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Author
Abe


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,977


DC released the first part of Wednesday Comics this week, and personally I think it's incredible.
It has me wondering if Marvel should do something similar.
And if they did, which characters would appear in the paper?
I'd like to see Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Thor.
Then Puck, Sunfire, Howard The Duck, She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Hannibal King (for starters).
But I'll put it to you; should Marvel do this? And if they do, who should they concentrate their efforts on?


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    But I'll put it to you; should Marvel do this? And if they do, who should they concentrate their efforts on?


First part, should they? I don't see the reason for it. Let's look at DC. Why did they do this product? Who was this product aimed at?

Aimed at the hardcore DC fan? No, these stories are out of continuity, a big factor for the hardcore fans. Of course, this will be the group most likely to buy it.
Aimed at the casual fan? Maybe? Certainly alot of fan favorite creators. But some of the character choices don't work out well for casual fans, like Kamandi, the Demon, Sgt Rock, and Metal Men. More familiar verisons of more familar characters would have been the better option.
Aimed at non comic fans? Of course not.

Why the cheap newsprint? Why the oversized format? I don't see a real advantage to the idea, nothing that is going to bring readers in based on that. Looking at some of the reviews, the one page structure seems to have been a bad idea as well.

I do like seeing the experimentation with different formats, but this seems like it wants to be different for the sake of being different.

But if you wanted to do something at Marvel, I could see something working out with a lot of changes.

4 issues coming out in one month. Go with Marvel Comics Presents as a title, which is still an iconic name. Could even put it out during May to piggyback on the Marvel movies that come out during that time as well as FCBD. Aim the book at the casual/non fans.

Regular size, regular paper. Play around with the format and pricing for whatever makes sense. Maybe 64 pages at $4.99, which could work out as 8 pages for 8 characters. Make sure the stories are written in actual 8 page increments, and not just a 32 page story chopped up into 4 parts.

Have 8 stories per issue, using the top characters and top creators. Make sure the stories take place in the present MU with the current continuity. That way if a new reader likes the stories, they can jump on it. If a non comic fan picks up Wednesday Comics and likes the Kamandi story, their future reading options are limited.


    Quote:
    And if they did, which characters would appear in the paper?


Go with the characters that the public is most familiar with, and those that make sense for Marvel to promote.

I'd say:

Spider-Man
Wolverine
Captain America
Thor
Iron Man
Hulk
X-Men
New Avengers

If it proves to be successful, do it every year, or even twice a year (say in December or even June/July). Would certainly be easy to add more characters like the Punisher, Daredevil, FF, Black Panther, Deadpool, Blade, She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, etc.


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Mikel Midnight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,557



    Quote:
    I'd say:



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    Spider-Man



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    Wolverine



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    Captain America



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    Thor



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    Iron Man



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    Hulk



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    X-Men



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    New Avengers


Not a bad list, but you're only appealing to one kind of reader, here. And I think the format is too limited for the X-Men and Avengers teams. I say drop them out and replace them with a different genre ... sci-fi, fantasy, war, western, romance ...


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mjyoung





    Quote:
    Not a bad list, but you're only appealing to one kind of reader, here. And I think the format is too limited for the X-Men and Avengers teams. I say drop them out and replace them with a different genre ... sci-fi, fantasy, war, western, romance ...


Well if you look at my list (Spider-Man,Wolverine,Captain America,Thor,Iron Man,Hulk,X-Men,New Avengers) you'll see that those are the characters with either recent or soon to be released movies and are the most prominent characters at Marvel. I would use this title as a marketing/promotion tool, to reach out to people who are somewhat familiar with these characters, but aren't regular buyers of Marvel comics. Hardcore DC fans who don't buy Marvel comics would be one of the targeted groups. Fans of Marvel movies but not the comics would be a group. Marvel readers who left during the 90s would be a group.

And of course, if there is a character Marvel wants to promote, put them in. My lists wasn't meant to be definitive.

