Chibijoe
Continuing the ever-growing exodus from MySpace, the popular Cup O’Joe feature — in which Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada answers a wide range of questions — has moved from that sputtering social networking site over to CBR, with Jonah Weiland and Kiel Phegley taking over the questioning duties from Jim McLauchlin. Early topics include the impending resurrection of Captain America, price increases and so on. Bonus: a chibi version of Joe heads each column!

1 COMMENT

  1. I loved that piece he wrote on the Amazing Spider-Man cover. I really like those Eisner-ish pieces. Special.

    That’s a Mike Wieringo Q-head as well, isn’t it? Good to see it.

    //Oo/\

  2. At this point, there’s pretty much nothing Joe could say to backtrack what he’s already said about the price increases.

  3. Cup’O’ Joe failed on Newsarama.
    Cup’O’ Joe failed on MySpace.
    Cup’O’ Joe failed on CBR?

    Only the future will tell.

  4. Hey Mike!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to not read the new column and then anonymously comment about it and compare me to a prostitute. When Jonah and I started this venture, we knew that plenty of folks would thoughtlessly attack us as soulless, greedy shills, but I never expected that high level of discourse would work it’s way to Heidi’s site so quickly. How keen!

    And please, if you ever get your own journalistic platform to openly and honestly engage a major industry figure – or if you get a last name or a brain or an ounce of dignity and self respect – please let me know so I can show up in the comments section and say things about your mother being fat.

    Make Mine Mike!

  5. Kiel,

    Can you please do a follow up with Joe Q. on his $3.99 spin.

    He is out right lying in his statements. He has given completely different reasons for the $3.99 price tag within his PAST Cup o’ Joes, Cup o’ Joe convention appearances as well as Marvel has stated otherwise in their quarterly stockholder meetings. ALL the contrary info is stated in those 3 places and ALL are still available online.

    I honestly don’t think Joe Q. bothered to listen to the audio clip that is ON THE MARVEL SITE stating the views by Marvel that their consumer is inelastic. He kept INSINUATING that your sites blog got all it’s info 3rd hand… they just took the time to listen to the clip (hell if I remember correctly, they even gave a timestamp).

    CBR got the Public Awareness rolling on this, don’t give up on it now. Please follow up on this VERY important piece of journalism. Make Woodward and Bernstein proud. :)

    Thanks.

    the Tiki

  6. I used to read CoJ on a regular basis, but when it switched over to MySpace I think I only went the once or twice… of course, I can’t say I missed the Quesada hype machine nor his continual lumping in all comic fans for the few Internet trolls who sometimes take things too far.

  7. When Joe left Myspace, he cited his “busy schedule” and his many upcoming projects as the reason for not having time to do a weekly column any more…

    I’ll leave that one without comment…

  8. Kiel,

    Joe Quesada remains one of the most hated men in the industry (either he or Didio), did you honestly expect not to be blindly criticized for doing business with Bill Jemas’ former protege?

    Don’t dance with the devil if you don’t want to get burned.

  9. “Cup’O’ Joe failed on Newsarama.
    Cup’O’ Joe failed on MySpace.
    Cup’O’ Joe failed on CBR?”

    Refresh my memory, what exactly is the definition of “failed”?

  10. This is what I get for engaging, isn’t it?

    *sigh*

    To Tiki:

    I appreciate the kind words and support, man, but I think calling Joe a liar really goes too far. I’ve been at panels where he’s spoken on the price increase and have read many of his previous statements online about the same subject and the going line was always very much “rising costs.” Now, as for the statements made by Marvel’s lawyer, I’m not sure if this is clear from the transcript or not, but when Joe spoke of those, the blog he was referring to wasn’t Robot 6 but the site which Robot 6 linked to when they first spread word of the story. In any event, I think the point he was trying to make was that despite separate reasons being given by separate people, no one at any time made the claim that there was only one reason why some Marvel books have gone up in price. Take that for what you will. I thought Jonah did a fine job pushing him on the perceived differences between those statements, and Joe gave his answer to that. Again, take it for what you will, but I think anyone would need a lot more than two different statements from two different men given to two different audiences to label someone a liar.

