Yesterday’s installment of Cup O’ Joe was an especially timely one, with Marvel’s new Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada explaining a few things. For instance, of his new title, he reminded us that Avi Arad, the film exec much responsible for improving Marvel’s film profile in Hollywood, was the previous holder of the COO title; however, unlike Arad, Quesada will continue to be involved with the comics side of things, although he’ll be spending a lot of time in LA:
In a more detailed sense, there will be some significant changes. The most obvious one will be the fact that I’ll be spending a lot of time out west. There will be a ton of changes and some stuff that I need to get my arms around – some of it can be even be filed under, “The Great Unknown.” By that, I mean that there’s some defining of the CCO position that I’ll have to do on the fly. While Avi was our previous CCO and did a wonderful job, he wasn’t intimately involved with publishing and Marvel wasn’t under the Disney family umbrella. And that’s what makes this new job incredibly interesting to me. It’s the new challenges and opportunities that come with it as Marvel becomes a truly global company as part of the Disney family.
In even more incendiary matters, Quesada revealed that the INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL which is being released simultaneously for print and digital will have a HIGHER price for the digital version, as its three chapters will each be sold for $1.99. The print cover price is $4.99, while the total for digital will be $5.97. Whether you think this makes any sense or not, Quesada continues to pitch Marvel’s digital initiative as a way to get broader readership for its titles and hopefully drive them into brick-and-mortar stores.
However, Marvel has several more digital initiatives planned — this is far from a isolated test:
Wherever we see the opportunity to use the Marvel App and its contents as a tool to drive new customers into comic shops to pick up single issue comics trades, and any other product, we’ll take it. We have more test runs coming up over the next few months covering different aspects of our publishing line in order to test the waters. There are those guys who are saying we’re moving too fast, but I don’t feel that’s true. We’re slowly testing every scenario we can think of to find out what the best plan of attack is going to be. What generally happens when we do these things is the entire industry will benefit from our successes and mistakes. I mean, we could have gone slower and not have entered the App World at all, but in the end no one benefits from that. Since we’re really on the cutting edge of all of this, not only will retailers benefit from this, but so will creators, and just as importantly other publishers who will benefit by what it is that we do. But this is nothing new to us at Marvel, we’ve been leading the charge for a long time now.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.