This was a rather heavy week of headliners to pick from for this column, as I had several options for the first item in Comics Disassembled, my look at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the past week in comics. It was hard to choose, as the biggest news item might not be the most interesting one, or vice versa. Let’s do our best by starting with the one I care the most about, because let’s be honest, it’s the best.
1. Bone, Out to Netflixville
I’m not someone who is dying for every comic I love to become a movie or a TV show or whatever, but Jeff Smith’s Bone makes so much sense as a series that there’s a part of me that’s just like, “How is this not a thing?” It’s such a slam dunk. It’s an epic series that has a ton of heart and action within. It has a large cast of unforgettable characters. It’s basically a merchandising god waiting to be explode. I mean, I’ve described it as Lord of the Rings meets Peanuts before, and if anything is more commercial than that I don’t even know.
And now, it’s finally happening 28 years later. Well, it has been announced it’s happening 28 years later, as Netflix is turning my dreams into a reality. Bone is becoming an animated series on the streaming giant, and if Hilda was a hit for them, this is going to be an absolute monster. I mean that as no slander to Luke Pearson’s charmer, but Bone is basically the best all-ages comic ever made, so this is going to be quite the thing if it actually happens. I’ll be very interested to see what kind of animation style they go with, but there is so much opportunity here because the mix of lively characters and the incredibly basic yet charming design of the Bone brothers. This book already feels like it moves, so by the time it actually does, it’s going to positively vibrant.
Congrats to Jeff Smith. Congrats to Cartoon Books. Congrats to Netflix. Congrats to David Harper. This is going to be a whole thing. I can’t wait.
2. Kevin Feige, Moving Up
This is the objectively biggest news of the week, but there’s so little I can say about it confidently that I feel like I shouldn’t even suggest much. Kevin Feige has been elevated to the position of Marvel Chief Creative Officer, and with it, he’ll now effectively be heading Marvel Comics with President Dan Buckley now reporting to him when it comes to editorial and publishing concerns. And that’s straight up wild. Ike Perlmutter maintains powers on the sales side of things, amongst other roles, but Feige’s taking over the part of comics that largely matters to us. And by that I mean the comics.
This is massive. There’s no doubt about that. But we have no idea what this actually means. It could mean a lot! Some hypothesized that this could lead to Marvel moving to Los Angeles as that is where Feige is based. Others wonder whether he’ll have much patience for comics at all. Or it could mean nothing at all, as maybe Feige just basically is like “don’t break anything” and focused on the movies and TV, as he’s now heading the TV side of things as well. He’s going to be rather busy. Really, anything anyone says is conjecture, but it’s going to be something worth paying attention to because Feige is nothing if not an idea man.
Maybe this brings us one step closer to my dream of Marvel creating a line of graphic novels designed to reflect the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even if it isn’t meant to be in that continuity. I’d love that, as well as more connective tissue between Marvel’s movies, TV and comic sides. We’ll see what happens. It’s an interesting time for Marvel either way, especially as Joe Quesada is repositioned from his former spot as Chief Creative Officer to EVP, Creative Director for Marvel. That’s a substantial change, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were hard feelings.
But it’s hard to blame Disney for this move. Feige has the most golden of Midas touches these days, and the idea that he could spread his magic to other products had to be rather alluring, even if he’s likely spread thin between Marvel phase four and his apparent development of a new Star Wars movie. He knows how to make these stories work. Let’s see what the guy can do, I say.