MyCup o' Joe is the weekly communiqué from Marvel Comics Editor in Chief Joe Quesada to the legion of Mighty Marvelites Assembled! Every Friday, Joe will sit down with journalist Jim McLauchlin to answer questions on the pressing issues of the day at Marvel and throughout comics.
And you get to chip in as well! Joe will be answering YOUR questions every week! To get in on the fun, post your questions at the bottom of this page!
JM: Robert Kirkman, rabble-rouser!
Rabble- rouser? What the heck is that? What are you, like…80 years old? Is that prohibition speak? What's next, you going to call someone a whipper-snapper?
JM: Perhaps. But suffice to say, Mr. Kirkman has got some attention with
a…what? A "call to action," maybe, for creators to spend more time and effort generating new, creator-owned properties, and less on work-for-hire stuff from Marvel or DC. Your thoughts?
Well. I don't know how much Robert has spoken about this in entirety. I've only seen the green-screen vlog he did, but I've heard he's done some subsequent follow-up interviews on the subject. So, just for the record, the vlog is all I've seen so I'll have to limit my responses to that if that's cool.
JM: Have at it.
While there's definitely a discussion to be had about work for hire and creator-owned, there are several things in Robert's vlog that don't make sense to me and are filled with some huge generalizations. Robert is a very talented guy and I can certainly see where he's coming from, but he's only looking at it from his particular perspective, which is a unique one, as it's a perspective that comes from a career filled with great success.
There's much I could say on the subject, but actually, Brian Bendis has really spoken beautifully about this in his most recent
Word Balloon podcast
, and you can check that out yourself.
JM: Well, last I checked, tweren't "MyCup o' Bendis," so how about a few words on the subject, even if you feel it's redundant.
Oy, sure, okay.
Robert's opening statement where he compares comics to movies and novels and how no one aspires to do "Pulp Fiction 2" or "Moby Dick 2" is a pretty broad generalization. I mean, you may want to tell that to J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof who are currently working on the next "Star Trek" movie, or all the big-name directors who are dying to get their hands on the next big superhero franchise. Also, what do you say to the litany of authors who have worked on "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" novels, as well those who wrote subsequent Sherlock Holmes stories? This of course doesn't even touch on the authors who write for established TV shows or the stand-up comedians who write for other comics or sitcoms.
Look, the hard reality is that work-for-hire keeps every facet of the entertainment industry going, and that includes comics. It makes no difference if you're a big-name talent or lesser known. And for a very clear sample of that, Robert needs to look no further than most of the other partners at Image Comics, who, after launching their creator-owned ideas, now run their businesses through work-for-hire. I don't say this to be disparaging, just as a matter of fact.
Robert also states that in the work-for-hire world, when you're hot you're hot and when you're not…your career is over. He also states that it's been "proven" that creators have longer careers in the world of creator-owned. Well, "proven" is pretty hard to quantify, no less validate, and for every guy who has had a long career in the world of creator-owned, I could find just as many, if not more, who have been doing work-for-hire for just as long if not longer. Also, from my perspective, the "hot and not" argument has no boundaries and applies to whether you're doing work-for-hire or creator-owned. The big difference is—and this is important—when you're "not hot" in the world of work-for-hire, you can still get work doing your thing on lesser-selling titles if you're talented. It's still possible to make a decent living. However, when you're "not hot" in the world of creator-owned, you run the risk of starving to death.
JM: So bottom line, do you think going the creator-owned route is a bad idea?
No, absolutely not. I don't say this because I believe one is better than the other, but to point out that it isn't that black-and-white. Conversely, if Robert or someone were to make a statement that big-name talent should ONLY be doing work-for-hire, I wouldn't agree with that either in total. One extreme is just as inaccurate as the other.
I totally agree that if you want to take the plunge into creator-owned work, if you can afford to do it and feel you have a good idea…go for it! It can be incredibly fulfilling. But to state that creator-owned work is ALL creators should be doing is a bit out of touch with the majority of the creator community, and a very narrow point of view. But I get that—Robert is just being a salesman here, it's his job, he's new Image partner, so that's his new point of view. No one should begrudge him that, but as a creator who has done both, and since he's telling Marvel what it should be publishing, I feel that it's important for those who haven't
done creator-owned to be aware that there are hurdles and more work involved than it seems.
JM: Yet guys like Mike Mignola make it look comparatively easy.
