Saturday, May 19, 2007

Spider-office weekend updates

Sean and folks,

Wanted to give you a few updates from my end, on where we're going over in this tangled web.
Obviously, I've read LITG, as well as the communciations we've all been firing back and forth here in our brain trust corner of the internet.

Sean, I specifically wanted to pull you into what we've got on the horizon. I'd also like to accomodate some of your other requests/wishes as we're webslinging forward.

As I mentioned in another thread's response, I'm planning to honor Fraction's request to use Venom in his run, but only after Michelinie restores some of the status quo over there. As you know, the first six issues that Michelinie has committed to has been called the Fall of the Bugle. Basically, we're showing what's gone on at the Daily Bugle ever since some of the Marvel Universe-changing events of late. A supporting character in this series is going to be Eddie Brock, who by the sixth issue of Michelinie and Pelletier's run will have reclaimed his symbiote. As soon as that arc has ended, Venom is back up for grabs for whoever wants him, and that includes his continued use over in T-Bolts. Michelinie's second arc is being called Back in Brock, and will be taking a closer look at the symbiote's relationship not only with Brock, but with all those he has "partnered" with over the years, particularly Peter Parker. I'm not going into great detail here, but essentially, the symbiote's having his own separation anxieties which would be akin to our version of cancer, and unless he reunites with each of his previous hosts, he's heading for the Marvel Book of the Dead. Speaking of which, I'm trying to help Michelinie research everyone's who bonded with the symbiote during the time David's been away from the title. Anyone who has any feedback there, it's appreciated.

For Fraction and Romita, Matt had said he wanted to do what appeared to be a series of "Done in One" stories. Actually, as folks are going to realize, there's a pair of underlying stories there, though each issue can be read initially as a standalone. There's a countdown -insert apologies to the Distinguished Competition here - taking place that will reunite Fraction's version of the new Sinister Six. This will give Romita Jr. a chance to go to town with some of fandom's favorite Spider-baddies. Playing out behind the scenes, though, is the discovery of a letter written by Peter's deceased dad, former SHIELD agent Richard Parker. The reveal on that one doesn't some until later in the arc, so we're trying to keep a tight lid on that now.

But what I'm going to most need for support for help from above is this summer's 45th anniversary of Spider-Man. As all of us know, he made his debut in August, 1962, so I'm going to be using Jazzy John Romita Sr.'s variant cover for a special 45th anniversary issue that Matt is already furiously penning.

I'm hoping for some serious in-house ads to help bump this one, as well as some comic shops promos.

Fraction has indicated he's itching to get out there and do some interviews, and I'm willing to let him run. He's really pumped about our offer of exclusivity, as well as the generous offer to allow him to continue his already-established indy titles. But he's also looking to hit the interview circuit, and I'm all game for that. Sean, you want me to run that process through you or just take it and run with it?

For everything else, I'll post in the appropriate entries elsewhere.


Patrick Cook said...

Duh - one thing I forgot, Sean.

With the bump from last week's publication, we'll be putting out two issues of Amazing this month. Both are in the can and literally Amazing, so we need to factor that into the schedule for the month.

Hopefully that will also help us with a bump in numbers for the month, and it'll all even out.

Michael Heide said...

I don't recommend letting Amazing ship twice this month. Readers have only a limited amount of money, and telling them that to get in on the new approach they'd have to buy two issues ín one month is not a good idea.

Besides, with Steve Wacker about to buy a Fraction of your creative team, you might want to have a breather later. So you can hold off on Amazing Spider-Man now - or let your next writer start "under the gun" as well...

Sean Kleefeld said...

I don't have a problem shipping two issues of Amazing in one month, but Mike's got an excellent point about giving some breathing room if Fraction bolts.

Regarding in-house ads and promos, I don't think promos are going to happen budget-wise. Not really worth it for the 45th anniversary. (50th maybe, but the sim doesn't run that long!)

I'm also wondering about the effectiveness of inhouse ads for the event as well. With "Rise"/Balance, we've got a story that touches at least four distinct titles and we can essentially tell the X-fans to pick up Fanatastic Four for a few months. Plus, tell the FF fans to pick up Uncanny. And SheHulk fans to get Black Panther. And so on. So we can have one ad running in several books serving several purposes.

Amazing's anniversary is important and a good selling point, don't get me wrong, but I don't think inhouse ads are going to have that much of an impact on sales. At least, not as much of an impact as the same ad-space would have in cross-pollinating the various "Rise" and Balance tie-ins.

I might suggest instead focusing on ideas that will still tout the anniversary, but NOT at the expense of other material. See if you can't line up some interviews for Fraction and/or JRJr and/or yourself with Newsarama or The Pulse or Comic Geek Speak or Fanboy Radio or Comic Book Resources or Wizard or whatever. Write a historical piece on Spider-Man, maybe on how his different anniversaries have been handled, for Roy Thomas' Alter Ego. Think more along those lines.

Remember that we only have 32 pages in the comic to work with, most of which are story, most of what's remaining are paying advertisers. The ocassional one page we have for an inhouse ad needs to be used as effectively as possible and I think we'll get more results cross-selling our "event".