    That said, I’m sure the $3.99 issue is something we’ll return to in future columns. If the questions folks have been submitting on the CBR boards are any indication, this is something the readership wants to know more about, and ultimately, a big part of my job is to ask those questions on our readership’s behalf. And not to sound like I’m trying to steal away people from Heidi’s site or anything, but if anyone has any kind of response to the column or Jonah and I’s work on it, please feel free to stop by the CBR message boards (the Cup O Joe thread is stickied in the Marvel U section). I know some people will cry “he just wants your unique hits!” for my bringing that up or whatever, but honestly, with all the writing I have to do during my day I just don’t have the time to come around to other public forums where people will call me a prostitute, a paid Marvel shill, in league with devils real or imagined or worse. But I will be on the CBR boards every day looking for questions as well as reasonably worded criticisms and complaints about our work.

    Thanks for reading.

  11. >That said, I’m sure the $3.99 issue is something we’ll return to in future >columns. If the questions folks have been submitting on the CBR boards >are any indication, this is something the readership wants to know more >about, and ultimately, a big part of my job is to ask those questions on >our readership’s behalf. And not to sound like I’m trying to steal away >people from Heidi’s site or anything, but if anyone has any kind of >response to the column or Jonah and I’s work on it, please feel free to >stop by the CBR message boards (the Cup O Joe thread is stickied in the >Marvel U section).

    You might as well just change your name to “Matt Brady” then.

  12. “but honestly, with all the writing I have to do during my day I just don’t have the time to come around to other public forums where people will call me a prostitute, a paid Marvel shill, in league with devils real or imagined or worse”

    But you’re doing it.

    Kiel, the column’s barely begun and you already feel the need to defend yourself, Joe and Marvel on other forums. You KNOW that you’ll never be able to engage on the hard questions because you KNOW that Marvel won’t allow it.

  13. It’s like my mom always said. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Those who are unhappy with Kiel and Joe working together, don’t have to read it. If you’re unhappy with prices, just write a letter to Marvel, explaining your views and ideas on the subject. That’s what people use to do when I was a kid. :)

  14. Kiel – since you’re still around, could you explain the relationship between Marvel and CBR? It’s obviously been growing closer in the last few months, and has become the place for Marvel to go to with previews, but the Joe minisite has Marvel ads on it. Are you taking money from Marvel for those ads, or is CBR providing those ads at no cost to Marvel? I just find it curious that with the lead up to this, and the whole countdown clock silliness, Joe was promoting CBR on his Twitter account, and now, here’s CBR promoting Marvel Comics with ads on a minisite.

    Not looking for a defensive answer, just curious as to who’s getting paid what so Joe can talk through what’s supposed to be an independent outlet. Lord knows how that failed with Newsarama, and they quickly became a shill for Marvel.

    Also – when Joe left MySpace, he said it was due to work commitments, and other projects that made it impossible for him to keep a weekly schedule. Was this in fact true, and we’re going to see new work from him, or was this just a convenient excuse to leave MySpace? His final column there was May 1 and he said he was too busy, but Jonah has said that he was “in talks” with Marvel about bringing the column over on April 1st, and it was finalized on the second week of April. Can you ask Joe if what he said at MySpace was just another “increased talent costs” style smokescreen, as it’s clear that he wasn’t telling the truth about being too busy to be able to keep a weekly schedule and was already looking for a new place to be since MySpace seemed to have petered out in terms of audience?

    Personally, as you seem to be planning on keeping this on some high ground, will you tell Joe “no” when he begins to use his column to promote things and getting fans riled up like he did with his whole killing Speedball thing that Newsarama allowed him to do which was just a viral style ad for Civil War?

    Good luck Kiel, with this and you’re increased presence and apparently being CBR’s new #2 guy. I hope you can make this something worthwhile, rather than what it’s typically been in its other incarnations.

