Nice post. What issue is this from or what year?
I write comic book reviews every Wednesday using pages from each book. Check it: Is It Good?: All the Best Books of the Day Reviewed!
It sounds like you're asking for exactly what's already happened this year.
In another way, Marvel is doing the opposite. While Lee is talking about paring down the peripheral titles to lower the amount of books published each month Marvel is just paring down the peripheral titles to make room for double shipping and .1s. Lee mentions a concern for both quality vs quantity and fan's budgets while double shipping and releasing .1s is doing the opposite.
Unless I'm mistaken, Marvel is still publishing fewer books than at this time last year.
The notion of publishing less books will always be a double edged sword.
Truthfully I do think they publish more books than they need to. But at the same time, every book has some sort of fan base and people will always be unhappy when something gets cancelled.
Looking at the numbers of the recent Black Panther book for example, I can't honestly fault marvel for cancelling it. But in my view that book was as good if not better than any other book on the shelf in terms of quality. I was sad to see it go.
Marvel could probably do just fine publishing X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, etc... but sometimes we do see some good stuff on the lower end of the sales charts.
Kind of the same thing with the X books and lately the Avenger books.
I do understand the criticism... but I'm not sure canelling an Avengers book would mean a Heroes for Hire or an Alpha Flight book would sell better in it's place. If it did, I'd support that instead.
I miss the days when Marvel acted like they liked their fans... It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, talk about how loyal the fans are, and the fans will be more loyal.
Instead of just telling us that we're anonymous nobodies who just want them to fail... That self-fulfilling prophecy doesn't work out well for them...
Comics enjoyed by my Old Lady: Chew, IKG, Saga, JTHM, Ex Machina, Gil Kane's Green Lantern, Wormwood, NYX, Jurgen and JMS's Thor, along with a few others.
And I'm not just talking about comic books. Wrestling fan, TV show fans, etc... internet is filled with haters. And that's kind of tough to ignore. Things did seem more positive from both sides when the net didn't exist and the most interaction we got were on letter pages or at cons (where 90% of the haters switch pull a face turn when they're actually face to face with the people they spend hours hating on).
I'm not saying that marvel and really every other medium that decides to interact with the net shouldn't do their best to be positive and respectful to the fans... but given the mount loads of negativity errupting from the net literally every hour of everyday I at least understand some of the eye rolling they do.
These days, it seems like these titles come at the expense of smaller ones. Not that I'm saying that if we cancel one Avengers title, it will automatically make Heroes for Hire a better seller. Just that this sort of bombardment (for lack of a better term) of one franchise or another kind of sends the message that other, newer properties or titles not tied to a larger franchise aren't as "important." I look at something like the new 52, and how they managed to give ALL new titles the same prominence. Yes, some of them didn't make it. But DC did manage to promote titles like Animal Man on the same level as the newest Batman title, and avoided newer titles from being lost in the haze.
It just seems like with Marvel these days, its just either a new X-Book or a new Avengers title. Which is OK, but it doesn't seem all that creative or exciting. It's expected. It's safe. It's not risky. It's not daring. And that's part of what I think Marvel kind of lacks these days.
I really don't know what the "solution" is. But I think there is some room for improvement in this area.
Everyone does see that Stan was just sugarcoating canceling titles and not putting out books that would not sell well.That was Bishop Don Magic Juan pimp game right there:)
When the economy is good and the market is healthy, they probably publish more books and are willing to try new stuff.
When it's shrinking, I would imagine they'd focus on the stuff they know would sell and use the better selling franchise to try and prop up the lesser selling ones under their banner when possible.