The people at IDW are no slackards. After taking a look at the sales of their My Little Pony comics—their best selling comics EVER—and the current ’90s cartoon nostalgia trend, they’ve pacted with Cartoon Network to bring out a bunch of old favorites—and current hits—in comics form, in a deal announced at last week’s ComicsPRO meeting in Atlanta. Titles include THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, BEN 10, DEXTER’S LABORATORY, SAMURAI JACK, JOHNNY BRAVO, and GENERATOR REX.

“Many of these Cartoon Network shows have only grown in popularity since they originally aired,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief, “and we’re excited to be able to offer new iterations of the characters in comic-book form alongside both our planned reprint material and also some new animated ventures Cartoon Network has planned, too. There’s a wealth of fun properties to play with here, and we’ve already got some unique things in mind for them.”
Not only will IDW be teaming with high-caliber creators from the world of comics to publish new adventures featuring tons of Cartoon Network’s characters, but fans can also look forward to a variety of reprints of previous incarnations of Cartoon Network comics.
“We are excited to partner with IDW to bring some of our most beloved and iconic brands and characters to life for fans of all ages,” said Pete Yoder, Vice President of Consumer Products, North America for Cartoon Network Enterprises. “It will be a great opportunity to revisit and expand many of these great stories told in comic-book form, and we’re excited to see what the creative team at IDW comes up with.”

POWERPUFF GIRLS, DEXTER, and JOHNNY BRAVO were all long-running comics at DC’s kids’ line (a few of them edited by yours truly) so there’s a lot of material to repackage. Given the current interest in kids’ licensed comics, this is a smart move all around.


  1. Why doesn’t DC publish Cartoon Network comics? Aren’t they part of the same big happy corporate family?

    And will DC ever publish a Wonder Woman comic that I can show to my daughter, who is currently 2, but ought to be able to read Wonder Woman before she is 15.

  2. “Why doesn’t DC publish Cartoon Network comics?”

    Good question. I wondered this myself when kaBOOM! started producing Adventure Time comics. Maybe DC figures that those books wouldn’t pull in the numbers to make TPTB happy, and they’d be better off licensing them out? Who knows.

    That being said, IDW does wonders with licensed properties. These books are in GREAT hands!

  3. Of course, there’s no mention of the page rate the artists and writers of these funnybooks will receive. No doubt they’ll make DC’s page rates look outrageous generous by comparison, considering that companies like Ka-Boom!, IDW and others have lowered the industry standard for such material to a whopping $100/page for artwork. Sheesh.

  4. And as you well know from your experience on DISNEY ADVENTURES and at DC, finding artists and writers who can appease whoever is overseeing comics for their license holder is a tough job. Some of those middle management executroids will fuck with you just to assert their title. Creators who are expected to endlessly revise their work deserve the highest page rates in the business, not the insulting pittance that most publishers currently offer.

  5. Hey Scott, I agree with you BUT….if you look at how recent licensed cartoon comics are being done, they are — many times — allowing far more variation in the artwork. The Adventure Time comics (from Boom! admittedly) don’t seem to be held to any kind of “model” and revel in being quirky.

    The MLP variant covers are also all over the place.

    A far cry from my day when I would spend an hour on the phone with Genndy Tartakovsky over how Dexter would behave. (Not an exaggeration.)

    While I agree that the page rates should be as high as they were in the past, I don’t think many standards are as stringent as they were, at least on some series.

  6. I agree. The page rates at DC were cut in 2010 and I can only imagine that IDW pays shit for doing the work. As does KaBoom and all the other riff raff. The rates are getting to be minimum wage if you add up the hours involved in doing a page correctly. All they will get is loose off model garbage that won’t sell.

    DC only does Scooby, Looney Tunes, Young Justice, and Green Lantern now. Since the Lanter cartoon was shit-canned, I expect the comic to follow suit. As with Young Justice only being 52 episodes total, its another book on the chopping block. Most people I know who like the show don’t even know about the comic and could care less.

    Comics is in a sad state.

  7. Keyser -the phrase “off-model garbage” encapsulates everything I disagree with in your point of view. Good licensed comics aren’t good because they’re on-model, they’re good because they’re good comics. I mean compare Carl Barks Donald Duck to Don Rosa to the animated cartoons. For that matter compare a Tex Avery Daffy Duck to a Chuck Jones Daffy Duck from 12 years later. Being on-model can be very limiting, and I’m of the mind that some things ought to change when a property transitions from cartoon to comic. On the other hand, I will agree with you the IDW page rates are mostly likely very low, and that is a shame.

  8. “Why doesn’t DC publish Cartoon Network comics? Aren’t they part of the same big happy corporate family?”

    Not rape-y enough.

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