Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Publishing | David Gabriel, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, says that Marvel is putting “the biggest marketing investment that we’ve ever put into a series or an event” behind its upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men event. The campaign will include online, social media, radio and television promotion. “They’re actually treating every issue as an event, because there’s a different fight going on in every issue, and I’m told that they are pushing every single issue through all 12 issues,” Gabriel said. “The story itself has three acts, and each of those acts has a natural marketing hook to it, so they’re pushing those as well.” [ICv2]
Publishing | While DC’s New 52 has been good for comics sales overall, there is a dark side: Sales of pre-reboot collected editions are down. ICv2 also lists the Top 10 comics and graphic novel franchises in a number of different genres. [ICv2]
Legal | The Justice Department brought more charges of fraud and copyright infringement against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his colleagues on Friday, but also revealed that Megaupload isn’t all that mega: The file-sharing site had only 66.6 million users, not the 180 million previously claimed, and fewer than 6 million had ever actually uploaded a file. The indictment mentions one user who uploaded almost 17,000 items, including copyrighted movies, which were viewed 34 million times. [The Washington Post]
By the end of the year, Marvel’s major Spider-Man and X-Men titles will be available in digital form the same day print copies are released in stores ICv2.com reports.
The announcement was made Thursday at Comic-Con International at the “Marvel Digital: What’s Next Panel,” where Senior Vice President of Publishing David Gabriel revealed the process will begin next week with The Amazing Spider-Man #666 and the “Spider-Island” storyline that follows. (The news and analysis site notes that, interestingly, ASM #666 boasts the retailer-specific “Comic Shop Variant” covers.)
The same-day digital roll-out will continue with the X-Men books in October and November, beginning with the launch of the newly split Wolverine & the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. Gabriel reportedly indicated that Marvel would move to same-day digital release with other titles when there’s a convenient jumping-on point for readers, such as a new storyline or a No. 1 issue.
I am no financial expert. There is no reason to come to a comic shop clerk to learn about big corporate business and how it should be run. There is no way to know Marvel’s financial plans or the details of their exact revenue unless you turn in a smashing resume and work your way into corporate. I will never have access to Marvel’s bank book and nor would I want it (unless it was written by Abnett and Lanning). Numbers and bookkeeping are incredibly boring to Yours Truly and it would be presumptuous and foolish of me to start dictating how Marvel Entertainment should be running their business from my couch.
But that’s essentially what I’m going to do today. You have been warned.
And the worst part is that it’s something no one wants to hear. Marvel, love ‘em or leaving ‘em, has to make money. They have to put out product that people will give them money for and it has to be a lot of money. It’s a rare case when a company packs it up because they have all the money they need. No chance of Marvel doing that any time soon, so they think up new ways to please the public so that they acquire more funds to make more product, etc. etc. So what happens when the best way to please the public… is to lower your prices?
Kudos to our eagle-eyed Robot 6 and Spinoff compadre Graeme McMillan for spotting something interesting, and perhaps a bit frustrating, in Marvel’s January solicitations. On his Twitter, Graeme noted (edited slightly for clarity): “Number of new 32-page Marvel books @ $2.99 in new solicits: three. Number of new 32-page Marvel books @ $3.99 in new solicits: seven. What happened to price cuts?”
You no doubt recall that less than an hour after DC announced price cuts for its ongoing series during New York Comic Con — with a detailed list of the titles involved, along with page-count decreases and the cessation of back-up features — Marvel Senior Vice President-Sales & Circulation David Gabriel announced price cuts for Marvel, too, stating that new books launching in January 2011 will not debut at $3.99. Though details about the plan were scarce, here at Robot 6 we rounded up Marvel’s reaction to the price cuts at both publishers, from Senior Vice President C.B. Cebulski’s mild busting of DC’s chops for dropping page counts along with prices and, thus, reducing creator income, to sales communications manager Arune Singh’s statement that many titles debuting from Marvel in 2011 will ship at $2.99.