Speaking to Newsarama at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, Boom! Studios’ co-founder and Publisher Ross Richie confirmed that Boom has acquired the comic book license for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck from Disney, and will begin publishing the characters through its Boom Kids imprint.
Richie also confirmed that rather than kicking off with new titles immediately, the two titles that will join Boom Kids’ Disney/Pixar and Muppet titles in September are Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #699 (by Riccardo Secchi and Stefano Turconi) and Mickey Mouse and Friends #297 (by Stefano Ambrosio and Lorenzo Pastrovicchio). Both titles will be 24 pages and carry a $2.99 cover price.
The comic creators are Italian, part of the large contingent of creators working for Disney Italia which has been actively producing new comics and properties for Disney and the European market (such as Paperinik - a superheroic world based around Donald Duck, W.I.T.C.H., Kylion,Monster Allergy and others) for years.
Gemstone last held the license for the Disney characters, but ceased publication at the end of 2008 due to financial issues within the company.
Richie said that Boom’s immediate plan for the license is to start telling new stories, much like they have done with The Incredibles, Cars, The Muppets and others. “The Gemstone material that was being printed most recently are some of the greatest comics in the world – you’re talking about Carl Barks and Don Rosa and all these incredible creators, but what we’re going to be doing is branching off and going in a completely different direction,” Richie told Newsarama. “We’re going to start to approach the Mickey and Donald material from a completely different direction, and we’re going to try to have something that at the same time is less the ‘greatest hits’ reprints and more dovetails into what the Boom Kids stuff is, which is sort of an add to and extension of, modern presence creative take on these classic characters that I think can connect with kids today.”
That said, Richie added that the rights to publish the classic Disney Comics material is included in Boom’s license, and the publisher has plans for it. “We will be handling the classic material,” Richie said, declining to go into detail at this time. “We’re not going to abandon the fans that are buying that material, so we will have programs and products for them.”
While Boom’s take on Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and the rest of the crew will be new, Richie said that there wasn’t much discussion when it came to what to call the comics, or rather, what long-running series to pick up.
“Our first solicitation is for Mickey Mouse and Friends and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, Richie said. “Disney comics are some of the longest-running comic in the history of comic book publishing, and Comics and Stories I believe, is the longest-running series behind Action Comics and Detective Comics. Our first issue of Walt Disney Comics and Stories will be #699, which is kind of humbling legacy to pick up when you have a comic book company that’s only four years old. To be entrusted with that sort of thing, it’s obviously something that we’re looking to handle with the most respect and intensity that we can. I think the Mickey stories that we’re putting together are really going to surprise people. It’s very fresh and cool and is going to be a lot of fun.”
Richie indicated that further announcements about more Disney titles coming from Boom will be made at July’s San Diego Comic-Con.
The solicitations for Boom’s first two issues read:
WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES #699
(W) Riccardo Secchi (A) Stefano Turconi
One of the longest-lived, greatest comics in history comes to BOOM! Studios! A direct market event — the title that was host to Walt Disney's most cherished characters that helped build a decades-spanning global empire, originally launched in 1942, has come to BOOM! Kids! Ever wondered what would happen when all the superheroes of the Disney comics universe star in an epic clash against all the super villains with the fate of the world at stake? Join The Duck Avenger, Super Goofy, and the man himself Mickey Mouse for an all-new team of heroes, an all-new era in Disney publishing! (C: 0-0-1)
24pgs, FC SRP: $2.99
MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS #296
(W) Stefano Ambrosio (A) Lorenzo Pastrovicchio
First BOOM! Kids issue! One of the longest-lived, most-successful comic book series in the industry's history comes to BOOM! and brings a little magic — presenting Wizards of Mickey! Student of the great wizard Grandalf, Mickey Mouse hails from the humble village of Miceland. Allying himself with Donald Duck and his pet dragon named Fafnir, and team mate Goofy, Mickey's come to the great tournament to get his revenge on Peg Leg Pete, who has stolen the Rain Crystal from Miceland! Join Mickey Mouse and his friends on an epic tale of magic and wonder! (C: 0-0-1)
SC, 24pgs, FC SRP: $2.99