying to down the contribution of Brits regarding US comics, Lew: the very first pro comics artist I ever met was Kev O'Neill, and I remember him saying it took him several days to turn out one of his hyper-detailed pages: much later, I discovered that he recieved a pittance for the effort he put into his work, and I don't blame creators like him turning to the greener pastures of the US: I sincerely hope they are financially rewarded better [which I'm sure they are].




Regarding British creations like Watchmen and Kick-ass: these are basically pastiches or indeed 'send-ups' to some extent of the Superhero genre, familiar to buffs mostly, but nowhere near the 'household name' status enjoyed by the characters of Superman, Batman and others, that are immediately recognizable to even the most uninterested bystander..... Even my grandmother would have recognized an image of Batman, but it's doubtful if the character of Kick-ass would have stood out from the legions of Superhero 'also-rans' that have been created since the 'first-ran' greats.


The Superhero genre is so over-familiar today, it is perhaps very difficult for anyone to come up with a truly innovative new character who is not a pastiche or parody.



Like so much else in creative endeavour, the best stuff seems to have been thought up in the 20th Century, with later generations arriving in time just to embellish new directions for themes or characters already well established by DC and Marvel in a previous Century.

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by Digifiend » 11 May 2011, 16:03

Lew Stringer wrote:This decision by Disney is more likely to do with the fact that their rivals Panini were creating strips in the UK. It's political.
How is Panini a rival of Disney? They don't do comics in the US (apart from Marvel, their main comics are Doctor Who, and that's done by IDW there). Panini are are a licensor of Marvel, and don't Disney licence out their other properties here anyway?

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Re: Disney ban non-American Marvel comics

Post by STARBOY » 11 May 2011, 16:20

Pannini may not have a presence in the US for comics but they are world leader in the published Collectibles sector (stickers etc) and the leading multi-national publisher of comics, children's magazines and manga in Europe and Latin America (all areas Disney may want to expand into ). Good point thought re Disney licensing material to Pannini but maybe this is their way to cut that down on that so they get a foothold in these countries/regions now they have aquired Marvel etc?? good question though !

The issue of Disney publishing their own "Captain America" comic could be a worry to Marvels "Independence" within the Disney group/empire

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