Marvel Comics Stops May 2020 and June 2020 Work Related To Comic Book Schedule Of Solicitations Due To Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic!
MARVEL COMICS ‘Pausing’ Work & Release of ONE-THIRD Of Its May & June Titles
Marvel Entertainment is immediately “pausing” work on – and the release of – approximately one-third of its May and June comic book issues, a spokesperson confirmed for Newsarama. Marvel’s representative said 15 to 20% of its solicited titles would be affected, as some of them are twice-monthly in May and June.
The decision to pause work on the affected titles, according to the spokesperson, is “to help spread the amount of publishing product over the coming weeks and months.”
Asked when the publisher intends to resume publishing the issues not affected by the pause, the Marvel spokesperson said “as soon as more information is available, we will outline our longer-term plans.”
Marvel began telling creators involved with the suspended titles of this decision Friday, and the company spokesperson re-assured Newsarama that “all talent will be paid for their work to date.”
Other publishers have already given the “pens down” order to their creative partners.
The Beat added:
The move makes a certain sense, given that there are, as of this writing, no plans to release new single-issue Marvel comics for the foreseeable future. Diamond is currently not receiving or distributing new titles to retailers, many of whom are closed or seeing reduced foot traffic as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic…
…Despite the logic behind it, the pausing of work is a serious blow to the freelance creators working on those books that are being put on hold. Marvel currently releases around 100 single-issue comics a month, so that’s ~33 individual comics for which work is being put on hold. If each of those comics has a creative team of four-to-five creators, that’s roughly 132 to 165 people looking at either reduced or lost income for those two months. The Marvel spokesperson told Newsarama that creators would still be paid for work that’s already been completed, but that doesn’t particularly help them going forward. The recently-passed CARES Act does extend unemployment benefits to include freelancers and contractors, so at least those impacted creators aren’t entirely on their own.
Bleeding Cool got in on the action:
Bleeding Cool understands that this isn’t being announced as a cancellation of projects, but is being sold into creators as a pause. Many other comic book publishers had officially stated that they were changing their schedule of upcoming projects in the light of the current situation. But until now, Marvel had not pulled the trigger.
As it stands, Marvel is pausing work on select titles originally scheduled to go on sale in May and June, until there is clarification on the future of the direct market comic book industry. I understand that longer-term plans may be forthcoming once we get a better idea of the situation.
There are no cancellations here, and reports elsewhere of a third of Marvel’s line being halted are exaggerated. I also understand that the policy affects mainly launches and new releases. Marvel Comics seems to believe that this is not a good time to launch new titles, even if they were able to. As a result, there is a pause in the degree of publication for the months of May and June. This will be to re-evaluate printing, distribution and sales at a time when its a lot harder to print or distribute comic books.
UPDATE: We understand that the number of projects on pause is around 15-20% of the line.
So, 33%, 20% or 15% of Marvel titles are impacted. April 2020 solicited books will likely start to tickle out over the summer assuming the pandemic is lifted, but more importantly emergency declarations lifted including stay-at-home orders.
Comic book retailors will need to ramp up in that timeframe as well; it will be a smaller direct market though. Not clear on how many comic book shoppes will close. Their clientele may help boost competitors trying to cling on.
While Marvel, DC Comics and larger or well-funded / back-stopped publisher will survive, the publishing group will also be smaller after all this too.
Tough times now and ahead.
And, yes, BC calling someone else’s reporting “exaggerated” is, um, fascinating.
Tags: Marvel, Pandemic