Thursday, March 01, 2007

Marvel's Business

I just found an interesting column on Marvel Enterprises on The Motley Fool. That's an investment site, for those of you who don't know. The writer, Tim Beyers, took a tour of Marvel, guided by it's EIC, Joe Quesada and they discussed Marvel's business model both as a publisher and as a movie maker.

JQ said that the comics arm is the R&D for the movie arm. Interesting concept. They have been using characters that have been around for a long time, like Fantastic Four and Spider-Man to make movies. However, it sometimes seems like the movie arm has never actually read any of the comics they're making into movies. But such is the bane of Hollywood. Even Stephen King said at the NYCC that he doesn't care how the movies are that are made of his books. He just takes the check. Sure, he hopes they're good, but he doesn't involve himself in the movie part.

JQ also told the columnist that Marvel is at it's best when it reflects the real world - like it did with Civil War. First of all - let me say I prefer comics as an escape from reality - if I wanted reality I'd just watch the news and read the newspaper. Second, how real is it when we're talking about super powered people - mutants and gama-ray infected characters of all kinds. That's not too real! I personally think if people want books that reflect the real world they don't read super hero comics. Maybe I'm wrong. I thought that Civil War, while it had its good moments, tried to be too "realistic" or to reflect some kind of realism the creators and master minds of the event would like to see happen in the real world. (People for and against the government realize the government is right and give up their freedoms for a kinder, gentler world, maybe.)

At any rate, Beyers seems to feel that Marvel's been growing and that they'll continue to grow. He's bullish on MVL as an investment. I'm not so sure I'd be, but then again, I'm just a former stock broker who gave it up to hustle funny books.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The publishing business at Marvel certainly isn't run as an R&D arm for the movie business.
It it were, Marvel would be constantly trying out new concepts. They'd be looking to put out more stuff outside the marvel universe. They wouldn't be so quick to cancel lower selling critical darlings.
I'd probably buy more Marvel comics if they did run it that way.