EDITORIAL SIMULATION Move 9

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.

MARVEL OFFICES

KYLE’S OFFICE

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.

SAL’S OFFICE

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.

KURT’S OFFICE

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.

SALES DEPARTMENT

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

Market Share:

MARVEL– 44%

DC – 32%

IMAGE – 7%

Your Move.

Tom B

7 thoughts on “EDITORIAL SIMULATION Move 9

  1. The door’s cracked open…now it’s time to blow it off the hinges!

    With Grant and Greg on Action, I 100% agree that the work would perform wonderfully under the Superman title, but as Grant pointed out when coming on, Action is the one that started it all, and they’re a great team to take Action to glory! I’m not worried about them not on the Superman run and also don’t want to rock the boat at all. Tynion will do great work, Grant will do his magic, and hopefully they both end up at the 1 and 2 spots (and I think the powers that be would be happy in that case).

    For the kickoff of the Pail Vicors/Mongullian Invasion – I’m going to attempt something I botched at the beginning: I’d reach out to Alex Ross and see if we can commission a limited edition promotional poster. Either Superman vs Mongul solo, or with as many background characters as he wants (JLA/Pail Vicors/Mongul II/Mongal/Apokolips, etc). With the limited edition poster from him I believe preorders and sales will definitely kick up a notch. Having a limited run, we can possibly even get more hype and word out if Alex Ross signs a certain amount (up to him, of course).

    I am also on board with listening to Brian Edward Hill’s Val Zod ideas. As an editor I want to do my best to stay out of the way of the writers when it comes to creativity, so as long as it’s not a sharp right turn with no seatbelts, I’m open to shifts and changes. We want to build on what’s already there, not scratch and “reboot” what another great creator has already established.

    I’m elated to have Felicia getting back to full speed, and would suggest we talk to the EIC about a trade paperback collection for her Legion run, as well. The recent Civil Rights movement may be losing fire in the press, but it’s still a landmark run, and a TPB can help with sales and getting her work out into the world! I’d also thank Regine Sawyer for her help, and see if any of the other editors have a role for her. She answered the call for us, it’s only fair I put out a call for her.

    I then make a call to Gail Simone and let her know about the schedule…and tell her to let loose the hounds! As long as the tie-in to Superman and the Pail Vicors comes off meaningfully, she has nearly carte blanche on her supporting cast of characters, as long as Afua can keep up! Gangbuster is the new comics “family” (ala Batfamily, Flashfamily, etc) set to debut in a truly pivotal moment and I can’t wait to get it into the public’s hands!!

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  2. First off this week, I’d like to congratulate everyone at Marvel on the latest sales numbers. We’ve surpassed the goal we were given when we were hired (a 20% increase) by achieving a 57% increase in the newest numbers. Now we just have to try and keep it up, or at least not drop off too much!

    I’m glad to hear the EIC and VP of Sales are excited about the prospect of Phil Jimenez doing a STORM mini-series. With his pages from AGE OF EVOLUTION done, I get Phil to work on it right away. Looking over his outline, I also broach the idea with him that we can have another artist handle part of the penciling workload – flashback sequences, for example, as a way to get the issues done faster, hopefully keeping the VP of Ops happy.

    I thank Sana Takeda for her work on AGE OF EVOLUTION and understand her desire to explore her options before committing to anything. I explain that it looks like I’ll be retooling and relaunching X-MEN with a new writer as well, so I’d be thrilled to have her on for this.

    I speak with Leah and Luciano both on a one-on-one basis to sort out what the problems are and whether there’s any overcoming them, and if not, what they want to do separately. If they aren’t happy working together anymore, I’d like to figure whose vision is better aligned to the book as is, and move the other creator to a new “plug” series that better fits what they want – something like NEW MUTANTS or GENERATION X.

    As Al Ewing gets his last pages turned in, I thank him for his time on the series and ask if there’s anything else he’s interested in doing with the X-office at the moment.

    Obviously, I need to recast the creative team on X-MEN. I’ve already asked Sana Takeda about coming on, and I would reach out to Saladin Ahmed to see if he would be interested in writing. I’d also be in touch with Paco Medina to let him know Al Ewing is moving on and ask if he’d like to stay with a new writer or not. I have other artists in mind if neither Sana nor Paco want to stay on board, and other writers if Saladin doesn’t want it.

    I thank the VP of Sales for the direction on WOLVERINE #400. I’d like to put together a 60-page issue, with a 30-page main story, three 8-10 page short stories, and a few pages of pinups. I’ve already talked to Ram V about a big, promotable story moment for WOLVERINE #400, so we’re going to build to that. I will be reaching out to Larry Hama, Leinil Yu, and Tom Taylor about contributing writing for the short stories (and art in Leinil’s case), and Adam Kubert, Mike Deodato Jr., David Lopez, Paul Smith, and Alan Davis about art for the stories or pinups.

