Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 14, 2014

Go, Read: Brief History Of Marvel's Music Comics

I enjoyed this article about Marvel doing comics with various musicians and musical acts in the early 1990s. It's one of those articles that professes to be weird but is also actually weird in several parts, which is a rare thing: there are musical acts and comics creators listed in close proximity I can't imagine would be placed near one another in any other context. I enjoyed Larry Reid's cameo, too.

One thing that occurred to me while reading it is that it does underline how much of Marvel's pre-movies push for widespread cultural relevancy -- a push that drove what happened within the industry during that decade and into the next one -- was doomed by a simple inability to market to their intended audience and a kind of underlying, ongoing miscalculation that doing one thing very well meant do a lot of things very well. It wasn't a company that knew where its value was. The other thing that struck me is that we live in a time where if this were attempted now, there would be a greater chance for this material to catch on and it would actually matter less if it did. There's greater value to some of these moves distinct from bottom-line units sold in our current business climate. Even in this case, I wonder if working with some of these companies even unsuccessfully made it easier for Marvel a decade later to forge some of the licensing partnerships that have been a big part of its post-2000 surge.
posted 1:35 am PST | Permalink

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