Here's another hard reality: When it comes to creator-owned work, not every creator can afford to do it, and certainly not every creator can afford to do it ALL the time. We look at guys like Mike Mignola or Frank Miler as shining beacons of doing your own thing, but for every Mike or Frank, there are hundreds of creators out there who have not met with even an iota of that success or attention. For 90% of the creators out there, doing creator-owned work is a luxury. At the end of the day, we're all freelance artists and have to pay our bills through our art. For most, a work-for-hire check is a guarantee; creator-owned is a lotto ticket.
Again, I don't say this to discourage people from doing creator-owned stuff. We at Marvel developed the creator-owned Icon imprint, and I personally feel it can be a very important step in a creator's evolution if he or she feels they want to take it. But that said, it's certainly easier for the top creators to do it, because they have a bit more of the financial wherewithal and a larger, built-in fan base which mitigates some of the risk. While it's certainly no guarantee that a superstar creator will make a profit, they might be able to sleep at night a tad easier than an unknown going for broke. Back during the glut days, creator-owned was money in the bank because EVERYTHING was selling through the roof regardless of the quality. Today, creator-owned is never a given from a financial point of view, especially for an artist.
The other very important thing to realize about creator-owned—and I've been there—is how much time from your actual day it takes to get your book together and out on the stands. When you start to break down the hours you spend writing and or drawing, paying for editors, colorists, letterers, printing, distributing, promoting, accounting and so many more things, you'll realize that you may be making less per book than you did when you were just writing or drawing it. Yes, if your property gets optioned you stand the chance of getting a big payday, but the odds are against you, even during these gold rush days of Hollywood. Now, you could go and do the whole thing soup to nuts—write it, draw it, color it and etc.—but now you have to look at how much time it's going to take you to do each project, and weigh that against what you're making.
JM: But if your property hits it big, it can be a pretty big cash-in. Them Ninja Turtles did okay!
Well, therein can lie another misconception. I was lucky enough to have a heck of a payday on Ash several years ago, but the money I made from subsequent options was laughable, as was the back end. That's kind of the dirty secret about so many of these "option" deals. We creators want to put on a good face because it makes us look cool and important, but for so many of our properties, the money we make on ancillary stuff like movie and TV deals is pretty embarrassing if you were to really dig deep. Again, this isn't true for everyone as there are some creators who have had nice paydays—take a look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!—and each case is different. But for many, the money at the end of the day is surprisingly disappointing. But I guess the bragging rights can be cool.
And keep in mind, pretty much everything we've been talking about so far addresses creator-owned solely from a financial standpoint. For some, creator-owned is a creative outlet, a way to get your ideas out there. If that's your ultimate goal, then none of the above applies, and this is indeed the case for many creators who just love the purity of doing their own stuff, regardless of what it sells on the stands.
JM: At the end of the day, do you think creator-owned is healthy for the comics biz?
It's healthier for creators if you want to scratch the itch of working on something that is totally
yours. But for the industry, it's a whole different story as—and this is a very important distinction to make that Robert doesn't address—
Creator owned is not a genre
People don't go into a comic shop looking to buy the next creator-owned book. They go in looking to buy what's good.
But with respect to the health of the comics industry, I think we can all argue that one of the things that's important to its health are top talents doing as many issues as they can. One thing that I find—and I have no proof, mind you, but I'm sure if we did the research it would pan out—is that when a creator or creators go and do creator-owned work, their output slows down. Especially in the artist's case. A few have managed to keep a decent schedule, but those are few and far between. As it is, it's tough for the bigger talents to keep up with their work-for-hire schedules. I should know, I hear about it all the time, and I also happen to be one of them. So infrequency is only something that would increase with more creator-owned titles. Again, especially on the artist's side.
JM: So you're saying the creator-owned angle is easier for writers than artists?
Absolutely, just as work-for-hire is easier for writers. Quite simply, most writers can multitask and work on several projects at one time. That's why from that perspective, it's easier for a writer to sustain themselves on creator-owned because they can launch three or four properties at one time. Also, their odds of hitting on a movie or TV deal increase with each one of these projects. It's also easier for a writer to work in both work-for-hire and creator-owned fields, so they can have their cake and eat it to.
