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Marvel Annouces Orginal Graphic Novels, Skin Care Tie-In
June 13, 2013 10:27 AM   Subscribe

While some of Marvel's superheroes are busy fighting the forces of dry, aging skin, Publisher's Weekly wonders if Marvel's decision to release original graphic novels (OGN) after years of refusal is a game changer for the industry.
posted by The Whelk (75 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this where I show off my nerd flag by pointing out that Marvel had a long line of OGN's in the 80s?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 10:35 AM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


This and Stan Lee's Nuff Said cologne all in one day. Weird.
posted by cazoo at 10:36 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


clearly the answer to the dying direct comics market is the dying book publishing industry
posted by mightygodking at 10:40 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


I love love love comics, but I don't really care for comic books, so I end up always waiting for the collections. No ads, durable, easy to store. I feel bad, though, because I feel like the comic store people want to steer me towards the floppy books and just... eh.
posted by selfnoise at 10:41 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is this where I show off my nerd flag by pointing out that Marvel had a long line of OGN's in the 80s?

"After years of refusal" /= "For the first time ever." They did it for awhile, then refused to do it for years, and now they're going to do it again. So I'm afraid you get no No-Prize for that one. (Or is "no No-Prize"....a prize?)

That said, Marvel has been producing OGNs as recently as last year: the "Season One" books. I suspect those (and probably DC's "Earth One" OGNs) are selling well, since this looks like they're expanding the initiative.
posted by kewb at 10:42 AM on June 13, 2013


[Warren Ellis] . . . creator of comics much as Planetary and Iron Man: Extremis, which formed the basis of some of the recent Iron Man films

How I wish that sentence were true the way it was written. Someone option Planetary and keep it away from the summer blockbuster hacks.
posted by yerfatma at 10:43 AM on June 13, 2013


I don't think there's any way to make a satisfying Planetary movie, unfortunately.
posted by painquale at 10:44 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Excelsior
by Stan Lee

...would have been better. Probably not macho enough?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:46 AM on June 13, 2013


clearly the answer to the dying direct comics market is the dying book publishing industry

Well, the book industry, and digital, and licensing, and movies, and.... Are they diversifying because they think it's a good idea, or are they desperate to grab revenue from whichever stream they can? Or are those the same thing?

And Planetary should never be a movie. Its serialized nature is part of what makes it great - each issue focuses on one aspect of pop fiction culture - and making a movie would purge all of that. It needs to be a big budget HBO series dammit!
posted by thecjm at 10:47 AM on June 13, 2013


Comparisons to the dying book industry are apples to oranges, because comic/graphic novel collectors are a totally different beast than people that want to read the new James Patterson: comics and graphic novels are not just stories on paper but are also fetish objects, that we obsessively keep neat and clean and the spines unbroken. They don't sell plastic bags and backer boards to keep your trade paperbacks pristine.

Also, yes, please, don't tempt fate by suggesting a Planetary movie. Now, "Fell" on the other hand ...
posted by jbickers at 10:59 AM on June 13, 2013


Well, the book industry, and digital, and licensing, and movies, and.... Are they diversifying because they think it's a good idea, or are they desperate to grab revenue from whichever stream they can? Or are those the same thing?

I'm super curious if this isn't at least partly due to distribution issues as much as revenue issues (although those are obviously intertwined and inseparable concerns). One company -- Diamond Comic Distributors -- has an effective monopoly on comic book distribution in the US. Marvel used to distribute books through them, but switched to Hatchette in late 2010. If their book publishing is substantially just bundling and republishing direct sales, then Diamond (through its marketing of Marvel's comics) still has some influence on the sale of the books that it no longer distributes.

Even if licensing and movies and digital comics weren't in the picture, I could well imagine Marvel being at least slightly worried about so much of their publishing (and the pricing of that publishing) being dependent on a monopolistic third party, even if that third party had a vested interested in selling lots of comics; setting up new book lines wholly apart from that could be a hedge against anything going wrong in that relationship.

Which is all, of course, complete and utter speculation.
posted by cjelli at 11:02 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think there's any way to make a satisfying Planetary movie, unfortunately.

