It is better to have depth of character than to have limbs that are bombs.
these aphorisms are terrific
Non-editors are able to spot some of the more obvious errors in a comic -- big ones likes pages upside down, and smaller one like a font not loading so "Blüdhaven" becomes "Bl?dhaven," or a character's costume is miscolored. What are the more subtler mistakes that may have crept in, that we usually don't notice because we're happily reading along?
Gifting one more cookie aphorism to you and yours, my friend: HOME IS A VERB.
Thanks for another fine newsletter, Tom.
Your answer to Mikel raises a question I've been meaning to ask for some time: back in the days of yore, the Marvel Bullpen (such as it actually existed) consisted of the in-office art and production staff: in various eras, John (and Virginia) Romita, Marie Severin, Herb Trimpe, Sol Brodksy, Morrie Kuramoto, et. al. What, if anything, does that staff look like in 2023? Is there still a staff department that makes, say, last-minute artistic corrections on a book, or is that all done solely with individual freelancers these days?
And it's interesting to hear about the re-inking Don Heck needed to undertake for that Masterworks volume. I know that this sort of thing happened from time to time in the absence of original art stats (including one particularly notorious Spider-Man page that had to be entirely re-drawn). Are there any other particularly noteworthy instances you encountered where, ah, creative re-creations had to be done?
Sadly the only one I can id is Tennessee Tuxedo. From the Underdog cartoon, voiced by the legendary Don Adams.
Thank you for your thoughtful answer - very cool. And for the record I loved the new Punisher. I am hooked. It was a great start (action, mystery, ties to the Marvel U but accessible, etc.) that was a satisfying read that leaves me wanting to read more about this character and how he interacts with the Marvel U.
On the other side I was disappointed with the new Thanos series: I found it dull, the main character did not keep my interest and Thanos was barely in it - not for me (which is ok).
Which made me think - what characteristics do you think make a great issue 1 of a comic?
It occurs to me that, at least for Marvel, X-Men has probably introduced more new characters who either became part of the team or an adjacent one such as New Mutants or X-Force where it wouldn't surprise anyone if they became an X-Man. In your opinion, who would be the latest X-Man to have broken through and become a core member of the team (other than any Logan clone)? By this I mean when the old order changeth, the creators pretty much have to decide whether to use them or not. Or to put it another way, say the new lineup is Cyclops, Iceman, Wolverine, Storm, Shadowkat, and Eye Boy; it's pretty obvious which one is the unexpected non-core one, even if he has been used before. Offhand, as an X-Man, I think it might be the White Queen, ignoring her time as an adversary. Of course no problem if you don't think you should answer this.
"I’ve kept the quality bar low over the past 84 releases?" I know you're joking but rest assured this substack is one of the best reads and highlights every time it comes out. Thank you again for this.
My question this week: Should we [unfortunately] look for more Marvel comics to have a $4.99 cover price soon? I know DC did it first with having that as the regular price point for Batman and Superman, and I know economics are hard for everyone. Personally speaking, though, I've had to give up on monthlies that I enjoyed because I just can't afford them anymore. Maybe my better question is "will there still be room for $3.99 books?"
I can identify 3/12, and one that feels like it is on the tip of my tongue but I can't quite get it
Mikel's question got me thinking about foreign editions which got me thinking about the Mexican Spider-man comic diverging plot wise from the main one in the 70s. That made me wonder about something you've brushed on before regarding the Spider-man manga...what goes into the decision making about what internationally licensed released will get localized, what kind of hitches do you run into (art file inconsistencies, etc) and what international original work would you like to see localized if it were solely your decision?
Hey Tom - on aging readership/price of comics/Free Comic Book Day:
Spider-Boy #1 was a big hit with my three kids (age 6, 8, and 13), so despite the speculator hype I’d love to see the book do well and perhaps open the door for more All Ages books with top creative teams.
Is there any appetite at Marvel - creators/editorial/publishing/brass - to get comics out there at a price point that KIDS can afford?
Seems like Free Comic Book Day/Children’s Book Week is a means to get books in kids’ hands, but if no revenue is generated directly for the publisher from those FCBD issues, does the FCBD exercise amount to a promotional or advertising expense?
Don’t know what that expense is in total is or how an ROI is measured against Marvel’s bottom line, but would it help that bottom line if Marvel were to scale back the number of FCBD issues produced/dollars spent and release 12 issues of, say, a new Untold Tales of Spider-Man at $1.99 or $2.99 targeted specifically at young kids and - assuming it sells - get a direct return, however marginal?
I think I just want Untold Tales Vol 2 vs mountains of FCBD issues stacking up year on year in comic shops.
I can do 9 of 12, some of which with the help of the internet. I have:
1 - Justified
2 - ???
3 - Mad Men
4 - Star Blazers
5 - Underdog (thanks Kevin!)
6 - ???
7 - Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous?
8 - Red Dwarf
9 - Doctor Who
10 - Also Doctor Who
11 - ???
12 - Have Gun, Will Travel
Apologies for reposting, but I'm genuinely curious: What are your favorite books (or media) about comic book history? "Men of Tomorrow" is excellent even if I had to mentally block out who wrote it. Have you ever considered writing a book about the industry?
A bit of a nerdy question : I noticed several times that the font/logo of your blog (The Tom Brevoort Experience) look VERY much like the one used in 2001 for the Thor: Godstorm limited series, edited by you (at first, it reminded me a bit of the one used for Morrison/Jones's Marvel Boy but that's clearly not it). So is there a reason why (particularly proud of how those three issues turned out ?).