While a stunned world scrambles to comprehend the titanic behemoth Disney takeover of Fox, in between the shouts of “The MCU got the Silver Surfer back!!!!”, one little leaf lost in the storm is Boom! Studios.

The comics company sold a minority stake in the company to Fox in June. Boom! long had a first look deal with Fox (the genesis of which was the successful  Two Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Marky Mark) and an office on the lot, run by Boom!’s Stephen Christy, and the investment deal solidified the relationship, as you may recall, with development deals for both film and tv:

Boom! was said to be looking for the investment for growth money — to help develop more comic book series and to hire more creators. We hear that the price tag is in the low-eight-figure range.

 

[….]As opposed to Dark Horse or Image Comics where the creators own the IP, Boom! and the creators both own the property and work with the creators to establish and sell feature and TV rights. It’s called a cooperative shared ownership of the content they publish. Boom! publishes 25 comic books and 13-15 graphic novels per month.

Many Boom! projects are in the Fox pipeline in various stages, including Tag,  Malignant Man, IrredeemableThe Empty Man, Snow Blind, and Deep State and on the all ages end, Lumberjanes, Goldie Vance, MouseGuard and Rust. 

Some good IP there.

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Borys Kit at THR also spitballed the possibilities, 

Insiders say it’s too soon to tell what the Disney deal means for Boom!. Disney could sell off its stake or it could go all in.

But a Disney-Boom! axis could be a strong fit for both as Boom!, a creator of original material, has several titles that seem primed for a wide Disney audience, whether for theatrical or streaming. Many have been in development for some time and already has considerable talent involved. Disney could stay on that development track or start from scratch if it wanted to.

Boom!’s Arune Singh told CB.com:

When asked if BOOM! would be affected by the Fox/Disney deal, VP of marketing Arune Singh responded “While we don’t have any information beyond what has already been reported in the press, we are excited for the new opportunities that this partnership provides for our friends at Fox. Both Fox and Disney are world class organizations with exceptional teams, so we look forward to their shared success in the future.”

 “In regards to BOOM! Studios, there will be no immediate changes to how we operate day-to-day. Fox is a valued partner but they are also a minority shareholder, meaning we will continue to operate independently and pursue the same opportunities that have made BOOM! Studios such a success for over twelve years.”
Of course, it will take a long time, months and months for the Disney takeover of Fox to become fully operational, and in that time Boom! may buddy up to the Mouse or look for other friends. It would be unfortunate for Boom! if the Fox deal does go away, however, as it was a key source of revenue for the publisher. Also with the legendary Fox lot staying with Rupert Murdoch, that Boom office may have to move.
nightmare_factory.jpgFox had a sketchy relationship with comics. Back in the aughts they launched Fox Atomic Comics, which I worked for as an editor, one of those comic book IP shingles that were very popular with larger media companies at the time.  It only lasted a few years but put out (she said proudly) some sharp books, including those two Nightmare Factory anthologies. But both the mini studio, Fox Atomic, and the comics line went away.
Another element of the overall Fox restructuring is HarperCollins, one of the Big Five publishing houses, which is owned by News Corp, the Fox parent company. Since News Corp isn’t part of the deal, HarperCollins will mostly likely stays with the Wall St. Journal. New York Post and other print holdings. Oligarchs do like owning their newspapers and book publishers.
As for other aspects of the deal, hot takes are flying like flapjacks, but let’s just take Disney Chariman Bob Iger’s talks with investors and reporter today as the start:

Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger was blunt in laying out the rationale for the $52.4 billion deal with investors on Thursday. Disney needs to enhance its ability to reach consumers directly with programming and channels to guard against further declines in the current pay TV eco-system.

Building up direct-to-consumer offerings “is vital to the future our of media business and its our highest priority,” Iger told investors during a conference call held an hour after Disney and Fox unveiled the acquisition pact. During a later call with reporters, Iger emphasized the importance of adding Fox’s production capabilities as it ramps up content production for its OTT offerings.

Disney earlier this year announced plans for a standalone sports streaming service to launch in 2018 and an entertainment-focused option in 2019.

“We’ll be able to expand our franchise-creation capabilities…in addition to gaining access to more high-quality content,” he said. With consumers flocking to on-demand and streaming options, Disney needs to make sure it has the pipelines in place to prepare for the future.

Disney intends to keep its channels distributed in the MVPD arena. But if the marketplace shifts, “we’d be well-positioned to in effect flip a switch and distribute programs and channels direct-to-consumer through the platforms we’ve created,” he said.

The term OTT has been playing a lot today and it stands for “over the top media” believe it not, and it means stuff you get on the internet. Streaming stuff in other words. With Netflix, Google/YouTube and Amazon heavily involved in our streaming future, Hulu, which Disney will now own 60% of, becomes even more important, and Disney now is in the driver’s seat – unless Comcast, which own’ another 30% of Hulu has something to say about it. Poor Time Warner, left cooling its heals with the AT&&T merger in the courts and DC Films a memory, only owns 10% of Hulu and has no say on where the family is going on vacation.

Meanwhile, in his own remarks, Rupert Murdoch, 86, and still animated by a concoction of humours and Keith Richards blood transfusions in his veins, pretty much admitted he was done with this streaming shit and just wanted to spend his last days running his little media empire, controlling his news outlets and spreading the word as he sees it, just like the classic oligarchs of yore.

But even Mr. Murdoch, a self-made billionaire whose range of media assets wield enormous political influence on three continents, was no match for Silicon Valley.

Like King Lear confronting his mortality, Mr. Murdoch, 86, is preparing to divide up a lifetime of spoils. And as he moves to sell off wide swaths of his media and entertainment business, he is also throwing into confusion the line of succession and testing the ties that bind the family-run fief.

The old rules are gone. Welcome to a whole new ballgame. The big question; will it be carried on ESPN or Fox Sports?

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