- Posted by Johanna on June 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm
- Category: Comic News
Got a press release a few days ago about the return of Valiant Comics. Here’s the lead:
Valiant Entertainment, the character-based entertainment company with more than 1,500 characters in its library, announced it will reintroduce the critically acclaimed Valiant Universe in print and digital comics in 2012. Valiant has hired accomplished industry executives and creative talent to expand its management team. The first announcement is that former Marvel CEO and Vice Chairman Peter Cuneo has assumed the role of Chairman of Valiant.
I bet they wish they’d picked another week to come back, hunh? A return announcement seems even more outdated now that superhero comic fans are looking forward to what’s next from DC.
Frankly, this PR hits all the wrong notes for me. I don’t care about your character inventory — only people looking for funding think that’s important to promote — especially since I’m not sure I can name more than five of them. (And that’s only if you let me count Quantum and Woody.) I want to know about the creators working with you, not the money men looking for “the emergence of a brand”. (To be fair, it’s probably much too premature for those kinds of specifics.) I do wish they’d said more about the “digital comics” part, since that might indicate some forward thinking.
This release makes the major mistake most history-driven projects do: they’re relying so much on what people already know about the brand that they don’t bother doing any introduction for someone who wasn’t reading comics 20 years ago. (Which, given the ages involved, just might be a good percentage of the people reading about you now.) Maybe mention some of the best-known of those Valiant characters? Give a new reader something to remember about your company’s creations?
Their press release continues in extremely boring fashion (although you’ll have to take my word for it, since it’s not even posted at their website, which is nothing more than an attempt to build a mailing list). It drones on about who’s providing “a capital infusion” and which “investment banker” and “management team” are posed to “usher in the new era of Valiant.” I was mildly entertained by the way the marketers summed up the history of the company:
Originally founded in 1989, Valiant Comics quickly became one of the most successful comic book publishers by creating unique and compelling heroes and villains and focusing on storytelling…. After creating some of the most popular comic book characters, Valiant was acquired by video game company Acclaim Entertainment. Acclaim used the characters as the basis for a number of successful video game franchises. Acclaim went out of business in 2005 due to issues unrelated to Valiant, including the loss of key sports video game licenses. This enabled Valiant Entertainment to acquire all the rights to the Valiant Comics library at the end of 2007. Valiant Entertainment began operations in 2008 and has made significant progress in the licensing and development of major motion pictures that will be communicated in the coming months. Valiant now expands into publishing.
That’s kind of a history of the mistakes of the comic industry over the past couple decades. Let’s focus on synergy! No, video games! Oops, the market’s tanking! Sell out! Wait, maybe we can turn some of this stuff into movies! What do you mean, they want to see the comics printed first?
Although director Dinesh Shamdasani is quoted saying, “Cutting-edge characters and stories were the core tenants of the original Valiant and are the core tenants of the new Valiant,” new Chairman Cuneo is pushing the company because “Valiant owns and controls a universe of some of the most recognizable characters in the comic world.” I hope they get that old/new tension worked out before it tanks their eventual launch of the comics.