Archie Gets Competitive

With Marvel and DC stepping up their efforts in cross-branding their properties across various forms of media, Archie comics announced an archive collaboration with Dark Horse and a film partnership with CAA.

The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment, and Warner Bros. restructured DC Entertainment, making both comics companies into formidable competitors in the worldwide market. In such an environment, how do other comics publishers  keep up? Archie Comics has found an answer that suits them.

First, the news was announced yesterday on Archie that the company would be partnering with Dark Horse to produce collected editions of their comics, which go back all the way to 1941:

Archie Andrews, America’s typical teenager was presented for the first time in PEP COMICS #22 in December 1941.  Since then, Archie and his friends have entertained eight generations of readers. The opportunity has now arrived for both old and new Archie fans to experience Archie’s fun-filled journey to become the world’s most popular teen. Archie Comics is excited to announce a strategic partnership with Dark Horse Comics as Archie and the kids from Riverdale will be joining the Dark Horse line of classic comic reprints.
The Archie Archives will consist of hardcover volumes, in Dark Horse’s archive format, featuring Archie Comics mainstay characters of "Archie",  "Betty", "Jughead", "Veronica" and the other characters in the Riverdale Universe.  Each individual title will begin with the earliest published issue and move forward in chronological order.  Each volume will be approximately 200-250 pages, feature embossed printing, a dust-jacket and carry both Archie Comics and Dark Horse names and logos.  The initial plan is to release three volumes of each individual title per calendar year, with each volume retailing for $49.95. According to Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, the series will run indefinitely.
Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater stated, "We have seen the quality and care Dark Horse has put in to restoring and collecting material for their archival series, and we are looking forward to making our early MLJ library of classic material available to a new generation of  kids and collectors."

This news was followed up today by the announcement that Archie has signed with the Creative Arts Agency, a major Hollywood talent agency, to represent Archie’s interests in film and television deals. From Variety :

Archie Comics Publications has signed with CAA. The agency will seek to create branded entertainment opportunities in film and TV in much the way that it has for toymaker Mattel.

The 70-year-old Archie Comics owns such brands as Archie & Friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats, Cosmo the Merry Martian, Super Duck and Dotty and Ditto.

The Archie Comics pact comes as Hollywood is quickly gobbling up established branded properties, as evidenced by Disney’s pending acquisition of Marvel Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ recent exec overhaul of DC Comics.

Talent agencies have also been catalysts in matching branded properties with studios. CAA helped set up Mattel’s "Major Matt Mason" property as a starring vehicle for Tom Hanks. WME has done strong business for its client Hasbro, which just set an adaptation of its board game "Battleship" for a July 2011 release with Peter Berg directing (Daily Variety, Sept. 18).

It certainly makes sense that a company like Archie would want to market its highly recognizable characters in the television and movie world. Stay tuned for future developments in the rapidly-changing comic book landscape.

Sources: Archie Comics , Variety

Syndicated from The Outhouse – Comic Community Run By Fanboys, For Fanboys
Posted originally: 2009-09-22 11:55:13

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