Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marvel?? Disney? WTF?


So there was news today about the Victor Von Doom miniseries being canceled by Marvel comics after it was announced but before it came out. Now I have no idea what is going on over at the House of Ideas, but I get the idea that there is some fat being trimmed and that there are some major changes being instituted by Disney.

I have no proof in any way that this is happening, but Marvel has only been a Disney company for what...a year? It takes time to get your claws sunken into something as big and capable as Marvel, but Disney seems to be taking a hands-on approach to everything.

What do I know about big business? Next to nothing. What do I know of the inner workings of either company? Nothing. I am probably just another doomsayer that is crying at something going on in the comics world because I am paranoid about an unknown entity doing something to the comic company that I have grown up reading.

Is that so wrong of me? I guess not. Still Marvel seems to be in a pretty healthy state, despite the dismal reviews of Fear Itself. Fear Itself still sold well, but as an event comic with everyone's favorite characters, and the summer event, it couldn't help but sell well.

You have to wonder how Disney will affect Marvel though. I read somewhere that Marvel would have access to all of Disney's market research and that they would try and put that into play in some way. I worry that fringe titles and fringe characters, and the small titles will fall to the side, or will become part of the Avengers family of titles, or the Spider-Man family of titles. In my worst case scenario, those titles go away altogether. It makes sense though. Why have a Cloak and Dagger title when you can have a Cloak and Dagger: Spider-Island title? But I don't think that is Disney, is it? I need to talk to Axel Alonso.

Part of me wishes for the looseness of Joe Q's early days at Marvel Knights, or the Paul Jemas days where things seemed a little less corporate, and less about the movies and more about the stories. Thing is though, that the movies make big bucks, and big bucks invite all sorts of meddling into the rest of it. Is it about the art, or about the money? Money always wins that fight, so I worry about things.

It the Marvel Architects push an attempt to brand their creators and make them into superstar creators? Do branded creator titles sell more. Lets ask Alan Moore and Frank Miller. Of course they do. If an audience is familiar with the creators they are purchasing, the smaller titles that those creators write will sell more in the initial issues whether the title is good or not. Luckily, most of the creators that Marvel has branded are names whose work that I have enjoyed in some regard or other for some time.

So how does this all relate to Victor Von Doom? I have no idea, it is just that the title being canceled made me think for a second, and once the thinking cap was put on, all these horrid ideas poured out.

So, since I am talking about Marvel I will move onto to day and date. Comics companies are stupid and slow on the uptake for this type of shit. Okay, maybe Archie isn't, and maybe some smaller companies aren't, but the big two are. Have you heard all the talk about how Marvel and DC are worried about digital? Have you heard about how they are worried about the age of readers. So have I. Okay, so here goes some thinking on my part. Kids are wired these days. They have cell phones built into their skulls, or their femur bones, or wherever to may desire to irradiate your newborn. They are the digital ones. My age of reader likes the books. WE like going and talking to people in the stores (although I find the guys at my store kinda strange about things, or that could be me, but that is something for another time). So Diamond and the direct market, it is time to start changing or making out your funeral wreath. Same with comic stores, time to start thinking towards the future, you have about ten to twenty years. Everyone is going to be buying things on pads, and tablets and phones soon (if the world does not implode) and the way we consume media is going to change. You can try to shore the leak in the dam, but the dam is rotted to the core and is going to split sometime. Get me? Yeah, maybe you do. What I am trying to say is, if you can't fight em, join em. You are smart guys, get your shit together and start figuring out digital and print and how to make the direct market work with all of it, and how to get comics into the hands of everyone in America again (Hint: Lower price, cheaper paper and production, and higher visibility in more places).

And that is that.

Martin

1 comment:

  1. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35305

    From CBR's interview with Axel Alonso. Note: "Budgetary Mandates".

    Alonso: It's no secret "Alpha Flight" has a strong and vocal following, and is a favorite of many here in the Marvel offices. [Writers] Fred [Van Lente] and Greg [Pak] had a really interesting approach for a maxi-series. And the fan response to the "point one" and debut issues was encouraging enough for us to take a chance with making it monthly…until new budgetary mandates forced us to rethink the strategy. As for seeing those characters in other places, absolutely. Look for one of cast to get closer to the X-Men and undergo a life-changing moment in 2012 that's sure to get fans talking.

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