Remaining Boom! Pixar, Muppet Titles Cancelled

At the beginning of December, rumors were circulating that Boom! had lost the Pixar/Muppets comic license. (Those properties are owned by Disney, which now has their own comic publisher, Marvel.) At the time, I didn’t find them particularly plausible. However, the latest Diamond Previews catalog is out, and the associated cancellation list listed the following titles:

SEP100910 MUPPET SHOW #12 3
OCT100901 MUPPET SHOW #13 3

Those 3’s are the cancellation code, which means “Cancelled by Previews”. That’s usually due to sales that fall below the company’s distribution threshold, or some other administrative reason, such as when a comic publisher goes out of business and Diamond wants to clean up its books.

When contacted, Boom!’s reply was to point to their promotion for Boom! Kids 2.0, a revamp coming this year that includes more classic Disney Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse titles. However, if the publisher was driving this change, I would have expected all these books to have the cancellation code 4, which means “cancelled by publisher”. Or even 2, which is “will resolicit”; that’s the one used when a series gets behind schedule and an issue has been delayed.

Of the titles listed, Cars: Adventures of Tow Mater completed a story arc with issue #4, released in November. So did The Muppet Show, with issue #11, out in October. We already knew that that series was going on hiatus, due to the artist’s comments that his work was being delayed to be rescheduled this year. (As of this month, he’s still working on those issues.) However, the description for #12 said it was a “holiday issue”, while #13 was themed around Valentine’s Day. So those books likely won’t have the same contents when/if they appear.

Tales From the Toy Chest #4 came out in December, finishing the cruise ship story. It’s The Incredibles that’s a problem — issue #15 ended with setup for a big new story arc, beginning in #16, and now fans are disappointed they won’t see the continuation.

All of the other Boom! Pixar titles — Wall-E, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars — were either miniseries or have completed their runs (in convenient-to-reprint-as-collections four-issue chunks). That means right now, there are no more Pixar or Muppet comics coming from Boom! It remains to be seen whether any will be offered later this year, or if the classic Disney are the only titles they’re focusing on.

26 Responses to “Remaining Boom! Pixar, Muppet Titles Cancelled”

  1. Russell Lissau Says:

    I’m sad to hear this.
    The Incredibles, Toy Story and Muppet Show comics were among my favorites every month. And my daughter loved the Finding Nemo comic.

  2. Dave Carter Says:

    I was also disappointed to see that the remaining Boom! kids titles have increased in cost to $3.99; that’s just too much for a 22-page comic aimed at kids.

  3. Johanna Says:

    I didn’t notice that price raise — you’re right, that’s very disappointing. Especially when the collections are $10 for four issues. Maybe there’s a book-only strategy coming?

  4. Mitchell Craig Says:

    I’m hoping The Incredibles will finish its story arc somewhere.

  5. Jim Perreault Says:

    I was at the local mall bookstore the other day, and I was surprised at the amount of Boom licensed titles there was.

    In fact, if you take all the licensed titles (Sonic, Simpsons, Boom, Buffy, and Star Wars) they eclipsed the super-hero titles.

    The list of super-hero titles was also interesting. They were mainly Superman and Batman with some related titles (Justice League, Teen Titans). On the Marvel side there was Hulk, and Shadowlands.

    So essentially, the entire stock of comic books was licensed or media related titles.

    The loss, if true, is bound to be a big hit to Boom.

  6. Johanna Says:

    That’s mostly what’s succeeding with the “general public”, the brands that they’re already familiar with through movies, TV shows, and the like. A significant subset of original comic material, on the other hand, is being produced to serve as potential storyboards or pitches for movie pickup. It’s all feeding on each other these days.

  7. Torsten Adair Says:

    Interesting. Pixar and Muppets are original material, not reprints from other Disney licensees. I am not privy to Boom’s contracts, although Disney comics generally do not pay royalties after the first version has been published. (Which is why Don Rosa published his stories first in Denmark, where the circulation is the greatest.)

    Does Boom! pay royalties when Disney comics are collected? Perhaps OGNs are one way to get around this, as GNs remain in print longer. The DM numbers are never that big… but one has to also consider newsstand sales (which Boom has been aggressive in pursuing) as well as subscriptions.

    Or maybe it was costing Boom too much to produce the original material. (Other licensees generally do not pay fees when reprinting material published elsewhere.)

    Disney Digicomics has a site in the UK and Italy, and is slowly rolling out comics apps in the U.S., mostly via the Apple itunes store. (There’s the Epic Mickey app available for iphone and ipad. There’s also the Disney Digicomics app found in iTunes under:
    App Store > Books > Disney )

    Disney, not BOOM, retains the digital comics rights for the U.S. Most of what is offered on Digicomics is from Disney’s Italian studios, and that output is what appears in most of the “classic” Disney titles from Boom, such as Double Duck, Ultraheroes, and Wizards of Mickey.

    Disney did try publishing comics in the 1990s. Marvel distributed Gladstone comics to the newsstands when Gladstone reclaimed the license from Disney. I suspect Disney will analyze how Marvel promoted/produced the Tron and Sands of Persia comics before deciding to add a Disney imprint to Marvel.

