Marvel’s longtime Editor-in-Chief, Joe Quesada, is moving on. Quesada has passed his former title to Axel Alonso in order to become the new Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment.
As you may already guess, being CCO of Marvel Entertainment means that Quesada’s vision for the Mouse House of Stan Lee (that’s a Disney/Marvel joke for the unaware) must now extended beyond the comic book page to TV shows, movies, video games, digital publishing…the works.
Comic Book Resources is currently running an installment interview piece aptly titled “Exit Interview”, in which Quesada talks about his time as Marvel E-i-C and what the future holds for him as Marvel Entertainment CCO. With that talk comes nice little tidbits that you Marvel TV/Movie fans likely want to hear, so we’ve highlighted portions of CBR‘s interview to share with you today.
As you may have guessed from the title of this post, one clear benefit to having a guy like Quesada – he’s been a comic book writer/artist/editor and had influence working with Marvel movie and TV projects – put into the position of steering Marvel’s transmedia future is that he’s likely to do the job in the way that every Marvel fanboy would hope: by putting keeping Marvel transmedia properties under the guidance of the best creative minds at Marvel.
In the following quote, Quesada discusses (what he can) about Marvel’s transmedia plans and how they will go about executing them:
Joe Quesada: There’s too much stuff to list, and so much of it is still in the developmental stages, so I wouldn’t be able to talk about it anyway. What I can say is that the things on my “To do” list extend way beyond 2011, just as they did on my list when it was only publishing. It’s an amazing new world here at Marvel, we have so many incredible doors that have opened up to us, but even I’m floored at how quickly and smoothly things are happening. Not a week goes by where I’m not floored by some new opportunity that has come our way. The toughest part for me is keeping it all bottled up inside.
But, the one thing I can talk about is what the future looks like for our creators. If you look down the line — and Dan Buckley’s been instrumental in this, as has been Alan Fine — you will see that more and more of our comic creators have been getting involved in the Marvel stuff outside of the comics world. And that’s as it should be. Back in the day, so many of us in the creative community would sit back and watch someone produce a TV show or a movie based on a comic book and see it flop miserably because those people didn’t understand what made those characters work. We’d sit there going, “Why didn’t they hire comic book people?” Well, that’s what Marvel is doing. Slowly but surly, you’ll be seeing names you recognize getting involved in other aspects of Marvel Entertainment. Just look at the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated show we’re working on. The creative team consists of Brian Bendis, Paul Dini and Men of Action. We’ll be announcing some more stuff down the road, too, with more comic book folks. So stay tuned, it’s going to be fun.
It would seem like putting the people who know the characters best, in charge of developing them for multimedia dispersion, would be a no-brainer. And yet, just about every Marvel-related movie or TV project developed by a third party (Elektra, Fantastic Four, X-Men 3) has made fans question why the common sense equation of comic creators creating comic-themed media was missing. Quesada is a bonafide fan, and has worked at just about every level of the business – but can he really deliver what he’s promising while working under a major corporate brand like Disney? How much comprise of vision will these creators have to make? Only time will tell.
In another section of the interview, Quesada dropped just a few, small, tidbits about specific projects and events he’ll be working on in the near future:
Joe Quesada: Hmmm, well, there’s a bunch of stuff, but with respect to what Marvel fans will care about, I’ll be going to a screening of the latest cut of “Thor,” we’ll be meeting and discussing “The Avengers” movie as well as looking at designs for set pieces and other cool assorted stuff. We will be discussing assorted other movie projects as well during my stay. I believe Marvel Animation is throwing a little soiree sometime in the middle of the week, and there will also be a Marvel Animation “Ultimate Spider-Man” writer’s room creative summit near the tail end of my stay.
Oh yeah, and we have some super secret meetings that I can’t even hint at that will be very unexpected but loved by Marvel fans, if the ideas find purchase…now, today, I’m sitting here looking at new challenges like, “Hey, Marvel Television! We’ve never had Television before!” So I’m rolling up my sleeves with Jeph Loeb (J-Loeb as I like to call him), Dan Buckley and Alan Fine and trying to build something cool and exciting. And, “Hey, we’ve got an animated division!” So we’re working and building that too. The goal is to build a structure across these different divisions that, if we do our jobs right, reflects the same kind of structure that we developed here in publishing, where creators have a big say in the stories that we do and collaboration, as well as content, is King!
Again, it’s a promising future that Quesada is painting for comic book fans – one where the creators have say over the TV and movie projects fans want to see. But is it a utopia that can actually exist under the Disney umbrella? Will the Mouse House truly be as permitting as we’ve been led to believe since this merger was announced? As the zen master said, “We shall see…”
For more of CBR‘s interview with Quesada (talking about controversial moments during his time as Marvel E-i-C and his list of achievements vs. failures) check out Part 1 & Part 2 of “Exit Interview”.
Source: Comic Book Resources
Header Image Source: Washington Post