Not so for the majority of artists. Unless you're John Romita Jr., who can do 30 books a year as an artist, a short creator-owned mini-series can add up to a year if not longer to do. Don't forget, you're doing more
than just drawing the book, and even if you're not writing it, you have to be your own editor, calendar keeper, marketing department and art director. And this extends to every single issue you do. And if you decide that you need to hire people to be those things for you, each one of these people mean money out of your pocket. And this doesn't even take into consideration the time involved dealing with lawyers and accountants just to get your business life in order. As someone who has been there, trust me, it's a lot of work.
There's also one other aspect of this that the comic fan on the street doesn't see. While writers have the advantage of being able to do more that one monthly book, the one place where we artists can make up some revenue is through the sale of our original art. This is also a place where we get hurt, generally, when doing creator-owned. Pages with the bigger, iconic characters sell significantly better than a brand new, unknown character. Yes, there are a some exceptions—Mike Mignola and Hellboy again—but I could probably count them on one hand.
JM: So do you advocate a particular position? What's your personal philosophy on this?
To me it's simple. If you have the hankering, and if you have the means to do it, I think you mix-and-match. I think several creators have proven recently that a mixture of both is a very healthy thing for any creator's brain and well-being. And once again, at the end of the day, we need look no further than the partners at Image or even Frank Miller. At one time or another, they've all returned to doing work-for-hire and I see no problem with that.
I come from a place where I completely understand this, as does our Publisher, Dan Buckley, and that's why we created Icon. Several years ago, Johnny Romita Jr. had a creator-owned project that he really wanted to do called "The Gray Area", and we just couldn't facilitate it at that juncture in our recreation of Marvel as a company. Even though Johnny was under contract with Marvel, I'm the guy who recommended that he go to Image and that Marvel allow him to do it as well. But now with Icon, we're able to facilitate scratching that itch for our top creators so that if it's something that they want to do, they need look no further than their own back yard to do it. And, also, with Icon you have the added bonus of the "Marvel" exposure which everyone knows is important and that goes for whether you're selling comics and how Hollywood looks at you.
JM: Now, you've got a couple hats, here. Obviously, you work for Marvel. And equally obviously, you're created or co-created original, self-owned stuff such as Ash or Painkiller Jane. Do you ever find yourself in a head v. heart conflict?
Nope. Never. The lines are very clear for me. I'm very clear on the fact that I work for a work-for-hire company, and that Marvel pays me for my ideas. So, knowing that, I don't hold back. I couldn't do my job if I was holding back stuff, and it wouldn't be fair to Marvel. They pay me well to do what I do, and I give them my best work. It's a relationship that is very above board and is pretty clear for both parties. If someday Marvel or I felt that the relationship was lopsided, then I'm sure either party would make that known, and it would either get resolved or it wouldn't.
To that, I do have ideas that have nothing to do with superheroes or the Marvel Universe, and those are ideas that I jot down and look to perhaps do another day.
JM: And—newsflash—you have a new, creator-owned property on the horizon for 2009 or 2010, yes?
No, not exactly. I have an idea that I've been percolating for a while now. I may start it sometime in 2009, but when it sees the light of day, who knows? Perhaps 2010. I still have my job to do at Marvel, so it's something that I would do on whatever little down time I had.
JM: Can we safely assume that said new property will be published at Marvel's Icon imprint? Or can I interest you the newly forming McLauchlin Publishing and Drain Unclogging service?
If I do it, I'd love to do it at Icon, as I'd like to keep it in the family. And the Icon deal is pretty sweet. But the concept is more akin to a children's book, so it's also up to Marvel to see if it's a good fit for the imprint.
JM: So through this prism, let's take a look at DAREDEVIL: FATHER in specific. You created new characters such as The Santerians, Johnny Sockets and NeRo there, and they're now Marvel characters. Why not just "hang on them" for yourself?
Because at the end of the day, it's not something that I wanted to do or felt was fair to do. I was telling a rather personal tale in DAREDEVIL: FATHER and these were characters that were needed to make the story work for me. Marvel gave me DD to use as my vehicle; I simply gave something back through the act of creating a Daredevil story. I could argue that I would never have had the ideas for these characters if I hadn't
been working on a story involving DD and the Marvel U. That's the funny thing about the act of creation; it's very chicken and the egg.
