Disney/LucasFilm Pulls Star Wars Middle-Grade Comics From IDW?
Star Wars time! Last week, Bleeding Cool scooped the news that Marvel Comics has pulled the IDW license for all-ages Marvel Comics, known as Marvel Action, from the end of the year. We cited the upcoming expected performance of Marvel Scholastic All-Ages titles, as school book fairs begin to return with a vengeance, as a contributory factor in that decision. But the other IDW Marvel-related license story has nothing to do with Marvel's decisions. Bleeding Cool has learned from senior sourced Disney/LucasFilm has withdrawn the Star Wars All-Ages comic book license from IDW.
IDW has been publishing an all-ages Star Wars comic book line for a number of years, just as Disney-owned Marvel Comics has been publishing a Star Wars comics line aimed at older audiences. Some have asked why Marvel Comics simply doesn't do both, but the current system has suited folks for a long time, and Disney/LucasFilm licenses comics rights to a number of other publishers as well. And recently the IDW and Marvel titles collaborated in the joint-continuity publishing line The High Republic. But Bleeding Cool had learned that this is coming to an end. Disney has withdrawn the license from IDW. But won't be handing it to Marvel Comics, they have other plans. Maybe Scholastic? That's just a Force-inspired guess given the current direction of trade. IDW did not return inquiries about this story, though they did comment regarding the Marvel Action line. It is not clear when the final IDW titles will be published, but another guess would state early next year.
After developing multiple other Disney titles, including Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, IDW's first venture into the world of Star Wars began with the release of the Star Wars edition of the Micro Comic Fun Pack in 2015, a series of foil bags containing stickers, posters, and reduced-size Marvel comic books. Since 2017, they have been the current holders of the Star Wars juvenile comics license, with which they started publishing original comics, beginning with Star Wars Adventures Ashcan at San Diego Comic-Con in 2017 and with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Graphic Novel Adaptation the following August.