Not sure what the problem would be with the team stories. With the X-Men just use a couple of prominent members (Cyclops, Rogue, Storm, Gambit, Iceman, Colossus, Nigthcrawler) and tell a story. Same for the New Avengers.

While the idea of diversifying the title with different genres may seem like a good one, I don't think it would be. The biggest problem is that Marvel itself doesn't have those different genres. There are no real romance, fantasy, war, western, etc titles on the stands right now. So get a fan interested in a war story, if you can't sell them a war ongoing title? Even Nova and GotG aren't really sci-fi. If a romance fan picks up the title, and finds that they only get one 8 page romance story for $5, they are going to be upset.

I think just having one genre, the action adventure one, which is really the only genre Marvel does, would be the best option. It would be great if Marvel did offer those other genres, but they don't.



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Abe


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,977


Marvel have offered other genres in the past, so this would be a great avenue to bring them back.
As sure, a Romance fan would solely read this and have nothing else to go to, but the same can be said for a Kamandi fan who reads Wednesday Comics over at DC, so... yeah.


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mjyoung





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    Marvel have offered other genres in the past, so this would be a great avenue to bring them back.


I strongly disagree, an anthology is not the way to bring back the various genres. Having an issue that has 8 page stories of war, romance, sci-fi, western, and mystery stories is going to be a failure. It's not going to have a lot of interest.

Does Marvel even want to be bring back those non superhero genres? Probably not. If romance stories were wanted in comics, I'm sure that void would be filled by someone. But they really aren't. At least not at this time, I'm sure when we get digital comics that will change.


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    As sure, a Romance fan would solely read this and have nothing else to go to, but the same can be said for a Kamandi fan who reads Wednesday Comics over at DC, so... yeah.


Exactly my point why Kamandi in Wednesday's Comics is a bad idea. Then again, DC doesn't seem to have a goal with the title, and instead just wanted to put it out there. They aren't using it to promote and sell more copies of their titles. They aren't using it to reach new fans.

So if Marvel were to do this, I would want them to promote their current titles and reach new fans.



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D.D. 917




Well...I can't speak of other comic shops but my local one sold out of Wednesday Comics so the interest sure seems to be there so far for this format. As for your list, your thinking of featuring charecters slated for upcoming movies to bring in readers seems at bit off. The movies themselves to date have been rather sucessful thus far but have they brought in new readers curious about said charecters? I would say no. And if not then why feature these charecters in a format like this to "promote" these upcoming movies to readers that are already bound to see them? Marvel has a vast array of charecters that sit and collect dust. We see enough,if not to much already of most of the charecters listed. Spider-Man has 3 issues a month,Wolverine is all over the Marvel Universe now,Captain America is in his own title and New Avengers,Hulk is going to be in 2 titles a month plus Son of Hulk. I think Marvel missed the boat with their 70 year ann. stuff and this kind of format would have worked well in showcasing charecters spread out all over their 70 tear history. But sadly Marvel is all about $$ these days and not about seluting their long time loyal fans and charecters.


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mjyoung





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    Well...I can't speak of other comic shops but my local one sold out of Wednesday Comics so the interest sure seems to be there so far for this format.


WC selling out at your shop isn't a good thing, it's a bad thing. It means that your LCS didn't order enough copies. Many people thought that WC wouldn't have high sales because shops would be afraid to order it. And since it's a weekly series, it's hard to go back to print on under ordered issues. Now with the creators involved, I'm sure WC still sold well. I just don't think it's a good enough idea as DC did it for Marvel to try to emulate it.


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    As for your list, your thinking of featuring charecters slated for upcoming movies to bring in readers seems at bit off. The movies themselves to date have been rather sucessful thus far but have they brought in new readers curious about said charecters? I would say no. And if not then why feature these charecters in a format like this to "promote" these upcoming movies to readers that are already bound to see them?


For the most part, I think Marvel has done a bad job of trying to get new readers from the movies. But just because you fail at something doesn't mean you stop doing it. I hate the prevalent thought that "movies don't bring in new readers and never will". That's just a defeatist attitude to have.

