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§ ICv2 sits down with Marvel’s Main Man Dan Buckley for a rare chat:
Part one:

And you see the subscriptions and the download sales coexisting as two different digital models? Yes. And for the time being yes. The consumer will decide. One delivers an experience to browse, it’s streaming. It will allow you to kind of take a look at stuff that you might not want to buy and own. The other one is something you can take with you anywhere. You download it and you can consume it at any time, any place. Each of those experiences will probably evolve into different things. We’re just going to have to see where it takes us. We’re in the great unknown here. We’ve tried to kind of feel our way through the room. No one’s turned the lights on yet. (laughter)

Part two: The part everyone will be talking about as Buckley notes the event mentality is being scaled down:

We’re trying to kind of cleanse the palate a little bit. I’m not saying that we’ll never do a line-wide crossover again. I just think the consumers, the retailers, our creators, our editors all need to breathe a little bit and tell some stories that they want to tell amongst themselves or by themselves. Hopefully that’s something that will excite the creative community. We still have to market it and package it in a way that people can understand it and get excited about it. I’m very excited about that approach, with lending the creators a little bit more time to chew amongst themselves. I’ve read what Fraction wants to do with Thor and it’s really cool stuff by itself. I’ve read what we want to do with Iron Man and I’m very excited about that. It will eventually lead into some other stuff, I’m not denying that, but I’d like to see where everyone takes it and see how it all kind of re-meets others again in the next couple of years.

§ Letting creators kind of run with the ball may be a good idea, as the “I’m getting too old for this sh*t” bug strikes more readers. Cheryl Lynn:

I’m as immature as I ever was, baby. Kicks to the face? I’m all about it. Explosions? Yes, please. Beefcake and cheesecake? By all means! Alpha Male posturing? Oh, yeah. Tough chicks? Bring ‘em to me. But here’s the problem for Marvel and DC. I’ve realized that Marvel and DC do not have a monopoly on any of those things. In fact, Dark Horse, Image, Fox, FX, Activision, and Rockstar Games have all done a much better job of fulfilling my desires as well as eliminating my pet peeves.

…and David Brothers:

Have you ever seen the cover to Amazing Adult Fantasy #9, the series that eventually gave birth to Spider-Man? It’s a Steve Ditko joint, apparently. It’s got this giant monster with underpants, a helmet, and boots on, and the cover copy says “Ever since the dawn of time, nothing can match ‘THE TERROR of TIM BOO BA!’” Below that, the copy declares “The magazine that respects your intelligence!”

The Avengers books don’t respect your intelligence. It’s another entry in this absurd game of “Can you top this?” where the villains are getting exponentially more vile (Dr. Light goes from goof-off idiot to stone cold rapist to rape addict to a guy who is doing something vile off-screen to a recently murdered young girl’s skull, the villain of Blackest Night literally has sex with dead bodies because he’s ka-razy go coconuts, even though before he just kinda shot laser beams at people, Moonstone suddenly wants to put it on anything with a third leg when before she was just a scheming psychologist-type) and the heroes are… stuck in 1961.



18802 Quick links


∞ Today’s DC announcement: Marc Guggenheim on Superman:

GUGGENHEIM: There’s three iterations of Superman that I’m the fondest of. I don’t know if that affection will filter down into my writing or not, but the three depictions I’m most fond of are the Richard Donner “Superman” movies, the John Byrne relaunch, and just to pick a potentially random iteration, I love the way Superman was depicted in the second “Superman vs. Spider-Man” crossover book.

That’s sort of random, but I really enjoyed the way he was portrayed there.


Comments

  1. Not that I disagree with David Brothers’ point entirely, but if you’re going to say “The Avengers books don’t respect your intelligence,” the next books you talk about should probably be, y’know, Avengers books. Or at least Marvel books. Or at least current books. Not what DC did to Dr. Light in a story that’s five years old at this point.

  2. I hope all the villains of Blackest Night are destroyed by a giant flood that originates from some kid spilling water on a teeny model of a planet.

  3. Yes, it’s a good point, but I was confused by the Dr. Light reference too. Although lately, I’m not sure if even I respect my intelligence, let alone publishers.

  4. If you click through, the paragraph before what Heidi quoted discusses the Avengers, then I bring up Tim Boo Ba for the incredible “respects your intelligence!” copy, then I talk about something both companies are guilty of (ramping up the violence in a way that makes heroes look like wimps) by giving examples from both DC (Dr Light, which has been an evolution over several years) and Marvel (Moonstone suddenly being Lady Sleepsaroundalot).

    Thanks for the link, Heidi.

  5. Sphinx Magoo says:

    I think I can safely say that I miss goofy Doctor Light and goofy Black Hand. I also miss goofy Sonar, the Scorpion and Electro. Maybe even Norman Osborn. It’s not the goofiness I miss so much as that in order to degoof these character, someone decided to add varying levels of ickyness to make them “a viable threat”. Then there’s the seemingly never-ending piling on of depravities perpetrated by these bad guys, to the point where I wish someone would just punch them in the face and send them to jail so we can move on already.

