Okay, so when I got the news yesterday that Disney purchased Lucasfilm yesterday, my heart sank.  And probably not for the reason you think.  Warning: this is sort of off the cuff rant… you’ve been warned…

I’ve seen alot of stuff around the web were people are all pissed off because now they think Mickey mouse is going to be a Jedi in the next Star Wars film.  Or that Star Wars Characters are going to be in next Kingdom Hearts game.  Or that Disney is going to plain ole ruin the star wars movies by making them “kiddie.”  And All that is ridiculous.  Disney has a great track record with the companies they purchase.  Look at Pixar and Marvel Comics. Nothing has changed with those companies.  I haven’t seen any Disney characters in any comics by Marvel (in fact i still see Boom making alot of Disney licensed comics.) And these companies are still making amazing art, the way they always have.  And lets be honest, are you so thrilled with how Lucas made his last 3 Star Wars movies?  Do you really think Disney will do a worse job?

No, That is not why my heart sank.  I think Disney will do Star Wars justice, and will give more creators like me work because there needs to be a crap ton of creators on board to make a star wars film.  So that’s a good thing too.  No, heart sank because I saw yet another million (and in this case billion) dollar creator owned success be bought up by an enormous company.  No longer is Lucasfilm the revolutionary film studio that one man built from the ground up to bring his dream alive.  It’s a cog in an enormous faceless corporation.

Now I want to make another point clear.  I don’t think anyone is a bad guy here.  I don’t think any party in this deal is “evil” or a “sell out” or anything like that.  I understand that Lucas is getting older and doesn’t want to have to run his company until he’s dead. And I understand that Disney would want to own the cash cow that is Star Wars.  And let’s be honest, in all likelihood Disney is probably the only company on the planet that could afford to buy Lucasfilm.  So everything that transpired makes sense, and is reasonable, and I can’t blame anyone for what they did.

That being said, is this what the American Dream has become?  As creators of art, is our goal no longer to be the next Walt Disney, and create something that is so beloved world wide from the ground up?  Is our goals as creators now to create something thats valuable enough that Disney will buy it from us?

As an Independent creator there were certain people I looked up to because they were giant successes, and built their success from the ground up.  They didn’t let anyone tell them no.  They stuck up their middle finger to the world and said “watch me bring my vision to life.” (maybe not so crass, but thats how I envision it.)

The first was Peter Laird who until recently owned the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  He co-created it with Kevin Eastman, but for a long time he had been the owner, and writer on the comic.  Laird and Eastman, self published a comic called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  They didn’t pitch it to a company and had them produce it.  They made it themselves, and became ENORMOUS successes with it.  Naturally they licensed it out for toys and TV shows, but Laird always owned his creation, and continued to make comics for 25 years.  This was one of my biggest inspirations, as I self publish my comic and I saw what was possible with it.  So when the Turtles were sold it to Nickelodeon for $60 million, my heart sank.

Then came Marvel.  Now Marvel wasn’t creator owned exactly.  But they were independent. Often known as one of the “big two” Marvel trades off and on with DC as being the biggest and best comic book company in the world.  And where as DC was a company owned by Time Warner and had the enormous backing of such a huge company, Marvel had no one behind them.  No parent company. No Giant Movie Studio as a safety net or as a source to find more talent.  Just Marvel doing what Marvel does.  In fact, they weren’t owned by a movie company, THEY owned the movie company (Marvel Studios, that made the Iron Man – Avengers movies).  But all that changed when Disney bought them.  Sure  Marvel still makes comics the way they always have.  And their still part of the big two.  But now, like DC, are part of a giant media machine, no longer independent.

Now it’s Lucasfilm.  Say whatever you want about the Star Wars prequels. Lucas did what he wanted to do, because they are HIS films, that HE created, with HIS company.  Even if you don’t like it, it was his to do with as he pleased, and I respect that.  Because if he cared what people thought about his movie ideas to begin with, Star Wars would have never been made.  And that why I respected him so much.  He had a vision and come hell or highwater he was going to bring it to life.  What? we don’t have the technology to film this scene I wrote?  Fuck it, I’m starting a special effects company and we’ll INVENT the technology.  What’s that?  You don’t know how to get the sounds I want? Fuck it, I’ll start my own sound company.  Lucas not only built one of the most beloved movie franchises in all of history, but to bring those movies to life, he had to build not one, not two but three companies to bring those movies to life.  When the world told him he couldn’t do something, he worked harder to prove them wrong.  And you can now see the results of all that hard work, and Lucas, rightfully, reaped the rewards for all his work…… But now Disney owns it…. and Lucas has nothing to show for his work…. nothing except 5 Billion dollars.  Which I guess is fine.  Personally I rather have my revolutionary and ground breaking companies i built from the ground up and the most revered films in history…  But thats just me.

And thats my point.  Is that all that our goal is now as creators?  Create something successful enough to sell to someone to a giant corporation?  What if Roy Disney had sold the company after Walt died?  Would Disney be what it is today?  Probably not.

Why do we spend our whole lives building something successful, and then just sell it to someone else who is just going to benefit from our hard work? I mean, Lucas did all the hard work, Disney just has to make sure they don’t fuck it up.  Is it worth 5 billion dollars?  Lucas thinks so, and thats fine, that’s his choice.  I personally am not so sure.

So, Disney.  I know you don’t read this blog, you’re too busy making the next star wars movie.  And I know you guys have no idea what Shadows of Oblivion is.  But I’m putting a price tag on it for the same 5 billion dollars.  Now that you’ve stopped laughing, let me explain. This will be your only chance (and this goes to any company) to buy something I’m putting my sweat and tears into creating.  You have to buy it before I start working on issue #3.  Because once I have to put MORE sweat and tears into this book, it becomes off limits.  I am not going to spend all my life building something just to have someone else buy it and reap the benefits.  So if you want to buy my intellectual property, 5 Billion dollars, Now.  Offer stands until I start Issue #3.  After that I’m gunning for you.  It might take Generations, and It might be decades after I’m dead  but I’m going to work my ass off so that Disney is going to have some damn competition in the world, and my creation not just be part of this enormous machine….

Even If my creation never becomes as big as Star wars, (and lets get serious the odds are starkly against me that it ever will), and even if my comic barely pays the rent for my whole life.  I still created something, which is more than what most people can say… it would just be too heart breaking to sell at any price….

So thats my rant. I just wanted to get that off my chest….