Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 2

An entry from my ancient Marvel blog of long ago, in which I answer more questions posed by the readers.

Reader Questions 2

July 29, 2008 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

More reader questions–answers by me.

>”Where is The ‘Nam ??”
Im a relatively young fan (18) and even I cant believe guys like Mike Golden or Mike Zeck aren’t doing regular interior work at the Big Two…

Just wondering if this is their decision or are you guys never offering them work ?

Posted by underworldeve on 2008-07-26 19:30:22>

We’ve spoken to both artists over the years, but haven’t quite managed to pull together a project that suited everybody. Golden’s been doing some covers for us recently, mostly on titles edited in the Mark Paniccia office, and he also did a short Rogue story in X-MEN UNLIMITED a few years ago. And I haven’t spoken to Mike Zeck in a number of years, but at that point he was quite contentedly funding his rural lifestyle by taking on fan commissions, and had no desire to face the deadline pressures of producing comics regularly. He may have changed his mind in the intervening years, but that was the last I had heard.


Ø 1. Would you say that your job has made it easier to enjoy comics (because you can appreciate it on a deeper level, enjoying all the technicalities) or more difficult (because you can’t shake off the editorial hat or just because it ‘is your job?)

2. Did you read comics during your vacation, and if so: which ones (where there any non-Marvel comics) and which ones did you enjoy the most?

Posted by Zigy on 2008-07-27 06:06:34>

I still enjoy comics, and make it a point to visit my regular shop, Jim Hanley’s Universe, on a weekly basis. And I don’t think the job has made it easier or more difficult to enjoy them—I just enjoy them differently than I might have beforehand.

And I was away from comics during my vacation for the most part—the only comic-related thing I had with me was the new issue of Write Now, the one saluting Stan Lee’s 85th birthday. Instead, I read two books, “Dalek, I Loved You” by Nick Griffiths and “Friends Like These” by Danny Wallace.

But just to give you a relative sampling, here are a few things I picked up at the shop last week: GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA MASTERWORKS vol 2, DOOM PATROL ARCHIVES vol 5, SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY ARCHIVES vol. 3, The FLASH COMPANION, MODERN MASTERS: JOHN ROMITA JR, PRINCE OF HEROES vol 1, DIANA PRINCE, WONDER WOMAN vol 2, WHO WILL SAVE US NOW?, COMPLETE BLACK AND WHITE ZOT! and the current issues of SUPERMAN, AGE OF BRONZE, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, UNCANNY X-MEN #500, GLAMOURPUSS, BRAVE AND BOLD, WAR HEROES and DAN DARE. Big week.


>1) Have you ever used your position to prevent a title getting cancelled and then regretted it afterwards?
2) What plans does Marvel have to print more non-superhero comics? (kudos on the steps you have already taken in this direction by-the-by)

Posted by dingogary on 2008-07-28 07:04:37>

No, it’s usually the other way around, when I regret letting a book get cancelled (or being unable to prevent its cancellation.) But I can’t think of a circumstance in which I kept a book alive and later regretted it. If nothing else, those issues sold at least somewhat and brought some money in, and kept some creators employed.

In terms of non-super hero material, I expect we’ll continue to branch out gradually, whenever there’s a reasonable chance of success. While everybody would like for there to be greater diversity, each project needs to be able to connect with an audience and be profitable as well. It doesn’t do anybody any good to spend a lot of time and energy on a project that sinks like a stone. What this means is that our efforts in this regard are typically going to be targeted outside of the Direct Market to some extent (though the projects will still be available through those channels.)


Ø what about cross overs?
I’m interested in the ms marvel spider-man cross over in ms. marvel annual #1. I was wondering when one hero goes over to another book what are the guide lines. Like dose the spider man office have to approve how Spidey is being used? Or does the X office have to approve how the X-Men are being used in crossovers? How much work does it take to hammer out continuity?

Posted by s-i-d-e-r-m-a-n on 2008-07-28 08:36:23>

There’s always a certain level of notification and oversight when a character is used outside of their home book, but the extent varies depending on the circumstances. In the case of Spidey in MS MARVEL, both of those titles are being edited by Steve Wacker, so he doesn’t really need to consult with anybody else. On the other hand, if he wanted to have Wolverine guest star, he’d certainly notify Axel Alonso and John Barber about it, and make sure that there wasn’t anything going on in Wolvie’s home book that he’d have to take into account. And depending upon the extent of the crossover, Axel might want to read the script or the final lettered book, just to make sure that nothing is out of whack. On a major crossover like SECRET INVASION, I theoretically read all of the scripts as they come in as well as the final lettered books—I say theoretically because sometimes things slip between the cracks, especially when I’m out of the office for a Convention or a vacation. But in general, our editorial staff trusts one another, and has a good working knowledge of at least the major Marvel characters—so there’s not as much intricate coordination needed as you might think.


Ø ok then
HOW do i reach the Trades department ?

Posted by underworldeve on 2008-07-28 09:55:48>

Practice! No, they have their own blog, listed to the right.


Ø Two questions:
1: Do you think releasing preview pages can be somewhat counter productive?
(similar sometimes giving too much away in a movie trailer)

2: Time constraints and expenses aside, what is your ideal breakfast?

Posted by jaredgood1 on 2008-07-28 11:20:54>

I’ve never been a big fan of big previews, or even the Previews catalogue that gets sent out every month. But part of that is that I’m from another generation. When I was a reader, in most cases you didn’t know much of anything about what was going to be in a given title until the issue showed up on the stands. As a storyteller, I like that level of surprise, and that lack of prejudgment. But realistically, we live in an Internet age in which everybody has a scanner, and that means that preview pages are going to go up whether I like it or not. And the ordering and buying patterns have changed because of it—to the point where now, you’re running something of a risk in terms of your sales and sell-through if you don’t post preview pages. It’s a real pickle.

I don’t typically eat much of a breakfast, just a glass of milk before I set out for the day. But on those occasions when I partake, especially when I’m off at a Con or something like that, I’m most likely to get a stack of pancakes and some orange juice.

More tomorrow.

Tom B

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