Marv Wolfman explains why people hate Marvel.

Discussion in 'Marvel Comics' started by masteryoda, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. SurfDUI Registered

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    Maybe not Better, BUT RIGHT THE FREAK ON!!!!:cmad:

    All these damn creators have there 'take' on the continuity and history of these characters, HOW BOUT CREATING SOME NEW DAMN COSTUMES!!:cmad:
     
  2. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    I think one of the biggest reasons people complain about comics and hate what Marvel is doing today is one of the first reasons that he mentions in this thread: People grow up and their likes and dislikes change. Face it, Marvel cannot help us recapture the glory of what it was like to read these comics when we were kids.

    There is still a part of me that can almost touch what it was like to rush out to the local 7-11, run home, and instantly read all my new comics. And, when I get that feeling nudging me at the back of my mind, it's when I see an old cover to a comic I used to own. Like this issue:

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, I can almost feel what it was like when I read that comic many, many years ago. But, when I open it's pages, the magic is lost. I think, "hmmm, not quite what I remembered."

    The same thing happened with me when I had all my Star Wars figures in the 70's to very early 80's. I used to play with those all the time. I could spend hours in my Star Wars make-believe world, with Star Wars figures interacting with Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Micronauts figures and playsets. Me and my best friend at the time would meet up, bring out figures together, and then hold a draft to who gets which characters. (Nobody wanted Princess Leia first...but, she was essential if you wanted any romance in your story.) Then, one day I thought, "I haven't played with those figures forever," and the magic was lost. I can still remember sitting in my room, thinking, "where did all the fun go?" One day you have it, then the next day it's gone.

    Simpy put, for people like Roach...the comics haven't changed as much as we've changed. Seriously, comics are probably better now. And, if you sat down a group of adults, told them they were required to read comics from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and today, I really believe the vast majority would say comics are more interesting now than ever before. (But, I do believe that same majority would say the comics were better for kids in the past.)

    For me, I have a lot more comics I love now than ever before. Lots of Marvel, like Annihilation, Heroes For Hire, and Runaways. Quite a few DC books, like Checkmate, Jonah Hex, and Detective Comics. Plus, some independant books, like Girls, Walking Dead, and Strangers In Paradise. Sure, the magic of yesterday isn't in me anymore....but, my appreciation for what's being put out on a weekly basis is more than ever.
     
  3. roach I am the night

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    It could be that I have changed but I know the biggest part of the problem seems to be the boneheaded decisions that Marvel is making.
     
  4. SurfDUI Registered

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    Well written, but I feel any real fan of comics (that extends PRE '90's X-Men animated series) surley has more apreciation for the stories from the '70's or '80's. Were not talkin Spidey super stories. We do have a glut of creators who either are frequently late on there books (YOU ALL KNOW THIS WAS UNHEARD OF 10-20 YEARS AGO) put more language and more 'supposed' real situations, bang w/ the incessant and redundant snappy patter, repeatedly give us there take on the same characters...etc. What happened to the new characters? Now we have a bunch of hardcore heroe's and Wolverine is spread so damn thin it's rediculous (sp).

    :woot:

    People just think that now we live in the future, everything before is invalid. :huh: I'ts just not true-adults have been reading comics for a while hence the Direct Market.
     
  5. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    But, in the past, if a comic was late, all they'd do is fill it in with a reprint. I remember having an issue of Fantastic Four that ended in a cliff-hanger. I had that issue for probably 5 years, reading it over and over, wishing I could find out what happened next. Well, 5 years later, I went to my first comic shop. Like the proverbial "kid in a candy store," I dug through all those back issue, buying up comics I'd been dying to get my hands on, including that following issue of FF. Guess what? REPRINT. I found out when I got home. (Back then, I had to drive an hour to get to that store, the closest comic shop near me.)

    Anyway, looking back, that happened frequently enough. (And, let's not forget all the "reprint years" of those early X-Men books. Think if that happened today.) Plus, I noticed that many comics also had "filler stories," which meant that the writer couldn't get the next issue out; so, they filled it in with something else lying around. (I believe I remember enough of the group books, like FF, having some solo story to fill in some time.)

    Now, aside from the regular books, Marvel was all about reprints. They had numerous issues set aside just to tell reprint stories. Heck, Giant-Sized usually meant 3 old stories from a comic character's past.
     
  6. roach I am the night

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    i would rather have a well written filler story than a late book
     
  7. SurfDUI Registered

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    True enough, and the've done this in the past-but this current trend of creator teams for 6 months and then on to the next. Has the 'great' Jim Lee ever worked on a book for more than a year. Those Image guys tried-I'll give them that, and largely there upstarts were forgettable, but then too it was the nineties and flash was in big time.

