Friday, May 20, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Quesada turns on the spin cycle

Newsarama has been doing a weekly Q&A session with Marvel Comics EIC Joe Quesada, and among this weeks topics was the size of the X-Men line, to which Joe commented at one point:

Now, that’s not to say that we won’t tie them together from time to time, but if they all run independent, then what’s the reason behind the complaint except that people want to post, "Hey, Joe said that he was going to do this certain thing with publishing and now five years later he’s changed his mind." This isn’t morals. Political beliefs or religion, Matt, it’s business and we are allowed to be flexible aren’t we? And if we’re making it so you don’t have to read all of them, then why should you care that we have more than one or twenty for that matter?

Well, in answer to his question, why should we care?
The answer is because you’re confusing, or perhaps trying to confuse us, between the difference why you, Marvel Comics, should care, and why we the readers, industry, or competitors should care. Marvel Comics doesn’t need to care, it’s a business, and it’s their prerogative, or to their benefit to saturate the market with as much product as possible, but that is not to say that it’s not potentially detrimental to the industry, the market, and/or the fans. Marvel sucking up dollars from a watered down franchise is great for their bottom line, but has potential affects, or ramifications outside of that. We all want to see a healthy market, but publishing policies that glut the market, either through an avalanche of offerings from a popular franchise/property, or line wide stunt products, come at a cost. You end up with more people trying shitty books, designed to chase a dollar, that miss out on potential quality books with far less exposure, small press or otherwise. For example, critically solid Marvel offerings struggle (She Hulk, Runaways), while critically panned franchise titles move many more units, with the end result being lower quality of product offered to the market. So, yes, if you offer 10, 20, 40, 100, x-titles, we have good reason to care, on many levels. For you to tell us otherwise is pure spin.

That said, I like Quesada, and if he was intentially using spin there, that's alright, that's his job. The number of x-books may be astronomically high, but they are making the effort to offer something different with each one, and they are bound to miss the target at times in terms of quality, so I'm not really faulting them on that, just the mentality that we shouldn't care one way or the other.

You can find the full feature HERE

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