    Also, given the current downward trend in DM comics sales, Disney will probably be happy to run their digital comics division, and allow Boom to continue selling the GNs (and comics) just like other book licensees, such as Random House and Fantagraphics.

    While the Fantagraphics reprints of Carl Barks gained much press, few noticed that Boom is publishing a Rosa collection, Duck anthologies, and a WDC&S archive.

    That doesn’t seem to me like they’ve lost the license. It seems more like they’ve retrenched on original material, which costs more to produce.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Thanks very much for that history lesson. I’m not sure what’s going on — I’d just like to see more of the original material, which was good to excellent. If costs don’t work out, that’s a shame. The thought occurred to me that Disney is working on a Muppet relaunch of sorts, with the new movie and all — maybe they wanted to avoid sharing focus? Or plan to tie more products into that later?

  9. Comics A.M. | Borders to close Tenn. center, Muppets/Pixar titles canceled | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    […] Publishing | The remaining licensed Muppets and Pixar titles from BOOM! Studios have been canceled by Previews. In response to inquiries, the publisher pointed to the teaser for “BOOM! Kids 2.o,” the relaunch of its kids imprint announced in September. Rumors that BOOM! had lost the Muppets/Pixar licenses began swirling in late November, following Roger Langridge’s announcement that he would no longer be drawing The Muppet Show. The publisher’s relaunched kids line will include such Disney licenses as Darkwing Duck, and reprints of Mickey Mouse, Uncle Scrooge and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories. [Comics Worth Reading] […]

  10. Roger Langridge Says:

    Just to throw what little light I can on this, I would like to point out that Boom! have been paying me for Muppets material I’ve drawn that has not yet been published, which I don’t imagine they’d do if they had no intention of releasing it. My understanding is that they were holding it back for a release that would tie in with the movie.

  11. Johanna Says:

    Thank you very much for reminding us of that. I’m very hopeful we see those comics, because I’m sure they’ll be wonderful. Relaunching around the time of the movie, which is now scheduled around Thanksgiving, makes a lot of sense.

  12. Nat Gertler Says:

    And let’s remember that Cars also has a new movie coming up, so it would not surprise if any remaining Cars material came out then.

  13. Paul Nolan Says:

    as it stands, Boom! have not released that much information regarding their Boom Kids 2.0 announcement.

    there is bound to be something up their sleeve.

  14. Parker Says:

    The Snow White Muppet comic was the end for me. The art, as usual, was crap, but worse, the “writer” destroyed Miss Piggy. I’m glad the comic is cancelled.

  15. Johanna Says:

    I greatly enjoyed the regular Muppet Show comic, but I didn’t read the spinoffs, because I wasn’t interested in the plots and they had different creative teams. Roger Langridge is the reason the comics were so good.

  16. Jim Says:

    Boom Kids 2.0 just seems to be them moving away from the Italian material no one liked, and doing the classics reprints that fans wanted in the first place. It also seems to involve making all of the comics a dollar more than they were previously.

    The only announcements they seem to be making involve the standards characters, which is probably a separate license from Muppets or Pixar. Disney knows how to divide up their properties for maximum cash flow. The Muppets and Pixar were the first licenses they announced, so they were likely to be the first ones they had, and the first to expire.

    How much longer do they have the standards license? Does anyone know? Through 2011, maybe?

  17. Gabriel Says:

    I have a friend who works for Boom (I think I’ll avoid saying who) and he said that Boom could no longer afford that license when it came up for renewal; the company is basically hand to mouth each month and have habitually paid their writers and artists late for almost a year now.

    They’re focusing hard on the main Disney characters because that’s all they have left. Darkwing Duck was apparently such a huge, unexpected success that they’re doing mostly Disney Afternoon stuff to capitalize, which is why they’re releasing a new original Ducktales book this summer.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Disney probably feels they can make more doing the books themselves anyway; they do own the largest comic company now, and could definitely reach a wider audience than a small company like Boom.

  18. Jim Perreault Says:

    On the other hand, Boom had way more books at the local book store than Marvel had.

  19. Eric Says:

    I don’t see how that could be true, Marvel OWNS the comics market. Besides, having a lot of books at the bookstore means nothing if you can’t afford to let people know they exist. Incredibles was a GREAT book, and I don’t remember Boom doing a thing to get the word out beyond their initial launch. I’m so pissed off that they canceled it where they did, with the villains triumphant and the Incredibles disgraced. The new stuff they’ve been putting out is terrible…Rescue Rangers is a mess, and I think my initial nostalgia for Darkwing clouded my enthusiasm, as the latest issues have been so convoluted. (Although the art on both is fantastic.) If they are doing a Duck Tales book, I’m sure it’ll be pretty but they’ll screw it up by having the same guy write it.

    I look forward to Disney moving these books to Marvel. I just hope they keep the same artists.

  20. Johanna Says:

    Marvel is very good in the direct market, yes, but their bookstore marketing is horrible, and other companies do much better with collections in that market and related (such as schools and libraries).

    If Disney moved its licenses to Marvel, I would bet they’d have all-new creative teams.

  21. Paul Nolan Says:


    1/ Boom! have a far better newsstand distribution than Marvel currently have.

    2/ Marvel can’t even make their own all ages book last. (Look at Thor the Mighty Avenger) They would be absolutely useless with the Disney Kids Licences.

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