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!
All right, we are moving into the home stretch of our EDITORIAL SIMULATION this week, with further sales figures posted to indicate just how well or poorly our players have been managing things. There’s still some room for the apple cart to be turned over, though–so let’s see what happens.
Phil JImenez seems very interested in doing an X-MEN project that he can write and draw, and he’s got an idea for one revolving around Storm. It’s an exciting prospect to the EIC and the VP of Sales, but the VP of Ops reminds you that Phil hasn’t always been the fastest of contributors, so it may prove difficult to schedule such a project–and there’s only so long we’re going to want to keep the associated costs on the books without seeing an eventual return. All of which means that if things should go sour, you ought to be prepared to bring in whatever additional help might be needed to get the project done at shipping time.
Sana Takeda is a bit elusive when you speak to her about further X-MEN work. She wants to focus on getting through the Event material first and then consider her next move. She’s still been in contact with Grant Morrison, who has some creator-owned ideas that he’s been sharing with her, and her DC editors have also been contacting her to find out when she might be done with this Marvel assignment and ready to do something else over there.
Things aren’t running so smoothly on X-FACTOR, though. It turns out that Leah and Luciano have somewhat different visions as to what the series should be about, and what direction it ought to be moving in. So while there hasn’t been any situation that wasn’t professional, there’s a growing sense of discontent on the sides of both parties that the book is becoming less enjoyable to work on and not bringing each creator’s personal vision to fruition.
Al Ewing lets you know that, once you’re on the other side of AGE OF EVOLUTION, he’s planning on bringing his run on X-MEN to a close. He’ll have written the story that he wanted to write, and he’s got other things that he’d like to do–so to him, it seems like a good moment to make a change.
The VP of Sales tells you that he’d like to be able to upsize WOLVERINE #400 if that was possible. He’s thinking that you’ll want to have between 40-60 pages of content. It would also be helpful in terms of promoting the thing if some big, promotable story element was to happen in that issue.
The VP of Sales is also bullish about the prospects of AGE OF EVOLUTION< and he tells you to go ahead and commission a 2nd Printing cover so that it wil be ready to go. He feels confident that it will be needed.
Glad to hear that your new computer is working out for you.
Humberto is up for taking over IRON MAN once Dylan leaves to go do his creator-owned series with Donny. Both Kim Jacinto and Lan Medina are also on board with doing some work on the series assuming they have the time in their schedules when an offer comes in. So you’re going to have to land on who you actually want to anchor this title, or how you want to use the different artistic resources that may be available to you. The VP of Ops reminds you that Kim hasn’t ever really been able to manage a run on a title, so he’s a bigger risk than the other guys you’re considering.
Greg Capullo does get back to you, and tells you that he would love to come back and do some stuff at Marvel in the future. But he’s still under contract to DC for a long while, so that’s just not possible at the moment. But Greg tells you that he’ll reach out if anything ever changes in that regard.
After your conversation, Donny tells you that he’s going to finish up at least the end of this story arc on CAPTAIN AMERICA, because he feels like he owes it to himself, to Sanford, and to the readers. Thereafter, you’ve got Chris Sebela lined up to take over, and he’ll be able to start a little bit more cleanly for not needing to wrap up all of Donny’s business.
On THOR, as the promotional artwork wasn’t completed until after FOC (Final Order Cutoff) it was too late to impact positively on the sales of the issue, resulting in it not quite getting the initial sales that might have been hoped for on a moment this big. The good news is that the VP of Sales tells you that copies have been flying off of Retailers’ shelves and that he wants to get a 2nd printing rushed out immediately. So you’re going to need to commission a new cover for that.
Marvel.com is happy to run your essay about the birth of the Thor Twins,
Ryan Ottley has enjoyed working on WORLD WAR KREE, but he’s not all that interested in taking on IRON FIST WAR JOURNAL–he just doesn’t have any attachment to the character, nor any special connection with Gerry. So you’re going to have to look elsewhere there.
Paul Cornell tells you that he’s happy to go off and think about some other possible pitches for TALES OF THE SPIDER-VERSE.
Kyle Baker is up for introducing a new African-American protege of Felicia Hardy’s who can cross swords with Miles. He’s very tickled with the idea of calling her the White Cat and putting her into a white bodysuit that’s similar to a reversal on Felicia’s typical attire.
