DISCLAIMER: All individuals, sales figures, situations and occurrences involved in this editorial simulation are completely fabricated as part of the game, and do not in any way reflect the actual real-world opinions, viewpoints or situations involving any of the creators or titles named. THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION!
Welcome back, everybody, to our ongoing EDITORIAL SIMULATION in progress. Boy, these posts take a long time to write. I’m almost thankful that our Image player vanished, because a good portion of my afternoon every Saturday is being turned over to gaming out the various moves and writing everything up. In any event, we’re only a couple moves from the finish line, so I’m sure that I can hold on another few weeks. But I’ll also be happy for the break. As may our players:
The Spidey office is attempting to score some goodwill points by getting their move in early this week! Possibly, they feel a bit envious of the reputation that Kyle in the X-Office was getting! But nice job, Spidey office!
You release the Miles promotional image this week, and get some pick-up from media across the globe. As you’d maybe expect, not all of the press is positive, and at least one current affairs program makes some hay out of bashing Marvel’s attempt to politicize a children’s medium such as comic books. But they weren’t happy about the idea of their being a black Spider-Man in the first place, so it’s really just more of the same. On the more localized comic book news sites, you’ve gotten decent pick up, and there’s a small buzz about what the image means.
You get both Peter Milligan and Darick Robertson on board and beginning to produce for the new TALES OF THE SPIDER-VERSE series that you’re launching. Paul Cornell is sad to have been passed over, but he understands the choices that sometimes have to be made.
You’re only able to get limited information from the television side on the BLACK CAT show that they’re developing, because it’s still early days on their end as well. But they’re looking to make it a series that exists in the same fictional world as Spider-Man but also to stand on its own two feet–a necessity, because it’s unlikely that they’re going to be able to get Tom Holland in to do more than a cameo at most. They do give you some broad strokes information that they’re planning on building a regular heist crew around Felicia who can be the recurring cast of the show, and that they’re also thinking about having her get involved with the Police Detective who is pursuing her, not realizing that Felicia is the Black Cat.
Tom Grummett tells you that he feels like he is fast enough to be the main penciler on SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN if Phil falls out. He may still need the occasional fill-in issue, but he thinks that he’ll be able to be there more often than not.
Which is good, because Phil calls to let you know that Kyle in the X-Office has offered him the bookends for AGE OF EVOLUTION and he’s going to take them. So he’s going to have to come off of SPECTACULAR pretty well straight away so that he can focus on the X-Event.
On your AMAZING planning, Jorge Jimenez continues to be exclusive to DC, so he’s not available to do issues of AMAZING for you. And going to Olivier Coipel for a fill-in will be dicey, both because he’s a huge resource to deploy and also he’s not always the fastest artist in the field. Most verybody else that you’re considering may be an option according to Talent Management, depending on their availability and their interest. Which is good, because even with the Pia issues, Sara is continuing to fall behind. She may simply not be fast enough to be doing a regular monthly title.
Slow off the blocks this week, and giving up the first poster spot to Kurt! Does this mean that the X-Office is slowing down, that the weekly grind is getting to them?
As you look to spell Dan Mora on the two tie-in issues, the Talent Management group lets you know that Leinil is looking to slow down at the moment and not do so much interior work while he recharges his batteries. So he might be available for cover sin key places, but he’s not an option to come on for those two issues. Ken Lashley, however, ought to be able to make the schedule work if you want to reach out to him.
Phil Jimenez is on board to do the 15 pages each in the AGE OF EVOLUTION bookends. He’s excited to have been asked and to be a part of it, as he’s been a fan of the X-Men ever since he was a reader.
The VP of Ops feels like we can definitely take a run at Sana Takeda–because there’s an expectation that this X-Event will bring in a decent amount of revenue, it’s an investment that all parties are willing to make. And it also pulls in an artist that doesn’t strain our existing resources, and one who’s got a little bit of heat from having done ACTION COMICS with Grant.
You can certainly line up Brian Stelfreeze to do variant covers for all of the chapters of AGE OF EVOLUTION.
As with the BLACK CAT show, the Television crew is still at the early portion of figuring out quite what their series is going to be, so you can get relatively little detail out of them. They’re still locking in details themselves around whatever the new take on the X-Men is going to be in film. So your needs, sadly, are at the bottom of their to-do list.
The EIC appreciates your apology concerning the Free Comic Book Day title, but tells you not to worry about it, that it wasn’t on you specifically to offer something up for it.
Sal’s struggles with technology are becoming a running bit around the office. Seems like he’s got the worst luck with computers, telephone answering systems, printers. The Bullpen is a little bit nervous even giving him a stapler for fear that people, places and things are all going to wind up haphazardly stapled to one another.
It’s too late to pull the pages for the FCBD book from IRON MAN, as it has already left house, carrying with it the 10-page section of the first issue of WORLD WAR KREE. When the EIC pulled the trigger on that, it was because time was up.
Humberto Ramos is happy to be on IRON MAN with Jason for the fill-in issues. But it sounds like you’re going to have to find a permanent solution to this series, as while Dylan Burnett hasn’t said anything to you directly (you still haven’t heard from him post-Hospital) he has been making the rounds doing a bunch of press for his new creator-owned series with Donny.
