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  1. #16
    Say WHAT?!?!?!? FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    Marvel seems in a very strange place right now. They have some very good books-- Journey into Mystery, Daredevil, X-Factor, Thunderbolts, for my tastes-- but there does seem to be this impetus to push every thing towards the center, which amounts to more A and X books, almost all of which seem superfluous to the big event title. It's weird: they get Walt Simonson, my favorite artist of all time and a reason to pick up any book as far as I'm concerned, to illustrate six issues of The Avengers, and it's little more than a tie-in book. People bitch about DC's new 52, but at least it seems that some creators have been allowed to push things forward (mostly the Dark line). Marvel just seems like a marketing machine, which is a shame because they have some real talent.

  2. #17
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    All your examples go back no further than the 80s, which is telling, because I think the big difference between now and the 60s-70s, mainly at Marvel, was that for a brief period in there the lunatics (i.e. creative people) were often running the asylum...
    Of course Marvel didn't start producing line wide crossover until the 80's as well, after DC did it. The first was Secret Wars, which was mostly slef-contained except for vignettes dealing with the heroes disappearing and reappearing, but after DC got the ball rolling with event series that expanded into regular titles Marvel followed with Secret Wars II-Marvel continued with smaller scale events-like Acts of Vengeance and then seemed content to keep the events confined to the X-Universe for a while (Inferno, Fall of the Mutants, X-Tinction Agenda) for several years until you get to Heroes Reborn and Heroes Return.

    DC on the other hand, ran out summer events year after year for a long time, from Crisis through most of the 90's (Final Night, Genesis, Armageddon, Zero Hour, etc. etc.) and had the Superman and Batman lines thoroughly editorially driven and plotted by committee (triangle numbering Superman titles anyone?, Batman Contagion, No Man's Land, Knightfall, Knightquest, etc.)

    My point was people are pointing at Marvel for doing something that was basically originated and propagated by DC for years and years and then saying shame shame Marvel. And I agree, it is a shame, but it is pretty much business as usually for both of the big two had has been for most of their time of dominance form the Silver Age onwards. So it should be shame shame Marvel and DC, nit just one or the other. The only time either company seemed to have a lot of innovation and creative freedom was the 70's and early 80's (which was a time when the audience seemed to be looking for such things and buying them a bit more) but as the direct market evolved and eventually dominated the comics industry and comics began to sell on a (solely) nonreturnable basis, there became less margin for sales risks and tried and true sellers had to come to the fore while the experimentation and innovation moved to smaller independent publishers who expected to have smaller print runs and more modest sales. Sales were always a factor but it became magnified in this Diamond monopoly dominated age of distribution.

    It's not really that different than other popular media though. Want creative freedom in making movies-have to go indy flick route as mainstream studios want what they see as guaranteed box office returns; creative freedom in TV show creation-better go cable like HBO because networks want guaranteed ratings they can sell to sponsors not creative experimental visions. Want to publish a novel with creative vision-better go small press or ebook only publication as the big publishing houses want guaranteed sellers (or at least what they believe will be guaranteed sellers. The actual writer has less creative freedom in these medium now, and comics is moving that direction as well. I don't like the idea, but it is what it is and what is has been.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  3. #18
    Soul Gem Resident adam_warlock_2099's Avatar
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    I think that events can tell a good story if that is what the goal of the writers and editors is. I don't think that it is the format of the story telling that is bad, it's the end goal. If you write something to sell, than one is almost forced to pander to what is popular in the present 15 minutes. If one's goal is to write something to tell the story that person wants to tell, than it shall succeed or fail, but it will do so on it's own merits.

    The last events I read were Annihilation and Conquest, and I did so because the premise of the story appealed to me. I bought of the event what I wanted to read, which was more in Conquest's than Annihilation, but what I have of both events completes the story for me. I am an 90's child so to speak, so event comics are not new to me. I enjoy Age of Apocalypse to this day, but couldn't stand to read a single issue of the Clone Saga again.

    Even as a fan of the cosmic, I own all the Infinity minis, but unless I was buying the titles already, I never went after the tie in issues.

    yet still I do hate when an event pulls an issue that you are buying into it, and you are lost or wasted $3 because you choose not to read the event. The "Kings" event pulled 2-3 issues of GotG into that I read that were wasted to me. It is defiantly a schizophrenic way of presenting a story. To some you will win and to some you will loose.

    As always I think good writers and artists can tell a good story with even a some editorial interference. There is a point where editorial interference completely deems what the final product is. But for that you don't need writers you need employees. And as a struggling one myself I wouldn't bear an ill will toward any writer or artists settling into financial security. There are too many thousands and thousands of comics already printed that I haven't read yet. Everyone is trying scratch out a living for them and theirs. If that means pandering, then I guarantee you if I could write or draw worth a shit, I would pander to provide for m family.