AMC series!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:03 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Captain America smears lotion on his face? Well hell I thought that was a Woman thing, but if he smears lotion on HIS face then maybe I should smear lotion on MY face, that way I'd be just as moist and slippery as ol' Captain America
posted by Greg Nog at 11:06 AM on June 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've been smearing lotion on my face before Captain America, so I win!

(I am actually 90 years old.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:08 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Breaking news: the comics industry is not dying

I have to say Marvel is looking pretty great right now - while DC is maybe coming around to the idea that maybe superhero comics shouldn't be so rapey they are putting out all kinds of fun and interesting stuff: an all female X-Men line up that isn't a gimmick just good comics, a glimpse of a Captain Britain that reflects the modern nation's ethnic and religious mix, the most Avengers team yet, and the very fresh Young Avengers which we've discussed before. Good times!

(course, the actual creators could stand to be more diverse, and there's those persistent rights issues, but doing a lot better than they could be.)
posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the sonic beam again. - Ulysses Klaw
posted by selfnoise at 11:11 AM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Warren Ellis on the other hand, I dunno. I can see why Extremis was great film material but it's a real flat comic, and the fact that he only really does two or three stock characterizations really stands out in his Marvel work.
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aside from marketing, is there really a huge difference between a collection of a short issue series and an OGN? Extremis was published as a 6-shot, but would it have made a lot of difference as a single novel?

I guess pacing would have to be different---no need for episodic climaxes---but I don't think that's all that large a difference. It's not like Marvel hasn't been doing the equivalent of "novels" with limited series.

This seems like a marketing change, and not a huge shift at that. I'm not certain how this alters much for the creative side.
posted by bonehead at 11:14 AM on June 13, 2013


FWIW, I buy everything now as GN "collections" anyway. I hardly notice if they've been originally published episodically or in a single go as a reader.
posted by bonehead at 11:16 AM on June 13, 2013


I'd say a OGN and an ongoing are very different beasts, or should be if you are actually writing your ongoing as an ongoing. A mini-series maybe not so much - I think an argument could be made for most OGNs basically being a mini you get all at once.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on June 13, 2013


Even a miniseries is marketed through comics stores first, and released to bookstore shelves as a trade paperback months or a year later, when it's old news. Having the "premiere" at Barnes & Noble instead of Midtown Comics is a change for the business end, completely aside from the differences in storytelling when there's no issue breaks.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:22 AM on June 13, 2013


[Marvel] has previously stayed out of the OGN business because of the costs involved in producing over a hundred pages of new material without subsidizing it through periodical serialization.

I'd be interested to read more about that. Marvel may be fond of individual comics, but I abandoned that reading format years ago. I don't collect for value; and I like reading a whole story, not different chapters of different stories all thirty days apart.

I feel like it's related to age. I'm less emotionally invested in comics than when I was a child, and more aware about spending my dollars and cluttering my home. Individual comics don't make sense for me. But I still enjoy the characters and storylines, so graphic novels are my adult dosage.

I also wonder if there's a parallel to television's serialization. More people are shrugging at live TV nowadays and waiting for a show to appear on Netflix so they can watch the whole story in a week(end). Maybe some of it's personal aging and some is cultural.
posted by cribcage at 11:22 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


lol print

Seriously, though, Marvel Unlimited is pretty great on the iPad. My biggest complaint is the occasional incorrect metadata or cover. I wish it had more of a selection, but it's improving every week. It sure beats having stacks of longboxes everywhere like the Collyer Brothers.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:26 AM on June 13, 2013


cazoo: "This and Stan Lee's Nuff Said cologne all in one day. Weird."

Holy lol : "lazylaz: It actually is just Jack Kirby cologne, but Stan Lee put his name on it and called it his. ZING!"
posted by boo_radley at 11:26 AM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


the most Avengers team yet

Oh jeez, they're letting Greg Land do a book that's written using the Marvel Method? That sounds dicey. Now the storytelling will be influenced by FHM pinups and stills from RedTube.
posted by painquale at 11:32 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Written by Al Ewing. It's gonna be good.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on June 13, 2013


And it should have been "most diverse". /kicks self.

