Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
Why is it that guys in the comics world don't just disagree or argue? They feud. They war. And in this case, they compete in the most public manner possible. Both Bill Jemas and Peter David are men who have riled up fans and other professionals in the past, and now they're going head to head with the fate of a character at stake. Check this out:
Hi Gang. My favorite columnist and yours, Marvel President Bill Jemas recently entered the ongoing Peter David/Joe Quesada debate on what to do about the series, Captain Marvel. About a month ago, it looked like Captain Marvel, along with Black Panther and Spider-Girl, was getting canceled. Responding to fan support and a suggestion made by a fan in Bill's 'Don't Ask' Column, Marvel decided to increase the price of the books by 25 cents. While the Spider-Girl and Black Panther camps were relatively quiet about the decision, Peter David publicly criticized Marvel's decision to raise the price of the book. An online debate between David and Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada ensued, holding the interest of comic book fans for several weeks until it was ultimately decided that none of the books would get an increase in price and they would still be spared from cancellation, at least for another year.
But we didn't get to hear what Bill Jemas thought about all of this until late last week. The Marvel President came up with a most democratic solution to the situation, as reported by Michael Sangiacomo of Newsarama….
The Marvel universe is a big place, but there's only enough room for one guy named "Marvel."
Marvel Comics President Bill Jemas could simply anger loyal fans and cancel Captain Marvel, a comic which sells poorly and replace it with his own new character The Marvel.
But where's the sport in that?
Instead, Jemas and Captain Marvel author Peter David will play Survivor.
Jemas will write six months worth of The Marvel which will go on sale beginning in September. That month Peter David, with some assistance from Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, will release the first of the best half-dozen issues of Captain Marvel that he can write.
After six months, the comic that sold the most copies wins. The losing comic gets cancelled.
Is it a stunt?
Sure, but it's also an interesting way to settle a very public controversy.
Jemas has some strong ideas about what makes a comic successful and he said that David is not following those suggestions. Jemas' response is to do it himself. He believes if an untried writer like himself can score bigger numbers by following his suggestions, than David will have to admit there must be something to that approach.
"I have helped springboard some comics into being, like X-Force and Ultimate Spider-Man, but someone else did the writing and the scripting," Jemas said. "This will be the first time I have conceived of a series and did all the writing myself."
The battle began last month when Marvel announced plans to raise the price of Captain Marvel by 25 cents ($2.50 to $2.75 in Cap's case). Jemas said the logic was that the fans would pay the extra quarter and Marvel could continue to publish it.
"We thought it would make a certain number of people happy if we kept publishing the book," he said. "It would be a quarter more, big deal."
David was outraged. He publicly chastised his bosses for not supporting his comic with advertising. He said he would cut his own pay to make up the difference if Marvel would leave the price at $2.50.
"Everyone is missing the point," Jemas said. "Peter is a talented writer maybe two or three issues of the year, but the rest is just inside jokes for fans who have been reading his stuff for 20 years. He's just feeding off his old work. I feel that he needs to make his stories accessible to new readers or it's doomed."
To Get the Full Story on 'The Marvel' and the rest of Bill Jemas comments, you can find the original article, in its entirety: RIGHT HERE!!
Thanks again to Andrew of Gray Haven Magazine.com for the article.