    Just an observation on m part being here on this forum .... I don't think that it is the type of storytelling, or format in which it is done, or subject chosen or even the use of characters that we grew up with used in a different light that is "wrong" to us. It is that comics are conforming to majority as any business would and should do to guarantee it's continued profit. Just like movies and music, comics are changing. I don't like the changes as a rule, but I don't count anything new out because it is new. And not accusing the OP or an other poster of that, just talking out loud at something we all struggle with as long time readers.

    It's just like porn on the internet. There is a whole lot of shit out there you really don't want to see. But that doesn't mean that you can find something out there that you do enjoy. (I tend to compare everything to porn or alcohol. I make no excuses for my actions. lol)
    "To alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems." -- Homer Simpson
    "You get what everyone gets. You get a lifetime." -- Death (Sandman)

  4. #19
    NOT Bucky O'Hare! The Confessor's Avatar
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    With regards the OP's comments...I'm as disinterested in this event as you are. I was only moaning about a month ago in the "Meanwhile" thread about how little interest I have in what is essentially a series of superhero punch ups. You can see my original comments on the subject here....


    http://forums.comicbookresources.com...=#post14797353


    I still buy some modern comics and I was fully on board for, and loved, House Of M, Civil War and Secret Invasion (buying many, many tie-ins for the latter two events), but I perceived a definite lessening in quality with Seige. Fear Itself just sort of seemed like a total non-event and I still scratch my head over what the point of it all was. Luckily, I only bought the main Fear Itself series, but nevertheless I felt somewhat burned. That, combined with my utter lack of interest in whether Iron Man can beat up Wolverine or whatever, means that I have decided to give Avengers vs. X-Men a miss.
    MY PULL LIST
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  5. #20
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    How far back do you want to go....

    all dates approximate...

    Anti-Monitor-Crisis on Infinite Earth (1984-5)
    Darkseid-Legends (1986)
    Manhunters -Millennium (1988)
    Dominators-Invasion (1989)
    ...all the way to Flashpoint 2011...

    -M
    I want to go back to December 1978, because that's when I stopped paying attention to comics for the next quarter-century.

    In retrospect, lucky me (at least as far as the pernicious influence of the Big Events is concerned).
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  6. #21
    Senior Member edhopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    Of course this isn't the first time Marvel has had a mini-series featuring the X-Men fighting the Avengers, the last time was around '89 where they had X-Men vs. Avengers, FF vs. X-Men and a Mephisto vs. miniseries that features X-Men, X-Factor, Avengers, and FF all published the same summer and promoted together. This strategy isn't anything new for Marvel, it's not an Alonso or Quesada thing, it's an outgrowth of them thinking they're giving the fans what they want. What are some of the best selling back issues of Marvel's silver and bronze age....Hulk vs. Thing fights, Thor vs. Hulk fights, Hulk vs. Wolverine, etc. These issues hold a higher demand than the issues around them usually. Marvel puts out a Hulk vs. direct to DVD animated feature with Hulk/Wolvie and Hulk/Thor fights and it does very well.

    Preorders for A vs. X were nearly double what Justice League (the #1 sales leader since its debut) had been). My local shop sold out of A vs. X withing 15 minutes of putting out new boos that week. Reorders were filled a week later-with a second printing.

    I have no interest in the story. I read the free little promo pamphlet and flipped through the advance copy my retailer got for hosting a pre-launch party (he showed it to me since I help him out with his back issue). There was nothing there for me, but then I realize my tastes do not reflect the majority of the buying public these days (and not just in comics).

    However, it is selling, and selling well (especially by current sales standards). Marvel is a business and while I would prefer that creativity be at the forefront of their decisions, it is sales that drive comics. Spider-Man got his own series because a little issue of Amazing Fantasy sold better than the issue before it and Stan and Martin Goodman thought they could make money with the concept. FF got launched because DC was selling a lot of copies of a super-hero team book (JLof A), so criticizing Marvel for making decisions based on sales in business matters condemns the company all the way back to the Silver Age (if not further), not just the current crop of editors and writers.

    We like to look at the past through rose-colored glasses, but the reality is Marvel has always been a business about sales and they will publish what sells well currently. And in today's market, that's books like AvX.

