With the advent of the Internet and its ability to “instantly” send information almost anywhere in the world, people have come to value speed over accuracy. There are those that want to be “first” to report something, and that doesn’t always mean we’re getting the truth.
This past week certainly seemed to contain a shining example of that!
‘DISNEY SHUTTING DOWN MARVEL COMICS?’
Convention season leads to many comics producers taking the chance to hold discussion panels that release new information. I should know, I’ve been on and attended a few of these in my day.
Well, this past week, the South By Southwest (SXSW) convention announced that there would be a “Marvel: From Comics to Screens” panel, and that it would be hosted by C.B. Cebulski, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, and Joe Quesada, their Chief Creative Officer.
This all sure seems innocuous enough, but one website (which shall remain nameless) added what appears to be a “spin” to that information, saying that perhaps the Marvel execs were trying to publicly impress Disney with the importance of their comics at a time when “they add little value to the budget on their own.”
Of course, the rumor mill kicked into high gear, with many fans then saying that Disney was indeed cancelling all Marvel’s comics, and that the website had announced it was so.
It wasn’t long before a Marvel exec took to Twitter to say that wasn’t what was going on at all.
Quesada tweeted: “Must be a slow news day. Ladies and gents I give you the dumbest comics conspiracy of the week. Sometimes a panel is just a panel.”
SOMETIMES A RUMOR IS JUST A RUMOR
Now, I get the desire to be first with a news story. It adds to your street cred, as it were. If there were any truth to the notion that Marvel Comics were being shuttered, that website could claim they said it first.
The sad truth is that this idea has been floating around ever since Disney bought Marvel years ago. This isn’t the first time in this column I’ve dealt with this subject, but sometimes things bear repeating.
Marvel Comics serve as a platform–a testing ground, if you will, for what might make good MCU films later on.
Personally, I think Captain Marvel is a prime example of this. The upcoming movie has a lot of support for many reasons, but people who have enjoyed the comic are likely the strongest base of fans for the film.
I also believe that if the comic had never happened, we would never see the movie in theaters. I strongly doubt that the MCU without Marvel Comics would be an entirely different animal, even if it existed at all!
Granted, the Marvel movies obviously make a lot more money than the comics do. For each person buying a ticket, that’s like two or three comics being purchased. And theaters attract a LOT more customers than your LCS does. Really!
Still, fans are an important beginning to any comic or movie. Black Panther was well-liked by fans for decades before his movie hit. He’s had several comics series’ and appearances, and each one, I believe, added support for the character. Again, I think a Panther film without the strong comics support would have been much less successful.
KEEPING THE COMICS GOING
We’re all aware of how the industry is doing these days. Yes, it needs support and growth in order to survive in the years ahead.
But Disney would be flat-out CRAZY to shut down Marvel Comics at this stage of the game. Each month is proof that the House of Ideas remains firmly atop the industry, with devoted fans who are extremely likely to see the MCU movies when they come to town.
I always ask for fans to support the industry as much as they can, and maybe even suggest ideas that the rest of us haven’t considered to keep us growing!
What concerns me is that some folks see a headline and think, “Well, that’s it! Marvel’s being cancelled!” and spread the word to everyone they know that this is now fact. Well, it’s not! We have to take this kind of “information” with a huge boulder of salt. In fact, if you see someone spreading this rumor, be sure to set them straight! Some folks would love nothing better than to see comics go down in flames, so don’t let them tell lies like this!
Word of mouth has long been the most powerful support comics have. If you find books that you enjoy, be sure to tell others about them. A good recommendation can go far in helping the comics you love succeed! It’s just the opposite of the rumor mill, I think!
And buy the series’ you enjoy. Then READ them! Don’t just bag and board—that is, unless you’re buying more than one copy! Books are meant to be read, after all!
I often consider this kind of “rumor” event a call to arms for the industry. This is our chance to tell the truth–that good things are happening, that great comics are being made, that there is a strong future for the industry if we all work together to make it happen!
What do you think? Are we doing enough to squelch rumors that could hurt the industry? Are we getting the good word out enough to help stop this from happening? Whatever your opinions, be sure to share them in the space below!