I Heart Corporate Books
Posted by Jason M Burns on Sep 11, 2009
With major changes occurring in the comic climate daily, it seems feasible that a time will come when the Batmobile takes on the likeness of a Toyota hybrid, the Baxter Building is changed to the TD Bank Building, and the sea of zombies in The Walking Dead are clothed solely by The Gap, and in some of the more special cases, Baby Gap.
Like anything else that makes money, the comic industry has attracted the attention of people who like to put even more of those government-issued bills into their pockets. With the recent newsworthy happenings over at Marvel and DC this past week, it’s clear that your favorite characters are no longer in the hands of (only) the creative minds who wish to do good by them, but instead, businessmen who are eager to exploit them in any way possible.
But, that being said, does it really make a difference if Captain America is now owned by the same company that gave us Mary Poppins? Clearly Disney isn’t just a flash in the pan, and let’s be honest, they know how to manage a brand. I can’t imagine that any drastic changes will occur to the characters themselves, or even the previously-created universes in which they live. Doing so would be product suicide and they would instantly alienate their existing readers. This is not something they would ever want to do.
Sure, they will try to bring in a new generation of readers by re-envisioning some of the library, but isn’t that what the comic industry needs anyway? Without new readers standing in line to get the latest issues of Young Avengers or Nightwing, eventually there won’t be any comics left for us “old-timers” to read because without sales, there won’t be any publishers left to produce them.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, comics are a business. They always have been, but as doe-eyed kids completely entranced by the imaginative worlds in which we escaped to via the sequential page, we just never saw it. To us, Wolverine isn’t a corporate brand, but a living, breathing character that we can live vicariously through. But, the fact remains, regardless of Disney stepping in (or any other company that was smart enough to take on the Marvel cash cow), Wolverine will always (technically) fall into the same wheelhouse as Mr. Clean, Tony the Tiger, or the Jolly Green Giant.
He is the face of a company… A mascot. Just like Mickey Mouse.
And as customers of these companies, we keep them in business, but not even our weekly pull lists can sustain them forever. For publishers to survive in this very un-publisher friendly climate, they must adapt, and at times, seek alternative methods of business in order to keep our favorite titles hitting the shelves on time every month. As readers, now more than ever we’re demanding that top tier talent spearhead our beloved books, but guess what, top tier talent costs money. And, printing costs money. And marketing, and advertising, and so on and so on.
So, while it can be a scary thought to imagine Spider-Man taking on a new, Armani-designed costume, I have to say, isn’t having a publisher backed by a big corporate sugar daddy better than not having them publish at all? Yes, in a perfect world, our favorite characters would be allowed to graze their universes without Apple iPhone tie-ins and blatant mentions of ABC Family television shows, but this isn’t a perfect world.
It is however a world where we’re allowed to read any comic we want. Isn’t that perfect enough?
- Marvel And Disney Launch Disney's Pixar Magazines - written by Cissy Koomen on Feb 17, 2011
- Disney Buys Marvel Entertainment - written by Frederik Hautain on Aug 31, 2009
- Siege #1 Printing Error - written by Lee Newman on Jan 7, 2010
- Batman: Year One Release Details Unveiled - written by VashNL on Jul 13, 2011
- Captain America Storms The iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch In New Game - written by VashNL on Jul 17, 2011
- Disney/Marvel: Creators Respond - written by Frederik Hautain on Aug 31, 2009
- Jonah Hex's Epic Fail: Sacrificial Lamb? - written by joeyesposito on Jun 23, 2010
- Supreme Superhero Comic - written by Dexter K Flowers on Dec 29, 2004
- Jeph Loeb: When at Marvel - Part I - written by Frederik Hautain on Oct 9, 2005
- Who is the Moon Knight? - written by Fletch Adams on Apr 8, 2006
- Astonishing X-Men #7 - written by Glen Siegal on Dec 17, 2004
- X-Men #167 - written by Sam Moyerman on Mar 2, 2005
- Iron Man #3 - written by Sam Moyerman on Apr 13, 2005
- Supreme Power #17 - written by Dexter K Flowers on Jun 28, 2005
- Supreme Power: Hyperion #1 - written by Kert Mcafee on Sep 23, 2005
- The Secret Jewish History of … – Part One - written by Jason Berek Lewis on Jun 5, 2007
- Dark Anniversary - written by William Gatevackes on Jun 25, 2007
- Bringing Thor Down to Earth - written by William Gatevackes on Jul 2, 2007
- Hail to the Master Chief! - written by William Gatevackes on Aug 20, 2007
- Devouring the Competition - written by William Gatevackes on Oct 15, 2007
In order to post a comment you have to be logged in. Don't have a profile yet? Register now!