It’s the end of the year, so comics news is getting a bit quieter. But hey, the wheels keeps on turning for comics, so it’s the same for Comics Disassembled, my column looking at ten things I liked or didn’t like from the past week of comics.
1. Dog Man, Printing Money
Shouts to the Greek God of Making Money, the million order man, the king of comics, Dav Pilkey. If it seems like each time one of his Dog Man graphic novels is released that it has higher first print numbers than the previous one, that’s because it does. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger, as the guy is on the shortlist of most popular humans for the children of America thanks to his efforts on this series and beyond.
His latest book – Dog Man: Fetch-22 – arrived this week with an initial print run of five million copies. FIVE. MILLION. COPIES. That’s on the heels of his last release – which was just in August! – taking the top spot on the overall New York Times best seller list for four consecutive weeks, so…upgrade, I guess? It’s pretty wild because I keep thinking the Dog Man gravy train might slow down at some point, but instead, it only seems to continue to accelerate. In a medium that’s often focused on doom and gloom, it’s always a thrill to see how something like Dog Man or one of Raina Telgemeier’s releases perform upon launch, as it speaks to the ceiling of what comics are capable of from a sales standpoint. It’s incredible stuff, and a wonderful thing to see for the medium.
2. Marvel TV, Falling In
It’s official, even if it’s been widely considered to be a thing on the horizon for some time. Marvel TV is being folded into the larger Marvel Studios umbrella, continuing what started when Kevin Feige took over control over the broader Marvel universe. Apparently everything that’s current being developed in that house is continuing onwards, including the Hulu animated shows starring a motley crew of characters like my beloved M.O.D.O.K. and Hit-Monkey (?!?!). That’s a good thing, or, at the very least, it’s an entertaining thing.
What’s not is that this will lead to layoffs, as what typically happens when two entities are merged in this way is redundancies are created and positions are removed. This all includes Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb, whose departure was predicted before but now confirmed. While he’ll be aiding the transition, he’s on a clock now, as Feige does what he does but now for everything.
To consumers, this will likely make zero difference. Marvel’s clearly going to produce plenty of television content going forward – I believe there are at least seven shows in development for Disney+ alone – and will continue to do so far into the future. Nothing will change there. If anything, it might accelerate and one could argue improve. This is more of an internal reshuffling, but one that will have a cost for those currently (or, perhaps now formerly) employed on what was previously the television arm of the comic giant.
It was a solid run for that team, though. There were some real high points for them, particularly on the Daredevil side of things, and that kind of work is worth celebrating even if their run is now complete for the most part.