Robot 6

What does the future hold for X-Factor?

X-Factor #47

X-Factor #47

The absence of X-Factor from Marvel’s November solicitations has some fans wondering whether the double-sized 50th issue will be the title’s last.

For their part, writer Peter David and the publisher are doing little to ease concerns about the book’s fate.

One his blog, David confirmed there won’t be an issue of X-Factor released in November, adding, “There’s really nothing to say, except that I assume Marvel will make some official announcement.”

A Marvel spokesman had no comment this morning.

Relaunched in 2006 on the heels of a well-received Madrox miniseries, the somewhat noirish X-Factor centers on the detective agency established by Jamie Madrox and staffed primarily by characters from previous incarnations of the series (Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, Rictor and Siryn, among them).

Despite largely positive reviews and attention generated by plot developments like the recent kiss between Rictor and Shatterstar, X-Factor has had difficulty maintaining a foothold on the Diamond charts. While sales-tracker Paul O’Brien has chronicled a 47.4-percent decline over the past three years, the series has hovered in the 31,000- to 32,000-copy range for the past several months — not typically cancellation territory for Marvel.

“Sales remain a source of frustration,” David wrote on the Comic Boards forum. “I think the book reads better than ever and retailers aren’t ordering more. The book gets national publicity and retailers aren’t ordering more. If the book were to end, well, it just wouldn’t be a surprise since retailers seem to be sending the message that they’re never going to increase orders.”

But then David gets coy: “Then again, maybe it’s not ending and I’m just yanking your chains. Two weeks before Layla Miller returned, I was asked at a convention if she was coming back anytime soon. And I said to the audience, ‘Come on, you know how Marvel works. If Layla were going to return, wouldn’t the approach be to beat the drums about it for six months with a whole build up to, “The Return of Layla Miller begins … HERE!” So it seems reasonable to conclude that until you see that kind of promotional approach, that Layla won’t be back.’ Sometimes it’s not what I say; it’s what I don’t say. Or maybe it’s canceled and I just don’t want to admit to it.  I’m a puzzle.”

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Comments

67 Comments

Wasn’t David complaining that the book had no direction and had to tie into current marvel events? He’s probably had enough. Or he’s got something big — some way of pushing it into its own continuity where it can escape the x-books. OR, more likely, it’s cancelled for now, will get some sort of mini-event (read: limited series) and then will relaunch, like with Iron Fist and Agents of Atlas. Other good books that don’t sell well enough.

It’s a shame if it is cancelled, but unless you’re writing the x-men, wolverine inparticular, a bendis avengers title or batman or, I guess, your name’s Mark Millar then your comic just ain’t gonna sell too well. Shame. Peter David is da man. Oh and for the record I loved your FNSM run, PAD, and I have a complete run of Aquaman sitting at the foot of my bed ready to get a read someday. Don’t give up on the big 2!

Are people still freaking out over this? Seriously? It’s probably just taking a month off for a double-sized issue 200 in November. The official announcement will be this weekend. Chill, people. Just chill.

To be completely honest, the title lost me during the return of Larry Stroman on art duties, and the seemingly endless pointless crossovers with the Marvel event du jour. I heard good things about the book since then, but not enough to get me back to reading it.

What issue did X-Factor Volume 1 end with 150?

From all the Layla Miller rumblings and the potential tie-in with the 3rd part of the Messiah trilogy (Madrox’s dupe is still in an alternate future, after all) I’d hope that there is some kind of major event to clear up the dangling plot threads before David is back to business as usual…

I hope.

— Greg Dunford
Writer and creator, Hard Drive
http://www.cyberpunkcomics.com

@ Manglr: I’m an avid X-Factor fan, so I really don’t know WTF you’re talking about. I mean, I do as far as Larry Stroman, but I don’t know what you’re talking about as far as crossovers. It crossed over with Messiah Complex and She-Hulk. One’s a crossover limited to the X-Verse, the other’s a book he was writing at the time. Aside from that, I don’t really recall any other crossovers, so I don’t get your meaning.

The first volume of X-Factor ended at issue 149. There was a NuMarvel era miniseries called X-Factor that ran 4 issues, but didn’t have any of the X-Factor cast- it was a totally different concept.

So, technically, issue 51 could turn out to be issue 200 of the combined X-Factor.

I highly doubt this will end Peter’s involvement with these characters- I’m smelling relaunch.

