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November 16, 2017

CB Cebulski Replaces Axel Alonso As Marvel EiC

You can read a full report here, which in that publication will also give you an idea as to the strategies of the PR involved. Congratulations to Mr. Cebulski. Best wishes to Mr. Alonso in his next professional gig.

imageA change in this position -- one of the traditional Big Comics Jobs and basically the head/lead/point of publishing and creative for the comics company -- has been discussed ad nauseum in comics circles all year. The article cites some unpopular editorial moves (such as a major storyline featuring Captain America as a Nazi), some PR whiffs (a seeming lack of enthusiasm for diversity initiatives from other executives) and some title to title malaise (they're getting smoked by the top DC titles, which isn't their usual position). I would expect all things sales to be spun positively, and there are legit ways to do so. What I don't see in the article is a general talent bleed, some lethargy in the series' overall creative performance and a general dissatisfaction a lot of creators voiced about working for the media behemoth.

All editors-in-chief and their equivalents receive a lot of criticism from a lot of people in comics. It's a big part of the reader culture. A lot of what Alonso had to do was thread-the-needle difficult. I can't even imagine the pressure of working with icons working that well in movies in a medium that is much more difficult to serve commercially. Much as has been the case with Paul Levitz and DC, I imagine that a lot of Alonso's legacy will come from what happens next in terms of the company's performance and what his successor handles things. I would suspect that any accounting of Alonso's term there -- he settled into his current role in 2011 -- will grapple with diversity on the page and in the freelance pool.

I have no predictions for Cebulski's forthcoming time at Marvel other than that as he's a foodie I'm sure that the writers' conferences might see in uptick in where they all go for dinner. It strikes me as the kind of halfway choice DC tends to make -- Cebulski is an insider more broadly but worked most recently for international branding which makes him an outsider, too. He seems comfortable with social media and is tied to the perceived post-bankruptcy creatively fertile period, mostly in conjunction with the Runaways property created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. Marvel has lost some talent, but a lot of that has been business, not just culture. There's certainly room for a different voice and a break from the recent way of doing things. I'm semi-surprised they didn't get someone from another Disney division to come in and crack heads, but maybe that was never in the cards.
posted 3:35 pm PST | Permalink

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