Weirdly most Marvel books are not written in Marvel method these days. Hawkeye is and it's kind if considered a bit of a radical experiment.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think that after the artist-as-auteur kick of the 90s, the writer-as-auteur kick emerged in response, and hotshot writers were unwilling to relinquish too much control. Things are evening back out into a collaboration, so the Marvel Method is looking attractive again. I wouldn't be surprised if comics get the equivalent of showrunners: a single creative who is responsible for the general direction of a book or section of the MU, but individual issues being written by someone else entirely. (Bendis is pretty close to this already, but he doesn't delegate writing duties: he somehow manages to write over 15% of Marvel's total output all on his lonesome.)
posted by painquale at 11:46 AM on June 13, 2013


At DC that would be the editor, and that would be why writers are leaving DC in droves.
posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Marvel did a bunch of original graphic novels way back in the forgotten '80's. I'm kind of fond of Emperor Doom (precis: Doom finally succeeds in conquering the Earth. Now what?)

So is anyone keeping a running tally of how many times Ellis has said he's done with superheros or done with comics?
posted by Zed at 11:49 AM on June 13, 2013


Marvel needs strong editors again so badly. One writer comes along, writes a story, and the next writer retcons it immediately. It's ridiculous.

Speaking of Bendis, remember when Bendis and Millar had a good thing going with the Ultimate universe and then Jeff Loeb came along and fucked it up?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:50 AM on June 13, 2013


No, why do you ask?

It's too bad there was never an Ultimates 3.
posted by bonehead at 11:59 AM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Xorn.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM on June 13, 2013


Weirdly most Marvel books are not written in Marvel method these days. Hawkeye is and it's kind if considered a bit of a radical experiment.

The recent arc of Hulk where Simonson came in as guest artist was also Marvel Method-ed, and it was awesome.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:06 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


As much as I love Planetary, I think it'd make a horrible transition to screen, seeing as it's primarily a dissection of comic tropes (though there's a lot of other pop fiction stuff chopped up there, too).

However, I'd love to see another swing at Global Frequency. Think Fringe, but even weirder and more wonderful. And it'd be even better if they could replicate the constantly changing artists of the original series with a new director each episode. But now I'm rambling...
posted by themadthinker at 12:12 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


AMC should do Hellblazer.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:18 PM on June 13, 2013


Are these OGNs canon or just fodder?
posted by Mister_A at 12:21 PM on June 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


My potential tie-in sense is tingling!
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:28 PM on June 13, 2013


This seems pretty logical. I think a lot of comics buyers already are big consumers of Jergen's moisturizing lotions.
posted by GuyZero at 12:39 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


However, I'd love to see another swing at Global Frequency.

Only if no one who was involved with the last attempt is allowed anywhere near it, because lord that was dire.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2013


TBH I think we've had that show and it was Fringe.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on June 13, 2013


look what you made me do - I had to justify buying some fancy soap for this
posted by The Whelk at 1:39 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


and I'm reading it while waiting for my root touch up to be done cause I am Manly )
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on June 13, 2013


(at no point does anyone get a stinging eyeful of moisturizer or hair spray, I am disappoint)
posted by The Whelk at 1:55 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


We made you do it? Are you telling me the president of the Chris Evans fan club wouldn't have bought it anyway?
posted by Artw at 1:58 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM on June 13, 2013


Breaking news: the comics industry is not dying

At first I was despondent when Disney bought Marvel, having a love/hate relationship with the first and a long-distance love affair with the second. But then I realized that Disney was not so much good at creating stories as telling them. They had purchased a huge set of stories already told, many of which were proven to be popular (among a certain group of people who were aging and having kids of their own.) And good movies create comic book readers.
posted by chemoboy at 2:42 PM on June 13, 2013


The second article reminds me why I don't read Heidi McDonald more often--she implies that Marvel has never done OGNs or that Warren Ellis has something to do with their creation--neither of which is true (whether Ellis came up with the exact phrase "original graphic novel" is not super relevant). FFS, I think that she may have actually done a review of Steve Gerber and Gene Colan's Stewart the Rat for the Comics Journal back in the day. And so Marvel decided to revive the line after noticing that DC was pulling in the tall coin with some of theirs? Copying what the other company is doing, now there's a neat trick.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:09 PM on June 13, 2013


And hawking moisturizer? Good grief, what will Marvel do next--one-pagers in which their heroes shill for cheap baked goods?
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:11 PM on June 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's the only skin cream that can recreate being frozen in the north Atlantic for 70 years!
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 PM on June 13, 2013


Good grief, what will Marvel do next--one-pagers in which their heroes shill for cheap baked goods?

