Blah Blah Blog – Reader Questions 2

Another post from my ancient Marvel blog answering another flock of questions from the fans.

Reader Questions 2

September 2, 2009 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

All right, here are a few more answers to the questions you wanted to ask!

>I’m sure you’ve noticed how good Dan Slott is with continuity and with paying attention to lots of characters at once. So why hasn’t he written a major “event” crossover yet? Is there some specific quality a writer needs to display before he’s considered for that kind of story?

Posted by MoriartyL on 2009-08-25 05:47:58>

I think a writer needs to have a compelling idea for a major storyline, and to also be in a position where that storyline could be put into practice without overturning the apple carts of everybody else. Now that Dan’s writing MIGHTY AVENGERS, he’s perhaps in a better position for this to become likely (or were there to be a major crossover that centered around Spider-Man.) However, because we try to make our event series as reader-friendly as we can, having a good grasp on the minutiae of continuity can actually be a detriment. While it’s great for the long-time invested fan to get the bang out of seeing a writer play with the intricacies of continuity, those sorts of stories tend to be absolutely baffling to a wider audience that doesn’t have the connection to the events being referenced or the old characters being trotted out. It’s not an either-or situation, though-like everything, continuity is nice in moderation. But a command of continuity by itself isn’t a good enough reason to put a writer in charge of a major crossover project for us.

>I really liked the recent Marvel Mythology encyclopedia. Outside of the Asgardians and Olympians, are there any plans to use Marvel’s other pantheons of gods in the near future, maybe in the context of future Thor or Hercules storylines? I would love to see Leir of the Celtic Gods make a reappearance some day . . .

Posted by Thorcules on 2009-08-25 08:19:04>

I believe you’ll be seeing some of the other Pantheons in some respect during the “Assault on New Olympus” storyline in INCREDIBLE HERCULES, and it’s likely that we’ll eventually get around to featuring some more of these guys in THOR at some point. No specific plans for Leir right this second, though.

>With JMS leaving Thor, the price of the book dropped by $1.00

Does that mean the cost of books like New Avengers/Dark Avengers — the other $3.99 non-mini-series price hikes — are primarily to pay Brian Bendis?

Posted by maser on 2009-08-25 10:28:53>

No, although as Joe Q has said in the past, part of the cost having the best people on our biggest-selling titles is literally the cost of paying them the best, which can drive up the A & E expenses for the book. But the reason our biggest titles are the ones that got up-priced to $3.99 has more to do with attempting to hold the line elsewhere as much as possible. We’re going to get a better return if a high-selling title like NEW AVENGERS takes the price increase, and those additional revenues can make up for a lot more other titles being able to remain at the cheaper price. In terms of THOR dropping back down to $2.99, I don’t know specifically what the reasoning was, but my guess is that, with the award-winning team of JMS and Olivier Coipel moving on, and the trepidation that’s created among fans who’ve really dug what they’ve been doing and fear that the series will no longer be as good, we’re trying to make it easier to entice people to stay on board and check out what Kieron and Billy have to offer.

> Any chance of seeing an “Adam the Blue Marvel” ongoing? I loved the mini-series >

No plans for an ADAM ongoing right this second, but hopefully we’ll find some other place to spotlight the character within the line, now that we’ve brought him back to prominence.

>Any work being done on a digital comics iphone app?

Posted by scott19438 on 2009-08-25 10:59:07>

I’m sure there are at least talks about the possibilities, but nothing that’s in a stage where I could announce anything to anybody. But as can be seen through the recently-announced deal we’ve got in place to provide comics content through the PSP, our slowly-expanding line of Motion Comics, and the ever-growing digital library of the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited library, we clearly see digital media as the next great step forwards for what we do, and are exploring all potential avenues.

>Why do booked with international lead characters seem to struggle in the US market, like Captain Britain & MI:13 and Alpha Flight? yes, i know that Wolverine’s Canadian, but APART from him. >

I don’t know that it’s any one thing, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that it’s all part of the same phenomenon that makes it more difficult to sell series with female leads, or African-American leads, or leads of any other particular cultural bent. Because we’re an American company whose primary distribution is centered around America, the great majority of our existing audience seems to be white American males. So while within that demographic you’ll find people who are interested in a wide assortment of characters of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, whenever your leads are white American males, you’ve got a better chance of reaching more people overall. That’s something that continues to change as the audience for what we do gets larger and more diverse-but even within that diversity, it’s probably going to be easier to make a success of a book with a female or African-American lead before it is a British or Canadian-centric character.

>Marvel’s miniseries have been good expanding the universe of late (eg Patsy Walker: Hellcat and Marvel Divas etc), instead of being ANOTHER Wolverine or X-Men mini… has this been a deliberate editorial choice, or just creators pitching ideas at the right time?

Posted by NewChad on 2009-08-25 12:53:10>

We’re always trying to expand the parameters of what we do in one way or another, and these things tend to go in waves. We experiment with a bunch of things, some of them work and some of them don’t, and then we contract back before starting another wave of experimentation. In the case of DIVAS, that concept has been kicking around in one form or another for something like five years, but it wasn’t until Roberto took a stab at it (under the auspices of now-departed editor Warren Simons) that we got something that we thought really worked. And even then, it took awhile for the book to get up and running-there were a couple of occasions when I had to push people away from picking up on Firestar in the wake of CIVIL WAR because I knew this title was in the pipeline.

All right, more tomorrow.

Tom B

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