    -M
    A few thoughts. First the difference between these more recent events and the older mini series is that with a couple of exceptions, you could continue reading the books you liked without reading the mini. Now book after book is treated as a mini to the big event story. Look at Fear Itself. After 100 issues of Brubaker telling Bucky's story in Cap, they culminate it in the FI book and Cap's book are just some tangential issues. (can't even remember when they mentioned his death in the Cap book). Way to piss off long time readers.
    As far as sales. Yeah, they sell more to the remain fans with these events, but it is my contention that it is this very type of story, with it's over-complication and demand on the reader that he knows what has happened for the last twenty years in a variety of different books that is one of the main causes for the decline in readership. A kid goes to see Captain America or Thor, good luck picking up the comic (or even knowing which comic to buy) and having an inkling as to what is going on. Stan's adage that every book can be someone's first is long gone. Under Bendis the Avengers branched off into so many books all going through event after event, without any telling a story contained within that book, that no matter how successful the Avengers movie is, I don't think anybody will try more than one issue on the stands and have a clue what is going on.In other words no new readers, just cannabilize the ones that are left. As more very long time readers like me just give up in disgust.
    So maybe it isn't such a good business decision.

  7. #22
    Junior Member Doug_Brunell's Avatar
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    Marvel is run a lot like Hollywood does its movies. Stories by committee, which always ends up poorly. It isn't art. It's entertainment. That said, I do like some of what Marvel is doing, and I am getting this title, though I haven't read my issues yet. I'm not going into it thinking it's something more than it is, though.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by edhopper View Post
    A few thoughts. First the difference between these more recent events and the older mini series is that with a couple of exceptions, you could continue reading the books you liked without reading the mini. Now book after book is treated as a mini to the big event story. Look at Fear Itself. After 100 issues of Brubaker telling Bucky's story in Cap, they culminate it in the FI book and Cap's book are just some tangential issues. (can't even remember when they mentioned his death in the Cap book). Way to piss off long time readers.
    As far as sales. Yeah, they sell more to the remain fans with these events, but it is my contention that it is this very type of story, with it's over-complication and demand on the reader that he knows what has happened for the last twenty years in a variety of different books that is one of the main causes for the decline in readership. A kid goes to see Captain America or Thor, good luck picking up the comic (or even knowing which comic to buy) and having an inkling as to what is going on. Stan's adage that every book can be someone's first is long gone. Under Bendis the Avengers branched off into so many books all going through event after event, without any telling a story contained within that book, that no matter how successful the Avengers movie is, I don't think anybody will try more than one issue on the stands and have a clue what is going on.In other words no new readers, just cannabilize the ones that are left. As more very long time readers like me just give up in disgust.
    So maybe it isn't such a good business decision.
    This.

    After several years away from collecting or reading new comics, I got back in just ahead of the FI event. I was completely lost, and all the crossing over meant that story lines went nowhere for me. As a result, there are only a couple of Marvel titles I still buy monthly.

    I am completely disinterested in the A v X event. Not buying it, not reading it and suprised it is such a sales driver.

    I don't care that people do want these books, I just don't see the appeal myself.

  9. #24
    A narcoleptic insomniac MrHalfawake's Avatar
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    If my choices are between a super hero scuffle and a franchise wide reboot that kicks many new characters out of the universe Ill take the scuffle
    crap Im old

  10. #25
    Member Simon Garth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrHalfawake View Post
    If my choices are between a super hero scuffle and a franchise wide reboot that kicks many new characters out of the universe Ill take the scuffle
    Funnily enough, I've just encountered that choice: I'm reading (and enjoying, damnit!) AvX and the tied-in titles, but I've just read Zero Hour for the first time. I'd heard it was bad, but holy crap that is a seriously awful series; I loathed CoIE and Infinite Crisis, but both of those are giants of the field compared to ZH.

  11. #26
    Think happy thoughts Parch's Avatar
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    The latest event doesn't interest me either, but based on sales our opinion doesn't seem to matter much. The generic Marvel and DC superhero events dominates the industry.

    As for the writers, I don't keep track of who's working where, but I think most writers have had the opportunity to use their creative freedom at some time in their career and made a comic under a smaller publisher or indie title. They haven't always slaved away making generic superhero. What I'd like to know from writers is what they think of their various sales. Their creative indie work that they've put their heart and soul into barely makes the radar with minimal sales, while their big company superhero trash tops the charts.

    As much as we like to criticize Marvel for making predictable events, that's what the market demands. The fault lies with the customer who ignores the quality creative work in favor of the superhero soap operas. Damn shame, but I can't blame the companies and writers for providing what the customers want. At least there is an opportunity for creative freedom, even if it doesn't get the attention it deserves.

  12. #27
    Boycott Marvel. Francis Dawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parch View Post
    The latest event doesn't interest me either, but based on sales our opinion doesn't seem to matter much. The generic Marvel and DC superhero events dominates the industry.
    It doesn't though. Check out the Amazon best sellers list for comics and graphic novels to see what really sells in significant numbers outside the DM superhero reservation. Marvel and DC 'dominate' the industry because they ludicrously over-publish.


    http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-B...s/books/4366#1
    Boycott Marvel. Make Mine Kirby.

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