A look at the biggest, and most interesting, stories from the past week.
1. BOOM! Studios grab the license for Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics: The four-year-old publisher acquired the comic-book rights to the Disney characters previously held by the financially troubled Gemstone Publishing. Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories and Mickey Mouse and Friends will join the BOOM! Kids imprint, already home to comics based on The Muppet Show and Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles and Cars.
2. J. Michael Straczynski will leave Thor sooner rather than later: Writer J. Michael Straczynski confirmed reports that he’ll end his award-winning run on Marvel’s Thor with the September issue. An impending crossover that he first mentioned in May helped him to conclude it’s time to leave.
3. The potential for an “iTunes for comics”: The official announcement last weekend of the Longbox digital-comics platform set off discussions on blogs and message boards about the possible next step for digital distribution.
4. Gareb Shamus & Co.: In the wake of WizardWorld Philadelphia and reports of more staff departures at Wizard Entertainment, CEO Gareb Shamus announced the launch of FunFare magazine and the purchase of Toronto Comicon.
5. Archie Comics announces a new CEO: Jon Goldwater, son of company founder John L. Goldwater, was named chief executive officer of Archie Comics.
6. More casualties of Diamond’s minimum-order policy: U.K. magazine Tripwire learned its 2009 annual won’t be carried by the direct-market distributor, while manga publisher Yen Press had more than a dozen July titles canceled.
7. Batwoman begins: Three years after making her debut in The New York Times and receiving worldwide media attention, the lesbian Batwoman slipped quietly into her starring role in DC’s oldest title. The arrival this week of Detective Comics #854 was met by more subdued coverage from gay publications and local newspapers, and largely positive reviews.
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