KC’s Previews for May 2012

KC calls his latest Westfield column the “Double Dark, Smashy, Dive-Like-a-Porpoise, Zombie, Headmen, Soldiers Fighting Dinosaurs, I Say, I Say, Super Family Edition”. In other words, there’s a lot in it. One of its small but key points covers Marvel’s double-shipping strategy, in which the publisher puts out two issues of a title in a month to raise sales. The side effect is artistic inconsistency, which may frustrate long-term readers. He asks:

Do regular, consistent, long-running creative teams no longer matter in the modern era? Or are epic runs by creators (Fantastic Four by Lee and Kirby, Ultimate Spider-Man by Bendis and Bagley) a thing of the past? Discuss.

In contrast, KC also spotlights the various artist retrospective books being released soon.


4 Responses to “KC’s Previews for May 2012”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    I think long-running creative teams were an anomaly in every era. The ones that are remembered are remembered because they are so rare. It’s obviously easier for a writer to accrue a long tenure on a series with multiple artists, but I don’t count it against them if there is one main artistic collaborator with a few others in rotation. I think people will still call it the Waid/Wieringo Fantastic Four run even though he more or less drew every other story. I think the past ten years has seen a fair amount of solid creative runs in the 40-60 issue range.

  2. Johanna Says:

    What I find surprising (and yet not) is that I’m always hearing how much more important to the comics industry artists are than writers (in terms of sales) and how critics don’t pay enough attention to the art, and yet here’s a major company effectively telling us that the art isn’t that important. (Because if it was, artists couldn’t be swapped in and out so easily.) Hypocrisy when it comes to profits is nothing new, but it’s rarely so transparent.

  3. James Schee Says:

    I think in terms of establishing a name, artists are bigger over writers. If I see a book with a new writer and artist, I can tell fairly quickly if I’ll like the artist’s work. Writers take a little longer.

    I don’t mind fill-in artists as long as they are capable. One of my favorite runs of the modernish era, was Green Lantern written by Ron Marz. While Darryl Banks is the artist most associated with that run, it also had great talent like Paul Pelltier, Ron Lim, Mike Mckone and others.

    Art is important, but in this day and age very few artists can turn out 12 issues a month.

    One thing on KC’s writing, I was under impression that the Earth One name was a brand not another universe. I don’t think Superman Earth One or Batman Earth One share anything but the last two words of the title.

  4. Marvel Kills the Marvel Zombie by Exploiting Customers » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] where Marvel ships more than one issue of their periodicals in a given month to increase sales. (KC pointed out that they’re planning to do this 25 times in May.) Hibbs criticizes this plan for shortening [...]

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