As speculated, Boom! Studios has picked up the license to publish Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics for Disney. However, unlike Gemstone--which most recently held the license--Boom will be publishing new material, not classic reprints by Carl Barks and others.
According to Newsarama:
Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #699 (by Riccardo Secchi and Stefano Turconi) and Mickey Mouse and Friends #297 (by Stefano Ambrosio and Lorenzo Pastrovicchio) will be out in September. Both titles will be 24 pages and carry a $2.99 cover price.
The comic creators are Italian, part of the large contingent of creators working for Disney Italia which has been actively producing new comics and properties for Disney and the European market (such as Paperinik - a superheroic world based around Donald Duck, W.I.T.C.H., Kylion,Monster Allergy and others) for years.
...the rights to publish the classic Disney Comics material is included in Boom’s license, and the publisher has plans for it. “We will be handling the classic material,” Richie said, declining to go into detail at this time. “We’re not going to abandon the fans that are buying that material, so we will have programs and products for them.”
Here are the solicits for the first two Boom! releases:
WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES #699
(W) Riccardo Secchi (A) Stefano Turconi
One of the longest-lived, greatest comics in history comes to BOOM! Studios! A direct market event — the title that was host to Walt Disney's most cherished characters that helped build a decades-spanning global empire, originally launched in 1942, has come to BOOM! Kids! Ever wondered what would happen when all the superheroes of the Disney comics universe star in an epic clash against all the super villains with the fate of the world at stake? Join The Duck Avenger, Super Goofy, and the man himself Mickey Mouse for an all-new team of heroes, an all-new era in Disney publishing! (C: 0-0-1)
24pgs, FC SRP: $2.99
MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS #296
(W) Stefano Ambrosio (A) Lorenzo Pastrovicchio
First BOOM! Kids issue! One of the longest-lived, most-successful comic book series in the industry's history comes to BOOM! and brings a little magic — presenting Wizards of Mickey! Student of the great wizard Grandalf, Mickey Mouse hails from the humble village of Miceland. Allying himself with Donald Duck and his pet dragon named Fafnir, and team mate Goofy, Mickey's come to the great tournament to get his revenge on Peg Leg Pete, who has stolen the Rain Crystal from Miceland! Join Mickey Mouse and his friends on an epic tale of magic and wonder! (C: 0-0-1)
SC, 24pgs, FC SRP: $2.99
This is good news, overall. More comics for kids! Both of my children are big fans of the Donald comics. I'm hoping the new stories are good. But I'm most excited by the prospect of more Barks reprints, ideally in large, book collections at some point. I've missed out on previous efforts to collect his material in those formats and very much want to get ahold of it.