Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

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Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by DP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:44 pm

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/01/15/the-walking-dead-creator-accuses-marvel-of-destroy/

I didn't actively notice this trend until I read this article but I wholly agree with Kirkman now that the argument has crossed my mind.

(As an aside, this is separate from the General Comic thread because I feel that thread has to do with the plots themselves while this is a discussion/analysis of the motives of the publishers.)
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by lpool1996moh on Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:42 pm

i see what he's getting at but it also sounds like somebody complaining someone has bigger success than he does. where as his stories in TWD are down to earth character analysis, Marvel and DC offer escapist material, that just so happen to have some of the most iconic characters ever to exist. I find it funny to Article has referenced Spawn as art, just because its never been rebooted. its not exactly a character study, its more outlandish than alot of Marvel and DC's works. he's killed God and the Devil and everybody inbetween. TWD also seems to rely on pure shock factor alot of the time, moreso than the show, need i remind you they killed a baby via crushing? (did the show do that in the recent midseason finale, i don't watch it). just because the series is rebooted, often times, at least in Marvels case, the stuff that came before is huge. see all the Spidey reboots going on now for reference (Every single spider book will have a No.1 in April, both Ultimate and 616 but they are just continuations.) the article has points, mainly on events and retcons but he almost misses the point of the characters entirely. the characters and stories are timeless, whereas Image's comics are more like novels or manga, they will end, forever. Hardly destroying the industry. 

although no more superior stunts unless its gonna stick Marvel. its been fun but playing it off like its permanent and then abandoning it after the first major arc is no bueno.
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by DP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:07 pm

I think you missed his point. The comic industry now relies entirely on cliffhangers and hooks rather than genuinely interesting events. I saw his point about it getting insane more to the tune of "all these constant reboots allow them to redo the same shit, draw in ADHD readers, and prevent the plot from getting so convoluted due to the thousands of unneeded crossovers," not as "it's not realistic." Kirkman seems to argue respect for something like Spawn because it's kept in one franchise, which shows more writing prowess than a mass killing or reboot to draw in readers and hit the reset button.

While TWD has its share of shock value (no, Judith is still alive in the show though the midseason presumes she's dead), the horrible actions tend to fit the importance of the person being affected and remind readers just how much they care about the characters. And the fact that Kirkman has never retconned (I think he minorly fucked up once or twice) in 110+ issues supports his argument that you CAN hold to consistency in comics and not resort to the cheaper hooks that Marvel relies on (and while I can't vouch for DC for lack of reading, I will concede that the show has done those hooks a few times - though one could argue that's more acceptable in the medium of television).
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by Count Mario on Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:26 pm

Really surprised that he didn't even mention how the space between "major" Marvel comic events are literally a few months now with barely any notable repercussions from anything since, say, Civil War. But DC's also guilty of the same thing relating to their Batman and GL books (but to be fair there are notable changes in the latter).

Personally, I don't mind DC pushing the reboot button all that much when I see how convoluted all of the history is and how they need to modernize it. My only main problem is that their balancing methods between borrowing old continuity and modern alterations is like trying 

As for Marvel, I can't blame them with pushing them back to issue ones too. I mean, I know that it at least attracted me to reading Thor, X-Men, and New Avengers. Now, it wasn't necessary, but it was a good attempt at bringing in new readers (and to be fair, that, along with packaging most of their comics with digital codes inside and switching almost all of the creative teams into new books shows that they were doing more than just renumbering). However, doing it for the second time is just plain avarice. No arguing with that lol. And the funny thing is that Marvel could still make a profit with their truly all-new ongoing series, but they had to push it.

As for shock value, it's cheap, but that's really an opinionated subject. Issues are like chapters, you're bound to come across one that's going to keep you in suspense. And with the immense amount of popular comics Marvel and DC (I seriously hate how he's just targeting Marvel and not DC as well, that's like being racist against a specific ethnicity for them being dark-skinned when there are at least two other major dark-skinned races within the vicinity), of course that happens. It's cheap, but in the end, that's mainly the writers' "faults" and not the company itself at all. If he's literally trying to give the impression that Marvel's the only one guilty of doing this often and that Image is bloodstain-free, I call complete BS. Also, I would like a specific definition of what Kirkman means, because that is a VERY broad term. We have to remember that most comics are told in arcs which do at least require motivation to read the next issue due to a situation not being fully resolved, and with such a general term being the focus, I could go on and say that Amazing Fantasy issue 15 has an immoral ending because after Peter Parker confronts Uncle Ben's killer, we don't know if he's going to be a superhero afterwards. Just saying that cliffhangers are always cheap is like saying every major status-quo change in any story out there is a despicable way to promote shock value. This is purely an opinionated argument that depends on writers, not companies, and it's quite possible to pin EVERY SINGLE COMIC IN EXISTENCE OF BRING GUILTY for this type of thing since this is literally a full archetype of literature writing. I could maybe understand what he's talking about if this were a conversation about too many cliffhangers in one particular franchise due to a specific writer at the helm, but pinning this on a company with dozens of ongoing comic books, varied creative teams, infinite arcs in both history and the future, and focusing on them without any sort of humility or recognizing how situational this topic also is due to Marvel's popularity (which automatically makes their story's elements face thes potlight all of the time compared to other companies)? I rest my case.