One thing I learned a long time ago, and this pertains to anything from money to ideas, is that hoarding things is a sure-fire way to eventually run yourself out of what you're trying to hold on to. I never hoard ideas because I'm confident that tomorrow, I'll have a dozen more. Once you start hoarding stuff and considering every little thing that pops into your brain as precious, then you're setting yourself up on a subconscious level to eventually have nothing worthwhile to say because you're coming at it from a point of lacking, as opposed to one that tells your brain that the supply is unlimited.
JM: Some creators have responded with remarks about Kirkman's ideas. Do you feel compelled to do so? Wearing that Marvel hat, do you feel it "appropriate" to do so?
No, I didn't feel compelled until you decided to bring it up here, which is kind of funny in that I've been lucky enough to have the unique opportunities of doing both work-for-hire and creator-owned, and had success and failure in both arenas. I felt that enough people had spoken up on the subject, so they didn't really need my nose sticking into it, but now here we are.
JM: My apologies. I owe you one beer.
(laughs) Nah, I don't think that's necessary.
JM: I could buy it for you on the boat, as part of Mr. Kirkman's remarks involved all the publishers getting on a boat and taking a cruise to figure out how to "fix comics." Will you have a berth on that voyage?
Nah, I don't think that's
necessary, either. According to Robert's statements, he feels that Marvel and DC should stop doing mature and sophisticated stuff and leave that to Image and everyone else doing creator-owned. I think I found that funnier than anything else. Hold on a sec, I'm going to tell DC to stop producing superhero comics and that they should only do Vertigo because that's what's good for the comic's industry?
Actually, do you think that would work?
JM: Worth a try.
But I will say this: Near the end of his vlog, Robert says that our Marvel Adventures line isn't producing the "right" kind of comics for kids and that we're not correctly hitting the demographic because we're talking down to them. While I don't quite understand that nor agree with it, it does sound to me like Robert knows exactly the kind of books that little kids will like, so I'd like to propose that if that's the case, then these are exactly
the kind of books that Robert should be creating himself! But hey, who am I to tell people what kind of books they should be producing?
Come on DC, forget that superhero stuff.
JM: We're running a bit long, so moving on, your November solicits just hit, and ULTIMATUM #1 and #2 hit that month. You've doled out a kajillion teasers, but what's the one nugget you think everyone should know about this?
I got better than one; I got three!
1) No one is safe!
2) Every team will sustain a loss of an original cast member!
3) Jeph Loeb dances the Macarena.
JM: And holy goosh! A Sal Buscema variant cover on Amazing Spider-Man #577. And THE AGE OF THE SENTRY #3! How's Sal doing these days?
To be honest with you Jim, as far as I can remember, Sal and I have never actually met. But I hear from Tom Brevoort, who keeps in touch with Sal, that he's doing fine, enjoying his retirement while still keeping his hand in inking AMAZING SPIGER-GIRL and doing these anniversary covers. He's actually celebrating his 40th year of working with Marvel this year!
JM: Y'know, Sal seems almost one of those unsung "building blocks" of the Marvel Universe. Everyone recognizes Jack Kirby, John Romita, Steve Ditko and the like as the standouts, but Sal was just rock-solid…just about forever. Was he a guy you recognized or dug in as a kid?
Of course I recognized Sal. Both he and his brother were huge parts of the building blocks that made Marvel great. Sal is one of those artists that can draw anything
, and his style is synonymous with a look that has become quintessentially Marvel. I will say that I think that Sal is very underrated in the pantheon of artists from that era.
JM: Totally agreed. Y'know, I never recognized the artists by name as a kid, but I remembered the guys I liked. I found out years later—when I started to put a name to the artist—my two favorites were John Romita and John Buscema. Sal took a while for me to appreciate. So did Gil Kane. Were there any "delayed reaction" guys like that for you?
It took me a very long while to "get" Ditko's work. I loved his wild imagination, but his art style never resonated with me as a little kid. I was all about Kirby, but unlike yourself, I loved Gil Kane. Man, could that guy draw!
JM: Absolutely. And more Spidey, you have Marcos Martin drawing AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #578. This guy is really different, and rather cool. Where'd you find him?
Marcos is brilliant! He comes to us via Brian K. Vaughan, who was a huge fan of his, and pitched his DR STRANGE: BLOOD OATH project with Marcos attached as the artist. This was his first Marvel work, and we all fell in love with his stuff. It was Steve Wacker who envisioned him on Spidey, and it's been a homerun call!
JM: That 'nuff?
Yup, reader questions.
