I’m a big fan of child actors and of strong child characters, and I used to be a big fan of comics, so Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass was a made-in-heaven graphic novel and film, thanks to the wonderful Chloë Moretz’s portrayal of Hit Girl.
Millar is one of the giants of twenty-first century comics – the modern equivalent of Marvel’s legendary Stan Lee.
So it was no real surprise when Netflix bought Millarworld (founded 2004) in August this year, speculation at the time being Netflix would be producing original video content from the Millarworld catalogue.
That’s still sure to happen, but in a sort-of-surprise move Netflix have just announced they are also going to be publishing Millar’s comics.
Well, one series at least.
And in a definitely surprise move, Netflix won’t just be publishing digital editions. Netflix will also be publishing The Magic Order in print to be sold in bricks & mortar comic book stores.
It’s one more bizarre twist in the digital story.
Ten years after the launch of the Kindle store many were convinced would kill print and bricks and mortar bookstores stone-dead, two of the biggest digital players are happily embracing analogue commerce to maximise their reach and profits.
Amazon’s physical bookstores and its recent venture into supermarkets are now complimented by the digital video giant Netflix adding print comics to its physical product range that already includes Blu-Ray disks.
Next for Netflix, perhaps, to team up with toy manufacturers and the like to licence and produce spin-off products from its original video and publishing range.
Some of Millar’s film classics, like Kick-Ass and Kingsman, have rights held by the film studios, but Millar has rights to most of his creations. Or at least did until Netflix bought the lot.
Netflix has long been working with Marvel to produce original video (Daredevil, Luke Cage, The Defenders, Jessica Jones and others) and there’s no reason to think that will change.
But as Endgadget notes,
Netflix could be the way into the comic adaptation boom for independent creators, who are surely aware of how much more money films make than the comic books they are based on …. The top three or four best-selling comics every month typically ship somewhere over 100,000 issues, and even if all of those are sold (the actual sales numbers aren’t shared), by napkin math they’d each be taking in about $300,000 to $500,000 a month. Compare that with Thor: Ragnarok, which made $430 million worldwide in less than a week.