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In Reply To
Tiger Shark

Subj: Re: Look Here, Mark-O
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:38:53 am EST
Reply Subj: Look Here, Mark-O
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:49:39 am EST

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..the thing is, $100 for new art per character where needed is just run of the mill stuff (and fees) when you're attempting a major project like this.

Marvel is a hugely successful company, with many millions of dollars at their disposal. If you're going to invest all the time and energy in a costly product like this, dammit, Do It Right.

THERE'S NO excuse for 4th-rate art as the major depiction of some of these characters.

There's no excuse for that ridiculuous and absurd Avalanche drawing---do they have something against Greeks?

Item: I can still instantly recall the illustrations of the Radioactive Man, Mr. Hyde, the Living Monolith, the Death Stalker, the Scarecrow, Tiger Shark, and others from the 80s classic Handbook.

Most used in the current edition are entirely unremarkable by comparison.

The NEW art should not EASILY be bested by the older art condensed in the smaller shots.

What that says is: this company is going backward artistically and creatively.

> ..the thing is, $100 for new art per character where needed is just run of the mill stuff (and fees) when you're attempting a major project like this.

Again, I'm with you - I'd love to see new art. But apparently the math isn't there to make it affordable (and hasn't been for just shy of four years now, so it really shouldn't have been a surprise - if they had new art I'm sure it would have been trumpeted from the mountaintops!). In a perfect world, the "4th rate" Barbarus art (to use your example) shouldn't have had to be reprinted from his 80s DOHOTMU entry.

Keeping in mind that $100 is just a random guess on my part, as noted (and the more I think about it, thats probably low - there's new pencils, new inks, and new coloring each time), that'd be $15,000 for the book. So, they need to sell an additional 600 copies at 25 per based on new art.

I have no idea what sales on Marvel's hardbounds run. I suspect its in the range of a couple thousand for this (10% of the sales on the original books, maybe?), but I have no real clue. Assuming (and its a big assumption) I'm even vaguely in the ballpark, then we need a 30% sales increase from new art to break even.

I _assume_ someone at Marvel has considered the pros and cons of new art and done the math, and come up with "use old art or else no books" as the result (again, all assumptions on my part). Marvel may be _worth_ millions, but as anyone involved in a business knows, that does not mean that they have millions to just throw around randomly. They still must evaluate each product on a potential loss/profit basis and make decisions that way. I assume!

I'm not sure what else to say - you seem surprised to find that the Handbooks aren't using original art, but I think you've been around a bit and probably already knew that - I don't think that I saw an attempt to mislead anyone there. I think everyone wishes they had original art - I certainly wanted it back when I was actively working on these!

I've seen one of the Handbook guys around here, and I'm sure they'll take the Avalanche criticism back - art showing someone hunched over as the main image is far from ideal, and shouldn't be the main image if it can be humanly avoided. And ditto on the Beyonder - I haven't seen that entry myself, but if its not there, it certainly should have been mentioned in some way (even if "this has been claimed but its veracity is unclear"). Other detailed criticism on what can be improved is, I assume, more than invited - they need to know what the fans like and don't like so they can keep improving the books!

Anyway, sorry the book was a disappointment to you - this one was my own finale with Marvel, so your reaction is doubly disappointing for me. Though I can say with good confidence that there still won't be original artwork in the subsequent hardbounds, I hope you enjoy them more if you do keep buying (but if you know you'll hate them for that, please - just don't buy 'em!).

SQUEAK / Mark O'

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