What is it with comics these days? I noticed two stories about comics in yesterday’s NY Times. The creator of the French cartoon character Astérix is fighting his daughter over selling his company to a conglomerate. And a group of investors are suing Stan Lee and Marvel Entertainment over profits from films based on Lee’s characters (Spiderman, X-Men). That got me thinking about the comics business, which has moved beyond comic books to film and video games and serious money.
Phil Knight (founder and CEO of NIKE) has a new animation company, LAIKA, that’s building studios south of Portland to take on Pixar. They’re just releasing their first feature film, Coraline.
Japanese Manga are big business. There’s a whole wall of them in Powell’s Bookstore and my oldest granddaughter is obsessed with them.
Three major movies in the last year are based on characters by the three big comic companies: The Dark Knight (Batman by DC), Spiderman by Marvel, and Hellboy from Dark Horse.
This year’s best war documentary, Waltz With Bashir, is animated.
Is this driven by escapism, technology, a need for heroes, or what?