- Posted by Johanna on July 20, 2011 at 8:25 am
- Category: Comic News
A month ago, Valiant Comics announced its return.
At the time, I found their emphasis on executives and brand equity misguided, especially the latter, since I don’t think “Valiant” means nearly as much to comic readers as they think it does. Now there’s a new press release that confirms my concerns.
[Valiant] announced the appointment of franchise producer and transmedia visionary Jeff Gomez as Transmedia Producer & Creative Consultant. Gomez has consulted extensively on such blockbuster properties as Avatar, Transformers, Halo, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The addition of one of transmedia’s originators and leaders confirms Valiant’s commitment to align with itself with quality creative forces in the industry. Gomez’s announcement follows recently announced Valiant Chairman Peter Cuneo, the former Marvel Entertainment CEO and Vice Chairman, Publisher Fred Pierce, the former Wizard Entertainment President, and Vice President – Executive Editor Warren Simons, a former critically acclaimed Marvel Entertainment Editor whose work has been nominated for 21 major industry awards. The appointment of Gomez will also help Valiant to re-introduce one of the world’s most renowned and popular comic book superhero universes across multiple media platforms—films, television, video games and other digital formats— and beyond comics.
They’re trying to buy success by hiring people who used to be at successful companies, but there’s no evidence that they had anything to do with that success. Do you trust someone from Wizard to lead a modern comic company that can face the unique challenges in the industry today?
It’s good to see that Valiant is considering digital before they even launch, but anyone who uses the word “transmedia” is already suspect in my eyes. Plus, this guy “will participate in the innovation and revitalization of the Valiant Universe mythology with the Valiant Entertainment creative team and notable comic book writers and artists.” So they’re going to change their content based on what they think will go viral? His production company is going to be responsible for the Valiant “bible”, determining character continuity across “movie studios, video game and mobile app developers, book publishers, and other licensees”. Dream big, zombie company.
As I said before, comic fans care about characters and creators. It’s probably too early for Valiant to talk about specific books, but those pairings will determine their success. Their PR has switched to listing past favorite characters and the creators who made them good, but that doesn’t mean a whole new executive team will make choices that are in keeping with that history. Also disturbing is this piece of text: “The Valiant Universe will be reintroduced in comic books beginning in 2012, and Valiant will begin announcing developments on its slate of major motion picture projects soon.”
That indicates the comics are not the focus. Honestly, no company today could concentrate just on the print and succeed, but it still annoys me to see them take a clear second place. I can’t imagine what Valiant thinks this kind of buzzword-laden PR is achieving for them.