Dark Horse Goes Dark Disney

Maybe that headline sounds hyperbolic, but based on the talent behind the two upcoming live-action versions of Disney animated classics, these stories will be darker than the originals. Guy Ritchie always puts a stamp on material that makes it more rough and tumble, so though we haven’t seen much actual footage of Aladdin, it seems likely that even Will Smith’s genie will be more of a bad boy than a fresh prince. Then, of course, there’s Tim Burton taking on Dumbo with a script by Ehren Krueger. It’s hard not to think the whole thing will be tinged by a fever dream of pink elephants on parade that may be more nightmarish fuchsia. Sight unseen, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They could be really good… but also dark.

So it’s apropos that Dark Horse Comics continues their work on Disney comics with Aladdin and Dumbo, expanding on the worlds those movies will establish. I’m not sure it’s fair to call them “graphic novels” when they seem more “graphic anthologies.” Both books will contain short stories focusing on various characters. This is nothing new for Disney; anybody who grew up with Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories (originals, digests, or other reprints) ran across their fair share of interesting one-off tie-ins to movies. That Dark Horse has picked up the mantle is a plus. I contend the publisher redefined readers’ expectations for transmedia comics for the better (though I do miss Gold Key).

From Dark Horse:

Dark Horse enters a whole new world with a Disney Aladdin (Live Action) graphic novel! Disney Aladdin (Live Action) TPB is the perfect graphic novel companion to Disney’s all new live-action film Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, in theaters May 24, 2019.

Writer Corinna Bechko along with artist Pablo Vite and more bring the individuality and spirit of Aladdin and friends to the forefront in this fun-filled anthology. Travel through the vibrant city of Agrabah in four interconnected tales connected to Disney’s all new live-action film. Follow a day in the lives of Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie, and tag along on an adventure with friends Abu, Raja, and the Magic Carpet!

Disney Aladdin (Live Action) TPB goes on sale April 30, 2019, and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TFAW, and at your local comic shop. This 72-page graphic novel anthology retails for $10.99.

On March 29, 2019, fans of all ages will experience the magic of Disney’s beloved classic Dumbo like never before on the big screen with a live-action adaptation by the one and only Tim Burton. Ahead of this highly anticipated family feature is a graphic novel from Disney and Dark Horse Books expanding on the story of the world’s favorite flying elephant!

Written by John Jackson Miller with art by Giovanni Rigano, Alberto Zanon, Paola Antista, and Michela Bovo, this anthology takes off to inspire with the magic of Disney Dumbo. The beloved story of Dumbo the flying elephant and all his circus friends continues in five interconnected tales at Max Medici’s circus—a place full of curiosity, wonder, and awe. Follow Dumbo and friends on a path of discovery where differences are celebrated, and dreams soar!

Disney Dumbo: Friends in High Places TPB goes on sale March 26, 2019, and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and TFAW, and at your local comic shop. This 72-page trade paperback retails for $10.99.

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About Derek McCaw
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.