A post from my defunct Marvel blog trying to determine with the help of the readership the eight most essential Marvel series.
We’ll start today with a brief history lesson, and then move into another “audience participation” question.
Back in 1957, Marvel’s distribution went belly-up. The company had just signed on with a new distributor, who promptly went out of business. And Marvel almost went with them. In a mad scramble, owner and publisher Martin Goodman cut a deal with the only distributor he could find–Independent News, which was the distribution arm of DC Comics. As part of the deal, Martin, who was notorious for flooding the stands with dozens of imitation products any time he sensed a hot trend, was prohibited from releasing any more than 8 titles a month–that’s all Independent News would take. As a result, Marvel wound up cancelling 80-90% of the line, and focusing on only a select few series. It was within this climate of limitation that the Marvel super heroes were created.
Now, what I’d like to try today is duplicating those circumstances. So we need to reduce Marvel’s publishing output to only eight titles–the Essential Eight. These can be existing books or new series, however you want to play it. And again, we’re doing this by group consensus.
So as in the past, any given poster can nominate two titles to keep, and any title can be vetoed by anybody for any reason. And just to clarify, since some people have been confused, once a title is vetoed, that’s it–it’s off the list permanently.
So, with those limitations, can we bring the line down to an Essential Eight?
You tell me.