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IDW to publish Cartoon Network books

So the annual ComicsPRO (Comics Professional Retail Organization) meeting is being held in Atlanta this weekend, and an interesting piece of news has come out: IDW has entered into an agreement to publish a whole series of books based on Cartoon Network properties. The first will be Powerpuff Girls, followed by things like Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Lab, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends and Samurai Jack.

While that's really excellent news (particularly Samurai Jack), it is highly unexpected - after all, Cartoon Network is owned by Turner, which is owned by Time Warner, which also owns DC Comics. That's why DC publishes (or should that be "used to publish"?) things like Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo. So why is a rival company suddenly in charge of those?

When Disney bought Marvel, Marvel started putting out Disney comics (not that they've done much with the license). When Disney bought Star Wars, they soon announced that Marvel would begin putting out Star Wars comics in 2015. That's the entire point of having subsidiary companies, right? And yet Warner is farming out the things they own to someone else? They must figure they can make more money from licensing fees than what they could make by actually publishing the books themselves.

On the other hand, this is good news. IDW has a track record of licensing other companies' comics - just look at those oversized hardcovers of classic Marvel Comics runs they've been putting out. And they also do a good job with kids' properties. Their My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic was one of the most in-demand books of last year. So it'll be interesting to see what comes of this when the new books start this summer.

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