  6. I can see a market for online comics as streaming viewable-only stories. I could see buying a key that unlocks the issue online for a limited period of time, for example. Hopefully the price point would be modest, but there ARE people who would like to read a comic once, and once only, and not want to store it for eternity in a hermetically sealed acid-free vault, etc.

  7. No but I often read comics just once because I don’t feel like a second reading is going to reveal anything that I missed the first time.

  8. I have my doubts that AMAZING ADULT FANTASY #9 really respected anybody’s intelligence.

  9. I’m going to go a little snobby here and say that there are a lot of comics out there that do respect your intelligence, but the Avengers have never and will never be one of them. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally enjoy an Avengers comic, but come on. It’s like whining that Jerry Bruckheimer movies stopped respecting your intelligence.

  10. K-Box says:

    You know, I actually used to like Richard Donner’s Superman, but between Bryan Singer and everyone else, I’ve grown to hate that version of the character simply because of how many fans and creators are so slavish in their adoration of it.

  11. Or that the fight scenes in Asterios Polyp sucked.

  12. Matt Halteman says:

    K-Box, I agree with your sentiment, but strip all that nonsense away and you are left with a near-perfect celluloid representation of the best kind of comic book dream. Forget all the recent stuff and watch it again with a fresh mind. I did recently, with my five-year-old daughter (recommended, as is locking your inner cynic in the other room), and it all came back again. Remember, it’s not the movie’s fault that it got it so right that no one’s been able to top it since.

  13. STUART MOORE AM ROTE

    “I have my doubts that AMAZING ADULT FANTASY #9 really respected anybody’s intelligence.”

    HULLO AM TIM BOO BAH! WANNA SAY STUART MOORE AM WRONG MAXIMUM RESPEX INTELEGENTS BACK IN THE GLORY DAYS!

    NOW WITH INTERNETS MUCH LESS RESPEX THOUGH ALAS

    YO BOO BAH! OUT GOOD NIGHT

  14. Scratchie says:

    Rob raises an interesting point regarding blockbusters and stupidity, but I think there’s been a real change (at least in comics) from a truly earnest and almost innocent stupidity (e.g. superhero comics of the 70s and 80s) to a self-consciously smug stupidity that seems to say “We could write smarter comics but we know you like it better this way!”

  15. jacob lyon goddard says:

    i really don’t think anyone over the age of 14 is picking up Avengers (or any of the other comics mentioned) for an intelligent reading experience.

    what is kind of heartbreakingly funny is that many of the people who write these kinds of comics are almost certainly sitting down and writing what they think an intelligent comic reader is looking for.

    this is the signle greastest time to find legitimately intelligent comics. why are people trying to find them in a format and genre that has ALWAYS been at least a little bit stupid, albeit changing and evolving in its stupidity?

  16. K-Box says:

    K-Box, I agree with your sentiment, but strip all that nonsense away and you are left with a near-perfect celluloid representation of the best kind of comic book dream.

    No. The aesthetic of crystal-tech Krypton sucked as hard as ’70s shag-carpeting, I’ve always found Pa Kent’s death utterly unnecessary, I always disliked the needless complication of the time-warp between Krypton’s explosion and Superman’s landing on Earth, as well as of Jor-El’s AND NOW YOU SHALL LEARN ALL THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE speech, Lex Luthor as a real-estate swindler is such a terrible version of the character that I wish I could retroactively uninvent it, and worst of all, the way that Clark and Lois’ relationship is portrayed was enough to make me quit superhero comics at the age of eight, because I fundamentally disagreed with the idea that being a superhero means that you can never tell people who you are or be who you want to be with.

    I did recently, with my five-year-old daughter (recommended, as is locking your inner cynic in the other room), and it all came back again.

    What’s funny is, I’m actually MORE forgiving of the more now than I was as a child, precisely BECAUSE I’m more cynical, because when I see the characters doing stupid things for no reason, I can say to myself, “Oh, okay, they’re just following genre conventions.” As a little boy, though, I found the Lois/Clark/Superman “love triangle” literally intolerable.

    Remember, it’s not the movie’s fault that it got it so right that no one’s been able to top it since.

    You know what? This is precisely the sort of slavish nostalgic mentality that’s ruining every field of the entertainment industry. I refuse to stan that hard even for things that I LIKE, so I’m sure as hell not going to take the advice of someone who refuses to acknowledge the many, many flaws of a mostly competent but deeply problematic film.

  17. Glenn Simpson says:

    I think all super-villains should go back to just either robbing banks or trying to “take over the world”. Whatever that means.

  18. Scratchie says:

    “…many of the people who write these kinds of comics are almost certainly sitting down and writing what they think an intelligent comic reader is looking for.”

