Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Re: Marvel Comics

Okay, this is going to be one of those days where I directly address the "distinguished competition." Now, I obviously don't work for DC Comics. But that's pretty much all I read (at least in super-hero comics) and Marvel's stable of characters has never "clicked" with me.

Plus, I've always had a problem with the way some people at Marvel present themselves. There have always been the backhanded compliments and the snide remarks. By and large DC seems to have avoided this kind of stuff (but they are by no means immune). Marvel, however, seems to love taking potshots at DC. A popular one in the past has been to claim DC is somehow purely "corporate comics" that are solely beholden to their nefarious overlords at Warner Bros.

I had hoped after Marvel was bought by Disney that that crap would come to an end. I mean, it's not like Marvel wasn't "corporate" comics before. A huge amount of their output was geared towards supporting their burgeoning film properties. Which is perfectly fine.

But this kind of crap really should have stopped after Disney bought Marvel. But it looks like it hasn't. Tom Brevoort, a newly minted Senior VP at Marvel was asked what he thought about DC's "Hold the Line at $2.99" initiative. He had this to say:

"I think that if it works for them, and they can run their business and make their money on that cover price, good for them. But I know for certain that we can’t, so I must assume that they’re still in the traditional DC position of not really having to earn a direct profit in publishing, since they’ll get a credit for all of their licensing and so forth on the Warner’s ledgers. That’s not a luxury that we have–or really, that we want."

Unsurprisingly there's another backhanded compliment in there and a snide remark directed toward DC's corporate masters. But then he goes on to insinuate that DC not having to make profits -- an assertion of which he has no proof -- means that they aren't putting out comics that people want to read.

Does Brevoort really think we're buying this? Does he think we've forgotten that Marvel was recently bought up by one of the biggest entertainment giants in the world? And that his publishing company isn't just as much a cog in the machine as DC has ever been?

I think DC's attempt to keep the prices of its comics down is a good thing. Remember, we're losing two pages of story to that price line (which is not necessarily a good trend). As far as I can tell, this isn't simply a case of the company being able to keep around comics nobody reads (if that were so, they wouldn't have canceled Azrael!) but really a case where they've tried to listen to what the fans and retailers want.

But what do I know? I'm an optimist like Superman. And as we know, there is little room for those in the Marvel Universe.



At 7:01 AM, Blogger Scipio said...

If they just stopped with the decompression, two fewer pages wouldn't bother me. Give me tighter, faster stories.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

When it comes to making snide comments, Breevort is the king. But yeah, it's definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black...and then some.

I used to read Marvel like crazy when I was a whole lot younger. Not too much anymore, they pretty much lost me completely when they cancelled Nextwave, and then came out with the whole Civil War crap and the Skrulls.



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