Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Disney Comics. So what? Disney Comics are go. So why am I not more excited? Several reasons.

First, these comics are clearly aimed very squarely at very small children. And maybe this is how it has to be to be profitable. I don't know. All I know is that the descriptions of these initial issues make me die a little inside. There is absolutely no concession made to those of us who care seriously about the history of the form. Gemstone may not have been perfect, but it seems positively Shakespearean compared to this. "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?" Only in my worst nightmares, Boom. Only in my worst nightmares.

Second: twenty-four pages? Seriously? A lot. I mean, REALLY--Gemstone's non-prestige titles, before they were discontinued, were thirty-two pages. Twenty-four isn't enough for many of the great adventure stories even if Boom wanted to publish them. What especially baffles me is all the people in the linked thread going "yes! Only three dollars each! That's MUCH better than Gemstone!" I'm not naming names, but SOMEBODY seriously sucks at math, here. Yes, Gemstone's Prestige titles cost eight dollars each by the end of the run. They were also sixty-four pages long. In other words, proportionally, you're paying exactly the same amount per page.

But, oh ho, no you're NOT! You're actually paying MORE this way, since the Prestige titles were printed on high-quality, acid-free paper that was meant to LAST. Got some of the earliest Gladstone Prestige titles from 1993? Okay. Notice how they're the same quality as they were the day you bought them (unless you've smeared peanut butter on them in the meantime)? Now check out some regular comic books from the same era. Notice how they're, um, not? So basically, you're getting substantially LESS for your dollar than you did from Gemstone. Innumeracy strikes again! Sigh.

Okay, so the reason is obvious--these are aimed at kids, who don't CARE what state they'll be in fifteen years later. But it's highly disappointing to me. I guess I can still hope that the to-be-announced titles are more what I'm looking for, but I'm not optimistic, and if this is their general attitude, then we can kiss that longed-for, hardbound Carl Barks Library in Color goodbye.

If they publish stuff I haven't seen by William Van Horn and Marco Rota (which seems pretty unlikely to me--but remind me to write sometime about my slow, painful conversion to tentative Van Horn fandom), I guess I'll still check it out on occasion, but I sure won't be a regular buyer. The reason I wanted Disney comics to go on in the first place was because I wanted Barks and Rosa to receive the critical and commercial respect they deserve. If that's not going to happen, the whole enterprise can go to hell for all I care.


Post a Comment

<< Home