Neil Gaiman on Marvelman.

Joe Quesada's Marvelman
Joe Quesada's Marvelman

With all the hubbub over Marvelman becoming a property of Marvel, which is kind of funny considering Marvel complained all those years ago causing the name to be changed to “Miracleman”, there seems to be a prevailing question over Internet people regarding the original issues.  That question is whether the old Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham landmark issues will be re-printed.  John Parker provides a list of do’s and do not’s regarding this property:

DO

Give the reprints — if you get the rights to them — the Deluxe treatment: hardbacks, dustcovers, additional material, the “compleat” Alan Moore edition – but release the paperbacks concurrently. People aren’t going to shell out a hundred bucks for something that’s they’ve only heard is supposed to be great. Well, most people won’t. Everybody else is doing something known in Psychology as “hoarding.” These are damaged people, and one can’t build an entire audience on damaged people. You’re Marvel, not Brian Pulido.

DON’T

Change the name back to “Marvelman.” Yes, it was the original name, yes, when Moore was writing those first magical scripts, he was writing “Panel One: Marvelman does such-and-such” and then six more pages of description. Doesn’t matter. First of all, Miracleman, hands down, is a cooler name. Secondly, Marvel already has enough characters named Marvel something, and having even one character named after your company is about as cool as wearing a Wilco shirt to a Wilco concert. People are staring, fer chrissakes.

I like the Wilco shirt at a Wilco concert analogy, because its long been my belief that you don’t wear your nerd shirt to a comic con, its like wearing the band’s t-shirt to the band’s show.  Its just a no-no.  But, you know, it wouldn’t be much of a point to change the name back to Miracleman when the entire point was that “Marvel” now has “Marvelman”, but then again Marvel did complain way back when on the name of the title so I guess Marvel’s entire involvement just kind of looks like a dog chasing it’s tail.  But that old argument was forever ago, and really not relevant to today anyway.

Regardless, Gaiman posted on his journal regarding the announcement and commented on whether we’d see the reprints of his work:

Regarding Marvel’s recent announcement concerning the acquisition of the rights to Marvelman — Will you be involved in any way with the future publications and/or marketing? If so, would you and Marvel possibly consider continuing to use the name Miracleman rather than reverting to Marvelman? My personal experience with the character began in the mid-80’s with the Eclipse run by Alan Moore and then you; and, regardless of the actual reasons those stories used the Miracleman name, I have always felt “Miracleman” was — for lack of better explanation — a classier, more appropriate, more adult designation than “Marvelman”. Thanks for taking the time for this.

We’ll see. And no, I think it’s Marvelman, which is what it was until 1984ish when Marvel complained.

Right now I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen, and Mark Buckingham and I haven’t signed anything, but I’m really hopeful that Marvel will bring Alan Moore’s stories back into print, and the work I did with Mark Buckingham (Miracleman 25 was finished, ready for printing, 16 years ago. It’s still in Mark Buckingham’s possession, although some of the lettering balloons have gone a bit yellow.) I’m not entirely sure what Marvel’s plans are for the character at this point — obviously I’d like to finish the story I started.

I’m really interested in seeing what Marvel does with the character, but what I’m really interested in is in reprinting Gaiman, and Moore’s work to see what the big deal is.

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