  15. Kiel, I realize that Quesada tries to defend Marvel’s editorial policies and business practices as best he can, but someone should tell him that he’s not good at detailed explanations. When he tried to defend the “One More Day” storyline on CBR, he acted as though the readers of the Spider-Man comics were predominantly pre-teens; his attempt at defending the promo art for MARVEL DIVAS on MySpace was taken apart. If there’s been an occasion where he’s satisfied critics, I’m not aware of it. If he adopted Brevoort’s routine practice of saying, “We’re doing the best we can,” then people wouldn’t expect anything more.

    SRS

  16. No one’s integrity should be challenged for having Marvel material on their website, but “comics journalism” should not be taken this seriously. These sites need content on a daily basis, so if Marvel gives it to them, so be it. But at least there are feedback sections. I read all of this stuff for free and I enjoy it. If you don’t, go to another website or start one yourself and stop being a cock about it.

    Everyone who’s paying attention knows that Marvel is re-pricing their books based on what they think people will pay for them. New Avengers has been $4 for some time now, and it is still the #1 book on the charts, as well as my LCS. If you don’t like $4 books, take your money and try some of the other books from the ranked from #50 to #150 on the sales charts. If you look at the sales analysis, the books in this range on the charts didn’t get hammered as much as the top 25. It looks like the readership in this range are more consistent and loyal. And if find the quality of the books in this range to be higher and more consistent.

    Re-pricing their “top-tier” books to $4 is a bad long-term business model. Marvel is squeezing more out of a shrinking customer base, and in the process shrinking their customer base even more. Making all new miniseries priced at $4 is limiting the exposure of these books, and thus limiting the sales of the inevitably collected trade. There is a reckoning coming for the comic industry and Marvel is getting all the money they can while they can.

    I think about trade-waiting more and more these days.

  17. Are there numbers out there about what percentage of comic sales bought at LCS have some kind of subscriber discount?

    That is, how many people are paying $3.99 vs $3.50 or $3.20 or $2.99?

  18. In the Phoenix area, the discount ranges. At my LCS, Greg’s Comics gives me a 20% off of every purchase. Samurai gives 10% for every $100 spent. The Atomic stores only sell at cover price. With the switch to trade, it’s going to be impossible to beat 37% at Amazon. Marvel and DC have got to keep people in the LCS.

  19. Nice response, Kevin Radcliffe. Clear, concise questions/comments that really can’t be taken the wrong way (but probably will).

  20. Hey Kevin!

    Thanks for the interest, although I’m not really in the best position to answer anything in regards to CBR’s business practices. While I’m technically a staff writer, I live about 2,000 miles away from CBR HQ in LA…and really my job of staff writer is just that. I write stories and cover my beats.

    HOWEVER, I can say that one of the best things about working for for CBR is that Jonah Weiland maintains absolutely fabulous firewalls between the different segments of his business so as to not get anywhere near suspect territory. Editorial decisions are made solely on the basis of what he, Andy Khouri and the rest of his in office staff feel is the strongest material for the readership, and within the site’s massive freelance staff, all units are viewed as independent of each other. That is to say, nothing I do in news writing connects with the guys who write reviews or with the columnists like Hanibal Tabu or (formerly) Rich Johnston, and blogs like Robot 6 and Comics Should Be Good operate with total independence too. When it came to Cup O Joe, Jonah asked that I stop freelancing for the Marvel.com news website (which I’d been doing for almost a year) so there would be no question as to whether or not I had a conflict of interest, and I agreed 100% that that was the only way to go. Furthermore, even though CBR obviously wanted to bring Cup O Joe back on our site because it would be a huge draw, it was made absolutely clear from Jonah that we’d only do it with full independence of Marvel, meaning we ask any question we want when we feel those questions are timely and necessary, and nothing we talk to Joe about is pre-approved or screened or anything like that. CBR is an independent company and an independent new source, and maintaining that integrity is first in the minds of everyone who writes for the site.

    As for Joe’s comments on MySpace…I can not speak for him and don’t care to get into a nit picking game about why he agrees to do interviews with which outlets. I have more important questions to ask on behalf of my readership. I do know that one of the reasons Joe seemed willing to continue the column on CBR was because we’re really trying to make Cup O Joe different than its been in any previous iteration, from adding the sketch section of the mini site to a bunch of upcoming ways of presenting the content that I’m working on right now. Overall, I think the column has been very successful at the other outlets who have hosted it, but still, I think a weekly laundry list of potpourri questions can eventually burn out everyone involved from Joe on down to the readers. We’re trying with our questions and our copy to avoid that as much as possible.