Speaking of Donny, his own production has slowed down considerably, and his focus seems scattered whenever you speak to him, as though he’s trying to feed a whole bunch of different needs beyond his ability to produce. But when you get him on the phone, he’s also a bit oblivious to the problem–he’s talking fast and saying the right things, but there’s no follow-through, and so the schedule on CAPTAIN AMERICA and WORLD WAR KREE is beginning to teeter. Ryan Ottley has run out of script on a couple of occasions, and those days where no production can get done are killing your schedule. In addition, Ryan doesn’t seem the type to call you up when he’s high and dry on script to draw. He just hunkers down and does some commissions or sees to his personal life. So you’re really going to need to be on top of everything in order to get this series to come out on time.
Already, there’s been a minor problem as a delay in getting an issue of WORLD WAR KREE out the door resulted in it shipping a week late–and a minor plot point being spoiled by the release of one of the tie-in issues that actually made its delivery date. It’s not an absolute catastrophe (yet) but it is the kind of ting that can impact negatively on the audience’s enjoyment of the story.
The VP of Sales is miffed that he doesn’t have a promo piece or a cover spotlighting the Thor baby that he can show off to the retailers to help drive interest and increase sales. He’s not confrontational about it, but you can get the sense that he’s taking the position that since you didn’t help him to do his job, he’s not going to be helping you too much by pushing the storyline that hard. Plus, he simply doesn’t have the resources he needs in order to carry that message forward.
This is all dicey enough that the EIC feels the need to have a talk with you. Between missing the FCBD story, not having the Thor promotional artwork in when it was needed and the looming situation around WORLD WAR KREE’s shipping, he tells you that you need to get your house in order or else something is going to need to be done here. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if they can’t get to the marketplace when they need to and if Marvel cannot promote and sell them effectively. In some ways, that’s almost worse, a waste of resources and good story material. The EIC tells you that he went to bad for you and your creative team on the Thor Baby story with the higher-ups, and mistakes like this are going to impact on how well it does–which is going to cost him some of his capital with his bosses.
Among your conversation, the EIC indicates that he would be fine with either Khary or Chris helping out on THOR if they were agreeable to it.
MARVEL OFFICES GENERAL
The VP of Sales indicates that he’s hearing from the Retailers that the first issue of WORLD WAR KREE is causing some discord among their customers. As predicted, the fact that a third of the book was handed out for free on Free Comic Book Day is giving many readers sticker shock when they realize that they’re paying a premium price for only 2/3 of the content that appeared to be there. So sales are more sluggish than hoped, and even those customers who have been buying it are complaining about the situation.
The VP of Sales indicates that this is going to put even more pressure on AGE OF EVOLUTION to help make up the shortfall and make sure that Editorial makes its budget for the year. In addition, he feels like the line could use at least one or two “plugs”–new titles that aren’t necessarily expected to generate enormous numbers, but which can keep the title count up and contribute to the overall profitability of the line as a whole.
The EIC has now received a bit more information about the BLACK CAT television pitch that the TV crew is putting together, and the key difference that they’re going with is that, in the series, they are looking to cast an African-American actress as Felicia Hardy. The show is still a ways off, but publishing is going to need to decide how it wants to deal with this situation; whether we should ignore it and just keep doing what we’re doing, or whether we should be working on getting a black Black Cat into the books sooner rather than later–or some other approach.
DAVE’S DC OFFICE
The home of recurring Crises.
After talking with you and thinking about it, Priest writes to tell you that he’s had all of the wind knocked out of his sails by being pulled off of SUPERMAN, and if it’s all the same to you, he’s going to withdraw from doing the proposed VAL-ZOD series–he just cant’ get up the enthusiasm for the replacement book, and feels like his time would be better spent doing other things.
There is enthusiasm in the halls of DC for your SUPERMAN story becoming a larger storyline that can affect the DC line as a whole. That’s something that the Executive Editor would like to get into play as soon as possible. James and Ivan are also excited by the prospect, although Ivan is a little bit daunted by the amount of work to be done and the complexity of that work. The JLA office is ready to tie in with this storyline, and the Executive Editor is ready to wrangle those other offices who might not want to play ball into line.
Sana Takeda lets you know that she won’t be able to return to ACTION COMICS, as she’s got a new assignment at Marvel. Joelle Jones is up to come on for a couple of issues, but she can’t commit to taking over the series entirely–she knows her limits and isn’t prepared to devote that much time to it. So that’s a problem that will need to be solved. Grant is a bit dismayed that he lost his artist on this series.
Felicia is happy to work with Regine Sawyer on LEGION while she’s fulfilling her screenwriting commitments, and the pairing appears to be relatively smooth. But John Romita lets you know that after the first story arc is finished, he wants to shift off of the title. As expected, drawing the multitudes of characters and weird environments that the Legion demands isn’t something that he’s into doing on a longer term basis.
Gail and Afua are pulling together their GANGBUSTER project. But in the interim, it seems like whatever was going on with the character elsewhere in the WB organization has cooled off–again, it’s difficult to get any straight answer about what it may have been. But accordingly, Publishing’s interest in moving forward with the project has cooled as well–nobody is dead set against doing it, but there isn’t any great enthusiasm for it either, no sense that this is something that needs to get done by a certain date. The Executive Editor suggests that if you could work in a role for Gangbuster in your Superman event story and then spin the series out of that–possibly even launching it with a few tie-in issues–that might be a big help to making it viable.