Can you believe that?, he marveled
May 16th, 2011

Can you believe that?, he marveled

We’re not even making this up. Here is the proof.

We are very interested to hear what you think of this story.

The new Adam WarRock EP has officially been released, and we think it is of the highest quality possible. I could sit here and tell you all day about how great Adam WarRock is, but you owe it to yourself to figure that out on your own, like some kind of spiritual quest. Let Adam WarRock become your totem spirit. GO GET IT!

More special things later in the week. We hope you enjoy them.

Back to alternating between reading Tina Fey’s book and The Book of Basketball (thank you, Eugene).



  1. kelvinw

    I wish that whole storyline could somehow magically be undone, he said devilishly


  2. MaxtotheMax

    Tom Brevoort: World’s Hugest Asshole

    News Tested, Kid Approved.


  3. Joe

    “GOD THIS BOOK IS FUCKING AWFUL…. I can’t wait until the next issue!!”

    I’m still failing to see the logic behind this. Why waste money on something you hate?


  4. ManicWebb

    As terrible as that sounds, it makes perfect sense. I’ve seen some fans get so upset by what’s happening in a comic that they become compelled to follow the comic to see how much worse it can get. Marvel just has to make sure they get the right kind of “bad.” If the comic is bad in the wrong way, then readers will simply lose interest and stop buying. But those drastically out of character moments mixed with nonsensical Earth-shattering changes to the status quo? That’s money.


  5. shade, the changing man

    ha ha ha It’s funny because ever since OMD and such I’ve gradually stopped paying for comics from Marvel. Oh I still read them in hopes they’ll stop shitting on my favorite characters, but I’m definitely not paying for this tripe any more. And if you look at the sales, I think a lot of fans are following my lead.


  6. Anthony

    Chris, what’s this Book of Basketball you speak of? Sucks about your Grizzlies btw.


  7. chrishaley

    @Anthony – Check it out:


  8. Thatguy

    I have to wonder about two things. First, why is it a choice between pissed off fans or apathetic fans? Because the way writers act, they think it’s the only choices they have.

    Second, is it wise to piss off your fanbase when the numbers are so low across the board?


  9. Oliver Townshend

    Nope. Ultimate Spider-man only. And maybe not that soon…


  10. J_Smitty_

    Book of Basketball = Great

    Second, check out this little gem of an article further showcasing Brevoortian levels of jerkass.

    Page 2 excerpt

    From within, the company wrestles with narrative strategies and promotional events that will lure new or lapsed readers while trying to satisfy the hard-core fans who have followed its heroes’ adventures for years, if not decades.

    “We love the guys that have been here every month,” said Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president for publishing, who joined the company as a college intern in 1989. “But it’s not an exclusive relationship. It’s an open marriage where we see and seek others as well — and as many others as we can get in.”

    #1 Gross
    #2 Gross
    #3 The entire article shows the senior team in charge at Marvel to be the worst kind of man-boy stereotype. The new parent companies are giving these guys rope for the time being. Collecting data on falling sales / missed deadlines / organizational chaos and then watch…two years and the axes will start falling.


  11. Joel Priddy

    There is something deeply satisfying about being addressed by Spider-Man in his Masterpeice Theater get-up. If he gave me investment advise, I’m pretty sure I’d follow it.

    Feel free to start a second strip where you just reuse these three panels, Dinosaur Comics-style, every week. I’d follow it.


  12. jason

    fanboys love to hate. they revel in it, reading books they disapprove of simply to get more fuel to stoke their firey fanboy rage and ultimately making themselves feel better and or vindicated into thinking that they were always right and that comic stories/lore/canon would be greatly improved if “the big two” writers would just break down and read their emails/fanfic/twitter ideas or whatever. fanboys do it with comic movies all the time, dimissing them as garbage even before a single frame is shot.

    on a note about the art, smoking jacket spider-man is hot. the only thing that could improve it is spidey smoking a pipe through his mask and a grotto in the background filled with half naked MJ clones.