@Corwin: It ended at 149 so the next issue would be 200 if the were going to shift it back to it’s original numbering

Runaways has also been conspicuously absent from solicits for a couple months now. Still no word on what’s going on there. Alas, alack.

I thought Runaways was cancelled. ?

Between price hikes and Ultimatum killing my interest in the Ultimate line my monthly pull list has been getting smaller and smaller over the past few months. I’ll be really bummed if this book ends as it’s one of the few that I still consistently enjoy.

i hope x-factor is not canceled espically with what is going on with the group and the fabled summers rebellion going on not to mention would hate to see the book fade away and leave such good x characters stuck in limbo. not to mention rictor and shatterstar showing divesity thriving in the mu . but hope its not canceled just a break for peter david is too good for marvel to leave without a palate for his craft

I would be sad with X-Factor simply -gone-, but an overhaul and new title for the book perhaps wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It’s lost a lot of steam for me with the whole Summers Rebellion thing, which I guess just isn’t my cup of x-tea. I was really digging the early bit of the book, with young creepy Layla, evil creepy Quicksilver, Mr. Tryp, and the Isolationist, but all those elements are gone now. Once the Summers Rebellion bit and other plot elements laced in rather old X-universe elements goes away, I’ll personally have a lot more interest in the book.

I hope Marvel is just returning this book to its original numbering. I personally think titles feel more iconic when they hit higher numbers rather than consistently relaunching with a new #1.

Quesada has teased “The issue after #50″ as being a big deal numerous times, and it’s clear that #51 will be renumbered as #200 (Vol. 1 = 149 issues, Vol. 2 = 51 issues), and will either be added into Nov.’s solicits late (as Marvel has increasingly been doing the last few months, regarding late solicit additions) after being announced at the Toronto Fan Expo, or it’ll hit in Dec.

Heck, they can even relaunch after issue #200 with a brand new volume, and get even more people to jump on.

I dropped X-Factor during Messiah Complex, along with all of the X-books. After keeping an eye on things, it looked like it was the right move. Then there was a lot of on-line hub-bub about issue #39. After tracking that down (4 different stores in Arizona), it looked like PAD was getting the series revved up. It hasn’t slowed down at all, and it’s as good as the series ever was. It stays out of the cross-over mess that is the Dark Reign, and the art is fantastic. I hope PAD sticks with it. Sales have been stable for this book for some time, while a lot of other books have had to tie in to Dark Reign to stay afloat. This series has the same slow burn/nested stories like Brubaker’s Captain America. Smart, character-driven, engaging, well-drawn. Drop the $4 Hulk book and get this!

It’s the only X-book I’m reading. I’d be sad to see it go while crap like “Uncanny” and “Cable” continue.

Super-Fly Comics & Games

August 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm

I wish there was a way the low sales numbers could be discussed without laying the blame on the retailers. This is unreturnable product we’re talking about, and it doesn’t make much sense for retailers to just start increasing their orders if the sales are increasing as well. I know that there’s a pretty big divide between responsible and irresponsible retailers, and I’d like to think Peter’s just taking shots at the irresponsible ones, but it comes off (to me) as laying flat blame on all of them, which I think is unfair. I enjoy X-Factor, and I talk it up to my customers. We order more than our sales numbers on it to make sure that we have stock around for folks that may be interested in picking the series up and giving it a try. I know there are shops (the aforementioned irresponsible kind, IMO) that just order to sell out or just order in straight file customer numbers so that there are no copies on the shelf, and no one can try it out if they want to.

It feels a little unfair to go to retailers that are trying to promote the book and order more than enough copies to go around and say “Just order more because I said so!” A lot of customers are tightening their belts, and many stores are having to make adjustments in ordering and discounts to make sure that they remain profitable.

@Bear: Yeah really why doesn’t Marvel just cancel Uncanny X-Men, that’s a totally realistic thing to say

What’s wrong with Cable?

I’m guessing 6 issue mini “THE RETURN OF LAYLA MILLER” or “THE SUMMERS REBELLION” or something like that, and then a relaunch.

Pretty sad, the best X-Titles out there and it´s gone.

While I haven’t enjoyed the book as much as I did during its launch, it really would be a share if it were to end. I really think PAD should be put on higher profile stuff like Bendis or Fraction, anyway. Let Peter do the next event, dammit.

Also, Sir Apropos is amazing. How about another Mini series from IDW?

