While Marvel’s film studio is producing the most popular super hero films in decades, their comic books and graphic novels are in a sales slump, especially compared with rival DC Comics.
The latter company is still riding the wave of new readers from their New 52 event, though the long-term effects of the relaunch are yet to be understood.
This past Thursday, Marvel began letting people go, after confirming there would be cost-cutting layoffs. Credit goes to Comic Book Resources for following the story closely all day Thursday as things developed. By the end of the day Marvel had laid-off 11 employees from various divisions within the comic book production studio.
There were several tweets from Marvel employees throughout the day including one from Editor Jordan D. White saying, "We lost a few incredible people at Marvel today, and I will miss working with them. They were great at their jobs and I wish them the best."
Even before the latest cuts, Marvel had 5 editorial vacancies left unfilled from lay-offs over the last year and still have not replaced COO Jim Sokolowski, whom they let go two weeks ago for similar financial reasons.
Adding to their woes, Marvel made the difficult decision yesterday of cutting several of their ongoing series. Iron Man 2.0, All-WinnersSquad, and Alpha Flight have all been cancelled.
Iron Man 2.0 and All-Winners Squad make sense, as they were two of the worst performing books in Marvel’s line-up, but the cancellation of Alpha Flight is a bit confusing, considering it is one of the best performing lines, and the company just recently announced its upgrade from mini-series to ongoing.
It’s unlikely that this is the end of the cuts to Marvel’s book publishing efforts, but their film division is doing about as well as can be imagined. Perhaps the leadership at the legacy comic book company can see that there future does not lay in illustrations any longer.