Thursday, January 17, 2008

Well this is even MORE unfortunate

Well the Spider-man marriage thing was finally picked up by the CBC website so that means I got an e-mail from my wife asking about it. Do you know how hard it is to explain this to someone outside the medium? It starts with, no I haven’t read it and probably won’t ever read it unless someone gives it to me and I have a lot of free time. Then you sort of have to explain the nineties and the whole Death of Superman really screwed up people planning to retire on their comic book collection money and how this is more or less the same kind of mentality here but with a bit less media attention or actual glut of buyers so the effects won’t be as huge. And then explaining how this was a quick fix and the writer didn’t want his name attached to it because they’re going for sensation more so than actual good story telling.

I made a comparison to the Toronto Maple Leafs (yes, it’s spelled incorrectly, and yes, it’s okay to laugh at it) and Newcastle United. Both are in trouble in their respective sports and have rabid fans – I’m a toon army member myself. So in order to fix their problems the teams have two options, spend money to bring in some temporary help and maybe turn things around although that rarely ever works. In the end bringing in a quick fix just prolongs the problem you’ve started with. The second option is to bring in someone in charge who not only has a proven success record but the fans respect and trust, and, most importantly, is someone who is willing to spend time to improve upon the core product that you have. While taking longer and less flashy it does managed to build a stronger base and more rewards come from it.

So, Newcastle United went back and got a well respected coach who knows the team and the fans will, more likely, be patient with in order to turn their collective fortunes around. And while they won’t win this year they will all feel they’ll have a better shot at simply doing better next year. The Maple Leafs just aren’t doing anything differently since they are still selling out the arena each game.

Marvel is operating like the Maple Leafs. They never break from the cycle of screwing up and while it may frustrate some fans, they still make money hand over fist so there is no real incentive to change. A quick fix here, a big trade there, an unmasking here, a metaphysical divorce there and things just keep going.

That’s a long way and a weird metaphor to go with, and I was hoping to avoid talking about this all together, but my real point that I was making to my wife was that it simply didn’t look like a good story to me so on a basic level it held no appeal. That’s what gets lost in all this. Sure it’s a news story and it smacks of sensationalism, but not once in any of the news stories is there any mention about whether or not this thing was actually any darned good. Heck, when the writer doesn’t like it, I’m thinking it’s not the best written story out there. But that’s just me from the outside looking in.


Siskoid said...

Great comparison! Is anyone supposed to be Newcastle United?

joncormier said...

Siskoid - it's unlikely from what I see, but I'm not exactly looking closely these days. I do think it would be interesting to see one of the big two take a sort of, let's use what we got better approach to publishing - not just give the fans what they like or what they don't in order to get a rise out of them.

plok said...

Marvel as the Leafs!

Maybe even like the Leafs under Ballard?

joncormier said...

Well, I'd think Marvel is the most like the Leafs and DC looked like it would pull out of that but, really they're pretty much going under the same operating manifesto. Promise of change and getting it right only to never really deliver except on things where the powers that be aren't particularly involved like say, Manhunter (which seems to have died again) and The Spirit.

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