Today at CCI in San Diego Joe Quesada spent an hour answering questions from fans. Here are some excerpts from that panel:
Why no big Marvel booth this year?
"Do you have any idea what it costs to set up one of those booths?" Quesada said. "We thought we'd spend the money to fly out pros and go to more conventions. What's more important to you as a fan -- to meet Grant Morrison or see a fancy graphic? That was the reason. We want to be approachable, we're going to get out there and shake hands and kiss babies and do good comics. We also are meeting with a lot of pros and doing deals here, and we just think that's where we should spend the money instead of a fancy booth. People know who Marvel is, we don't need a big graphic to make an impression."
Why no more story information in PREVIEWS solicitations?
"There were a bunch of reasons for that, but the main one is that it's not necessary," Quesada said. "You might remember when Joe Stracynzski was behind on Spider-Man and we didn't HAVE information -- he's caught up now, by the way," he added. "But sales went UP. With no info at all. People just want to know who's on the book. It's like the weather. People just want to know high, low, chance of rain, they don't care about other stuff. Plus it saves the surprise! We killed Karen Page, we unmasked DD, we unmasked Captain America, and it was exciting because it was a surprise! That's what we want. Also, this allows us to use larger art, we got great cover art and people should see it."
Is Marvel planning any major crossovers or events?
"I can't tell you that!" Quesada said, laughing. "It's all about the surprise! But I can tell you this. J. Michael Stracynski is working on a major new title for us, we'll be announcing it soon, with Gary Frank on the art. It's going to be a MAX book and it features one of Marvel's best-loved heroes. Also we just signed Brian Bendis to an exclusive two-year contract -- this doesn't cover creator-owned, he's doing his own thing and we don't want to interrupt that, but for work-for-hire characters it's Marvel only. And we've got Olivier Coipel coming on to the art chores in Avengers in 2003. So there's some news for you. We got some great stuff coming."
Advice for aspiring creators?
"Read your comics, enjoy your comics, but then put them away. Don't learn your craft from comics. Learn from drawing things in real life, read the classics, learn the basics first and then apply them to comics."
What about the Ultimatization of Marvel? Any truth to those rumors?