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WAITING FOR TOMMY: NEW YORK SPIN CITY: MARVEL & DC
By Richard Johnston

"Bill Jemas told me of a story that a writer suggested in which the Hulk would rip the arms off of a person. I told him that the Hulk does not do such things, and that we need to remember that the Marvel superheroes are just that: Heroes. Hulk may look like a monster, but that ultimately, he is a hero.

"Jemas commented that there are so few good writers in comics available, offering this as some justification for the allowances given to many of the newer writers at Marvel who write superheroes uncharacteristically. He said that editor Axel Alonso is perhaps a bit embarrassed to be doing superheroes. I commented that if Axel Alonso feels this way than he should not work on superhero comics. I told Jemas that the management at Marvel should not allow the talent to dictate the stories if they are portraying characters in an improper fashion. I said to him that you do not allow the writers' own self-indulgence to interfere with the company's success.

"Was there any real resolution? Maybe not, but it was good to air my opinions to someone in a position to affect change at the company. Even though Jemas admitted that he is not in the position to alter every policy, I remind him that he is in a better position than any of the fans and retailers and that is why we appeal to him.

"Jemas tells me that he has been trying to persuade the board of directors into keeping the comics priced low. He tells me that they are looking into widening the distribution channels. He told me that there is a planned line of "Essentials" that would be re-workings of the classic Marvel comics by Stan Lee and others, this time by new artists and writers that would follow the original stories closely while being contemporary. They would be in color, as well.

"Jemas also told me that he is working on putting out more all-ages and kid-friendly comics. The next comic in the series of "25 cent" comics will probably be "The Avengers." He also said that he is going to allow Tom Brevoort a freer hand in editorial to produce more Marvel comics akin to the classic Marvel approach.

 

THE COLOSSUS MEMORIAL DIORAMA

"Jemas confessed that sales of "TRUTH" and "Namor," Marvel Knights' "Captain America" and others weren't as big as the company had hoped for. He said there has been a rash of bad sales on higher profile comics and that he wants to turn that around.

"At the end of our long conversation I got the impression that he is finally recognizing the truth of what many of us have been telling Marvel these past three years. He speaks as if he really wants to make things better. I hope he really does.

"Well, there's a lot to look forward to and I am interested in seeing what happens next, personally. I very much hope that Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada will do what is right and try to make this industry a more positive place.

"Like I said in my last few words to Jemas, I appreciate that he took the time to contact me and I hope that fans, retailers, and Marvel can strengthen our relationship. I know that he has heard us, now I hope that he actually listens."

Additionally Matt Hawes elaborated, saying

"Bill Jemas and I also talked for a good bit about All-Ages comics, and how Marvel can make the mainstream superheroes of Marvel more accessible to everyone, like they used to be.

"Mr. Jemas mentioned that there is the possibility of an "Ultimate HULK" comic that would be geared toward an All-Ages audience. He confessed that he believed the "Incredible HULK" should've been placed in the Marvel Knights line, ala, "Captain America," after Bruce Jones took over.

"My only question which I did not get a chance to ask, because the conversation drifted to other subjects before I could remember to bring it up, is why the Ultimate HULK for an All-Ages version? In "The ULTIMATES," that Universe's version of the Hulk is pretty vile.

"Still, according to Bill Jemas, they are thinking of making new All-Ages comics."

And people think they're powerless? If one man can cause such upset at a company - well, maybe Felicia was right.

I'm told of a meeting at Marvel where, in the light of poor publicity over creative relationships, Joe Quesada insisted that Bill stay on the 9th floor, and not visit the 10th anymore (creative). I understand that Bill has stated he won't get involved any more in creative, save for the Ultimate titles (where, to be fair, they seem to love him!)

It's going to be a fun Chicago. More on that next week.

Rich Johnston writes Lying In The Gutters. He will appear at the WizardWorld Chicago show, courtesy of Dynamic Forces. Look for him at the Dynamic Forces booth.  

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The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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