Whodunnit? I can’t call it.

April 3rd, 2012 Posted by david brothers

I’m working on another Thing, and that Thing led to me downloading Brian Bendis and David Finch’s New Avengers #1 off the iBooks store for free. (iBookstore?) It’s intended to get you to buy the full trade for $10.99. I flipped through it and had a funny thought. I thought this was a stupid little mistake and almost didn’t post this, but I thought about it and here we are. Bear with me.

This is the page where you go to download the sample:

This is the title page:

This is the inside front cover:

This is the recap:

And this is the second story page:

Here’s a random page with a blank spot thanks to two-page spreads:

And here’s the last page (tapping this page takes you to the iBookstore to buy the full comic):

Nowhere in the comic is the creative team listed, barring the front cover, which just lists Brian Bendis, David Finch, and Danny Miki. I downloaded a sample of the actual book, which is the first twelve pages, and found a similar issue.

Here’s the page with the creative team from the printed comic:

I was thinking about this, and I sorta understand what happened. Bendis and Finch are listed on the cover to the free preview (and on the covers in the sample), as well as on the iBookstore. Cutting the credits box is SOP for Marvel’s trades, since it leaves the art cleaner and they throw a credits page into the front of the book anyway. This time, it slipped through the cracks. I checked another sample, Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time, and it still has a credit box on the opening spread. It’s an accident, then, right?

But what made me pull this post from the trash and finish it is that there’s an entire page dedicated to Marvel’s execs. A new page, one that hasn’t been in any printed comic ever. I think it’s pretty messed up, whether it’s once or twice or three times, that people who had very little to do with the actual creation of a comic get better billing than the people who spent months of their life working on the stupid thing. I mean, let’s be real here–I’m sure that Marvel Senior Counsel David Althoff (to pick a name at random) is a nice guy. He’s got a splendid first name, in fact. But what did he do that gives him bigger billing than anyone else on the creative team, half of which doesn’t even get credited at all?

This is a nitpick. I’ll cop to that. But at the same time… it really isn’t. Mainstream comics has a real problem with valuing the people who actually make the comics, and I think the prioritization of corporate over creative, which is exactly what this is, is pretty screwed up. I feel like it’s important to point out when this happens, even if it’s an innocent mistake. (Also I think I got the flu while I was out of town, I’ve been doing shots of cold medicine, and everything feels like a good idea right now.) We’ve got to do a better job of prioritizing creators over characters, and especially over corporate, especially when it would be as easy to fix as this would be. Yes, Bendis & Finch’s names are on the store, but there’s nothing about their roles. At the very least, that info should be in the comic.

If you’re inserting a dedicated corporate masthead into the book, make the facing page the creative team. The creative team is the important part, anyway. I try to emphasize that whenever I can. Let’s do better.

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