I thought issues 45, 46, and 47 were coming out twice in one month. Hardly seems like Marvel will cancel the book now that Peter David has found his stride again.

Matthew Stockfarleysolomonburger

August 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm

This run was notable for Siryn lack of “Ye’s” and not even showing up in costume. I actually liked it though through Civil War but when the time hopping started it kind of lost me. But that was a time, ironically enough, when the X-Books we’re actually readable mostly because of Brubaker’s Uncanny and the first 6 issues of X-Force. Then it all ended when X-Force started Messiah War and Fraction started messing around with Psylocke again. what a joke this franchise has become!.

PAD should write Uncanny X-Men AND X-Factor. He needs recognition on a high sales book. He has been one of the most consistent writers in over 20 years but he needs to be in contact with new readers. A high profile book might be good. I´m not against Fraction´s work nor am I asking for Marvel to fire him. It´s just an scenario.

I’m going to say the same thing here that I said on bleedingcool:

“Okay, I think that PAD may be stirring things a bit here. In an interview on CBR on August 11th, he had stuff like this to say:

Q: Will the duplicating mercenary known as Clay return to the book anytime soon?
A: Yeah, he’ll be back sometime in the next year.

Q:Will we be seeing Cassidy Keep at all in the book, considering Siryn inherited it from Banshee?
A: As a matter of fact, X-Factor is going to be doing a bit of globetrotting and I was planning to work in a visit to the Keep.

And in an earlier interview on CBR , he had this to say:

Q: As you’ve already delivered two noteworthy moments in the past year (the kiss and the Madrox baby), should fans be looking for anything big in issue #50? After all, good things come in threes!
A: It’s the conclusion of the current storyline. And we wind up answering one of the major outstanding questions about the series. Something that’s going to have people saying, “Oh my God, how did I not see that coming?” And that’s nothing compared to the end of the next issue…

And there’s this from JQ’s MySpace Cup oJoe back in April:

Q: Are there any big plans for X-Factor #50?
JQ: Definitely—but there are EVEN BIGGER plans for the following issue.

So, at the very least there’s going to be #51/200 (delete as applicable). No, this isn’t a reason to be complacent about the series, but even as recent as the start of last week PAD believed that the book had at least a short term future.”

Obviously none of this is concrete evidence, but it’s only a skip month, maybe to give the creative team some time to catch their breath after a double sized issue or what not. It’s Runaways I’m more concerned about…

Yeah, i was really psyched about the return of Larry Stroman on X-Factor, but when I saw the issue, I was really let down. When he was the rgular on X-Factor vol.1, I felt he was one of the top artists in the business. I hope X-Factor doesn’t get cancelled, as PAD is one of my favorite writers.

If you’re going to blame anyone, it does kind of seem like readers who understandably can’t afford or don’t want to pick up another monthly book are the problem more than retailers. I mean, if my retailer suddenly upped his orders just because it’s “reading better than ever,” that doesn’t make me much more likely try it. What does he really expect retailers to be doing here? Promoting his book isn’t their job. Providing it to customers who want it is, and if customers don’t want it, it’s because he and/or Marvel failed to convince them it’s worth buying. Is it insane that this is a market that can apparently sustain three monthly Deadpool titles and a book as consistently solid and well-reviewed as this is even in danger of cancellation? Yeah, it is. But I agree with Superfly that David’s anger in his comments quoted here seems misplaced.

I’d wager the combination of Larry Stroman’s run on art and a pretty bad Secret Invasion tie-in/She-Hulk crossover followed by a Darwin-focused arc that was below the book’s usual quality level turned off some people who aren’t going to come back in this economic climate no matter how good other people tell them the book is now. I know it seriously weakened my interest for a while. I’ve got the new hardcover coming and I’m excited about reading it because recent issues have been so well-received, but I still haven’t made it to the end of the previous trade because I really couldn’t get into the Darwin story, which certainly was not my retailer’s fault. That said, I hope the book’s not canceled. Or being replaced by a $3.99 miniseries or something. Because it has been one of the best X-books out there for most of the last four years.

IF X-FACTOR is taken from me, after the cancellation of Captain Britain and the MI13, I will very much lose all hope…..

I’m sure he’s nice in person but through interviews and such, David strikes me as a really unlikeable person. It’s always someone else’s fault with this man.