    Sweet Jesus, I hope this isn’t true.

  19. Nate Horn says:

    I thought the Superman movie was boring as Hell when I was a kid. I still think the same way now. I honestly don’t see the appeal in it.

  20. Alwaysoptimistic says:

    Regarding the “the event mentality”, I thought that several of Buckley’s sentences were remarkably similar to Quesada’s Cup O’ Joe from November 27th. I can understand why the message would be the same, but the similarity sounded like they were both reading from a script (at least to me).

  21. AMAZING FANTASY could have justly said that they respected their readers’ “imagination,” because a lot of that stuff was fairly imaginative compared to the DC SF-books back then.

    And in those days, if you the editor/writer/artist didn’t “respect” the reader’s imagination enough to put out something he found tantalizing, then your book didn’t sell and you had to go back to writing ad copy or something.

    Now, we don’t need no steenkin’ imagination; we got Doc Light, Rapist.

  22. Matt Halteman says:

    Wow, thanks for proving what an asshole you are, K-Box. I was actually trying to be helpful.

    Forgive me for taking “You know, I actually used to like Richard Donner’s Superman” as a true statement. I had no idea you actually hated the movie with a fucking passion. Maybe you should have said that and I would have ignored you, rather than trying to be helpful and remind you that you can still enjoy a movie that you said you used to like before outside influences tarnished your opinion. Your dismissal and insulting false characterization of me are also appreciated.

    Enjoy being a self-important, cynical, arrogant elitist prick.

  23. Wraith says:

    Two quick points about the Buckley interview.

    1. Buckley says Marvel doesn’t have anything like WATCHMEN (a 12 issue maxi series with a beginning,middle,and end), which is not entirely true. The original SQUADRON SUPREME maxi series from the 80’s had a beginning, middle,and end. SS was Marvel’s WATCHMEN.

    2. I find it funny that Buckley says “Six years ago you and I would have been very challenged and almost everyone else in the industry would have been very challenged to provide an all-ages superhero comic”. Before Quesada and Jemas started calling the shots (and later Buckley), the over whelming majority of Marvel superhero comics were both suitable for and appealing to people of all ages. To say that it is a challenge to create an all ages superhero comic is a big load of BS.

  24. One more thing; Tim Boo Bah is fucking awesome.

  25. Before Quesada and Jemas started calling the shots (and later Buckley), the over whelming majority of Marvel superhero comics were both suitable for and appealing to people of all ages.

    Suitable – perhaps. Appealing – hardly. Now, to be fair, Bob Harras era was before I got into comics, but from what I’ve seen, most comics from that era weren’t especially creative or engaging (there are, of course, a few exceptions).

    That said, creating an all-ages comic isn’t challenging at all. Creating an all-ages comic that wouldn’t alienate their existing base – that’s a whole other story. Marvel could turn their entire line kid-friendly tomorrow, but I am willing to be you that the fandom would throw a fit that would make the One More Day controversy seem like a polite disagreement.

  26. Wraith says:

    Suitable – perhaps. Appealing – hardly. Now, to be fair, Bob Harras era was before I got into comics, but from what I’ve seen, most comics from that era weren’t especially creative or engaging (there are, of course, a few exceptions).

    That said, creating an all-ages comic isn’t challenging at all. Creating an all-ages comic that wouldn’t alienate their existing base – that’s a whole other story. Marvel could turn their entire line kid-friendly tomorrow, but I am willing to be you that the fandom would throw a fit that would make the One More Day controversy seem like a polite disagreement.

    ______________________________________________

    I’m not just talking about the Bob Harras era. I’m talking about Marvel comics from the 60’s,70’s,80’s,and 90’s. Marvel comics during those 4 decades (regardless of one’s own personal opinion of the quality of the books) were read,bought,and enjoyed by people of ALL AGES. I should also point out that many of the things have been done under Quesada (story wise) were done under the Harras regime (and other previous EIC regimes). Marvel comics before Quesada were more “creative” because they were able to handle/deal with adult subject matter and still remain both suitable for and/or appealing to readers of all ages on various different levels.

    Marvel could easily turn their entire line into all ages comics without alienating most of their existing (and shrinking) hard core fan base of older teens and adults by following 3 simple rules.

    1. Don’t label their books as “ALL AGES”.

    2. Don’t write/talk down to the readers by making the stories and art goofy,campy,childish,and/or corny.

    3. Return to the pre Quesada “all ages” Code approved guidelines regarding content.

    An example of a perfect all ages pre Quesada Code approved Marvel comic is PAD’s first run on INCREDIBLE HULK and Fabian Nieceiza’s NEW WARRIORS run.

  27. Thomas Chen says:

    I thought it was strange when Buckley was asked about kids-friendly comics and if Marvel has enough of them. And he said he thought there were enough. What, you mean the Marvel Adventures line? Isn’t that like 6 books? How is that enough vis a vis how much Marvel publishes overall?

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