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The obligatory post on Disney/Marvel

I suppose I don’t really have much of anything intelligent to add and in the 30-plus hours since it’s happened, it’s been analyzed to death (and people were quick with the mashups of Disney and Marvel characters).

Adweek probably had one of the more interesting dissections (Note to Adweek: Lame headline. It’s going to bring changes? Really? Yes, I know sometimes you just have to write a headline, but come on.)

Everyone’s talked up the “Disney wants to bring in the boys!” point, which makes sense, sure. The Adweek piece mentions that Marvel wants to bring in the ladies:

Still, Disney is expert at attracting young women to titles they may not normally be interested in (see, Johnny Depp making the ultimate young-boy fantasy, a pirate-adventure, popular with girls). For all the talk about Marvel continuing to run independently, don’t be surprised if the studio accesses Disney’s stable of talent to make some pics more girl-friendly.

If that ends up being true, that sounds pretty awesome to me.

The hopeful part of me would like to think having Disney be in control of things like marketing and branding (two things that the company is very, very good at) will allow Marvel to just make comics and develop properties. It’s probably too much to ask that it will usher in some new era of creativity, but I guess we’ll see.

But In any case to me, after the initial “Wow! That’s huge!” thing wore off, I don’t really think it’s going to change too much for either company. It doesn’t feel like a good thing or a bad thing.

Shojo Beat to end in June

Anime News Network has the sad news that Viz’s Shojo Beat‘s last issue will be on newsstands next month. It wasn’t a magazine I read or bought regularly, but I still liked it and I’ll be sorry to see it go. I think it filled a gap that needed to be filled. I know I’d be crazy about if I was currently 14 or so.

I know that print media has faced plenty of tough times lately (of course, most industries have) and so I can’t blame Viz for doing this. It was a pricey magazine on the newsstands, after all, and it really did not run very many ads. (You could say that yes, it was basically an ad for Viz itself, but you understand my point.)

The Shojo Beat line of manga will continue, so not all hope is lost. Still, the magazine will be missed.

Original tip from The Beat

I always wanted Marvel-themed lip gloss

The Beat pointed to an article on Women’s Wear Daily that has the lowdown on Marvel’s new licensing deals for products for girls and women including jewelry and makeup as well as the more obvious things like T-shirts.

Paul Gitter, who is the president of consumer products, North America, for Marvel Entertainment Inc., says when doing such things, they have to be “very careful” not to “alienate our core” audience — in other words, boys don’t want a bunch of girls wearing T-shirts with Spider-man on them. Or something.

Vice president of product merchandising at Marvel, Susan Fields, also says “Hulk was a big component for us when it came to being eco-friendly, with T-shirts featuring the character and sayings like ‘go green.’ ” I wish I could make this stuff up.

But overall, I’m really pretty OK with this. I’ve often wished that comic book T-shirts came in girly styles (I am not someone who wears an XXL) and maybe in earlier days, some Marvel lip gloss would’ve been a fun purchase for me.

Still, with Marvel’s other attempts at reaching out to young women (including the recent adaptation of Pride and Prejudice) makes me believe they don’t really know what they’re doing (but since these are licensing deals, the actual product development will probably be in the hands of people who have experience making products for women).

I don’t think this will get women reading comics, though, and I don’t think that’s really the point. After all, plenty of women connect with the character of Wonder Woman but have no interest in picking up comics about her. This is just about taking the cool iconography of comics and selling it to people. But I’m also OK with that.

Image of Marvel lip glosses, taken from WWD.com

Lyga to write Wolverine: Worst Day Ever

YA author Barry Lyga, most known for his novel The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, is going to be penning an illustrated short novel for Marvel called Wolverine: Worst Day Ever. The description makes it sound like fun.

I liked Fanboy and Goth Girl quite a bit because I think it’s one of the few books I’ve read that captured my high school experience so accurately. But I do kind of go back and forth about his character of Kyra — he certainly gets some things right, but she did sort of strike me as Lyga’s vision of how he would’ve liked teenage girls to be (I was actually thinking about this today, randomly). I’ll still probably read Goth Girl Rising — after all, I can’t complain too much about teenage girl who’s a Neil Gaiman fan.

Lyga knows comics and knows the soul of suburban teenagers. Worst Day Ever sounds delightful. I’ll be picking this up.

Eleanor Davis’ Stinky named Giesel Honor Book

Somehow in all the chatter about Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book winning the Newbery (which is undoubtedly awesome and amazing and I think a lot of us had a moment today in the office were we looked around trying to find someone who was going to care so we could share the news and failed miserably), I somehow missed that Stinky from Toon Books was named one of the best books for beginning readers (and I have no issue with Mo Willems winning because Willems’ work is delightful).

I have two more Toon Books to review, which I should to get to this week (tomorrow, perhaps).