Updated on December 10, 2021
Yesterday, it was announced that Boom! Studios, publishers of various all-ages comics (including “Regular Show,” “Adventure Time,” and “Garfield”), will gain “first look” rights for any current/new Cartoon Network properties. More details are available in this Comics Alliance article, but it basically means Boom! will get the first shot at publishing comics based on any current or future Cartoon Network shows. Their success with “Adventure Time” and “Regular Show” probably cemented this deal for Boom!.
I assume IDW will keep the rights to “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Powerpuff Girls,” and any future titles based on older/classic Cartoon Network properties…the “Boomerang” to Boom’s “Cartoon Network,” as some others online have put it. And, of course, DC Comics will retain the “Looney Tunes” and “Scooby-Doo” titles, as one of their very few token comics not tied to superheroes or Vertigo/”mature readers” in any way. (“Looney Tunes” is currently DC’s highest-cover-numbered title, thanks to the New 52 reboot.)
It still seems odd that Time-Warner doesn’t want to keep the publishing rights to their own hit shows in-house. Maybe it’s a sign of how Time-Warner views DC itself these days, as mainly a means to: keep their superhero/Vertigo intellectual properties’ trademarks renewed; generate material to use for TV, movies, etc.; and bring in a relatively small but steady amount of cash. There might also be some branding reasons as well—the idea “DC can’t publish anything other than superheroes/mature reader stuff, because that’s all DC stands for!,” in spite of their having published other genres historically. Granted, DC seems aware of said history, but these days they only care about trying to force it into their “New 52” superhero mold. See last year’s use of the old “Young Romance” title for DC’s awful Superman/Wonder Woman “romance,” or DC trying to forcibly tie their Old West titles like Jonah Hex to 19th Century Gotham City as much as possible. (Never mind Gotham City’s usually out east, not west…)
Either way, DC’s loss is Boom!’s gain… including the new “Steven Universe” title coming to Boom! in August. Hopefully, it’ll be as enjoyable as the TV show’s been so far.