Wednesday, March 02, 2005

On OGNs: 'Marvel's not in the business to innovate'

In this week's "Permanent Damage," Steven Grant weighs in on Joe Quesada's comments that original graphic novels "don't make fiscal sense" for Marvel:
The main thrust of comments about Joe's comments is disappointment over Marvel's lack of willingness to innovate anymore. But Marvel's not in the business to innovate, and hasn't been for a long time. (The argument can be made that the only reason the company was at all innovative in the early '60s was they were out of other options.) Original graphic novels aren't an innovation anyway; they've been around for thirty years, longer if you look outside America. Furthermore, you're not likely to see anything original from Marvel. I say that without sarcasm or scorn; like most corporations, they aren't in the business of original, and, being more of a corporate entity than ever before, the company exists mainly to exploit existing properties. That doesn't mean someone can't come up with an original storyline or approach once in awhile, but, face it, a Spider-Man story is a Spider-Man story is a Spider-Man story, whether it's in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN or ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN or India. Marvel's mission is to make Spider-Man or the X-Men, or any of its characters household words, what you think of when you think "entertainment." They're not on this Earth to experiment. The vast majority of corporations are about maximizing profit and minimizing risk. Marvel's no different, and if they were they'd likely hear about it from their stockholders.