A post from my old Marvel blog, another in which I answered questions posed to me by the readers.
Reader Questions 1
February 16, 2010 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General
All right, folks, you’ve waited long enough. Time to start burrowing through the answers to the questions you asked!
>how is it determined when following publication something will be added to the digital collection? i’m not talking about archival stuff, i’m talking about new stuff. it’d be great to be able to catch up with the last few months of a new title i’m considering, or read side stories in big crossovers from books i don’t read, but the delay is such that in most cases that doesn’t work. for example, i don’t buy avengers: the initiative, but i get the vague impression that i’m missing an interesting part of siege at present. i’ve also been wanting to catch up on some recent invincible iron man stuff- another book i don’t generally read- that isn’t out in TPB yet and my local shop sold out of the issues. i was hoping digital would solve these problems for me- so far, it hasn’t. (i have some gripes about the reader as well, but that’s another issue.) >
This is one of those situations where we need to take the needs of all of our partners into account. As of yet, we haven’t offered any of our regular titles through the MDCU until they’ve been on sale for more than six months. This is to give our Retailer partners sufficient time to be able to sell the books (which is something we like when they do) without facing immediate competition from us with a day-and-date digital edition. I expect that, sooner or later, we’re going to begin to experiment a bit more with getting closer to day-and-date, but never in a manner that jeopardizes the livelihood of our retailers. So there’s always going to be a bit of delay between when the books go on sale and the soonest you’ll be able to access them in the digital collection, I’m afraid.
> i feel like i’m getting a lot of crossover stuff out of order lately. i know the issue of cap: reborn has been addressed, and i get that, but siege #1 came out before thor 606, and that confused me to no end since siege was predicated on the idea that asgard was back in broxton. also, the current issue of x-factor has them in latveria- is this before or after asgard leaves? you’ve spoken before about having creators in conflict with one another because they want to do something to a character that will have a serious effect in another book (i think the example given was something about wolverine showing up in an x-men, solo, and avengers story all at once, and being incapacitated in at least one of them), but once that’s resolved, does it affect the dates on which you’ll actually release a book at all? or are release dates done on a more “it comes out when it’s ready” per-book basis?
Posted by structurefall on 2010-02-05 18:56:53>
We typically do everything we can to have the events in the books line up as best as possible. But sometimes, things happen. In the case of THOR, delays on the last few JMS issues pushed everything back by a month or so beyond the point where SIEGE was movable-so, like with REBORN, we had to make the best bad choice and have things ship a little bit out of sequence. In the case of X-FACTOR, though, since the Asgardians play no role in that story, it’s somewhat irrelevant. They could be off in the distance in the backgrounds when the X-Factor and FF characters are in Latveria-or they might not be. This is the sort of instance (like the fact that characters such as Spider-Man or Wolverine are in multiple titles every month, in different places and different situations) where it’s simply the nature of the comic book publishing world, always has been. That’s a bit different that having, say, the same villain showing up in three different places with three different motivations and M.O.s (and meeting three different fates!) It’s all a judgment call, based on what’s truly an issue and what’s actually possible without slicing the stories and the work into sausage. Sometimes we get it more right than other times, but it’s always something we strive for.
>In much the same way BMBendis’s love for Luke Cage and Spider-Woman brought them to the forefront of the current Marvel world, who is it that you love with a great passion, that is perhaps overlooked by the current trend? This isn’t to say “who would you put into the Avengers”, but more, who would you like to receive some mainstream A-List type attention that doesn’t quite have that slot yet? It’s always interesting to hear which obscure characters people in the industry have a love for. >
I don’t know that I have anybody who falls into this list anymore. Most of the characters about whom I felt this way I’ve been able to play with, dust off, and do something with again later So it’s more specific things that I lean towards. I wish that more people picked up and dug the recent STRANGE limited series that Mark Waid and Emma Rios did, because I really enjoyed putting it together, and would have liked to have done more. But that’s really for the audience to decide-there’ll always be another Dr. Strange project of some sort somewhere down the line, and if this take wasn’t as appealing to a wide variety of people as it was to me, that doesn’t erase the fun I had putting it together.
>If you could live in any film-world – be it Tatooine in Star Wars 1 [or 4 if you prefer], Avatar’s lush planet full of blue cats, or any of the numerous Miyazaki animated landscapes – where would you pick?>
Posted by RaphaelW on 2010-02-05 18:58:00>
Any Frank Capra film. In black and white.
>1) How (or when) will the events at the end of Mystic Arcana be dealt with in the Marvel U? I know it was several years ago, but what happened seemed very earth-moving. I apologize if this has been answered somewhere and I just haven’t seen it. >
This says more about me than it does about that series, Hecate-but what earth-moving thing happened that needs to be followed up on? I honestly may have simply missed it, or forgotten about it, but I don’t recall any huge issue that still needed to be dealt with.
>2) Will there be any new Nextwave within a forseeable future?
Posted by Hecate_Guy on 2010-02-05 19:01:41>
They’ve been talked about recently, so with any luck…
>I’m interested in how does Marvel stores the thousands of comics it has in its collection for reprints. I imagine most of it must be scanned and stored on computer by now. but how did you guys do it before computers? does Marvel really have a copy of every issue it has ever published?
Posted by Maestro on 2010-02-05 19:11:08>
The short answer is no, not even close. When I started at Marvel twenty years ago, our bound volume room was in pretty good shape, but even then it wasn’t complete (the earliest issue of FANTASTIC FOUR we had was, I think, #38.) And in the intervening years, especially through the bankruptcy period, much of that material has been stolen (every once in a while a bound volume turns up on eBay that looks like one of the Marvel ones, and I refer the auction to our legal department), to the point where we’ve got only a spotty selection of back issues, nothing near complete. To make matters even more difficult, around fifteen years ago Marvel stopped binding the new books every year, so as individual issues got borrowed, they too would sometimes not be properly returned. So while we do still maintain a Bound Volume Library, it’s far from complete. Instead, as we need stuff, we tend to buy or borrow it (I’ve brought in copies of my own books to lend as reference for a number of things over the years, and Ralph Macchio is a perennial donor-it seems like half of his collection is here at the Marvel offices at any given time.)