As As The Beat told you last week, Marvel has just their first retailer summit in nearly 20 years, in which 14 retail organizations from the Top 300 Marvel accounts were invited to meet with Axel Alonso, David Gabriel and other top execs to talk about the steps Marvel is taking to improve sales. Everyone was NDA’d, but Milton Griepp of ICv2 was invited to cover the event, although not to reveal plot points discussed. His first report is here, and he says no restrictions have been placed on reporting the very frank retailer discussions that were made. So we look forward to that!
The instructions to retailers were to “say what you need to say,” with no holds barred (not that we’ve ever known comic retailers to be shy about sharing their opinions). Questions were gathered before the event, and solicited throughout. Editorial staff, including Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, Senior Vice President Publishing Tom Brevoort, and others participated in the discussions of content and made presentations on plans for upcoming initiatives.
Among the editorial topics discussed were reboots and restarts, event fatigue, timing of events, political overtones in comics, and legacy vs. new versions of characters, all subjects we’ve been hearing a lot about from retailers over the past months.
As you can see from the above photo, event fatigue, event timing and getting the top talent back on the books were all topics discussed.
According to both Griepp’s report and a few (very general) comments I’ve heard from retailers, reaction was very positive. Retailers are excited about Marvel’s upcoming plans, including the Generations event, and that Marvel is taking the time to listen to concerns.
More to come.
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.