    I just feel left out, w/ all the "all star" titles and, Ultimate 'line' and gimmicky things. they are well presented, just a little cold.
     
  8. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    ...ah, but that's the catch. They weren't well-written. Usually, it pissed you off more that you were dying to find out what happened next, get the issue, then get home and realize they screwed you over.

    Man, the more I think about it, the more this happened. Sometimes you don't even realize that you were getting filler. This month, Marvel put out Legion of Monsters from Marvel Premeire #28, I believe. It was neat to see they had this idea, but the story was just so terrible. Anyway, I noticed on the last page of that story, it said what the next issue was going to be called. Just at that same time, I had downloaded the entire Marvel Premeire collection, and I looked at issue #27. On the last page, it had the same "next issue" title as issue #28. So, this Legion of Monsters was just a filler.

    Even the classic story from What If? involving Conan took a lot longer than they initially stated. If you read the letter page from What If? #4, Vol. 1, Roy Thomas states that due to delays they weren't able to present "Conan in the present" for that issue. In fact, it was delayed a second time, when in the letter page for Issue #9, they said they wished to present "Conan in the 20th Century" for that issue; but, were still unable to. Then, FINALLY, it stated at the end of Issue #11, "Next Issue: AT LAST! What if...Conan Walked The Earth Today??" Guess what happened? Yep, delayed AGAIN! Then, issue #12, it states, "Next: What if Conan Walked The Earth Today? This time for sure!"...and, after 20 months, that story finally came out. (Why 20 months? Because, What If? Vol. 1 was Bi-Monthly.) So, just imagine the stink over that fiasco if the internet was alive back then!
     
  9. iloveclones spooky....

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    Another thing he said that struck me is that maxim that we've all heard many times before, "The customer is always right." I absolutely agree with that. I think any company that doesn't realize that is doomed to failure or mediocrity.

    But anyone who has ever worked retail can tell you all about the customers that demanded satisfaction as though that saying was written right into the constitution. It's obnoxious. I feel like comic fans can be like that. If every single pet peeve of theirs isn't catered to, if writers/artists/EICs don't shower the fans with enthusiam (like Stan did), they throw a hissy fit.

    So, if fans are put off, I put it on Marvel first. Because it costs them nothing to either say something nice, or nothing at all. That doesn't mean the fans aren't acting childish, though. (I'm not directing this at you guys.)
     
  10. Galact-Gal Registered

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    Phaedrus, the Conan What If? is really not a good example. In the first place, they didn't just stop the entire series until it came out. In the second place, I wouldn't consider all those stories that appeared before it as fillers.
    Yes, I gnashed my teeth when Uncanny X-Men 106 came out--a filler that came just before the climax of the Introduction of the Shi'ar/M'Kraan Crystal Threatens the Universe storyline. But UXM was bi-monthly, & I would much rather have had a fill-in than wait 4 months for the next issue!
    Nowadays I'm even less patient. If a regular issue is going to be a month or more late, give me a fill-in!
     
  11. SurfDUI Registered

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    But we have example after example of say Invincible Iron Man I have almost 200 straight issues, Amazing Spider-man ran straight for well over a decade, Detectice Comics, all concruant for years, all very popular titles. And these are not the Dreamwave type co. that just are upstarts.

    Take Superman/Batman, what number are they on, surley not the number they should be since it's been out for like 3 years now and I rather like that title/pairing, these jokers just arn't punctual, and it's not even about Marvel-this is a current creator issue, and just one.
     
  12. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    But, in the end, who's at fault? It's probably all divided equally. Here are just some thoughts that come to mind:

    1) About Conan, yes those weren't fillers. But, that was used as an example in conjunction with the internet. If you were told 20 months ago a certain issue was coming out, there would be buzz about how long it took for the particular parties to deliver it.

    2) The fans putting certain comic writers and artists on a pedistal (sp?) and buying whatever they put out, whether late or not, contributes to the companies letting deadlines go by. (Heck, many writers get more printed with their complaining about the comic industry than what they put out. If Steve Gerber is as great as he claims, he should be making the Foolkiller and Omega the Unknown style comics today. But, in the end, he's living off yesterday and comes across as a bitter, old man.)