– It’s the fans screwing it up with their spoilers so let’s take down Scans_Daily

– It’s the crossover events (of which you’ve had two and seemed to have complete control over the Secret Invasion one- let’s not get overly dramatic here)

– Now it’s the mean retailers who are being mean and turning their noses at the book.

The retailers are managing struggling businesses; with fans turning away from stores at the new price tags (the next scapegoat I assume) they are of course NOT going to stack their shelves with a book they KNOW won’t sell.

I absolutely loved the first Madrox Mini and have in fact turned away from X-Factor in recent months. Why? Ultimately my disinterest in X-Factor stems from….the writing (gee, imagine that).

A) Poor team dynamic. For a team book, focus isn’t distributed evenly enough for me. Yes, you get the “M” issue once in a while, or the Guido moment, but ultimately it’s Madox and his superfriends and that gets tiresome. Once a character gets focus (currently Syrin) then you know that 3 others fall to the background.

B) ADD when it comes to plots. Does anyone remember when Quicksilver’s return was mean to be….something? Lots of build-up, a “special” issue and then he was repowered and shoved into limbo.

C) David himself doesn’t seem to know where he’s stories are going. Past this “coyness” in interviews I get a much stronger “wait until I get an idea” vibe than I do a “wait and see” one. Mister Trip and Madrox not being a mutant….nah…..Quicksilver vs. Layla Miller…..eh…..The isolationist (God, that was pointless)….nah, moving to a new city and working for the gvmt….nah, they’re in the future now. I will admit that he is talented at creating powerful moments (again, Syrin and Madrox) but Sir, if you don’t care; why should we?

And can anyone explain Longshot and Darwin to me? Because I stuck in as long as I could and the “interesting things coming up” never did. A sex scene with Monet? Really? That justifies adding the character to the roster?

Will Shatterstar join the team? “Hmm…Maybe. I don’t know yet; we’ll see.” (So if you had no plan for the character, all his present was meant to do was create a ZOMG gay kiss?) It’s ridiculous.

I’m sure the posters here, who consider his writing Nirvana because he actually posts here, will soon shred this post to pieces but I’ve said my piece. What is keeping me from enjoying the often very nice beats of this book, is it’s writing and nothing else. (Though the art was pretty vile that one post-SI arc).

Or, maybe, David dosn’t haven’t an audience anymore.

I enjoyed some of his earier stuff; but, god, do th ethe mannerisims and tics get tiring.

This book lost it’s way around the She-Hulk crossover. Art was so horrible, I dropped it and kinda forgot to check back in until the whole Madrox baby issue. This ‘Summers Rebellion’ storyline is boring.

David doesn’t have an audience anymore because he spends most of his time trolling CBR pissing off fans.

I don’t have any feelings of like or dislike towards David, but Damn it!

He is delivering the best X-book out there, if X-factor is allowed to die then so will my ties with Marvel (minus Spiderwoman and SWORD, which won’t last long either.)

Only 31,000 per issue? I guess I’ve been holding onto buying this book WAY too long. Looks like it’s time to drop it BEFORE the 50th issue. Sorry, Peter — nothing personal about your coyness. I’m just a puzzle.

It’s an X-book that’s actually good and well-made despite the “X” normally being enough to sell it.

Thus Marvel Zombies can’t have that. They like their X-Books sloppy, incoherent, and featuring Wolverine.

X-Factor’s going to stay past issue #50, and I want Peter David to remain on the title regardless of what happens next.

I just wanted to say:

PAD doesn’t troll fans at CBR and I’ve only seen him piss off homophobes and trolls (which makes the regular posters happy not upset). From my experience on CBR, he has been a great addition to the boards.

More on-topic: I really hope this is just a marketing scheme, because I’ve really been enjoying X-Factor lately.

It took me a lot of time to stuck to this title : I didn’t like the detective agency – and still don’t. I didn’t like the art at the beginning of the relaunch , but since the Madrox baby issue, I started to understand finally which book X-Factor really is, and till that, I’m completely stuck onto it…and to my opinion it’s getting better each new issues, it seem to me the very best written Marvel’ title actually, I like very much the way the situations are developped and really can’t wait for the future.

