CCI: Waid Talks Pixar and Muppets Comics

BOOM! Studios announced Wednesday at Comic Con International in San Diego that Editor-in-Chief Mark Waid will be writing "The Incredibles," the first planned series in line of Pixar licensed comics, as well as "The Muppet Show." BOOM! will be selling convention-exclusive preview comics of both series at their booth (#2543) for $5 per issue. Other comics planned for the Pixar line are "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc.," "Wall-E," and "Cars." All will be presented as an ongoing succession of four- or five-issue miniseries that will then be collected in BOOM!'s small-format trade paperbacks. CBR News spoke with Waid about the new licensing deal and his plans for the two books he will be writing.

"I know that Ross Richie and Adam Fortier had been trying for a couple years to put a [Pixar parent company] Disney deal together, and it's been actually in development for most of the time I've been here at BOOM! but we've kept it a close secret--we didn't want anybody to be disappointed if it didn't come through," Waid told CBR. "The Disney-Pixar guys approached us some time ago to see if we were interested in doing their comics, to see if we were interested in publishing in new formats and finding new avenues of distribution, and it seemed like a good marriage." Waid also indicated that the development of Disney's own recently-announced comics publishing imprint, Kingdom Comics, did not factor into discussions on the license. "It's really two separate things," he said.

As to further announcements on creative teams for the Pixar books, Waid said that nothing has been finalized as yet. "We do know that Darwyn Cooke is doing the covers to 'The Incredibles,' which we're really excited about." About the team for "Toy Story," which launches simultaneously with "Incredibles," the editor said that "we're still looking at a bunch of pitches from a bunch of different guys, but we've got our eyes pretty firmly set on a couple of these people."

Waid said that the first "Incredibles" miniseries will focus on the family and team dynamics of the characters. "The first approved story arc is that Mister Incredible is slowly losing his super powers. And he's definitely trying to keep this a secret from the rest of the family," the writer said. "He's given them lecture after lecture about how important each of them really is in the field, and how everybody's a team member, and he's the leader and so forth--so he feels terribly emasculated and terribly out of place, as if suddenly he weren't part of the team."

The writer expressed great admiration for the original "Incredibles" film, as well as the creators responsible for it. "'Incredibles' had charm, and even though it was a comedy by and large, it treated the notion of super heroics, and the notion of what it takes to get out there and put on a suit and fight crime and fight for good, it treated those ideas with respect," Waid said. "Clearly the guys who were involved in 'The Incredibles' loved superheroes and it shows."

Waid hinted that this and other series in the line could feature characters original to the comics. "Disney's been very good about encouraging us to create new villains and new characters," he said. "Nothing can be named yet, but yeah, we're trying to draw from and help them build those universes."

It was also announced Wednesday night that Waid will be writing "The Muppet Show." Given the Muppets' long and varied history in television and film, CBR asked Waid about the particular form this series would take. He was able to reveal that the first thing to appear would be a four-issue miniseries, but future series are "something that's more in flux." "We're talking about doing a couple one-shots that could be collected into a trade paperback, we're talking about doing series that are based on 'The Muppet Show' itself," Waid explained, "and then we're also talking--with Disney's heavy encouragement--to do things like Muppet Robin Hood, or the Three Muppeteers or whatever. They're talking to us about following sort of the paradigm they set up in the movies about classic stories retold with the Muppets."

Waid said that, as with the Pixar line, there is no definite artist attached to "Muppets" at this time. He did mention, however, that "our go-to guy on the Muppets is Roger Langridge, who was doing the Muppets material for Disney Adventures magazine before that was cancelled. He's probably better known right now for his work at Marvel doing some of the 'Marvel Monsters' books last summer,

"His stuff is hysterical. And he lo-o-oves the Muppets."

Since famous guest stars like John Cleese, Elton John, and Alice Cooper provided some memorable moments on the classic Muppet Show, CBR wondered if such celebrities would play a role in the comics. "It never even occurred to me until you asked it," Waid mused. "That's the next phone call I'm gonna make, whether or not we can get Scott Baio in issue 2. That would be awesome!"

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