Have you ever been on Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu and wondered if the show you are watching is from a comic? The likely answer is yes. More than ever, comics, specifically from independent publishers are being adapted to tv shows and movies. In fact, it is happening on such a frequent basis, that it is very difficult to keep track. Let’s take a look at some publishers that are really making a name for themselves in the media world.
Now, I may be wrong, but, Image Comics was one of the first non-DC or Marvel publishers to make it big in the TV world. Not sure if anyone has heard of The Walking Dead, but this comic series changed the comic landscape forever. It is also still on TV, in its tenth season on the AMC network. Image Comics has spread its brand across multiple TV networks and streaming services.
Whether its the comic series Happy! on SyFy or streaming on a premium cable network of Cinemax for the series of Outcast. Image Comics is synonymous with putting series out on TV for fans to watch. Fan favorites such as Y: The Last Man is going to start production on the FX network, while the uber-popular series, Invincible is set to appear on Amazon for streaming.
Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible, is currently in a two-year deal with Amazon to produce TV shows based on his comic series. By the way, Invincible #1 is not a cheap book. The FMV for a 9.8 grade is going for $750. As you can see, Image Comics appears to be stretched out far and wide in expanding her brand.
Boom! Studios agreed to a TV deal with the streaming giant, Netflix. The publisher is known for beloved comic book franchises, including Lumberjanes, Something is Killing the Children, Once & Future, and Mouse Guard. This is not the first partnership deal Boom! Studios have made. The publisher has had a movie deal with 20th Century Studios dating back to 2013.
The Netflix deal was announced in April 2020, as the publisher is very active in making deals with TV networks. Boom! Studios are associated themselves with TV projects to Amazon, HBO Max, Peacock, CBS All Access, and Disney Plus. One major reason for the TV deals is the slew of canceled projects from 20th Century Studios. Their animated movie, Mouse Guard was canceled two weeks before the production of the film was going to start. Lastly, their popular comic series, Lumberjanes was confirmed for live-adaptation but was shortly canceled after the Disney-Fox deal.
Dark Horse Comics is a smaller publisher that has gained popularity in the last couple of years. Notably, the comic series, Umbrella Academy has done well on Netflix and has been renewed for a second season. In addition, Netflix also agreed to a deal with Dark Horse comics to produce TV and movie projects going forward.
Wildstorm Comics hit it big with their series, The Boys on Amazon, and already been renewed for a second season. Man, the show on Amazon, and please do not tell otherwise! Newcomer Aftershock Comics, which was established in 2015 had agreed to TV rights with their series, The Lost City of Explorers on Universal Television and The Normals is set to appear with Fox 21.
I hope after reading this that people realize that not everything on TV or in the movies is from Marvel or DC. Independent publishers are here to stay and here for the long game. Most of the time, if the series receives acclaim from the fans and critics, it will more than likely get the option treatment for television or movie. For smaller companies, that is the goal so that they can expand their brand, in the hopes of becoming the next Marvel/DC.