    3) I blame Image. To me, they really started this whole ball of wax. They left, were very vocal about it, and many of their letter pages were devoted to slamming the very companies that made them a star. But, in the end, they not only insulted a company that knew how to run a business (for, that's what this is, in the end), but they also created so many dividing lines between fans, artists, and companies. And, just like poetic justice, they all ended up doing the same to one another. It's amazing, but those people who complain and ***** about a company very vocally tend to do the same thing elsewhere. The common factor is generally not the companies for there disfavor, but themselves.

    4) With the above statement, I can see people saying that Marvel doesn't know how to run the business. But, I disagree. Change takes time. Clearly, Marvel couldn't make the same books they made in the 60's - 80's. The 90's were so bad, because many of the top artists and writers felt they could just start things on their own and be successful. So, you are going to have to adjust to these changes.

    Look at the timing. People point to how many comic shops were around in the glory days. But, many products have real sharp sales for a while, with a dipping off followed shortly. That's how this entertainment field works.

    Look at tv. Every few years, something new is hot. Sitcoms are definitely out right now. The years of "Friends" style shows is gone. Slowly, the CSI-style shows are becoming less and less, with now the fad being shows that have a theme running throughout the year, like Jericho, Lost, Veronica Mars, or Desperate Housewives. Most reality shows peak, then viewers drop off drastically.

    Look at wrestling. Vince McMahon was at the top, then along came WCW and Ted Turner. Vince, like Marvel, almost lost his company. But, then came the wrestling boom. It was big business, everyone watched the rating soar...but, now, they are desperate to capture their previous audience. It isn't that it's going to come back, it's that it was the fad for a while, now that audience has pretty much moved on.

    Look at the internet. While many people still use it, just remember how many people have lost tons of money because they thought the internet was such a wave of the future, that you could have a dotcom name and be a success. Remember the Superbowl many years back and their commercials? They had, it seemed, half the commercials devoted to a dotcom type company. Everyone jumped on, and in the end, more people lost money than gained.

    That's how I look at the comic industy. It will always be around, and it will have times of high growth; but, for the most part, that high growth won't be something that will ever stick. It will be a fad. All the figures about half a million comics selling for one issue in the past should never be considered the norm of what someone should compare comic sales on.

    5) Comics just aren't as popular because kids today expect to have their desires given to them immediately. A movie in the theater only lasts a few weeks now. Then, in about 3-4 months, it's out on DVD. "Get it while it's hot" is the attitude. New tv shows cannot wait out their audience, like in the past. "Cheers" would never have lasted the first season. For that matter, "Seinfeld" wouldn't have lasted, either. They both tanked the first year. Today, the experts would just have said, "The sitcom is out. Lets go for a Lost-style program." Face it, you have to be patient if you are a comic reader. The current X-Men storyline is 12 issues long; Annihilation is taking 11 months to finish. Kids today don't have that kind of patience.
     
  13. Arkady Rossovich Registered

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    Marv Wolfman did make a good point.People bash Marvel,yet still buy.So if you dont like it,then dont buy it.There is change,some might not like it.
     
  14. Fading ---

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    Good read, and I think he hit a lot of things on the head.

    Marvel really doesn't have the feel of a community it used to, instead of it feeling closer to a group or club of ppl liking similar thing now it's replaced with ppl arguing over what writer did what in real life mixing the in comics world with real life anger over the one who draws it or writes it.

    Not to count I have noticed the ones who seem the most vocal against marvel seem to be ones who admit to reading it in the past.

    To me I know Marvel's produced tremendous books in the past, I never got into DC characters tho I have picked up a book from time to time from them, but Marvel's just been a good source of entertainment for me. Some years they go dry, and some would call me a Marvel Zombie, but I just prefer Marvel as I know I can find a book from them I like even if another of theirs is letting me down. I also don't think the 'Marvel hatred' goes too far past internet sites like these. I was flipping thru channels, and saw on a kids station (think it was nicolodian) they had a Marvel vs DC poll, Marvel won it with the kids 70% to DC's 30%. I look on sites less hardcore and it's about the same. You get to the hardcore comic sites where ppl know their characters a bit better and it gets more even or more on the anti-Marvel side of things, and not surprisingly u find plenty of posts hating on the writers, or those in charge.


    One thing I will say tho is that I think the lack of means to buy the comics hurts the buisness a ton as he said. When I was a kid I could simply go to a local grocery store and there would be comics on the magazine rack, and I'd pick one up. Closer to early teens that stopped, and about mid teens a local comic shop opened up, and closed a few years later. Now if I want a comic I have to drive 30 miles to a slightly bigger city to one of their two comic stores, or order online. I think if comics were more accessible to everyone more would likely get picked up. If a kid or adult could see some on the mag rack at a local Walmart and not bend over backwards to find a place to buy them then sales might improve.
     
