Robot 6

Marvel to (re)publish Muppet show comics [UPDATED]

Marvel and parent company Disney are pulling the Muppet Show comics out of limbo—at least one of them. Marvel announced yesterday that it will publish Meet the Muppets, a 96-page Muppet Show comic written and illustrated by Roger Langridge, in a magazine format for $5.99. This is the first we have heard of Marvel publishing a Muppets comic, although it’s not too surprising, as they recently announced a new comics magazine based on their Pixar properties. BOOM! Studios had previously held the license for both the Pixar and the Muppets comics, and it looks like both magazines are reprints of that material. BOOM!’s version of Meet the Muppets was released two years ago as a graphic novel, although Marvel’s edition has a larger format (with fewer pages) and a lower price.

Langridge commented at Bleeding Cool,

I have to say this is the first I’ve heard of any of this, though I’m glad the material will continue to be out there and available.

At the time of the Pixar changeover, all the parties were curiously quiet about the Muppets license. Now that this book has been announced, perhaps we will hear about the fate of the unpublished Muppets comics, a four-comic series titled The Four Seasons, which are currently in limbo, with no announced plans from BOOM! or Marvel to publish them.

Update: When asked about the project, BOOM! sent the following response:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the team at Marvel are a group I respect greatly and consider friends. It’s exciting to see them republish Harvey Award-winning BOOM! content from the incomparable Roger Langridge. Susan Butterworth and the entire Muppet Studios team are fantastic people, and they were a joy to work with. With any luck, Roger’s unpublished FOUR SEASONS arc will find success on their publishing schedule,” said BOOM! Studios founder and CEO Ross Richie.



Simon DelMonte

April 12, 2011 at 9:09 am

BOOM does all the work, Marvel reaps the profits? Seems unfair, though maybe Landridge will see some of the revenues and get more work. (Just read the first RPB for Thor the Mighty Avenger. Why did that slice of wonder get cancelled when all those other lesser Thor books keep going?)

“BOOM does all the work”

Licensed property. They knew this wasn’t theirs to do with as they pleased walking in. And when Disney bought Marvel it makes sense to move their properties to their own comic book division.

For more examples of that practice, see (1) Dark Horse reprints of Marvel’s Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Conan, Kull, and John Carter comics, (2) IDW’s reprints of Marvel’s Star Trek, GI Joe, and Transformers comics, and (3) DC’s reprints of Marvel’s Doc Savage comics.

It’s not that unusual for licensed material to float around, but there’s just usually a longer time frame involved. It just so happens that this time the license holder bought the #1 comic book company in the U.S. Therefore, they no longer needed a collaborating publisher outside their corporate structure.

The “problem” with all this is you would have thought in the 25 years since Marvel’s 80’s run of licensed material the industry (especially Disney in this case) would have changed the rules on reprints so royalties can find their way back to the creator when material is reprinted.

Hate on Disney for continuing this in my opinion shameless practice, and hate on Breevort and remind him of this the next time he tweets about DC not giving royalties to ex Marvel writers/artists because DC’s reprinting something Marvel originally did.

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