    I commission a 2nd printing cover for Age of Evolution Alpha from Declan Shalvey, and ask him to leave it open to connect with a 2nd image, assuming we’ll go to 2nd printing on Omega as well.

    Lastly, I keep in touch with Tini Howard and Marco Checchetto and make sure everything’s still running smooth on X-Force, and thank them as they continue getting their hard work done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. IRON MAN
    After speaking with Jason we agree that Humberto is who we want to take over on the book. We called him together and Humberto instantly agreed to hop on board! Jason has the second arc thought up and Humberto is into it.

    I DM’d Greg Capullo back and thanked him for his response and told him to reach out at any time to discuss what he would like to do should the opportunity for him to work with Marvel comes up.

    CAPTAIN AMERICA
    Donny sent over the remaining issues script and they look good. Where they land is good but it’s not exactly a clean finish. That said, I wrote an email to the EIC to ask if I could tell Sebela the ending when it goes to print in order for him to tie in and wrap up loose ends within his arc.

    Chris already connected with Sanford and me on a call and I really think this chemistry is going to be a good one.

    THOR
    The entire team is super happy that the book is selling well! I reached out to Skottie Young one more time to see if he has interest in doing a variant. Should he say no I have emails ready to send over to Jim Mahfood and Chip Zdarsky.

    Now that things are transitioning nicely Kelly Sue has come up with a bunch of ideas around parenting that seem really fun for Thor and Kate. However, the exploration of Thor and Kate’s relationship as growing up as parents together is going to be explored in this next arc. They are deeply in love with each other and the babies. That said, being a parent is hard and Thor is really stressed. He wants to go out and fight and drink mead and feel like hero again but he’s having problems. The main problem being that he can’t pick up Mjolnir nor can Jane but nobody knows why!

    One idea I threw at her was a trip to Asgard. Every parent knows that an overnight trip could lead to pure insanity, especially when things are forgotten. I’m waiting to see her thoughts on that.

    WORLD WAR KREE
    We are on schedule but we got some negative feedback from comics press about being late and giving up some of pages of the first issue on FCBD. I’m not sure how we can raise up the enthusiasm for this so I wrote an email to the EIC and VP of Sales about their suggestions.

    IRON FIST WAR JOURNAL
    Gerry has the concept. Iron Fist is more violent and angry than usual. Interestingly enough in the first issue he only speaks as a narrator as he hunts down some Kree left stranded on Earth. These are gritty and violent scenes to show where Danny Rand’s head is at. Also Gerry would like to use the Wrecking Crew, hired by a mysterious boss (Gerry is still working that out) who would later be as the villains and he asked if he could do some guess spots in the first arc with Punisher. I sent all this over to the EIC for approval as I want to make sure using Frank Castle won’t be an issue and that the Wrecking Crew are a good enough eat.

    We are formally inviting Lan Medina to be the artist. Waiting to hear back.

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    1. Quick note on the HELLCAT series, not sure which of the Marvel editors are interested? I could hop on if needed but I’m not sure if it fits in the Marvel heroes wheel house or elsewhere?

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      1. Even though she spent most of her time as a Defender, and has a patina of a magic associated with her, I feel like Marvel tends to regard her as being on the outer orbit of the Avengers. Definitely closer to heroes than the X-office or the Spider-office.

        Though one of my very favorite stories of (a version) of her is the Spidey Super Stories issue where she took on Thanos armed with the Cosmic Cube making his getaway in his Thanoscopter. Drat!

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  4. Not a whole lot of drama in the Spider-Man office, which is always a good thing.

    Using Paul on Spectacular was more of a “just in case” thing, so since Tom feels he has the handle on a full-time gig, and Paul’s already made himself available, I’ll ask for his help on getting the last bit of the current Amazing arc out the door. With the larger circulation on that book, that should allow for his page rate, and that should clear the way for Pepe to take over as the main penciler after that, with Sara doing smaller arcs between those.

    Otherwise, everything seems to be going as planned. Tales From the Spider-Verse is still in its first arc, with Peter Milligan and Darick Robertson hitting it out of the park. Miles Morales is not performing quite as well as I would have hoped, but with the new character being introduced, could see a boost soon (I’ll “let leak” that this character may end up being a replacement for Felicia if things go well to a couple of the comic websites before the FOC for her debut issue). As I said, things are going pretty smoothly, so I’ll just keep on keeping on.

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