People think that bringing in movie fans is all about getting the 12 year old fan of the movie to start reading the comics. But that's not the goal. The goal is to simply bring in more readers to the titles. A big part of this will be people who stopped reading a title in the past, and started again because of the movie. And it's going to be people that read FF, watch the Spider-Man movie, and start picking up the Spider-Man comic.

And again, my whole purpose was to get the promotion from the May movies, hence the reason I put it in May. If that wasn't my purpose, then I would use a different line up.


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    Marvel has a vast array of characters that sit and collect dust.


Such as? Give me a character that you think is going to have high sales that Marvel hasn't attempted to bring back. Many of these characters are given the eternal second chance, but they still can't find an audience. And Marvel will keep giving these characters another chance.


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    We see enough,if not to much already of most of the charecters listed. Spider-Man has 3 issues a month,Wolverine is all over the Marvel Universe now,Captain America is in his own title and New Avengers,Hulk is going to be in 2 titles a month plus Son of Hulk. I think Marvel missed the boat with their 70 year ann. stuff and this kind of format would have worked well in showcasing charecters spread out all over their 70 tear history. But sadly Marvel is all about $$ these days and not about seluting their long time loyal fans and charecters.


There is a reason why Marvel spends more money promoting New Avengers than promoting Agents of Atlas. It's simply better for them to do so. It's the same reason why any company promotes their best selling product instead of their lower selling products.

Marvel shouldn't give a crap about keeping their long time loyal fans happy, but for some reason they do. Those are the fans that are "killing comics".

Edit: "Killing comics" was meant as hyperbole. That's the reason why I put quotations around it. There is no single reason why comics are declining, but because of several reasons.


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Abe


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,977


So because I choose to read titles like Immortal Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Captain Britain and MI:13, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight, I'm killing the industry?
Because I choose to pay my money to Marvel to read these titles, I'm killing the industry?
Unfortunately these are all low selling titles and have subsequently been cancelled.
Still though I'm paying Marvel for the previledge to read these tiles. So how is that killing the industry?
What's actually killing the industry is over-pricing comics, producing the same thing over and over again, with multiple variant covers for each issue, and alienating the fans with editorial decisions a majority of fans disagree with.

If Marvel were to produce their own version of Wednesday Comics then they could at least see if the market is there for other genres.

The first issue of Wednesday Comics has only just come out. Let's give it time to see if DC have failed in this venture.
I'll be buying it, and I know a lot of other people who have, and will, so for the time being is seems somewhat successful.


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mjyoung





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    Still though I'm paying Marvel for the previledge to read these tiles. So how is that killing the industry?


You misunderstand my point. IMO, Marvel catering to the long time, older, hardcore fans is hurting them. Every entertainment company is trying to get younger, but not comics. So Marvel has to reach out to a younger audience, it's the only way it will sustain as a company.

But instead, they cater to the interests of long time fans, giving them what they want. Marvel's target audience is the 30-40 year old white male that has been reading comics since they were ten years old. And Marvel continues to cater to that group, seemingly at the expense of other groups. Even the Ultimate line is aimed at that same group.

I can only beg that everyone makes rationally decisions. If you don't like a comic, don't continue buying it. It's the only way Marvel can make decisions.


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    What's actually killing the industry is over-pricing comics, producing the same thing over and over again, with multiple variant covers for each issue, and alienating the fans with editorial decisions a majority of fans disagree with.


And who are those fans that continue to buy crappy comics for no other reasons that they want to keep their collections complete? Who bitch about continuity mistakes? Who complain about any artist that doesn't draw like John Bryne, or writer that doesn't write like Stan Lee? Who honestly wish that comics could be like they were in the 70s/80s? Who are the consumers that continue to pay for "over priced" comics? Who are the fans that continue to pay for variants?

