So...in case you haven't been following the comics news-a-net lately, Marvel seems to be showing signs of what I like to call, Ef Upedness lately. It's that point in a company's lifespan when you start to see the writing on the wall that indicates you need to get the hell out of there because it might not be around for long.
First, they have been laying off an alarming amount of staffers even after reporting a profit for this quarter.
Second, among the layoffs were employees in the Digital division? (Yeah, that's a smart place to trim, cuz that whole digital comic thing is just a fad.)
Third, and less harrowing, but still telling, they cancelled the All-Winners Band of Brothers mini-series in mid run
Over at Blog@Newsarama.com, this commenter summed up my feelings pretty well:
October 22nd, 2011 at 10:03 am
I am annoyed by any of these titles being cancelled, but it doesn’t surprise me. The one that REALLY gets my goat though is ALL-WINNERS SQUAD: BAND OF HEROES There are 7000+ people that are reading that mini And enjoying it) with more waiting for the trade.
If Marvel cannot complete a commitment to the fans (they comitted to a mini-series, its not like anyone expected an on-going!) by producing just 8 issues then they should not be in business. I understand low sales causing an on-going (or what was thought to be up-graded to an on-going) to be cancelled but to canceo a mini-series is both lazy and un-professional.
As noted, there are 7000+ fans who want to see the story completed asnd, for a mini-series the sales figures have not been bad!
Now, I'll be honest, I wasn't buying All-Winners Squad because, well, y'know (Modern Comics Suxors) but I have to agree with Hawk_Fan. There is something particularly suspcious about Marvel pulling the rug out from under a mini-series that only had 3 more issues to go.
I've gone on record on the net several times about having my doubts with this whole Disney/Marvel thing. Disney just doesn't strike me as a company that see the value in owning a comic book company. Disney comics sell very well all across the world but even then, Disney just liscenses out the characters to other publishers. When I was a kid, I read Disney stories published in Gold Key Digests
More recently, Disney comics have been published by Gemstone and Boom! My daughter read the Fairies of Pixie Hollow published by PaperCutz
I know a creator who works on Disney comics who has told me face to face that Disney has no interest in the comic book business. And why should they? Disney makes more money off of Movies, Toys and Theme Parks than Marvel could ever imagine. A comic that sells 100K is a big deal to the comic world, but to Disney, that's not worth getting out of bed for.
So, at the end of the day, when Ike Perlmutter has to explain to his new bosses how Marvel missed their quarterly expectations, I can see how he might end the explanation with..."But we are looking for ways to trim costs..."
Perhaps I should start a Marvel Comics Deathwatch?
Anway, as far as All Winners Squad goes, none of the old Golden Age comics are in Public Domain, so for today's Free Comic, I present All Good Comics 04.