    Lastly, I’d just like to say that while I know a lot of people here and elsewhere don’t like reading “hypey” or “promotional” interviews, Joe talking about current Marvel product and what about it excites him is obviously going to be a part of the column, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Plenty of people have pointed out the absurdity of the fact that we’re talking so seriously about “superhero comic book journalism” while Tehran burns to the ground, but if there is one way in which I can honestly link whatever it is I do to capital “I” Important journalism it’s that when any public figure assents to an interview, they do so with an understanding that part of the questioning will involve their most recent project/initiative/idea whatever. From the Vice President hitting “Meet The Press” to talk about the administration’s new plan for the auto bailout to Paris Hilton getting to bring up her new designer dog perfume on Letterman to Joe talking about Dark Reign, that stuff is a big part of the conversation.

    And honestly, when it comes to comics, I want to be talking about the characters and the stories and what’s ahead. Not only because it interests me as a reader and critic of the work in question but also because that’s what a vast majority of my readership wants to know about. There’s a Cup O Joe thread on the CBR boards right now that’s about to push over to ten pages only a week into this, and most of the questions involve things like what codename Monica Rambeau will go by moving forward, when will the one true Captain Marvel return, what’s up with Jubilee and honest to God, several questions about somebody called Squirrel Girl. I think that’s awesome, and I want to make all of those comments part of our conversation.

    Anyway, I’ve got questions to prepare for another call tomorrow, so I think I’m going to have to stop posting long rambling responses in this thread at midnight on a Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who’s given thoughtful, honest responses to the new column. I’m even kind of enjoying the nutter butters a little.

    See you in the funnybooks, as they say.

  21. >Lastly, I’d just like to say that while I know a lot of people here and >elsewhere don’t like reading “hypey” or “promotional” interviews, Joe >talking about current Marvel product and what about it excites him is >obviously going to be a part of the column

    Then you’ve compromised your journalistic integrity.

    >and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be.

    Check that, you obviously don’t have any journalistic integrity if you honestly believe that.

    First Rich Johnston leaves and now Joe Quesada gets a hype forum with which he will be asked virtually no hard-hitting questions (Q: Joe, why haven’t you cut all ties with Bryan Hitch given his chronic lateness and negative comments towards fans? Q: Joe, why did you stick with Chuck Austen for so long given the incredible hatred directed towards him by the Internet? Q: Joe, why aren’t there more black supervillians?).

    Steven Grant is literally the only good thing left at CBR. Hopefully, he’ll move his column to a more reputable site soon.

  22. Sven, I don’t know about Joe Q, but I can answer those questions.

    “Joe, why haven’t you cut all ties with Bryan Hitch given his chronic lateness and negative comments towards fans?”

    Well, his art is just really great, and sometimes great art is worth waiting for. As far as his “negative comments” go, you don’t have to like everything that people have to say in order to enjoy their work, and people shouldn’t be fired for having an opinion.

    “Joe, why did you stick with Chuck Austen for so long given the incredible hatred directed towards him by the Internet?”

    Hatred is an ugly thing. Chuck Austen is in fact a very good writer, right up their with some of the best. He has integrity, a strong grasp of characterization, humor, and story telling. It’s unfortunate that many fans couldn’t appreciate his slant on the books he wrote for Marvel, because in the long run his style could have opened up comics to entirely new brand of readers.

    “Joe, why aren’t there more black supervillians?”

    That is a loaded question, and I’m not going to answer it. What do I look like, Miss California?

  23. “while Tehran burns to the ground”

    Seriously? You’ve run out of valid arguments so you try and straw man in a reference to the protests in Iran to try and hide the fact that you’re ducking valid questions?

    “Anyway, I’ve got questions to prepare for another call tomorrow, so I think I’m going to have to stop posting long rambling responses in this thread at midnight on a Tuesday.”

    Coward. And schill.