Are these fans alienated? Heck no. Look how many people on the X-boards are talking about how Fraction's run is the worst thing ever, and continue to buy it. They come on the internet, cry and moan about how Darkstar is dead, and they continue to buy their comics week after week.

How many of these hardcore fans actually get books outside of Marvel? Very little.


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    If Marvel were to produce their own version of Wednesday Comics then they could at least see if the market is there for other genres.


There are other ways to test the market, such as puttting out miniseries of different genres. Marvel has done this in the past, like the War is Hell series, the various Western minis over the years, and so on. They haven't worked because they don't sell. I certainly would encourage Marvel to continue to experiment with expanding their genres, but I can see why they don't care. When it's easier to get people to buy comics (ie digital comics!), I would expect Marvel to expand there. It's going to be a lot easier to get a 25 year old female to buy a digital comic online for $1 then it would be to get her to go to her LCS and pay $4.

Creating an anthology with 8 different genre stories isn't going to be successful.

There are other genres in comics, they just aren't by DC and Marvel, so many fans aren't aware of them. And these genre comics don't sell very well, so why would Marvel do it?


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    The first issue of Wednesday Comics has only just come out. Let's give it time to see if DC have failed in this venture.


I have no idea what metrics DC is using to judge whether it's a success. I never called it a failure, or said anything similar. I even said that suspect that it will sell well at least because of the creators involved. I'm very curious to see how the series does in sales.



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Abe


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,977


Well I'll agree with you here; I refuse to pay for any title which is at $3.99 per issue.
I was a long time Hulk, and Thor fan. Now that their books are at this price I won't buy them. I've cut my ties with those titles until their prices reduces (if ever).
But I'm sure there are people who will continue to buy the titles no matter the price, and to them I say "good luck."

I'll also agree that Marvel should try out new (or unused) genres, and see how it fares. An anthology mini-series might be a good idea.
At least try something!


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Stu The Stampedin Greek

Moderator

Member Since: Tue Nov 05, 1996
Posts: 1,428


Marvel reprinted the first 12 issues (split into 2 issues) of Amazing Spider-Man on cheap newsprint to be distributed in the weekend edition of some newspapers like 2 years ago.

I also dig the free "issues" that Marvel have been putting out which highlight the history of their characters. A good selling tool as they list all the Tradepaper backs you can buy to read what was just recapped.

The Stampedin Greek


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Mikel Midnight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,557



    Quote:
    I'll also agree that Marvel should try out new (or unused) genres, and see how it fares. An anthology mini-series might be a good idea.



    Quote:
    At least try something!


My point was that ... even though I'm predominantly a superhero fan ... I find anthologies incredibly boring when all the strips seem the same to me. Even if I have no interest in actually buying a Western solo comic, I'd love to see a Western segement just to break up the endless urban superheroics.

That's just an example ... I would be perfectly happy with a medieval character, or a pirate character, or whatnot.




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Rion





    Quote:
    DC released the first part of Wednesday Comics this week, and personally I think it's incredible.


What did you like about it? I can't understand why they were printed so gigantic like that - unless the idea is that you read it and then give it away, which is what I would do with it. Did you give yours away after reading it?




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Abe


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,977


i liked that i could have it spread out on the table as i ate my breakfast and drunk my coffee.


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D.D. 917




I agree with you on this point as well Abe. The best recent example I can use is Moon Knight. It was a lower selling title that I enjoyed very much when it fist came out and up until they "killed" the Marc Spector part of him. But now they are going to relaunch the title in Aug. and is goes from $2.99 to $3.99? NO THANKS!!!! I will NOT be getting this new relaunch.


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Abe


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,977


As much as I love Moon Knight, and loved the recent on-going I can not justify spending $3.99 an issue.
Even when it's one of my favourite characters.

Marvel should already know that their main audience is 30-50 year old men. What do most 30-50 year old have? Mortgages.
If it comes down to paying the fortnightly mortgagee bill, or an over-priced comic, for me it'll always come down to keeping a roof over my head.


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