See no evil asks:
Is Spider-Man ever going back to the black symbiote costume again?
See no evil, Pete's already got the greatest costume in comics! Why would he ever wear anything else? But okay, since you asked. When it's needed (or boredom strikes him) he does have the black NON-SYMBIOTE costume as a stealth option. It's also a nice fashion accessory to have handy from time to time, as we all know that everything goes with black. However, that costume comes with a lot of emotional baggage, so he probably won't turn to it easily.
Pedro wants to know…
I recently read online comments made by Robert Kirkman about saving the comic book industry and wanting Marvel and DC to focus on younger readers. Your thoughts on what he said?
Pedro, you probably got a good portion of your answer at the beginning of this column, but with respect to younger readers, today's Marvel is focusing on every single age group. We of course have our MAX line, which is for mature readers, and our Marvel U. line which everyone is familiar with. But we now have a wonderful Marvel Adventures line which is geared directly at younger kids as well as our Marvel Classics line, which is for everyone as well. Today you'll find a Marvel that is probably more diverse than it's ever been in its entire history. Whether it's genre, different age groups or even creator owned, I think we're covering a lot of bases these days.
My question is, why does any one single company have
to focus on only one thing? Isn't diversity a good thing?
Steven Ghost queries:
Will there be another series about the new Defenders team written by Joe Casey? I really liked THE LAST DEFENDERS (but Son of Satan should really lose that helmet).
Steven, currently there aren't any plans. But you never know.
Valeria Kementari demands:
Please, please make HELLCAT into an ongoing series! I LOVE that mini!
Nothing would please us more, Valeria. This is absolutely one of my favorite new books. But right now, the sales on the book won't support an ongoing.
However YOU can change that!
Get out there and tell people how awesome Hellcat is, and why they should buy it. Get in on the ground floor with writer Kathryn Immonen and artist David Lafuente (not to mention colorist John Rauch and letterer Dave Lanphear's contributions). They have BRIGHT futures ahead of them here at Marvel.
IgG wants to know:
I'm digging SECRET INVASION and think the variant covers are pretty cool. My comic store sells the standard cover at the cover price, but variant covers get marked up a couple of extra bucks. Any thoughts on this practice?
IgC, my thoughts are pretty simple here: It's really up to each individual comic shop owner. If they feel that they want to put a premium on something that they feel is scarce, then that's up to them. You as the consumer have a right as well, if you feel that that's un unfair practice, then you should find another store that doesn't mark them up. I know that there are some that don't.
Drew dreamt the infinite chimes in with:
I'd be more excited about Stephen King's "N". if I had a way of actually viewing it.
I was wondering about the nature of the Marvel Universe the other day. The Exiles protect all the alternate universes and thus, alternate Earths. Cable has traveled to a possible future which brings me to my question: Is an alternate future a glimpse of the future of a parallel Earth? If this is the case, then does each alternate Earth in the Exiles have a number of possible futures? I'm gonna go lay down, my head hurts...
Drew, you do realize you can view "N". for free on your computer, right? I'm assuming you have a computer, otherwise…how did you submit this question?
With all this future stuff, I always try to keep it as simple as possible. From this moment branches out several possible futures. That happens every moment, but it doesn't compound, in my view. Some futures go in and out of existence from moment to moment, but some (the more likely ones) stay strong and are changed in small ways. The future that Cable is in is one of those strong possibilities. The future that Layla Miller is in is another. Now if we want to expand that onto all the alternate universes out there, I think the logic would remain the same. But that gets so big and complicated, I'd rather not think about it. I need to go lay down, too.
Joe, they took Spider-Man J away from the new volume of Spider-Man Family! Are we going to get Spider-Man J back in ASMF? It was my favorite part of that bi-monthly series. Spider-Man J was like dropping a lot of acid, watching the nature channel, and reading Spider-Man comics all at the same time. It was crazy.
Al, sorry, no plans currently for more "acid trip" Spider-Man J stories.
Sandra takes the plunge with:
I'm a huge Sub-Mariner fan, and with the exception of the long lost son plotline, enjoyed the Revolution mini-series last year. And in my extremely biased opinion, the conclusion of that series was fantastic! What a wealth of story opportunities! And yet, here we are, eight months later with nothing other than Namor turning himself in to the Order??! When are we going to see stories about that honking huge Atlantean immigration problem the surface world is suffering? And what's the Atlantean army doing in Latveria by its lonesome, since Doom is also in custody?
