Welcome back to CUP O’ JOE, the internet home of Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, exclusively on CBR. This is where Joe answers your questions in our weekly CUP O’ Q&A segment and publishes a number of sketches and artwork in our ongoing CUP O’ DOODES feature.
This is our first edition of CUP O’ JOE after the madness that was Comic-Con International in San Diego, which we are still filing reports from even today. As you can see from our complete Comic-Con news index, there were a ton of announcements, but the biggest comic book news concerned Miracleman -- known originally as Marvelman when his adventures were serialized in Britain’s "Warrior Magazine." Miracleman will be back under his proper Marvelman name and under the Marvel Comics banner, ending years of legal issues surrounding the character.
For more on the landmark work written by Alan Moore, be sure to check out the latest WHEN WORDS COLLIDE, where CBR columnist Timothy Callahan details Marvelman’s importance to the superhero genre.
In today's all-new CUP O’ JOE, Quesada discusses the Marvelman news, the reaction to it, his own Comic-Con experience, and also touches on Marvel’s strategy for “events” in the months ahead.
CUP O' JOE is Executive Produced by Jonah Weiland and Produced by Kiel Phegley.
Kiel Phegley: How was Comic-Con for you, Joe? With so many members of the Marvel talent roster and even more fans around, did you have any memorable run-ins over the week?
Joe Quesada: Nothing that was out of the ordinary. After so many shows, it seems like every conversation is just a continuation of one started at a previous show. To me, the highlights and the totally unique moments are those with the fans. I always have a blast talking to them, signing stuff and taking photos. I did have one let down: I was supposed to do a bit with Jimmy Fallon for the bit he did on his show, which was very funny by the way, but by the time we were supposed to hook up, convention security said that his presence was causing too much of a security risk so our meet had to be canceled. Too bad, I would have published the Recharger at Marvel. Hey, Jimmy, don’t let those other cats get you down, there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Here at Marvel we would make it a hit!
Kiel Phegley: In terms of news, we already spoke a little bit on CBR TV about the Marvelman announcement; that Marvel has obtained the rights to the character. How did you think the announcement went over with comics fans?
Joe Quesada: I think it went amazingly well. For most people it was a jaw dropping announcement. For other, younger fans, it was a bit lost on them until they went back and looked up exactly what the character means to the history of modern comics. All in all, the response was pretty amazing, even more than I anticipated and I was anticipating a lot.
Kiel Phegley: There was a sound problem at the announcement, right? What was supposed to happen there?
Joe Quesada: I had this great sound clip created by Jeff Suter here at Marvel along with Steve Wacker. We got Steve to give us his best “Kimota” [Marvelman’s magic word] with British accent and Jeff mixed it all in with some echo and thunder and it sounded great. Heck, some people here want to make it a ring tone. Anyway, I think there was something wrong with my iPhone jack since when I played the sound clip, all I got was the thunder, I suspect there was a problem with stereo and which channels were being played. Ah well, here’s the clip if you want to hear it as it was intended. Kudos to George Beliard here at Marvel for giving me the idea in the first place.
Kiel Phegley: Marvelman was a hot topic on the show floor and on the late night bar scene. I was able to speak with former “Marvelman” artist Mark Buckingham and this whole thing seemed to come as a bit of a pleasant surprise to him. Did you and Bucky catch up at all after the announcement? Have you had the chance to speak to any other creators who have either worked with the character before, or new creators who’ve started come up with new pitches?
Joe Quesada: Bucky and I didn’t get a chance and that was totally my fault as I was always running from one thing to another. I do hope to eventually catch up with him, once I’m settled back in New York and we have a bit more of an idea of how we’re moving forward. I know that we’ve been trying our best to reach out to all the creators involved, but I believe there are still a few that we either haven’t heard back from or that we still need current contact info for. And yes, that night, after the announcement, when I finally got back to my hotel room, my email inbox was filled with creators who had ideas and pitches. It really is thrilling to see what this character brings out in the creative community.
Kiel Phegley: The one thing that was repeated over and over by Marvel staff about this deal was the fact that Mick Anglo, Marvelman’s creator, was getting his due. I know that Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley has been playing point man in talking to Anglo and settling the specifics of the deal, but what's been your take of the man and his art?
Joe Quesada: While most people in the States aren’t familiar with Mick’s work, over in the UK he is incredibly well respected. I actually spoke with David Hine about this a bit at one of the con parties. It was loud and crowded, but I could tell that David just had tremendous respect for the guy. I do believe that if Mick had been working here in the States, he would have been known within the American comics community as one of the classic masters. So, our hope is to expose Mick and his early work to a wider audience as well as introduce Marvelman to a whole new generation of readers who aren’t aware of how the character revolutionized how we write and draw characters today. But that’s the interesting thing about Marvelman, there has always been something magical about the character, something prophetic about it that even though he’s not a household name, he’s caused seismic creative changes within our industry on every shore.
Just to give you an example, take a look at this piece, which was from one of the original Marvelman stories produced in the 1950s by Mick Anglo’s studio. We’re not sure what exact issue it’s from, but we found it in an article that appeared in “Warrior” #1, which contained the very first chapter of Alan Moore and Gary Leach’s reimagining of the character, in an article about Marvelman’s publishing history.
Joe Quesada: I mean you can’t make this stuff up? I mean 2010, who knew?
Oh, and here’s an even more interesting fact: in the 1950s, Mickey Moran, Marvelman’s alter ego, worked at a newspaper. The name of that newspaper? “The Daily Bugle.”
Kiel Phegley: Comic-Con also came with a number of X-Men related news. On the one hand, we've got a new crossover, "Necrosha," hitting in "X-Men: Legacy," "X-Force" and "New Mutants." On the other hand, we've got Matt Fraction bringing back Magneto and promising some big changes in "Uncanny X-Men." Is this the big X-Men stuff in November and beyond you were teasing a few weeks ago?
Joe Quesada: Mmmmmaybe.
Kiel Phegley: We've been speaking a lot about this idea of "Family Events" replacing the line-wide crossovers. The X-franchise has been working with this kind of story for a while. With a big X-Summit going on right now in Los Angeles, do you expect those writers and editors to keeping tying those books closer together as they lay track for 2010?
Joe Quesada: Yes, and it’s funny that you should say that because during our last creative retreat where we discussed how we would accomplish out new publishing agenda of smaller events within title families, we used the X-franchise as the perfect example of how to do it right.
Kiel Phegley: And speaking of the fact that the X-Guys are spending their post-Comic-Con week getting right back to the grindstone, what's your plan? Are you popping in on those meetings in L.A.? Checking in on animation work? Or is it right back to NYC and back to the literal "old drawing board?"
Joe Quesada: Believe me, I would have loved to stay out in California with my nose against the grindstone, it’s a much sunnier grindstone out there. But alas, I had to head back to NYC where we’ve had nothing but glorious rain and lightning.
Joe Quesada spoke with CBR TV during Comic-Con about the Marvelman announcement. Check it out!
Have some questions for Joe Quesada? Please visit the CUP O' Q&A thread in CBR's Marvel Universe forum. It is from this dedicated thread that CBR's staff will pull questions for our weekly fan-generated question-and-answer session with Joe, which will be this Friday.
Discussion about today's feature may take place at the link immediately below.