Why Include Spider-Man?

I like this art a lot, by Ricardo Tercio from Spider-Man: Fairy Tales #1, and as The Company of Wolves showed, there are all kinds of really interesting things you can do with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but …

Spider-Man Fairy Tales sample page 1

Spider-Man Fairy Tales sample page 2

Spider-Man Fairy Tales sample page 3

I have to ask, why does it need Spider-Man attached to it? Other than that Marvel wouldn’t publish it without the tenuous tie-in, and they’re not willing to support creative comic projects without some franchise element? Saves on having to come up with an original plot, too.

11 Responses to “Why Include Spider-Man?”

  1. Jer Says:

    It needs Spider-man in it because Marvel is not in the magazine publishing business, and they’re barely even in the graphic novel publishing business. They’re in the intellectual property business. They license Marvel superhero characters that they own and almost everything that they do centers around that. This is another way to put their characters out there and if they can shop it around to a toy company exec or a producer who likes the concept, that’s one more licensed property they can milk some money out of. If the book happens to be good, that’s a bonus.

    Marvel’s corporate and even editorial actions tend to make a lot more sense if they’re viewed from the perspective of an IP licensing company instead of a magazine publisher. DC still seems to operate mainly as a graphic novel publisher maybe because Time-Warner has more control over their IP rights or maybe just because most of their management has been around longer than Marvel’s has.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Which is a problem in and of itself, but that’s a very different rant. :)

  3. James Schee Says:

    I’m guessing that they put the Spider-Man characters in because they figure that’ll sell it better.

    The creator may have even come to Marvel with the pitch of havng the Spidey characters in these roles. Sort of like the LSH annual that had Legionnaires as Wizard of Oz characters.

  4. John Says:

    Well….Marvel did just restart their old Marvel Classic Comics…now retitled Marvel Illustrated. I don’t think Spider-Man is going to appear in the adaptation of Last of the Mohicans, the first title of the series, but I admit, I have only read the first of six issues. (I do like that they’ve decided to adapt the novels in six issues instead of only one. They’ll be less abridged this way.)

    So, yes, it appears Marvel is sometimes interested in publishing books without their characters.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Maybe you know this, because I’m still unclear on it… are the Marvel Illustrated books new or reprints? I somehow got the impression that they were just reprinting older versions.

  6. david brothers Says:

    I thought they were a mix, but a quick check of the July solicits tells me I’m a liar.

    The new Last of the Mohicans is all new work by Roy Thomas with new art. I saw a copy at the comic shop the other day and it looks okay. The art was decent. Not great, but not terrible either. It looked interesting enough for me to want to grab the trade, in part because I’ve never read LotM and always wanted to.

    Fun fact: In true Roy Thomas fashion, there are editorial notes in the book that explain certain things!

    I really dig the Marko Djurdjevic cover for The Man in the Iron Mask.

    X-Men Fairy Tales featured new work by Kyle Baker and Bill Sienkiewicz (all in one trade!) so I kind of couldn’t resist it. I may go for this new Fairy Tales book if the art holds up.

  7. Paul O'Brien Says:

    I think Jer’s being a little too cynical about this. When they did X-MEN: FAIRY TALES, it was presented by C B Cebulski as a series inspired by Chris Claremont’s much-loved “Kitty’s Fairy Tale” issue of UNCANNY X-MEN. I tend to believe him on that, although I also think Cebulski completely missed the point, since X-MEN: FAIRY TALES also appeared to consist of fairy tales onto which the X-Men had been randomly stapled on the basis of tenuous superficial similarities. (Unlike the original, where the “fairy tale” was used to show the way Kitty saw her fellow X-Men.)

    Johanna: As I understand it, the MARVEL ILLUSTRATED books are all new.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for the info on the new material. I love editorial notes; sometimes they’re my favorite thing about a book.

  9. John Says:

    Definitely a new adaptation, as they’re six full length issues. The first issue of the Last of the Mohicans had a 24 page main story, and I think a 6-8 page sub-story from The Deerslayer (which was a prequel). I’m not sure how long the original adaptations were, but they weren’t 180 pages.

    So far the titles I’ve heard announced are Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island, Man in the Iron Mask, and Jungle Book. (I’m assuming The Jungle Book won’t have a Parental Advisory label on it like Last of the Mohicans does.)

  10. Lea Says:

    Because they’re chicken to not do it without one of their characters. Period.
    And too chicken to break out of Default Mode Boy.

    See: The New Epic and “Trouble.”

  11. Lyle Masaki Says:

    Paul, I remember my disappointment at X-Men: Fairy Tales. I picked it up because it retold a story I grew up hearing — that of Momotaro the peach boy but the comic didn’t play upon my fondness for either Momotaro or the X-Men.




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