As for creator-owned titles, Marvel's doing this little thing with an imprint referred to as Icon, which allows for plenty of creators to still own their titles and have merchandising rights with the support of Marvel. Kick-Ass by Mark Millar is a major example of this. Just figured that I'd mention this so it doesn't seem like Marvel shows little to no regret about past actions.

Now, I get what Kirkman is saying, I really do. With the general consensus that Marvel has some big gaping flaws, I can fully agree with that overall idea. On some points, like event tie-ins, reboot, basing continuity off of popular live-actions movies, etc, and all of that, I can't object on the most part. But there are undeniably some things that are mainly opinionated here. Image certainly has some of the best underrated comics on the market right now with titles like Saga and Invincible under their belt, and definitely rely less on less base advertising. But like lpool was pointing at, he's mainly picking at a top dog for the fact that he's well, the king of the hill. Like I've said several times int his post,  a bunch of these points are not only opinionated, but are obviously situational with the popularity, history, and revenue that Marvel and DC attract compared to the rest of the come book market. I'd be lying if I said that Kirkman wasn't riding his horse a bit too high when saying all of this.
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by DP on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:32 am

Remember that most of the article is an outside explanation of the claims, and not Kirkman himself. The data table even shows that Marvel has benefited from its practices only due to a price increase in recent years; the resets don't seem to actually draw in new readers, so Marvel's milking of the concept seems to be purely for the sake of headlines after the first one. And going over the top is more understandable than the resets to me, but it still reaches WWE levels of stupid quite often when they fish for a quick buck.

Not to mention Marvel is notoriously bad with employees, paying them very little of the actual profits (meaning Superior's bank went entirely to the management that Kirkman called short-sighted).
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by Count Mario on Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:41 pm

I can actually say that double-packaging their comics with digital codes is why the prices increased. It was a bit of a dick move in that specific regard (and I'd prefer it if they kept the price the same since there's still no reason to pay your money digitally on a comic you technically already own), definitely, but it has allowed much more deeper interaction with comics over the internet. Such as with you guys, for example.

However, issue 1s DO help for certain comics. Not all the time, but I can at least guarantee you that in Spider-Man's case, the series has been down to its biggest low in sales since 2007's One More Day (even during after Marvel's cheap digital code tactic). In which Superior rectified since its debut, to the point of being the company's best selling ongoing title barring new first issues, event books, and tie-ins, and has consistently been seen in top ten best selling comic lists every month. This is also the case with All-New X-Men, although it is fair to say that these two comics are so high because they introduced radically new concepts, so did plenty of other Marvel titles I could give examples of. So yes, I would say that Marvel has gained new readers, at least in the case of these series. Now, I agree that in terms of overall revenue, it's barely changed as of late, but there's undeniably been a change in sales of individual comic franchise post Marvel NOW.

And of course, this is Marvel lol. Like I said before, I agree with the overall message being conveyed here, I just feel like certain things the article proclaimed (whether or not it's Kirkman's exact wording) are exaggerated. It's really not that hard to find posts dissing Marvel and DC nowadays in the comic industry because of what they've been doing, and while they're interesting to read, they bring in plenty of opinionated views in certain respects. That's all I'm being picky about here. Of course Marvel's greedy, that's like saying it's a newfound revelation that Alan Moore is a conceited tool.
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by DP on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:59 pm

As you noted, I'd argue that the two examples you gave were both outliers due to their radical nature. (That's why Neegan's appearance kickstarted more WD comic sales - he's fucking crazy and new.)

I personally feel the dozens of tie-ins is also a problem, one that the article skims over a bit (Kirkman doesn't mention it from what I could see). A few are fine but even with your Marvel Queue, Count, I saw several crossovers that felt excessive and only existed for the sake of cheap buys. While at first I did credit Amazing Spider-Man for crossing over, it was because it felt like a continuous stream of cross-over. As I got deeper in it felt less and less important for there to be crossing over and more like "hey, Iron Man fans, come read this issue!" or whatever the circumstance may be.
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Re: Robert Kirkman calls out Marvel [link]

Post by Count Mario on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:17 am

I included the tie-ins as one of things that I agreed I DIDN'T like in my original post, DP. XD Nobody likes tie-ins most of the time. Funny thing is that I actually bought the Inhumanity tie-in issue of Superior Spider-Man for the sake of collecting it and it of course turned out to be pretty half-assed. 

And if we're bringing up tie-ins, how about those events? 2012 focused on Avengers vs. X-Men, early summer of 2013 starred Age of Ultron, Infinity came right after that finished in around August, Inhumanity's been going on right now since December, and Original Sin is going to debut this summer. I get that event books top the charts, Marvel, but calm down lol. At least DC waited about two years to do their first event, but they're still guilty for three selections of half-assed Batman event tie-ins and nonstop Green Lantern events one after another.
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