[Reader 1:] What do you think of DC’s “Drawing the line at $2.99” pledge?
[Brevoort:] I think that if it works for them, and they can run their business and make their money on that cover price, good for them. But I know for certain that we can’t, so I must assume that they’re still in the traditional DC position of not really having to earn a direct profit in publishing, since they’ll get a credit for all of their licensing and so forth on the Warner’s ledgers. That’s not a luxury that we have–or really, that we want.
[Reader 2:] “…they’ll get a credit for all of their licensing and so forth on the Warner’s ledgers. That’s not a luxury that we have–or really, that we want.” Why not?
[Brevoort:] Because if you’re going to be a publishing division, to want to tell stories and to publish, don’t you want them to be read by people? Don’t you want them to be profitable? Sure, if we had the luxury of not having to make sure that each title earns its keep, we could coast a bit–but that wouldn’t make for better comics, that would just make us lazier and sloppier (and we’re plenty lazy and sloppy as it is.) Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
–In a pair of Formspring posts, newly minted Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort essentially shrugs and says “nice work if you can get it” over DC’s announcement that all their standard-format ongoing series for both the DC Universe and Vertigo lines will run at 20 story pages for $2.99. Whatever the reasoning, Marvel’s own price cutbacks are less extensive. What’s most interesting to me here, actually, isn’t connected to the price-cut debate — it’s Brevoort’s implication that Marvel’s newish status as a Disney subsidiary hasn’t impacted its basic business model.