GeekGround DC moving to "the Marvel Method"


9 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 45063

From https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/11/14/why-marvel-prefers-not-to-use-the-marvel-method-for-creating-comics/

Yesterday, Bleeding Cool reported that the DC Rebirth ongoing titles would be moving to a plot-art-script production system rather than the more common plot-script-art system, in order to give the lead artists on titles a greater control over storytelling. It is often known as the “Marvel Method” after its adoption by Stan Lee to speed his work in the sixties, even though it is hardly used at Marvel Comics anymore. A Marvel insider tells Bleeding Cool.
 
The Marvel method can actually be more time-consuming if you are not used to it. And given DC’s penchant for editorial input, makes changes harder as they will be caught later in the pencils.
 
It means there must be a level of trust between writer, artist and editor. Everyone needs to be on the same page going in. Lots of discussion beforehand. And once you commit to a plot, the editor knows that the artist will, of course, add their own interpretation to things. The editor has to be a little more free-wheeling, knowing there will be less time for corrections.
 
This was used in the 70s to push through stories they knew would be controversial. Turn it in at the last minute and no one has time to make corrections. They’ll have to publish as it is or miss shipping. You can look at it as a way to make books come out faster, the writer does less work up front, the artist gets the script earlier. Sure, it sounds reasonable but that does not account for every step after the penciler
 
If a page they don’t like comes in, the editor has to go back to the penciler for corrections, which loses you a day, or go to the inker or colorist for changes, which costs more money – and also might piss off the artist.
 
Then lastly, there’s the script stage – so the writer can only script once the last page is in. Usually, they do not want to script the whole story until they see it all complete. They do not want to script it page by page. Which means you have to trust your writer to turn the script around in a few days. And it then becomes a huge burden on the letterer. If a letterer has a full script, they can start production very early, the same time the artist does, get the text formatted, balloons sized, and they start dropping in as pages come in. With the “Marvel method” they need to wait until the last minute.
 
So this is why only one Marvel writer still uses the method….
Guess what. It isn’t Brian Bendis.
 
8 days ago
10/27/03
Posts: 19502

Jeezus that’s going to be a cluster fuck.

Comic writing has evolved a smidge since 1965 when it was acceptable to print utter shit.

7 days ago
1/18/03
Posts: 2383
Aren't Marvel sales at an all time low?
7 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 45084
JLK - Aren't Marvel sales at an all time low?

I don't believe so.  Even so, I really doubt it's Marvel's process that is at fault.  I would assert Marvel's low sales are do to the content.

7 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 45085
FingerorMoon - 

Jeezus that’s going to be a cluster fuck.

Comic writing has evolved a smidge since 1965 when it was acceptable to print utter shit.


Agreed.  I look forward to seeing how this plays out, but I do expect a train wreck.

7 days ago
10/27/05
Posts: 34514
paw - 
JLK - Aren't Marvel sales at an all time low?

I don't believe so.  Even so, I really doubt it's Marvel's process that is at fault.  I would assert Marvel's low sales are do to the content.


Even if they are, based on the pricing of books they beat DC in total sales dollars shipped each month IIRC from Comichron data.

Combine that with the MCU crushing the box office over the DCU in dollars and quality and Marvel isn't doing bad.

I've said it in another thread but honestly neither company has their comic sales making up anything more than a fraction of their revenue stream.

Marvel (based on my calculations of monthly shipped books and an estimate of what they sell to reatailers for) makes less than 20 million a year on comic books (no info for digital sales), this of course doesn't include TPB or HC/Omnibus books either.

If you want for the sake of argument, double that number to include everything. $40 million a year, which of course wouldn't be pure profit either.

So far Thor Ragnarok has grossed $663.20 million dollars at the box office in less than a month. It cost $180 million to produce. That's $483 million in profit already. On ONE of the 3 films Marvel put out this year they made that much.

I know they are different divisions, but the company obviously has far more value in the film sales vs comic books.

6 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 45088
Thage - 
paw - 
JLK - Aren't Marvel sales at an all time low?

I don't believe so.  Even so, I really doubt it's Marvel's process that is at fault.  I would assert Marvel's low sales are do to the content.


Even if they are, based on the pricing of books they beat DC in total sales dollars shipped each month IIRC from Comichron data.

Combine that with the MCU crushing the box office over the DCU in dollars and quality and Marvel isn't doing bad.

I've said it in another thread but honestly neither company has their comic sales making up anything more than a fraction of their revenue stream.

Marvel (based on my calculations of monthly shipped books and an estimate of what they sell to reatailers for) makes less than 20 million a year on comic books (no info for digital sales), this of course doesn't include TPB or HC/Omnibus books either.

If you want for the sake of argument, double that number to include everything. $40 million a year, which of course wouldn't be pure profit either.

So far Thor Ragnarok has grossed $663.20 million dollars at the box office in less than a month. It cost $180 million to produce. That's $483 million in profit already. On ONE of the 3 films Marvel put out this year they made that much.

I know they are different divisions, but the company obviously has far more value in the film sales vs comic books.


I'm not sure I caught your point.

I think you're saying that for Disney or WB, the comic book company (Marvel or DC, respectively) is basically a built in idea stream to pull from for movies and tv.  If so, I'm pretty sure that's the way WB treats DC (iirc, a few DC folks have said as much in interviews).  That's likely true for Marvel to some degree, although Disney is rumored to have a more "hand off" approach to companies it buys, and iirc, Disney immediately incorporated Marvel management into its management structure.  (Someone correct me if I'm wrong about all that).

I digressed.  Sorry.  But if I understood your point was: comics are fodder for tv/film.  And I absolutely agree that's how the-powers-that-be view things.