Earlier this week, surprise news broke that one of the crown jewels of Boom Studios' sizeable IP library (which they would self-describe as the biggest outside of the Big Two, but probably Valiant and Dynamite would have words about that), Lumberjanes, had been snagged by HBO Max as an animated show. Surprising because, despite the Lumberjanes movie being a casualty of Disney's acquisition of Fox, with Boom's new first-look deal most assumed it would be picked up at Netflix.
Lumberjanes, as long time readers may recall, debuted in 2014 and has become one of Boom's best selling franchises with over 1.5 million copies sold worldwide. Throw in some Eisner Awards and a GLAAD Media Award, t-shirts, pins, and spin-off novels from Diary of a Wimpy Kid publisher Abrams, and it's not hard to understand why the series created by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn Allen, and Noelle Stevenson – but owned by Boom Studios – had Hollywood streamer execs from HBO Max, Apple TV, and Peacock fighting over it.
And here's where the second surprise comes in, because co-creator Stevenson is also writing and executive producing the series for HBO Max. Stevenson created and was the showrunner behind Netflix and Dreamworks' smash hit She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, so her running a second animated series is not that surprising, but she hasn't written anything Lumberjanes related since the second year of the series which makes this the first time she's been active in the franchise she helped create in almost 5 years. And the timing of Boom announcing the end of the regular comic series with issue #75 (plus an appropriately titled Lumberjanes: The End of Summer special), is even more curious. Could this mean Boom is gearing up for a relaunch of the comic ahead of the animated series debut? Now that Stevenson is back in the fold, what could it mean for her involvement in the comic?
One thing is for certain, the HBO Max announcement is already having an impact on the back issues of the comics. Before the announcement, copies of Lumberjanes #1 were selling for $30 and immediately after the announcement we saw a copy sell for almost $70. That's a far cry from a high point of $200 for a a graded copy, which makes copies of issue #1 a bargain at even double their previous price.
And with speculator influencers calling out Lumberjanes as a property to invest in and Key Collector App alerting its followers to the news, I expect those sales prices will climb rapidly. We've seen the massive impact a successful streaming show can have on comic franchises thanks to Amazon Prime's The Boys and Netflix's Umbrella Academy. And while Lumberjanes #1 is the obvious investment opportunity, savvy speculators will be paying close attention to additional news about the series to glean what other characters will appear in the series so they can hunt down other key issues and first appearances ahead of the show's debut. With over 75 issues, there are plenty to choose from.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of news in this announcement is that Boom Studios now has properties set up at both DC Entertainment's parent company, Warner Brothers, through HBO Max and Marvel's parent company, Disney, thanks to R.L. Stine's Just Beyond being greenlit with a full series order at Disney+. Boom has long touted the depth and diversity of their content library and in a streaming world, it would seem not even Marvel and DC have enough content to fully satiate their parents. With Lumberjanes, Warner gets a young female audience not historically a strong suit for DC and with Just Beyond, Disney gets R.L. Stine's scary reach into kids, something Marvel doesn't do. Finally, with Snow Blind set up at Apple TV with Jake Gyllenhaal and announcements of series at Netflix like Something Is Killing The Children and Once & Future seemingly inevitable, it appears that Boom is collecting deals at streamers like Pokémon. Could we see Boom with shows at every major streamer in the near future?