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Subj: Re: Marvel Comics vs. Marvel Films
Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 at 03:26:53 pm EST (Viewed 96 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Marvel Comics vs. Marvel Films
Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 at 08:10:05 am EST (Viewed 3 times)

    They always do it in the same way though. Grab your attention with a 'super star' creative team, then six months later replace them with a jobber who turns out middle of the road work but does it on schedule.

    Personally I miss the sense of dedication and ownership that comes with a talented creator sticking with a title for a prolonged period of time. That gives me confidence as a fan - I know what to expect, what quality I'm going to get, and that the creator is sticking around because he has the same kind of affection for the book as I do as a fan.

My ideal approach would be exactly what Marvel did with Young Avengers: a fifteen issue run from the same creative team who has a chance to tell their story before moving on. Concise and with a sense of narrative closure.

    Well no, theyre not. They are simply two different ways of dealing with the same problem - how do you convince a non comic-book fan to pick up a comic book? Firstly you make that book look like something he recognises, then you provide the person with a conveniant opportunity to start reading.

It looks like we won't agree on this.

    Fury hasnt had a solo book since the early 90's, but he has remained one of the most important characters in the Marvel Universe during that period as a result of the fact that SHIELD is a persistant presence and theme in pretty much ALL of Marvels books and big events. He is and always has been a very important character.

I'm gonna make a wild guess that you really like Nick Fury.

    You have a comicbook with 20,000 readers, and a TV show with 5,000,000 viewers. It doesnt take a buisness minded person to see that you have a potential 4,880,000 more comicbook readers there if you can just figure a way to convince them that they would enjoy the book as much as they enjoy the TV show.

    Whilst first and foremost the motivation behind any TV show is to get lots of viewers, I doubt very much that the opportunity to use the high profile of such shows to attract people to other Marvel products like comics would be ignored.

I don't disagree that there could be at least the possibility of new readers in that TV audience. I'm asserting that Marvel isn't making its comic universe line up with its TV/movie universe because it is not actually trying to create those new readers. Because really: what has Marvel done to try to get the TV audience to read the books? Really, what have they done? Have they aired commercials for their SHIELD book during Agents of SHIELD? Have they taken out ads in entertainment magazines, or bought adspace on websites that talk about the show? Have they used the show's twitter account to promo the comic? Maybe run contests for comic download codes? etc. Marvel Entertainment has expended virtual no effort or cash to even let TV viewers know that the SHIELD comic EXISTS as something for them to buy.

    Whilst first and foremost the motivation behind any TV show is to get lots of viewers, I doubt very much that the opportunity to use the high profile of such shows to attract people to other Marvel products like comics would be ignored.

You may doubt it - and I'm certainly not arguing that it makes sense - but the ONLY movie/comic tie-in promotional material that I've seen from Marvel is aimed squarely at the direct comic market. It's only sold in comic stores to people who are already readers.

    Lets be perfectly honest, if you were making a show based on what comic fans wanted, then you wouldnt pick SHIELD as the idea to back when you look at it poor publication rate over the past 20 years. Theres no evidence of enough interest amongst comic fans alone to justify a TV show.

100% agreed. Of course, I wasn't arguing that they made the show to appeal to comic readers. I was arguing that they made a SHIELD comic book that looks a lot like the show to appeal to viewers of the show who were already reading Marvel comics. They made the show to appeal to MCU movie fans.

    That shit matters. Tony stark could have been blown up in any foreign war zone - it didnt have to be Vietnam as was the case originally - but Frank Castle is defined by Vietnam in the same way Rogers is defined by WWII.

I actually agree with this whole-heartedly. It's one of the biggest problems with the shared-universe superhero genre - the characters are often resonant for reasons that are tied to distinct times and places, but then the fanbase insists that they never change or age and the narrative has to stretch to accommodate that basic dissonance over time. It's increasingly ridiculous that Magneto is still running around performing acts of super heroism/villainy the further that we get from WWII (he'd have to be at least, what, 75 now?). And let's not even get into Franklin Richards being a child for multiple decades now. At some point, a competent storyteller would realize that the characters need to age and retire or die... OR the alternative is to keep retconning everyone's origin. I'd prefer the former, usually.

    Dont know what age you are but I was born in the 70's

The '70's also, myself.

    so I was there in the 80's when companies like Hasbro realised that rather than just sell a toy to a kid, they could also sell a bed spread, wallpaper, a lunchbox, a pencil case, a computer game, a pair of pajamas, and yeah - a comic book. It was a marketing goldmine, so much so that the authorities (In the UK at least) changed the law to better control how companies like Hasbro could sell such products.

    All those different products were produced and marketed by subsideries too. Hasbros comics - such as Transformers - were published by Marvel no less, and it is a well established fact (from the mouth of Simon Furman himself) that they were under intense pressure to only feature Transformers from that seasons catalogue of toys.

Sure. But think about it: there's a natural overlap here that doesn't exist when we're comparing this situation with the issue at hand: Hasbro knew with certainty that virtual every child who watched their cartoon ALSO already liked playing with toys, and already slept in a bed, and wore pyjamas, etc. And Hasbro knew that virtually every kid reading the Transformers comic book already liked the toys, or at least liked toys.

On the other hand, Disney knows with certainty that the vast majority of people who buy a ticket to the MCU films does NOT read Marvel comic books (and likely doesn't read comics of any kind). There's a much bigger hill to climb, here, in terms of changing customer behaviour. And compared to spending advertising dollars on Marvel tie-in videogames or other Marvel movies, Disney has probably made a determination that there just isn't enough potential return on the investment. The comics industry, relatively, is peanuts to them.

Look, I don't disagree that it seems like there would be a natural marketing synergy here. It makes sense that someone who likes Marvel movies might like Marvel comics. But I've seen basically NO SIGN AT ALL that Disney is making any effort to leverage the Marvel films as a way to generate new readers. Like I said: they aren't even telling viewers that the comics exist.

    Marvel Studios probably dont care - I'm sure as a director or producer you just want to create a great film rather than one that helps sell lunch boxes - but Disney will likely care very much, and I am sure that there is someone who operates many levels above that of producer or director who's job it is to work out just how you get some of those literally billions of Marvel movie fans to spend their disposable income on other Marvel products.

We might guess that Disney would care, but the proof is in the pudding: what has Disney done to promote the comics to movie watchers? I'm not asserting that Disney/Marvel don't care about turning film viewers into comic readers because they are 'creative' companies that don't watch the bottom line; I'm asserting that the evidence shows that they haven't made any real effort for that to happen. I'm guessing that this is because they assume it isn't worthwhile. But in the absence of talking to the execs at Disney we can only look at the evidence on the ground.

That's not to say that Marvel Entertainment isn't making efforts to generate new readers, btw, just that Disney isn't trying to make new readers out of TV/film watchers.

    He's James Bond, George Patton and Mack Bolan all rolled into one. Whats not to like?

Well, I find James Bond boring (I've never managed to sit through an entire Bond film), I don't care at all either way about Patton (maybe because I'm not American?) and I'd never heard of Mack Bolan prior to right now, so...

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