Wouldn’t you know it, the former Marvel EIC who precipitated his former business’s downfall by pandering to SJWs didn’t stay away from the medium for long, and is now setting up his own publisher, Artists, Writers & Artisans, along with another most notorious figure from the early days of Marvel’s cascade to failure, and at least one more man:
In comic books, there are two main publishing models. One emphasizes flagship characters — like Batman and Spider-Man — whose success largely benefits their companies, DC and Marvel Comics. The other is creator-focused, where hits like The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, can mean a financial windfall for its creators. AWA is aiming for something between the two: It will have interconnected superhero comics like DC and Marvel as well as stand-alone series like Image. And all of its creators will have a financial stake.
It’s an approach reminiscent of old Hollywood. “The model here really is the old United Artists model, where people who are actually doing the creative have ownership, control and decision-making power over the work that they’re doing,” said Bill Jemas, a former vice president of Marvel who is the chief executive and publisher of AWA. Joining him at the helm are Axel Alonso, a former editor in chief at Marvel, as chief creative officer and Jonathan F. Miller as chairman. Miller helped broker a deal in 2017 between the comic book writer Mark Millar and Netflix, which bought his library of characters for development on the streaming service. Jemas and Alonso say the first of AWA’s titles will arrive some time this fall.
First, I think the market’s become incredibly oversaturated with superhero tales. There should be a far bigger emphasis on the action/adventure themes, rather than costumes per se. Second, Jemas acquired a notorious reception after he made considerable efforts on his part to antagonize not only the audience, but rival DC and at least a few other publishers as well. It was during his time as publisher that J. Michael Strazcynski took up writing Spider-Man – and Joe Quesada made things worse with his own anti-Mary Jane Watson bias – and he put in some stealth politics, and even more notoriously, foisted the Sins Past storyline upon Gwen Stacy’s history. Jemas left Marvel shortly after reportedly trying to tamper with Fantastic Four (presumably, an attempt to convince people to side with Mark Waid, whose talents were beginning to deteriorate at the time), but in hindsight, it’s still not all that clear why he left, or if that was the reason why. Since his departure in 2004, his involvement in comicdom was very limited, along with a business venture or two that never went anywhere, and I honestly don’t get why he’s clinging to a medium I don’t think he respects for real.
Most interesting besides is the contributors whom they’ve hired, one whom I already mentioned, and another one who’d been all but betrayed by the establishment:
Besides AWA — whose team also includes Frank Cho, the writers Peter Milligan and Christa Faust and the artist known as ACO — there are other newcomers to the field trying to rupture the mold of comic books publishing. TKO Studios, which announced itself in December, plans to binge-release its mini-series, simultaneously selling collected editions of those stories and offering the first issue of each comic free. AHOY Comics, which began publishing in September, is more old school, but it is trying new things: It includes extra material — prose stories, cartoons, even a crossword — in its issues, and is also publishing Second Coming, a comic book featuring Jesus Christ, in July.
AWA has its own biblical title, Archangel 8, which is written by Michael Moreci and is about one of God’s angels who goes rogue.
To help shape the comics, the publisher has a creative council, which includes the screenwriter and director Reginald Hudlin, the novelists Margaret Stohl and Gregg Hurwitz, the comic book writer Garth Ennis and J. Michael Straczynski, a screenwriter and co-creator of Netflix’s “Sense8.”
Wow, at least a few of the most overrated figures who contributed to Marvel over a decade ago are on board, like JMS, and they’re going to publish an item similar to the series DC dropped after Christian groups objected. This just doesn’t appeal to me at all.
At least this time, they’re working on their own concoctions and not tampering with more famous, classic ones. But I still don’t want to finance whatever they’ve got to offer, as Alonso and Jemas have already proven they’re some of the most pretentious people hanging onto comicdom. Though I’ll admit it’s pretty surprising they’ve got Cho as a contributor, and it looks like whatever he’s offering (“Fight Girls”), they’re not going to censor like they did with that Spider-Woman cover by Milo Manara 4 years ago, on a series that the SJWs attacking obviously never bought. Even so, Alonso and Jemas are still phonies who don’t deserve anyone’s money, and I’ve got a feeling this new venture of theirs won’t be the success they’re hoping it’ll become. In other words, no serious Netflix deals for them.