Even more important, when are you going to give Subby his own ongoing book? As you said, next year Marvel is going to celebrate 70 years, and what better way to celebrate than giving the first Marvel super-hero his own book?
And give the guy a love life again, and I don't mean Sue Richards. There really are more fish in the sea.
And is that noir project with the three lovely black-and-white teaser images a Daredevil project?
JQ: Hey, Sandra, how you doin'? The Atlantean army isn't in Latveria, they're scattered across the globe. We'll see a little bit more of them and of Namor in Incredible Hercules any day now. He and his guys have also been appearing in Avengers/Invaders. And then there are big plans afoot for Namor after Secret Invasion wraps up.
In terms of giving him his own series again, we'd need to find a writer who had the proper approach before we could make such a thing a reality. Preferably somebody well-versed in haiku.
Love life, fish in the sea, that's a good one!
Is it Daredevil? Kinda. Actually, DD and more! "Marvel Noir" is the header for three new series that re-imagine some classic Marvel characters in 1930s ear, "film noir"-type settings. Come December, we'll roll out with X-MEN NOIR, DAREDEVIL NOIR, and SPIDER-MAN NOIR.
And here's another image you might not be as familiar with. At least not yet.
Hey Joe, got a couple questions…
1) Will we be seeing Shang-Chi showing up in any titles soon?
2) How involved with Secret invasion is Moon Knight, and will he ever join the Secret Avengers? I've always thought adding him and Daredevil would make the team perfect.
3) Will there ever be any more stories to expand on the Earth X trilogy? Maybe an ongoing series? I feel there are a lot of stories yet to be told there.
1) No immediate plans for Shang Chi right this moment.
2) Moon Knight's not involved in SECRET INVASION at all, but he will be running into a number of other heroes over the course of the next few months. And anything's possible in terms of the New Avengers roster after SECRET INVASION.
3) There aren't any plans at the moment.
When will we see more Abba in the Marvel U?
Michael, maybe if there's ever a Dazzler revival.
Timo McShade asks:
In response to your Comic-Con photos, I would like to say that I was happy with the outcome of that Phillies-Mets game. Of course I am from Philly and a Phillies fan. I know the Mets have the lead now but don't write off the Phils.
And I thought the tattoo of Daredevil on the cross was amazing, especially since it is recreated almost perfectly from your cover from DAREDEVIL #3.
In SECRET INVASION #5, Reed's super gun reveals all the Skrulls, and one of them was Mockingbird. I thought it had been well established that they best way to spot a Skrull was to test their mind. That is how Hawkeye knew that was the real Mockingbird.
Was this just an error on the writer's part, or did the Skrulls do a mind job on her similar to what they did to the Skrull Cap?
As always make mine Marvel.
Tim, your Phillies are a good team, but not as good as they were last year. And last year, the Mets just happened to be horrible. You have to admit, you didn't win the division, the Mets lost it. I'm expecting a better outcome this year from my team, but you never know, anything can happen. And yeah, the tattoo work was pretty amazing.
We haven't established anything of the kind. If it was that simple to spot a Skrull infiltrator, they'd all have been found out by now. Hawkeye was wrong about Mockingbird. And even Mockingbird herself believed her cover story while she was embedded, exactly like the Skrull Cap and the other guys who were on that pod-ship which was deliberately set up as a tactic.
You mentioned that Maggot will be making an appearance in an X-Men book in the future. Did he survive his time in the Weapon X Concentration Camp, or will he be resurrected?
Sorry, Dale. That was a joke. We joked that Nick Lowe wants to bring back Maggot. Nick's a tad misled on the "coolness" of Maggot, and I may have to fire him.
Ca Ca Ca Carlos queries:
So I finally got to read PUNISHER KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE by writer Garth Ennis with the reprint coming out recently. There's just something great about watching the heroes I love and grew up with die in horrible, awesome ways!
Now any chance of a reprint of RUINS, the world-gone-wrong version of MARVELS?
Carlos, you may have some unresolved issues here with respect to your love of your Marvel heroes. That said, Garth Ennis sends his love.
I miss the little heads or busts of the title characters in the top left corner of books. There was a short revival of that with X-Men and Uncanny X-Men last year, but then it dropped again.
Any chance of it coming back?