Paul Pelletier says that he would be available to fill in on a short arc of SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. But Talent Management lets you know that his current page rates are too high for the budget of the series–if he’s used there, this is going to impact on the margin of the title. So they indicate that either we need to renegotiate a lower rate with Paul for this assignment or he probably can’t do it–or, if there’s a compelling reason why it’s important for Paul to be doing this despite the increased costs, they’re open to talking about that as well.
Everybody is excited at the idea of Pepe Larraz coming on board AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. He will still need to sunset off of his current assignments, though, so either by powering through things with Sara or one of the other options that have been proposed, you’re going to need to stopgap until Pepe can begin his run.
MARVEL OFFICES GENERAL
The VP of Sales indicates that the slow sales on WORLD WAR KREE carried through for the balance of the series. It wasn’t a disaster or anything, but it came in under projections, which means there’s a budgetary shortfall for the fiscal year. He does feel positive about the prospects of AGE OF EVOLUTION, and while the reveal of the Thor twins was a bit botched in terms of maximizing the sales potential of the storyline, what copies did get ordered have all sold out and so a 2nd Printing will be necessary –so that’s a bit of good news.
The VP of Sales also reminds everybody that some additional “Plugs” are still needed. He’s heard a few scattered ideas, but mostly they were for longer-ranging projects that will be completed on a relatively slow schedule. He needs new books that he can plug into the budget and the shipping schedule now, to help make up for the shortfall. As is his way, he suggests that a HELLCAT book might be a good idea.
DAVE’S DC OFFICE
No snarkly lead-off line in deference to this past week’s events.
Christopher Priest tells you that there are no hard feelings between you and he, and that he appreciates you having gone to bat for him and his story over the duration. While this has soured him on DC at the moment, that can always change over time.
Brian Edward Hill in interested in taking on VAL ZOD, though he’s got a bunch of thoughts of his own that would shift the series in a different direction from what you and Priest had laid out initially.
Greg Capullo is interested in working on ACTION COMICS with Grant, and the higher ups at DC all seem to bless this decision. There’s some side commentary that the book would likely perform even better if it was SUPERMAN rather than ACTION, but they’re aware of the contractual obligation that landed James Tynion in that seat, and so don’t want to rock the boat that much.
Similarly, it seems as though you’ll be able to line up Jorge Jimenez for LEGION after John Romita Jr wraps up his time on the title. Also, with her film work nearing completion, Felicia’s speed on getting scripts produced is increasing once again, as she has more time to focus on her comics work.
The plan to tie in GANGBUSTER and the launch of that project with the Pail Vicors storyline makes everybody feel more comfortable about its chances of success, and so it’s added to teh schedule as well.
Diamond sends you all of the latest sales figures, rankings and market share for the industry. As usual, we will look at this through the lens of the Marvel office, so precise sales numbers for the DC titles are concealed.
AGE OF EVOLUTION ALPHA – 130,000 -Al Ewing, Phil Jimenez & Sana Takeda
X-MEN –105,000 – Al Ewing, Paco Medina (AOE tie-in)
SUPERMAN – James Tynion, Ivan Reis (Pail Vicors kickoff)
WORLD WAR KREE – 94,000 – Donny Cates, Ryan Ottley – Final Issue
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – 83,000 – Mark Russell, Sara Pichelli & Friends
THOR – 80,000 – Kelly Sue DeConnick, Mark Bagley (Thor Twins birth)
ACTION COMICS – Grant Morrison, Greg Capullo
X-FORCE – 72,000 – Tini Howard, Marco Checchetto (AOE tie-in)
WOLVERINE – 62,000 – Ram V, Ken Lashley (AOE tie-in)
TALES OF THE SPIDER-VERSE – 54,000 – Peter Milligan, Darick Robertson – First Issue
X-FACTOR – 51,000 – Leah Williams, Luciano Vecchio (AOE tie-in)
CAPTAIN AMERICA – 43,000 – Donny Cates, Sanford Greene
SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN – 39,000 – Peter David, Tom Grummett
GANGBUSTER – Gail Simone, Afua Richardson (Pail Vicors tie-in)
IRON MAN – 36,000 – Jason Aaron, Humberto Ramos
LEGION – Felicia Henderson with Regine Sawyer, Jorge JImenez
VAL ZOD – Bryan Edward Hill, Ray-Anthony Height
MILES MORALES – 27,000 – Kyle Baker, Jamal Campbell
In aggregate MARVEL sales: 876,000. Book average: 67,384
DC – 32%
IMAGE – 7%