Yesterday, we mentioned Marvel’s alll-new webcomics. Now, Todd Allen suggests that Marvel’s current hiring pattern reveals this initiative is going to get a lot bigger:

These positions tell us Marvel is looking at their various sites as an “audience network” and looking to staff network-wide. And the when the custom publishing manager has to have web-centric skills, you have to ask if Marvel is eyeing custom webcomics? They would not be the first publisher pursuing that, mind you. The Stephen King semi-animated webcomic “N” _may_ have been a custom project for Simon & Shuster, as it is being used as a promotional tool for the prose anthology “Just After Sunset.”

Consider Marvel has in the last few months also advertised for

* Sr. Producer/Product Manager for Digital Comics
* Manager of Premium Services
* Director of Premium Services

§ In addition, Marvel Kremlinologists will enjoy their presentation today for a Goldman Sachs investment meeting. Gee, wonder what everyone will be talking about? Considering that it was only last week that Marvel presented at a Merrill Lynch event, you’ve gotta think everyone at Goldman Sachs may be a teeeeeny bit nervous.

Finally, ya know how everyone is always saying that “If only Marvel and DC would advertise comics on TV, everything would be FINE?” Well, it seems Marvel has taken a baby step in that direction by running some ads for SECRET INVASION during a baseball game. From the PR:

It’s the comic book event that has everyone from Entertainment Weekly to The Wall Street Journal buzzing and now the years top-selling comic, “Secret Invasion”, makes its television debut on ESPN2 tonight! During tonight’s telecast of the Bricktown Showdown, the minor league baseball championship, beginning at 8pm EST, an ad for the Skrulls’ “Embrace Change” cause will run multiple times. As part of this partnership with MiLB, fans attending the game will also receive Thunder Stix promoting the upcoming Iron Man DVD & Blu-Ray discs (on-sale 9/30); Skrull Masks promoting Secret Invasion; and copies of Marvel Adventures: Iron Man #11and Marvel: Your Universe Saga.

Okay, so it was MINOR LEAGUE baseball.


  1. Sounds like they are making an attempt at something.

    And Skrulloween, I mean “Hallowe’en” is coming. Maybe market some Marvel comics in the costume rental stores.

    Oh, never mind, how silly of me. That would never work. There would be a reason why.
    Why did I even suggest that? Maybe a Skrull is taking over my logic system.

  2. Ahem… buried in my Diamond Retailer Report was a mention that Marvel was preparing two television advertisements.

    ESPN2 is NOT minor league. In a nutshell, it is ESPN1 with a different logo. Demographically, it’s a great way to reach viewers who will like your product. The stadium marketing is genius. (Yes, I remember the hoopla over the Spider-Man baseball promotion. But this is Minor League baseball (Triple A, which is one rung below Major League Baseball) where promotions are a lifeblood.) And the stadium crowd? Mostly families. Marvel handed out special Free Comic Book Day comics at stadiums. What a great captive audience!

    And why not advertise Secret Invasion?

    1) It generates interest in a mini-series that is in progress, bringing in new customers who will buy up BACK ISSUES.

    2) The trades will be out in six months, which will appeal to a general crowd. (See: Civil War. Easy tag line. Memorable event (Spider-Man unmasking, Captain American.) Sold lots of TPBs in bookstores.)

    3) Looking at the new “Embrace Change” and “Dark Reign” initiatives which will follow Secret Invasion, it looks like this will lead into those.

    4) This is an election year. Everyone wonders about Manchurian Candidates and whether politicians are showing their true selves. (Is he a muslim? Is she a fascist?) Skrulls and Illuminati and who knows what else in a Marvel Universe that is already under governmental control.

    5) Such an easy concept… the superheroes you admire may not be who you think they are. Yeah, we know Superman is an extraterrestrial, but what if he had a secret agenda? What if the woman behind the mask is wearing another mask, one that is blonde and blue-eyed and smiling at you while her alien DNA is plotting how to take over the world?

  3. I’m honestly shocked that people are attacking Marvel for it’s commercial on ESPN2.

    First, given the relative health of the industry, you’d think more people would be excited about the moves Marvel has been making. Sure, it’s Marvel, and they’re a big bad company, and they’ve made some bad moves/decisions in the past, and you have a problem with OMD, but seriously? We’re going to knock them for airing commercials?

    Second, is the problem people have with either minor league baseball (MiLB) or ESPN2. ESPN2 has suddenly become akin to CSPAN3 in people’s minds. Both ESPN2 and MiLB attract millions of viewers. People LOVED when Quesada came out on the Colbert Report (twice), and yet the Colbert Report averages 1.2 million viewers. I love the Colbert Report, so I’m not knocking them in the least bit. But, if 1.2 million viewers was good enough then, why is ESPN2 all of a sudden the red-headed stepchild no one wants to invite to the party? Methinks Marvel-bashing has become the flavor of the month for comic blogs/comments.

  4. I thought it was a joke about minor league baseball not being Major League Baseball?

    Then again, when Bill Jemas did a baseball joke about Ted Turner and the Atlanta Braves tomahawk chop, nobody seemed to know what it was. Ah, comics and sports.

  5. Why advertise on the SciFi channel when most of those viewers are already aware of your product? (see: Preaching to the Choir)

    Cartoon Network… again, either you target the kiddies (not the readership of Secret Invasion) or the adults (who already know about it).

    Geez… I just thumbed through Mighty Avengers #17, and EVERY SINGLE AD was connected to Marvel (except the back cover). Is Marvel hurting for ad revenue?

    As for comics and sports, my nephew is a HUGE Captain America fan (he read the entire run on DVD) and he currently is a coaching assistant for a high school football team. And he wants to write comics. (Not superhero, more like crime noir.) I remember back in the day, Soloflex used to advertise in Marvel Comics.

    and from the web:

    “During the recently concluded 2008 regular season, the industry’s 176 clubs combined to draw 43,263,740 fans. This was a 1.1 percent increase over 2007…” 43 MILLION FANS Yes, some are season ticket holders or repeat attendees, but what if comicbook stores had a total of 43 million transactions a year?

  6. Wrong side of the bed today, Torsten?

    “Okay, so it was MINOR LEAGUE baseball.” =
    Homer: Aw, the Denver Broncos?!
    Marge: I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good.
    Homer: (disheartened) Yeah, yeah.
    Marge: Well, explain to me why it isn’t.
    Homer: (sighs) You just don’t understand football, Marge.

    (For the record, I covered the NBA/WNBA as a columnist for 2 years. In print, too.)

  7. Focus group on: Tell me the first sport that comes to mind when I mention . . . Comic Books. You have three seconds.

    If Marvel is advertising anyplace but there, they’re chumps. Not that their nascent marketers wouldn’t be snookered by the tv sales sharpies the first few times out of the box. Tide wasn’t built in a day.

  8. Highly unlikely that the TV spot itself is driving this marketing engine. This is a tie-in with the Minor League Baseball championship and is primarily an in-stadium promotional event. More likely than not, the opportunity to run TV ads on ESPN2 during the game was offered as an added value overlay to the overall buy. Kudos to Marvel for taking full advantage of an opportunity that’s probably worth more to them in talk value (among investors and retailers) than actual media value.