PAD got in a tizzy at me on Newsarama when i posted that I lost interest in the series, but I might pick up 40-50 second hand to give it another try. “You tell me that you do find my comic worth paying full price, that you plan to purchase it in a way that doesn’t benefit me, And you expect me NOT to be offended? “

Yeah, it’s a wait and bait for a relaunch at 200. Nothing wrong with stirring the pot a bit. I do get the feeling the book will be significantly different at 200. I keep waiting for Wolfsebane to kill Jamie and Adult Layla, and it seems to be inching towards that. I betcha issue #50 ends with that. but they’ll be a twist. X-Factor is good at that.

What the book needs is a consistent artist. It’s strugged with that for 50 issues. There’s been holdovers and people on for a year or two but not a single artist on the book for more than, what, 6 issues? I love the book. And it needs a consistent artist. I’ll wait, I don’t care. Just get some consistency here, people.

I loved the original X-Factor and Peter David’s an amazing talent; I have to admit the ‘two guys kissing’ isn’t about the bring me in as a reader. Yeah, the orignal ended at 149 (not including the -1 issue) and then they did that Mutant X thing as a change of pace.

Speaking of artists on X-Factor, I look through these old original series issues I missed out on in the 90s and I notice Jeff Matsuda would do a few then do inconsistent numbers of issues. Sometimes he’d only do covers and then did the covers to the last couple issues. I hope the cover rates paid well, but it makes an artist look inconsistent.

To boost sales, why don’t you add a killer artist?

You already have a killer writer.

I think adding a Leinil Yu or a Steve McNiven-type would greatly boost sales (no offense to Raimondi).

Visuals also sell. Have John Romita draw one issue. What do you think would happen?

Best,

Guido

For heaven’s sake, no!!!
Where are you from, Guido? The moon?
YU and McNiven’s style would in no way work for this book.
I wouldn’t mind JR JR doing a issue, he coudl certainly draw a bit more anyway.

To be honest, I don’t think this is a cancellation, one missed month doesn’t really signify a lot on its own. it might just be that #50 is one of those big status quo changing issues that means theres a slight delay.

If it is cancelled though…. my pull list really isn’t havign a good year….

She Hulk, Agents of Atlas, Captain Britain in one year, with Iron Fist on a hype building excercise…

This series is not X-factor, is Madrox and his amazing friends. I won’t deny that it is well written, but it is in no way a team book. Characters here don’t have their own stories, they just react to whatever the hell is going on with Jaime. I hope, I really hope, that this series is relaunched as a real team book, because I really want to like it, but Madrox is in no way a selling point for me and apparently most readers. And get rid of the dead weight like Darwin, Longshot, and specially that crappy waste of ink known as Shatterstar.

Technopriest_1 seems to be horribly outdated in his complaints, because the storylines since issue #39 have been very evenly split between different cast members. Over the ensuing arc since that point, everybody has had a fair spotlight by way of getting the main meat of an issue each while the others get a smaller look in. For example, there’s been Longshot guarding Lenore, Siren and Val, Guido and Ric on the road, and Darwin and Monet all getting a nice bulk of these issues, all independent of revolving around Madrox for the most part, while actually the running story with Madrox and Layla in the future actually gets the smallest amount of pages. If that’s not a team book then I don’t know what is – and let’s not forget it was the Madrox mini which launched the 3rd run of X-Factor, so obviously he *is* a selling point.
I guess people will complain about things even after they’ve been well resolved.

Anyway Guido has the right idea – a stable and consistent art team is what’s needed most of all on X-Factor.

Just to be clear, that’s a fall of 47.4% since the first year of the title. But most of that fall happened early on – the two-year drop for June was only 16.2%. The title has been hovering quite steadily at 31-32K for several months now. The danger point for regular Marvel Universe titles looks to be closer to 20K these days. (All this, of course, is by ICV2’s estimates, which are confined to the Diamond sales charts. Total sales will be higher because of foreign sales, trades, newsstands, etc.)

Perhaps saying “retailers haven’t increased their orders” was just intended to be shorthand for “demand hasn’t increased such that retailers have increased their orders”. It might be that since the retailer orders are the most literal sign of success, that’s what they use in discussion, even though technically it’s a more complicated concept.

“DJSweet
August 24, 2009 at 10:07 pm

PAD got in a tizzy at me on Newsarama when i posted that I lost interest in the series, but I might pick up 40-50 second hand to give it another try. “You tell me that you do find my comic worth paying full price, that you plan to purchase it in a way that doesn’t benefit me, And you expect me NOT to be offended? ”

What’s worse, to read the comic second hand or never to read it at all? At least reading it second-hand there is a slight chance you will pick up the book on a regular basis…

I think they should combo the book with a back-up She-Hulk feature. Twice the fans for the one book might boost sales and secure the book’s market share?

