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Post By
Tiger Shark

In Reply To

Subj: What A Well-Considered Response! What's this About Your Finale W / Marvel?
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:55:34 am EST
Reply Subj: Re: Look Here, Mark-O
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:38:53 am EST

Previous Post

> ..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'

Look, if they can't afford new art--which is really a presumption on your part--how do you know they're just not being lazy?--then AT LEAST selected DECENT 'older' ART. It's THAT Simple. Whoever is behind the art direction on this book is doing a mediocre job.

For example, the shot of Banshee about the time of the X-Corps was excellent, and there were a few nice (and recent) shots of Avalanche--so why not blow one of them up instead of using the crappy images they did that says to me, 'turn the Page, THAT looks really boring.' Avalanche looked more like Quasimodo than Avalanche.

Also, there is little or no consistency to the establishing images, as there was in the classic 80s edition.

This makes the book look throw-together piece-meal and just plain crappy.

As far the TPB and hardbound market is concerned, I expect it to go belly up soon. Thay've created a 'bubble' in a sense, that can only explode---talk about inflation and creating too much product for a small audience!

Every crappy Chuck Austen X-Men arc got a TPB. That's simply ridiculuous.

I'm happy to report that my comic store, the great Midtown Comics in Manhattan, has a whole bookcase (not just a shelf) FULL of TPBs and Hardbounds that the prices have been slashed on up to 80%.

And not all 'crap' either or very obscure 'Essentials'-style titles like 'Sgt. Rock.' We're talking Wolverine, the X-men, Batman, Spider Man, the FF, Superman, the JLA.

Who wants all those Crappy SM TPBs abotu his recent endless problems? Not too many.

The truth is there's a relatively small audience for this MASSIVE wave of hardbounds and TPBs the major two companies are producing.

Now, what's this about your dropping the Marvel habit, or whatever?


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