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It’s been a couple weeks since I have written (life gets in the way sometimes), but I figured, with all that’s happened in the comic book industry since I wrote my last blog regarding Marvel being acquired by Disney, why not continue on the same theme?

Times sure have changed from when our parents were younger.  Children today don’t have to go outside to amuse themselves like they used to, going to the local convenient store and picking up those gumballs, and candy. Riding around the neighborhood on their BMX, or whatever type of bicycle you had, getting into all kinds of mischief. Picking up the latest issue of Spider-Man or Justice League of America from the local comic book store and reading it on the sidewalk with their friends while sucking on a popsicle.  No nowadays, children don’t have to work hard to amuse ourselves.  Not when they have Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 around to play at home. Sure their was Atari back then, but now, you can connect with the internet and play with friends online in the comfort of your own home.  Think about that. In this day and age children and young adults don’t have to go outside to meet friends.  You can build a friendship online, through video games or chat forums. Hell you can be in the same room with somebody and not talk to them. At least not with your voice.  That’s what the laptop, blackberry’s and iPhones are for.  So in that same breath, the ongoing adventures of Spider-Man and the JLA have become unimportant, unless the kids can follow them digitally.

Comic books as literature, just don’t appeal to the younger crowd like they used to.  There’s just too many other forms of entertainment kids and young adults can relate to.  But ever since comic book companies have wizened up and opened up the genre to movies and straight to DVD animated features, all of a sudden this became the first phase of resuscitation for this art form.  Now, along with the older adults who have left the literature behind, we have the younger audience being exposed to what was once a primary form of entertainment to the kids. Enter Disney and Warner Bros to save the day.  As was reported earlier this week, DC continued the “corporate theme” and officially began the “DC Entertainment” era.  Now with both Marvel and DC fully belonging to larger entities, does this begin a new era that will once again expose comic books to the masses making it, once again, a relevant form of entertainment? Current comic book fans are waiting nervously to feel the first effects of this change.

We all know what this would mean from a business perspective.  bigger companies equals bigger distribution for movies, DVDs, etc.  But what happens from a creative standpoint?  Will content change? Marvel and DC have both been slowly getting into the digital market having their creative available online.  Will this be prioritized in order to  further open up the genre to a younger crowd?  How will the purists feel about this?  Them being the minority, will anybody care?

I for one am looking forward to what comes next and do believe this is the beginning of a new era.

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From a business standpoint this makes a lot of sense.  Disney will finally tackle what has apparently been a problem for them and that is finding those young male eyeballs.   Apparently movies like Cinderella and Snow White just weren’t cutting it.  For Marvel, I guess this gives them a viable distributor for their 5,000 or more potential big screen characters.

My only question is will this have an effect on the content?  These are characters with rich storylines, some of them more violent than the next (i.e. Wolverine, Deadpool, etc).  Will this effect current deals with other studios? With Spider-man locked in with Sony Pictures and Wolverine and the X-Men under Twentieth Century Fox, will they remain unaffected? Disney  has been notorious for making sure their content stays appealing and non-offensive to their core young audience which is understandable.  My only concern is the comic book genre is not necessarily as young as people would think.  Because it’s been considered a dying media, it has not attracted new younger followers as much as it has maintained it’s old audience from years ago who has grown up with their favourite characters.  Will Disney keep this in mind when producing upcoming films, or try to water it down for it’s desired audience, at the risk of losing the interest of most?

– Vic De Zen

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