I thought we were paying 3.99 for Dark Avengers and New Avengers and Hulk and every mini-series so Marvel could afford to keep lower selling titles in print??????????

I applaud Guido´s suggestion. No wonder he wants to save his title since i guess no other X team would want him, ha! Please have Romita in JUST one issue, Marvel!

Josh,

Sorry, but you’re wrong. His holier-than-thou attitude in the thread for October’s Marvel solicits last month infuriated quite a few people, myself included, and served only to provoke extreme reactions from fans. If he weren’t a comics writer, he would have been accused of trolling by everyone. Civility only prevailed in that thread because of his position in the comics community. Virtually everyone in the thread was accused of bashing Marvel’s output, even if people were just wondering where some missing books, like Exiles and Runaways were and wondering if they were canceled or not. Yes, that’s right: wondering if your favorite series is canceled means you’re not a real fan. He lost a lot of respect from me and many others I’ve talked to since then.

With all of the late comics out there are fans really freaking out about one missed month?

I love PAD’s work and usually try to pick up his stuff but X-Factor has hit the chopping block for me. Nothing against the book itself but when a bigwig at Marvel made the statement a couple months ago that with the price hike they could lose a 25% of sales and still be ok I got annoyed and am slowly dropping every Marvel title. Thank goodness for Fallen Angel (if you are not getting this title from IDW you are missing some of PAD’s best work).

Yeah to me, the arc after MC was a perfect jumping off point for the series. I’m sorry, but you tell me that after 40 issues, the series has become more evenly split among the cast? So for only the last 7 issues, the cast has actually shared some of the spotlight? I am not paying for a Multiple Man series, I am paying for X-Factor. Unless the series shift focus from Madrox to the other characters, I will not be back. And no, if the book cannot still keep or gain new readers, then Madrox is not a selling point.

I left this title when it had it’s crossover w/ Messiah Complex, and never found my way back to it.

Kevin:

I didn’t read the thread at the time, but just read through it and I feel like Marvel should make a contract with PAD to keep him off the internet. I’ve seen him misinterpret really innocent statements several times in order to have grounds to start a fight. I know it’s possible to enjoy a book without enjoying the creator, but his vitriol definitely turns a lot of people off. Call a troll a troll.

Also, what happened to this?

Originally Posted by Brother Justin Crowe View Post
If X-Factor didn’t ship for a month, there’d probably be Internet riots that Mr. David would surely endorse.

No. If XF didn’t ship for a month, people would say, “Where’s X-Factor!” and I’d explain why it’s missing shipping and when the next issue will come out.

Because unlike some creators, I haven’t given up on participating in various boards other than my own.

PAD

This is also the only X-book that I’m reading these days and is one of the few mainstream super-hero books that I read at all. It would be a shame to see it go. I do think that the art has suffered a little bit, and I liked Layla better when she was younger… but this is still a great title

Mike,

There’s a motivational poster in there somewhere.

“PAD got in a tizzy at me on Newsarama when i posted that I lost interest in the series, but I might pick up 40-50 second hand to give it another try. “You tell me that you do find my comic worth paying full price, that you plan to purchase it in a way that doesn’t benefit me, And you expect me NOT to be offended? ”

Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting this.

Folks: DJSweet has been kind enough to set himself up as the classic example of the PMF: The Poor Me Fan, who manipulates history and reality, provokes confrontations, then wrings his hands and complains about how ill-treated he was.

Of course, over on Newsarama, he wasn’t calling himself DJSweet. He was calling himself VirginiaAppleJack. To be a true PMF, running around under a variety of fake names while sniping at pros who always post under their own names is an absolute must.

He popped in on a thread extolling the virtues of X-Factor. We were discussing the art. I said we were the only book that I knew of that was regularly using different artists on different storylines. He disagreed and, to my puzzlement, declared that I was “pompous” for believing this.

In his next posting he rambled at length about what he liked and didn’t like about the book and why he’d dropped it, but was “looking forward to picking up 40-50 on ebay” (issue #42 had just come out.)

My scathing response to that?

Nothing. I ignored him. I didn’t reply at all.

