Friday, June 15, 2007

Stanook of Stanooklyn

After reading hcduvall's post on Civil War, I started thinking, "what other things piss me off?" and I immediately thought of the The Stanhattan Project. A few days ago, I found out about this outreach done by Marvel in the early 90's as a result of a conversation about Brian K. Vaughn. Now, I have nothing in particular to say about Vaughn. I think he has a great deal of talent and would have probably become a successful writer no matter what. But the way in which he broke into comics was particularly of interest. Vaughn was a sophmore at NYU studying dramatic writing when he came across the Stanhattan Project. Basically, at the time, Marvel was introspective enough to realize that there was an unhealthy amount of overlap between the writing staff and editorial staff. And like all incestuous relationships, the product was suffering. So, from what I've gathered from a few lazy google searches, they assigned two Marvel editors to NYU, with the express goal of finding new young talent, trained in diverse areas. Vaughn was a direct outcome of this program (where they would initially just script already paneled and inked pages). And I'd say he's one heck of a find.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, the Stanhattan Project sounds awesome. What the heck happened to it? Are the editors too busy drawing pin-ups for alternate covers? I make the case that comics are even more of an incestuous old boys club nowadays, and the cynical half-literate social commentary that Civil War thought itself to be aside, every major title seems to be suffering for it. I feel like I've been bouncing up and down with my hard-earned dollars in hand, just begging the doors to open every wednesday morning, and then walking away unable to buy a single thing. How is pit ossible for a company to continually push away a customer that is looking for every excuse to buy their product?


Chengora said...


DannyDont said...

Are you surprised that only my anger at Marvel could generate the escape velocity necessary from my posting laziness? (and also, time in an office)

hcduvall said...


Sadly, I think Marvel doesn't push enough people away, so the economic incentive to change just isn't there. And given the current fanbase (out of which the pros come from) and the echo chamber that is comic news and conventions, when are they going to know otherwise?

It's weird...I'm waiting for the direct market to grow up into the video game industry--not in mass, I don't expect that, just maturity. Instead of comic shop news or Newsarama we should have a Game Informer (I can't believe I believe that), which even as it's rah-rah actually poo-poos things.

Anonymous said...