  15. BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    Wow, I've never read that from Wolfman before. It's eerie how much something said years ago still applies so much to Marvel today.
     
  16. chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    I totally agree with you here. I want to see a Blade comic where he fights vampires. Against villians like Deacon Frost. Even comic versions of Nomak and Danica from the movies as thats what renewd peoples intrest in the character. If you write good stories you don't need Spiderman or Wolverine to turn up in the book for no reason other than to get people to by it.
     
  17. roach I am the night

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    Exactly Blade has a niche in a section of the Marvel U seldom seen....The supernatural. Vampires are tiresome...you still have all sorts of supernatural monsters form him to hunt down. I dont need to see Blade fight Paste Pot Pete to secure him in the Marvel Universe
     
  18. Doc Destruction Geaux Saints!

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    They really just don't get it. It reminds me of how Sony used to treat EQ players like *****es. Where is EQ now? Exactly.

    GREAT read. I could read that again and again.
     
  19. CaptainCanada Shield of the True North

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    I agree. I strongly believe that the problems comics have in drawing in new readers are not related to the comics themselves, but to the delivery. Last year, my parents took in my mother's sister's son for a number of months; my cousin was in junior high, but with next to no reading skills or interest in reading; I gave him my Astonishing X-Men comics, and he loved them, and then started reading The Ultimates and a bunch of others. He's now moved back with his father, and is a regular reader of comics titles. Kids love Marvel's (and DC's) superheroes, and even if (as someone said in this thread) they don't have the patience to wait for monthly titles, there's 40 years of stories that can be found. Comics are just too remote for kids these days.
     
  20. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    If I owned a shop, I would not bring comics into my store. First, all magazine sales have dropped significantly. Look at TV Guide. That used to be the most popular selling magazine at the super market. Now, they have tried to keep themselves alive by ditching the actual "tv guide" section and just focus on entertainment articles. Plus, the amount of money you make with a magazine rack is very little of a store's income.

    When I worked for Long's Drug, I was in charge of half the store. My store manager was really cool, and let us take chances. Well, since I had the front end of the store, I was in charge of books and magazines. I tried to shake it up, bring in more popular stuff...but, it didn't matter. The amount of sales never changed, and in the end it was a failed experiment. In fact, I noticed that magazines geared towards kids lost me money. It was a high theft item. And, those who did like the magazines just sat around the store and read them there to pass the time.

    Plain and simple, you don't want your store to bring in a certain clientel. Teenagers, in particular, don't spend much money, besides maybe a candy bar and a pop. (And, with the soda's, you generally find them trying to find the "free pop" caps, anyway.) Teens tend to loiter, and frankly, an older clientel doesn't want to come into a retail store with a bunch of teenagers and kids.
     
  21. ShadowBoxing Registered

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    The article is crap...sorry.

    It assumes Marvel exists in some vaccum. The fact is, the real truth is the world changes and therefore comics must change. Art, writing style, editorial staffs cannot do the same thing forever and ever.

    Stan Lee corny over the top nature and his exposition filled stories, as much as we like them, would never work today. If they re-leased Spider-Man #1 (or Amazing Fantasy #15) as it was in the 1960s today you'd never hear the name Spider-Man again. The adult readership would mock the origin, think the art was atrocious, they may even pick apart the plot and costume design.

    Readers grow old, the change, a new generation comes in demanding something different. I have friends who look at Born Again, no I am not kidding, and hate the art. Hate it, because it's not crisp and computer enhanced like todays. I love it, but then again that is what I grew up reading.

    Since my first issue, since my days of collecting every issue of Transformers and X-Men I could buy, things have changed. Image came out. Action movies got darker and more realistic. The gore, nudity and langauge content went up in movies. Comics and cartoons started catering to adults and late teenagers. South Park, the Simpsons and Family Guy now dominate the cartoon market when once Looney Tunes was king. The internet openned up increasing the number of spoilers and complaints that can be heard and exchanged.

    I like some of Marv's points but he misses the big picture.

    I think what he misses is key. I'd collect every issue up until about 1992-1994. Why, because that is what I am used to. I know guys who swear by the ninties though and think the Infinite Guantlet and Heroes Return are awesome. I am not that guy.

    Look at comics today, higher production value, better and more highly paid writing staffs, spinoff movies and TV series. But they aren't 80s issues, or 70s, or 60s, but those aren't necessarily better...just what some are used to.
     

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