Frustrated that I wasn’t rising to the bait, he then posted this passive/aggressive gem:

“So no response to this PAD? I thought I was very reasonable displaying my opinion and support for this title. As well as directly but not rudely, calling you on your $hit about being the only book on the stands using multiple artists to tell different segments of the story. Oh well, I guess we can’t be e-pals.”

At which point I responded:

“I didn’t respond because I didn’t feel the need to. The only thing at all worth addressing was your basically saying that you didn’t feel my work was worth buying either in its original comic form or even in trade paperback; that you would only buy it if you could pick it up at a bargain basement price second hand. Which is, frankly, pretty damned insulting. So I figured either you were clueless, or you were trying to pick a fight. Either way, I didn’t want to reply.

Now I replied. And now rather than telling your friends that Peter David was a big jerk for ignoring you, you can say that Peter David was a big jerk when he responded to you.

Happy?”

Which is, of course, exactly what you did.

Because you’re a PMF. And you may think you’re special, but really, you’re just a dime a dozen, hiding behind fake names and trolling for trouble with pros so that you can then turn around and talk about how meeeeeeaan they’ve been to you.

To everyone else, thank you for–for the most part–your support and positive comments about X-Factor. And just to clarify: No, I wasn’t “blaming” the retailers. I used to be Marvel’s direct sales manager. I was out there in the field regularly talking to retailers and distributors. I know how tough their job is. When I say the retailers aren’t ordering more, what I mean is that…well…they’re not ordering more. What should I say? They are? Except…they’re not. If they ordered more, we’d sell more. Maybe Diamond would stop selling out of it. It’s just a flat statement of truth.

When you think about it, I’m pretty curtailed in what I can say that doesn’t get interpreted in the worst possible way. If I say the retailers aren’t ordering more, I’m blaming the retailers. If I say that more fans aren’t sampling it, then I’m blaming the readers. Quite a few fans have looked at ICV2 charts and pointed out that we hemorrhaged readers during Larry Stroman’s tenure; if I said that, then I’d be accused of blaming the artist. Plus there’s always someone bringing up Scans_Daily which got itself shut down because it was violating the copyright policies of its host, but they’ll sure as hell blame me for it. (And, by the way, started up elsewhere immediately.)

Meantime critics ignore all the interviews right around issue #39 in which I said I thought the book had lost focus, that that was entirely my fault, and I was going to do my damnedest to correct that.

Sometimes a fact is just a fact. Retailers aren’t ordering more. Is anyone arguing they ARE? Because if so, I’d like to know about it. You know how to get them to order more? Order it from them. That’s pretty much the only way. I’ll do my best on the writing end, and all I ask is that people meet me halfway.

PAD

There´s people who just like to draw a little attention to themselves. And I´m talking about you, Peter David. Ha, just jokin´! Looking forward to X-Factor wich, by the way, is not listed on November´s Previews.

Yeah, I heard something about that. There will be an announcement soon.

PAD

It’s really a shame if it is indeed canceled. It wouldn’t make sense though. I’m thinking its taking a short break of maybe the title is just changing, so the retailers will start ordering more issues.

X-Factor is one of the best written comics out right now, if not the best. It got me back into comics and made me an instant fan of Peter David. I plan on getting all the old vol. 1 X-Factor issues and other stuff written by PAD after reading this

Okay, then. We´ll wait (not so) patiently.

PAD – I have no idea if you’ll see this or not, but I have to say, bravo for shutting the ill-tempered up. All the whining just ended at 8:50 PM on August the 26th. It does not matter what I do, but I will say that I have to deal with the same type of people every single day; 2/3 are grateful for your help, 1/3 are expectant of things like having you give them something for free if they or their representation were given the wrong promotional item. The only problem is, when you attempt to prove them wrong, all of a sudden everyone goes “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” You are now an angry “troll” (or whatever the real life equivalent is; pick your favorite) and YOU become the instigator. It’s a terribly fine balance that most in any position such as this do not dare attempt; you are expected to simply prove and reprove yourself again and again to be a miracle worker with a smile on your face, your tongue kept silent of anything reactionary, and bags of money under your arms so that you may give freely to whomever asks.

On the “X-Factor” side of things, as long as the title isn’t being forsaken when I see Marvel dry-humping itself to get out a new Deadpool title every two weeks, I’m happy.

I do have one question though: Whenever a comic’s status comes under scrutiny, I only hear talk of the retailers. Does subscribing straight from Marvel not matter in this industry? That is how I get my X-Factor fix, as well as several other Marvel titles.

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