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Thursday, January 19, 2012 

Dan Buckley claims creativity will be part of 2012, but it's unlikely

Marvel's Dan Buckley told the AP that creativity will be driving this new year, but despite what he says, it's clear for years now that good storytelling, the very stem of creativity, isn't going to be. He says:
The industry, which reported modest increases during the recent recession, is still growing, though the level has tapered off, Buckley said. But it still remains vibrant because of the creativity engendered by new characters, reboots and, in the case of rival DC Comics, a total relaunch that generated new interest and buzz, something that other publishers benefited from.

"This is an American storytelling medium that people love and respect," Buckley said, noting that Marvel retained its ranking as the top comics publisher again last year. He attributed the company's success to deeper storytelling and moving readers with the deaths of some well-known characters and the reinvigoration of some old favorites, too.
Yes, there are many who love and respect the medium, which is saying a lot more than Buckley, whose own fandom is dubious if he and the other clueless people now running the show aren't concerned with storytelling quality, or the fact that, despite his and the AP's own claims, sales are not doing very well at all. And the part about "appealing" to readers with stories focusing on deaths, regardless of how long they last, is exactly why they haven't succeeded much at all.
Buckley, who joined the company in 2003, said the uptick in sales from 2010 to 2011 — up 1.2 percent industrywide — is further proof that buyers will be there, whether in the shops or online through digital comics, if compelling stories are written and drawn.
Not with people like him in charge, unfortunately, and not with prices going up to 4 dollars either.
Marvel, for its part, is planning a massive story that pits two of its most famous teams — the X-Men and the Avengers — into a 12-issue mini-series as they brawl over the return of the Phoenix, one of the publisher's most powerful characters. That is set for release starting in April.

"We all want to see the best of the best go against each other — Lakers & Celtics; Ali and Frazier; Yankees and Red Sox. And in comics, it's the Avengers fighting the X-Men," said Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief. "This is the kind of high-octane, action-packed story that fans demand while also having a profound effect on every character involved — and reshaping the Marvel Universe in its wake."
That's exactly why crossovers have come to be seen as long-term poison, because they affect every character in them, and the Marvel universe has only been turned into a farce with no plausible character drama.

And comparing this to a baseball game is really asking a lot from the audience. This is merely another story where heroes clash with each other instead of combating villains. And when all they can think of doing is writing that kind of a story, it's no wonder nobody is interested any longer.

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