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Entertainment/Character

Franchises Drive Comics Sales in 2017

According to ICv2 and NPD BookScan, the top-selling comic book titles of 2017 hailed from the ’80s—two 30-year-old volumes were the best-selling superhero titles of the year. Marvel’s top new title was Black Panther Book 1 and DC Comics’ top new titles were the collections of the Rebirth launches of Batman and The Flash.

Twelve of the top 20 best-selling superhero titles of the year were from DC Comics, seven were from Marvel, and two hailed from Oni Press—including a collected volume of Rick and Morty comics.

On the kid’s graphic novel side, the big winners were authors Dav Pilkey (creator of Captain Underpants topped the list with Dog Man) and Raina Telgemeier (top titles were Ghosts, Drama, Smile, Sisters, and the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel adaptations).

In manga-oriented news, top titles included Tokyo Ghoul, My Hero Academia, and The Legend of Zelda. The end of 2017 also saw new launches from top franchises Naruto (with a new series unfortunately titled Boruto) and Dragon Ball (Dragon Ball Super).

Valiant Entertainment is acquired by Chinese company DMG Entertainment. According to THR, DMG invested heavily in Valiant in 2015, putting in at least $10 million in a series C round of equity as well as at least $100 million toward film and TV production based on Valiant’s vast superhero catalog. CEO Dan Mintz currently holds a 57% stake in the company and chose to pursue the acquisition as a strategic move to make a concerted push into film, TV and other media. Dinesh Shamdasani, CEO & CCO, will be transitioning out of the company as part of the acquisition.

Valiant has three films in development: Archer & Armstrong is being developed by the Sean Daniel Co.; Shadowman is in development with a script by J. Michael Straczynski; and Bloodshot has secured Vin Diesel to star. On the small screen, Quantum and Woody is being developed as a TV series and the CW is working on a drama series based on Dr. Mirage. A live-action digital series, Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe, is due this winter from Valiant Digital.

Corus Entertainment’s production and distribution arm, Nelvana, joins forces with Japanese investment company Sumitomo to develop and co-produce new anime properties for the global market. Tokyo-based content creation firm Zeroichi will support the project and produce original anime and toy concepts.

Nelvana and Sumitomo will work together with Zeroichi President Shigeki Fujiwara, who also worked on Beyblade and Majinbone, as well as Stuart Snyder through his New York-based consultancy Snyder Media Group, who will consult on the venture going forward.

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