  13. David

    Scarily, it made me think of those old Marvel subscription ads from the late 1970s/early 1980s with the Hulk in the same kind of robe/chair, speaking eruditely about why a subscription was the best way to go. :)

    I think writers/creators have a responsibility to write good stuff, even if it doesn’t sell as well as crap; but if it’s the crap that sells, even because of reader outrage, then they will hire writers who will write the stuff that sells more. (I also think they’re only looking at the short term; they keep cancelling books that have critical acclaim, like Captain Britain and MI:13 or Thor The Mighty Avenger, because they aren’t selling as well as the crappy stuff.)


  14. Pj Perez

    I guess for the average fanboy, that actually makes sense. For me, it explains why I am down to only buying two or three Marvel comics a month, if that.


  15. David

    There’s also the whole “I have to see what’s happening to my favorite characters, as if they are real people whose lives I am following through their ups and downs, so I MUST keep buying the books no matter what happens or how much I hate the stories!” which sends the message, very clearly, that the stories don’t matter because people will buy them anyway. It took me a while to deal with this myself: I *HAD* to have all issues of X-Men and so on because, well, I had to see what was going on. I eventually learned that if I hated a story with a beloved character, I didn’t have to buy it, but there was a kind of weird assumption I had to let go of before I could recognize that. (It also works the other way: A good writer can do some great stories with characters I previously didn’t care about, and I eventually just started following the writers I like and avoiding the ones I don’t.) If the people who didn’t like these stories would just drop the books until they liked them again, I think Marvel’s stuff would be very different, very quickly.

    People are also sending the messages, “If it makes a big change, I HAVE to own it,” and “If it’s part of a big crossover event, I HAVE to own it,” so what happens? Endless changes with no sense of character stability, endless crossover events you can’t avoid, etc., because people are buying them.


  16. Dandy

    The proof is in the pudding, unbelievers. That darling Thor book all the fans loved and embraced got cancelled, while Jeph Loeb still has a job churning out deuce after deuce.

    And it is wise to “piss off the fanbase” – that’s what’s proven to sell, and honestly, anything they do pisses “the fans” off anyway. Big Two can do no right.


  17. Joel Priddy

    Reading comics is now a group sport. Especially superhero comics. The comic itself is just kinda the price of admission for the real show: the elaborate arena of online discussion and speculation and griping about the comics. However much I liked reading Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers, I spent more time and got more enjoyment out of reading the Barbelith discussion of Seven Soldiers.

    Morrison is, obviously, aware of this new state of group-read and creates books that reward poring over and pooling knowledge and writing long blog posts. Others are also aware, but less adept at engaging with it. Hence attitudes like the one being discussed here.

    But, I hope, these crude attempts to engage are just the early days of adapting to a fundamental shift in, if not the medium of periodical comics, then the genre of superhero periodical comics.

    Probably not.


  18. Steve

    Curious nature comic buyers intrigues me more and more. I only have a handful of friends that even bother with comics and they rarely read the same things I do. So occasionally I’ll pop on over to other boards to see what people are thinking of say X-Men Legacy, but then all I get is bitching about how much Rogue sucks now because she doesn’t punch people ad nausea, and all I really want to do is discuss how Mike Carey’s building the story and where it could be going. It really does make me wonder why they even bother with comics, it seems like there are better ways to spend $3.

    On the Book of Basketball, it’s kind of made me dislike Bill Simmons has a writer. I thought it was endlessly culture reference heavy and overwrought in a lot of places. Plus, it could stand to lose about 200 to 300 pages just from basic editing. The two Free Darko books that are out cover similar ground and I thought were more enjoyable.


  19. Curt

    These comments are all really good. Thanks for raising the bar on internet comments everybody.


  20. Markus Seaberry

    Interesting piece, but, geez, did you have to bring up that Gwen Stacy/Norman Osborn affair? I don’t even think I own those issues anymore.


  21. chrishaley

    @Steve – You bring up something that we’ve talked about for a long time, and that’s the idea of trying to have a place to talk about comics where it just devolving into “the character you like sucks!” “no the character you like sucks!!” “NO YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!” isn’t allowed.

    It’s a tricky thing though.


  22. esteban138

    I can honestly say if a book manages to actually make me angry, I will stop reading it completely. I used to love Spider-Man and Hellblazer and the Flash, and now I honestly can’t imagine picking up any of those books… and in every case it was for editorial reasons.


