Marvel Cutting Titles – Good for Retailers?
I found these two articles, both posted today on The Beat, rather interesting in their juxtaposition.
First is a list of the many books that Marvel is cancelling, since their big Legacy (aka “please, old, habitual fans, come back to us so we can all pretend the world isn’t changing!”) initiative has tanked.
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Unbelievable Gwenpool
As is typical of these kinds of mass die-offs, my favorite Marvel book, Hawkeye, was included. But having fewer superhero comics to keep up with is sort of a blessing in disguise. There may also be more coming, with America, for example, not appearing in the latest solicits.
The problem is that many of these titles feature lead characters who are not your typical old white male.
Next is Brian Hibbs’ latest Tilting at Windmills column, an open letter to Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief about what retailers need. It boils down to (but with much greater detail you should check out for what it’s really like to be a comic book shop owner these days): make fewer comics at lower prices without stupid variant gimmicks.
I’m not sure it’s possible to go back to the days of the blockbuster Marvel comic, where anything selling less than 50,000 is cancelled. As Brian points out,
there are now hundreds of hours of superhero-based entertainment out there in a moving, talking form — and depending on your own household, most of it is essentially “free”, being beamed into your house with little-to-no intervention. This, in my mind, is actually tamping down much of the enthusiasm for new superhero comic books, unless they’re done with exceptional craft, or are breaking new ground in some fashion. Which the majority of new superhero comics don’t and aren’t.
Anyway, I thought it was interesting to read a call for cancelling Marvel comics and then see so many of them gone. It’s a matter of being careful what you wish for, though — by trying to get back to days of fewer Marvel books “everyone” read, in a diversified, fragmented media market, you run the risk of being stuck with an audience of the old white men who are dying off. If you cancel Hawkeye and Jean Grey, I’m not suddenly going to start reading Spider-Man — I’m going to read more Giant Days, because I want to see women like me in comics, and I don’t particularly care if they have super-powers or not or if the logo says Marvel.
So, my reaction is, illogically, yes, Marvel, cancel titles — but not those ones!