Patrick, I'm a fan of those as well, and from time to time we do bring the old trade dress back as we did in the X-books a short time ago. Still, the thing to be careful with is that that kind of look is something that we longtime readers remember fondly, but many newer readers have no connection with nor affection for. More then the floating heads, I personally always loved the full figure in the corner box, (as seen in Spidey comics these days) but that's just me.
Anyway, if you dig the old trade dress then write us and let us know. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it come back.
If you were moving to Hawai'i and could only take three Marvel titles with you initially before the rest of your comics arrived a month later, what three titles would you choose? I know it's a strange question, but I'm in this situation and wondered what your suggestion would be. Thanks for your time.
Hmmm, that is a tough one, Spider-Man, there's just so much stuff that I would want to take with me. I'd probably start with any of our Marvel Adventure books featuring Power Pack. My daughter and I have tons of fun reading those books together and she's become a Power Pack junkie because of it. This, of course, is assuming that I'm going to Hawai'i with my family. I'd also take DARK TOWER, as I'm hooked on that series, and then I guess my third book would be NEWUNIVERSAL (whenever a new issue comes out).
1) Out of all the comic book films out this year, which one have you enjoyed (other than "Iron Man" and "Incredible Hulk")?
2) Will we be seeing more of Marvel Boy?
3) If writer Alan Heinberg is doing more YOUNG AVENGERS, will he be exploring the other teens the original Vision earmarked for an Avengers revival?
4) I know its not your department, but will Joss Whedon's RUNAWAYS run be available in digest? And will Terry Moore's?
5) Any chance of more MC2 minis or digests?
Steely, here are your answers.
1) While I really enjoyed "Dark Knight", the length and bleakness got to me. So my vote goes to "Wanted".
2) Yes, in SECRET INVASION #6 this coming week, and beyond.
3) That would definitely be low-hanging fruit to get back to when the time is right.
4) Joss' RUNAWAYS will be out as a trade in December with a possible digest in 2009.
5) There are more classic SPIDER-GIRL digests on the way if that helps.
[An]Tony Stark asks:
Do you think there will be any major innovations in the comic book medium in the near future? The difference between digital coloring and conventional old-school coloring is amazing. Do you see anything of that significance on the horizon for comic books today?
And is there any aspect of Marvel devoted to research and development of new ideas to further marvel's own books, and the medium as a whole?
Antony, of course there will be tons of innovations coming in the next decade that will change things in the world of entertainment and those changes will inevitably affect comics in some way. What the changes are, no one can truly predict. They may change the way comics are made to the way comics are read, the possibilities are limitless.
As for research and development, we're not a tech company, so that's not what we do for a living. Our R and D is creative, characters, stories, etc. But this doesn't mean that we aren't aware of stuff that's in development or that could impact our business.
Sick Bastard asks:
1) Any chance we can get Fred van Lente to write a new Ares mini-series that goes deeper into past while continuing with current situation as an Avenger?
2) I enjoy new characters a lot, especially Adam the Blue Marvel. Is it usually beneficial to put to new characters on a team, after their introduction mini- has been displayed, so they don't get stuck in comic book limbo?
Sick, I hope you feel better.
1) No specific plans for a Fred Van Lente-helmed Ares project, but the big guy is slated to be crossing swords with another Marvel mainstay in the near future.
2) Sometimes it can be. It's not a sure fire way, but it can certainly help.
1) Will we ever see Domino in any of the X-books? I've lost track of where she is.
2) Will Ultimatum lead to Ultimate Howard the Duck? I would love to see this.
3) Will Stephen Colbert's VP choice be Howard the Duck? That could be the most powerful team ever in the Marvel Universe.
4) Please, could we get more Loners series? The first series was great.
5) Will you do a Jessica Jones/Luke Cage series? It could be a great gritty family action drama book.
Ted, thanks for sending these questions. Here ya go.
1) Soon, you're not going to be able to avoid her. She's going to be popping up in X-FORCE, and Matt Fraction keeps bringing her up as well.
Here's the secret about Ultimate Howard the Duck. The Ultimate version is just a guy named Howard wearing a duck suit.
3) Stephen's eagle would eat Howard. So, no.
5) Please, don't give Brian Bendis any ideas.
Learn more about The Hero Initiative
, the only federally chartered charitable organization dedicated to helping comic veterans in medical or financial need. It's a chance for you to give back to the creators who gave you your dreams.