  23. Brian L

    See, I don’t get that attitude. “OH, I CAN’T STAND THIS GUY! HE’S TERRIBLE! THAT’S WHY I’M GOING TO KEEP READING THIS COMIC AND PAYING FOR HIM TO KEEP WRITING IT!” What kind of sense does that make?

    I love Daredevil, but I had a bad feeling about Andy Diggle’s run after it started. So instead of buying more of it to fuel my fire, I just left it alone. That’s it. No fanboy hysterics, just sensible purchasing. You don’t keep buying something when it sucks, you find something else to buy that doesn’t. It works for toasters, it works for comics, and it works in reverse for vacuums.


  24. Duck

    I’ve honestly seen this happen in practice. To keep Marvel in the picture: both Ultimatum and The Red Hulk were not only critically panned, but also by fans. But, they sold very well.

    We’d all like to say angry fans won’t buy the awful awful comics, but they do. Sometimes it’s a “THAT happened? No way?” kind of reaction. People will pick up the issue. There are even times where I’ve bought books (Red Hulk trades 1 and 2) because I thought it’d get better. Or even all of Countdown in trade as much as I hated reading that book (blame the collector in me).

    Once you get people talking, you create buzz. Just like how many people hate The Room, yet STILL buy the dvd. Just like how Uwe Boll still has a career. People BUY the bad stuff. People BUY the stuff that make people angry.

    The fault in logic isn’t with the “I can’t stand what is going on! I’m gonna keep buying it cause it’s bad!” isn’t the point really with what Mr. Brevoort even really meant. He meant for the fact that the more people complain about a comic, the more it’s talked about and thus purchased.

    Very few completely trashed books, actually don’t sell. The more something is complained about, the more likely it is purchased. I bought One More Day, thinking “It can’t be THAT bad” or the like. The more people who know about a storyline (bad or good) the more likely it’s purchased.

    I find Tom’s candidness actually refreshing. As much as I wish what he said wasn’t true, but it is. Though, the more something (even if it sells) is complained about, the more likely it will be changed.

    Often good books (Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Incredible Herc) AREN’T talked about, and don’t get nearly the same sales. Despite their critical acclaim, and their well crafted stories, they don’t stir up the blood one way or another.

    Another example to kinda set the point, is event books. Fan’s vocally say how much they hate them, but they’re ALWAYS on the top of the sales charts. Tie in’s as well.

    If you really dislike something going on in a book, just stop buying it, and don’t make a fuss. The more attention brought to it, the more likely it’ll sell better. Start talking about how good your favorite books are. Ignore the negative hypes, just promote the good books.


  25. Joel

    Right Parker, it’s the readers fault if Osborn sleeps with your girl friend, not yours at all. You just keep telling yourself that.


  26. Joel

    I do sort of see the logic behind the statement, even if no one else does. People are so obsessive over these comics that once they become bad, these people still want to see how the bad story ends and hope that the next comic is better, because they are already so heavily invested in these comics. I to have a comic where even though some of the twists irritate me, I keep reading on because i need to know what happens next. (But they are internet comics so they don’t cost me anything).


  27. Miguel

    makes sense to me, but the opposite is true for me. i refuse to buy in the crap DC and Marvel are pouring out if it sucks. i just don’t have time or money to waste. if i hear through the grapevine that something really good is out, then i’ll get interested again. until then, i’m saving my money. take that, Marvel.


  28. Nathan

    So it was all my fault?

    /goes for sleeping pills


  29. mahatmazombie

    I’ll say this much: It didn’t work for me. Canceling Thor: The Mighty Avenger turned me into an angry fan, and then it turned me into a boycotting fan. I’ll take my money to the indies, vertigo, and the batman books from now on.

    Thanks Tom — you’ve saved me a lot of money.


  30. Colin

    Chris, you should make a forum on this website so we can have a place to talk about comics where it just devolving into “the character you like sucks!” “no the character you like sucks!!” “NO YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!” isn’t allowed and we can make penis jokes in the classic LBFA tradition.


  31. Locke

    I still don’t forgive readers for what they made Marvel do to Deadpool, just as I discovered the guy via “Ultimate Alliance”. It’s the readers’ fault, not Marvel’s, after all.


  32. dangermouse

    Brevoort is bullshitting on behalf of a comics industry whose sales are shit largely due to stupid viewpoints like his


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