Although Marvel has held panels at WonderCon over the last couple of years, they haven’t exhibited on the show room floor … until this year, that is. Not only will they have a booth on the floor April 1-3 when the show returns to San Francisco, but they also plan to bring copies of Uncanny X-Men #534 featuring a cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli that Giants fans will appreciate. It’s awesome to see Cyclops and crew supporting their new hometown’s championship team.
“Being from San Francisco, I am ecstatic about how strong Marvel’s presence will be at WonderCon this year,” Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor-In-Chief, told Marvel.com. “And with San Francisco now the adopted hometown of the X-Men, it just made perfect sense to create a variant for this show which celebrated the city and its achievements.”
Hey, it wouldn’t be a Robot 6 post without a “let’s you and him fight” angle. But now that that’s out of my system, there’s a lot one could say, pro and con, about Axel Alonso’s promotion to editor-in-chief of Marvel. Actually, the level of surprise with which the news was greeted says something all by itself. True, he’s never been the public figure that his predecessor Joe Quesada and colleague Tom Brevoort (who, again, has long said he didn’t want the EIC job) have been, so in that regard he’s an unknown quantity to readers and fans. To creators and editors, however, everything I’ve heard indicates that his reputation is sterling, dating back to his involvement in Vertigo — he’s well-liked personally and well-respected professionally (unless you’re Darwyn Cooke).
The news broke yesterday that Axel Alonso will take over as editor-in-chief of Marvel Entertainment, following Joe Quesada’s shift in focus to Marvel’s multimedia initiatives. Here’s a few reactions over the last couple days from various folks around the industry:
Tom Spurgeon: “I don’t know Alonso at all, not even a little bit, but he strikes me as a comics-first guy in a period in comics history where Marvel as a publishing company could use every bit of close attention that comes with having a savvy, comics-first guy in that position. That’s not in any way implied commentary on Joe Quesada, I swear. I’m comparing Alonso to other people that might hold that position in this day and age, not to his predecessor. Quesada’s run would have to be termed a big success. Moreover, he leaves that historical position I believe still generally well-liked and certainly widely admired, which is sort of astonishing given the decisions that job calls for over time.”
Tom Brevoort: “This is Axel’s moment. He shouldn’t have to share the spotlight. He well deserves it.”
Jason Aaron: “My bold prediction: the Axel Alonso era at Marvel will be just as exciting and groundbreaking as the Joe Q one, only with more cursing.”
Not to be outdone by his former fellow Senior VP – Executive Editor and (Cup o’ Joe: Marvel T&A partner) Axel Alonso, outspoken editor Tom Brevoort has been named Senior Vice President of Publishing by Marvel. Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada broke the news via Twitter while also congratulating Alonso for his ascension to the Editor-in-Chief position held by Quesada until today. Marvel tells CBR that further details about both promotions are forthcoming.
With his (imho) admirably candid Internet presence across a variety of platforms, Brevoort has emerged as Marvel editorial’s de facto voice, often to the tune of reader controversy. This has always struck me as a reversal from the “Nu-Marvel” days of the early 2000s, prior to Brevoort’s involvement in the publisher’s new Avengers and event-driven era, when the editor was viewed by many fans as a traditionalist counterpoint to/bulwark against Quesada, Alonso and then-President Bill Jemas.
Marvel promotes Axel Alonso to Editor-in-Chief; Joe Quesada to focus on Chief Creative Officer duties
Huge news from the House of Ideas: Axel Alonso has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Entertainment. Previously serving as Senior VP – Executive Editor alongside Tom Brevoort and overseeing the X-Men and MAX lines among other projects, Alonso will now oversee all of Marvel Publishing’s day-to-day aspects and report to Publisher and President Dan Buckley. Alonso replaces Joe Quesada, who shifts to full-time focus on Marvel’s multimedia initiatives in publishing, digital, film and television alike within his existing role as Chief Creative Officer.
This marks the end of Quesada’s transformative ten-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief, the longest such reign of anyone in the company’s history save Stan Lee and one that saw the publisher emerge from the shadow of bankruptcy to once again become the dominant player in the North American direct market for comics. Alonso played an integral role in the Quesada regime since 2000, with his experience at Vertigo coming into play as Marvel took major creative and personnel risks during what was known as the “Nu-Marvel” era. Marvel’s press release on the matter touts such controversial projects as X-Statix and The Rawhide Kid as major credits from Alonso’s resume right alongside runs editing Amazing Spider-Man and X-Men, so it seems that Marvel higher-ups value Alonso’s frequently unconventional approach to superheroics.
Shawn Crystal is a SCAD Atlanta professor I met back in October (as documented in this story). In addition to his role educating storytellers, Crystal is a professional artist equally busy building a name for himself in the comics industry. Tomorrow (February 3) will feature the release of his latest effort, Deadpool Team-Up 896 (written by Stuart Moore). As previewed last week by CBR and detailed here: “Get ready to hit the road with U.S. ACE, Marvel’s truckin’ hero! He’s back behind the wheels of a big rig with an unlikely partner — DEADPOOL — and together they’re puttin’ the hammer down, ridin’ the open road, and decapitatin’ giant killer raccoons. Good times…if they don’t kill each other first! Featuring the working-class villainy of THE HIGHWAYMAN, and the world premiere of the chart-toppin’ “Ballad of U.S. Ace,” composed and performed by Wade Wilson. What part of ‘Collector’s Item’ don’t you understand?” I was pleased to get an opportunity to talk to Crystal about this issue and creators he respects (as well as find out his David Lapham news). After enjoying this email exchange, be sure to check out Crystal’s blog as well as his deviantART page.
Tim O’Shea: The first question I have to ask–what reference does an artist use when drawing giant killer raccoons?
Shawn Crystal: There is a very popular book many artists have in their studio, and cherish like the arc of the covenant. It’s called “Homicidal Animals: A reference manual for the aspiring cartoonist.” Unfortunately, I do not own this book, so I had to resort to some more traditional methods. I started with the obvious, books on raccoons that were peppered with glamour shots of these little buggers. I also spent some time seeing how other artists had handled raccoons, mainly animators. There was some decent stuff in “Disney’s: The art of Pocahontas.” I also talked to a buddy of mine, Brad Walker who draws Guardians of the Galaxy, which has Rocket Raccoon as a team member. Researching raccoons was fairly easy; creating the chopper gang was a ton of fun. I needed to design a gang of Uzi wielding raccoons on motorcycles. The first thing I needed to find was a thread, something to make this gang seem like a team. Working for Marvel affords me the luxury of using their library, so I chose the X-Men. Well, the kid in me did. I started designing raccoons based on the themes and shapes of some of the X-Men and their costumes. I also wanted to give this biker gang a Hells Angel’s feel, ol skool choppers and leather. I didn’t want to go with the more current crotch rocket trend. I have an affinity of the art of Von Dutch, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Robert Williams. I pulled out the books I have on these guys and started drawing. X Men + Hells Angels + Racoons = Crazy fun designing.
The teaser image set the monkey-loving section of the comics Internet on fire — and let’s face it, that’s a pretty big section of the comics Internet. Now the truth about Frank Cho’s gun-toting mystery monkey has been revealed: He’s Hitman Monkey, a new character swinging his way into the Marvel Universe. Editor Axel Alonso tells Marvel.com this simian assassin (technically a Japanese macaque) will first appear in a two-part Marvel Digital Comic Exclusive by Daniel Way and Dalibor Talijic — featuring Cho’s cover — before wreaking havoc in February’s Deadpool #20. Here’s hoping for an eventual crossover with Gorilla Man from Agents of Atlas.