Hostess Fruit Pies - now 25% moister!
posted by GuyZero at 4:03 PM on June 13, 2013


Wolverine Burger with Samurai Slaw
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on June 13, 2013


Logan can heal pretty much indefinitely, right? So theoretically we could harvest hunks of meat from him and then cook with it for the foreseeable future? Right?
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I believe that is a plot point in a Mark Millar comic, yes.
posted by Artw at 4:55 PM on June 13, 2013


you guys are sick! Where do I sign up?
posted by Mister_A at 5:18 PM on June 13, 2013


Deadpool is the middle of a storyline where crooks keep stealing his organs to sell on the black market.
posted by painquale at 5:40 PM on June 13, 2013


You kids and your Deadpool.
posted by Artw at 5:46 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was a little embarrassed to admit I knew that.
posted by painquale at 5:59 PM on June 13, 2013


Wolverine Burger with Samurai Slaw

Red Robin. That is not an A-List fast food franchise. I do not have high hopes for this upcoming movie.
posted by chemoboy at 7:07 PM on June 13, 2013


"Excelsior
by Stan Lee

...would have been better. Probably not macho enough?
"

Maybe if it smelled like wood chips.
posted by klangklangston at 7:45 PM on June 13, 2013


More on Mighty Avengers - looks like it IS getting written Marvel Style.
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2013


Previous Marvel Style
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on June 18, 2013


Which is horrifying, for all the reasons previously mentioned.

In the meantime, speaking of Marvel OGNs, check out The Spider-Man joint from Mark Waid and James Robinson. I'm not big on the premise, but that is pretty. And Mark Waid! Writing Spider-Man!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:14 AM on June 18, 2013


His Daredevil is amazing.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on June 18, 2013


That premise comes awfully close to reviving-Uncle-Ben territory, but I trust Waid.

I guess we now know that Peter will boot out Doc Ock before May 2014.
posted by painquale at 9:16 PM on June 18, 2013


Don't worry. If it's good, Joe Quesada will retcon it in the most ridiculous way possible because Spider-Man is not allowed to change ever.
posted by entropicamericana at 5:50 AM on June 19, 2013


Fake Tabloids & Newspapers Featuring Marvel’s Avengers

MediAvengers: Earth’s Mightiest Gossip
posted by homunculus at 5:57 PM on June 28, 2013


I keep hemming and hawing if that should be an FPP, maybe along with Teen Wolf's Necks N' Throatz and other such fan created in-universe magazines.
posted by The Whelk at 5:59 PM on June 28, 2013


I think it should be.
posted by homunculus at 6:05 PM on June 28, 2013


You know the answer.

Though I'm tempted to do FPPs on the bloody great recent issues of Hawkeye and Young Avengers.

(Daredevil was great also, but no real hook)
posted by Artw at 6:12 PM on June 28, 2013


Harumph, have to collect for fandom in-universe magazines.

( I think it's telling that every time I was given a superhero type story to work with, I had more celebrity gossip rags and gala fundraisers than punching and ray guns. )
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 PM on June 28, 2013


I kind of like it when comics feature themselves as in universe comics.
posted by Artw at 6:15 PM on June 28, 2013


When those Winchester boys check the in-universe Supernatural books to remind them what happended I thought of She-Hulk reading her own comic to figure out what was going to happen.
posted by The Whelk at 6:21 PM on June 28, 2013


Also in the current Marvel Movie Universe, Captain America was a comic book character. I liked that.
posted by The Whelk at 6:22 PM on June 28, 2013


In the Fantastic Four comics Doctor Doom gets killed off after his first appearance and then just turns up again in Stan and Jack's office when they are wondering how they could reuse him.
posted by Artw at 6:27 PM on June 28, 2013


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