> MarvelMasterworks.com Home

Interview with David Gabriel and Jeff Youngquist

Interview conducted by John Rhett Thomas, aka Gormuu

GORMUU: With me today are two gentlemen who are true blue Marvel fans who also have the dream jobs of working for the House of Ideas in the fabled Marvel bullpen. I'd like to introduce David Gabriel who is Marvel's Senior Vice President of Sales and Circulation, and Jeff Youngquist, who is Senior Editor for collected editions.

So as Senior VP at Marvel, David, you're in a position to know a lot about the collected editions output that Marvel puts together.

DAVID GABRIEL: That's true, I do oversee that with Jeff Youngquist's help and we make most of all the decisions for what's going into collected editions - what's coming out month after month, so that's why this seems like the perfect opportunity to bring Jeff in here to talk about what we have coming up.

GORMUU: And you have a lot of stuff coming up. You have so many different ways of collecting the output of Marvel comics in different formats, from the small digest size all the way up to the big, fat, hardcover Omnibus editions. It must be a huge challenge for you guys to keep all these lines going and keep them healthy.

DAVID: It is actually. It's a difficult process that we go through to figure out what books are going into what formats, what classic collections to dig into from the past and pull out for nowadays. Some people think that it's not an informed decision that we make, but there is a lot of discussion, arguing, and decision-making going into all the collections that we put together, even all the inline books.

GORMUU: And Jeff, who always wins these arguments?

JEFF YOUNGQUIST: Umm, I can't really say. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Jeff, you're sort of the quarterback for the collected editions office. You call all the plays and make sure all the working parts that go into making these books are going smoothly.

JEFF: Right. And I have two great associate editors working under me: Jen Grunwald and Mark Beazley.

GORMUU: I was doing some math looking through the recent issue of Marvel Previews and there are approximately 25 books that you are putting out in the month of September.

DAVID: I was told there would be no math in this discussion. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Are you bad at math? Well, I'm not too good at math myself but that calculation tells me real quick that you have a lot of challenges in putting these books together, not just trying to keep on top of what's going to sell, but just making sure that all these books get prepared and put together the right way.

JEFF: Exactly, and also beyond the collected editions we have other releases like the Handbooks, Marvel Spotlight , and any number of projects like that. Some newsstand books. It's generally more than 25 books a month - probably closer to 30.

DAVID: The new 2-in-1s, the Civil War Chronicles ; they all come out of Jeff's office.

GORMUU: And so any question that people ask you… these questions don't take place in a vacuum. You can't analyze it as, well this is a question about one book and what are you doing in regards to this one book? It's more like, what are we doing in regards to a whole organic series of publications that Marvel puts out?

JEFF: Right, because any decision you make could impact 30 other titles.

GORMUU: Well, let's jump into some questions that I have and that some of the people at the forum community for marvelmasterworks.com have asked. Anytime that we throw out questions to Jeff or David or anyone that's involved in putting out Marvel's collected editions we get tons of questions.

One question I had that has been on a lot of people's minds concerns the hardcover volumes of Ultimate Spider-Man. Traditionally, the Ultimate Spider-Man collections have come out in the oversized hardcover format. We're nearing now the 100th issue that's going to be printed in the oversized hardcovers. However, there has been a recent Marvel Premiere Edition hardcover that has come out reprinting the Clone Saga arc, and a new one that will reprint the Venom arc. Can you allay fears of some fans that the oversized hardcovers are being phased out and replaced?

DAVID: No, they are not going away. Simple. The Clone Saga was sort of a unique story when it was coming out. It got a lot of favorable reviews, and we just felt that this might be a good opportunity to try the new format. As we said at the beginning, we are always experimenting with other formats, figuring out when the best time for them would be. It was one of the strongest (according to a lot of the reviews of recent years) of the run, and we wanted to test it out in that format. It did extremely well in hardcover. We don't plan on going back to press on the hardcover right now. It's almost sold out I think at Diamond. And the trade paperback of that same story is coming out soon after. And then, just like it has been before, the oversized hardcover should follow. I think before the end of this year you'll start to see some other premier edition hardcovers of some of the Ultimate Spider-Man stories.

GORMUU: So some of the story arcs of the Ultimate Spider-Man, which had previously been collected in trade paperback, will be brought into the Marvel Premiere Edition hardcover format to join the Clone Saga?

DAVID: Yeah, we're reaching back into other story lines to put them into the premier editions. I think when people see sort of what we're doing...we're just sort of cherry picking stories right now. They'll know that this doesn't mean that they're not going to have the oversized hardcover in stock.

GORMUU: Speaking specifically about Ultimate Spider-Man, those story lines were always designed by the creators (Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley) to sort of stand on their own anyway.

DAVID: Yes, so it's a perfect format for it. And a lot of people - just judging by the sales alone, but also from what we've read on your boards and other places - a lot of people really like the Premiere hardcover editions.

GORMUU: They're a nice compact format that caters to the part of fandom that really likes hardcovers.

Looking at the Ultimate Collection trade paperbacks, which are the new breed of collecting the early Ultimate storylines (basically collecting the content of the oversized hardcovers in a trade paperback sized format): are these Ultimate Collection trades going to be more common down the line? You've already put together Ultimate X-Men Volume 1 TPB and an Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1 TPB . Are we going to see those replace the single volume trades for those lines?

DAVID: I don't know if they'll replace them outright. We also did the Ultimate Marvel Team-Up in the Ultimate Collection TPB format which sold very well. As far as replacing the single volumes, no. But in terms of bookshelf space in stores and retail outlets and in bookshops, they're a little bit better fit than all the single volumes. So we're just experimenting with them. Ultimate X-Men Collection Volume 2 TPB is coming out, I think in September. So that's on the way. So we will be continuing that line.

GORMUU: I thought perhaps the Ultimate Collection TPB line might be your shot at consolidating those 12 to 13 issue runs and sort of doing a replacement of the older single volumes.

DAVID: Sometime down the line (5 to 10 years) it might be the best way to put the material out, in those larger volumes, but for now everything is selling. And I think Jeff tends to get some extras into those paperback collections that haven't been seen in other collections as well, so it's a little something more.

JEFF: We do our best to try and dig up some extra content whenever we have the opportunity.

GORMUU: One last question from me before I jump into questions from the boards. Actually, one of my moderators Cleazer asked this question but it was so good and it was exactly in line with a question I was thinking of, so I'm just going to steal it. (Sorry Cleazer!)

What types of challenges might be associated with collecting a title like Amazing Spider-Man in trades or hardcovers now that it's going to be shipping 3 times per month, with varying creative teams? I know Marvel has made an effort to get some collected editions out there as quickly as possible, but will that still be possible with the new schedule for Amazing, where there will be six new issues every two months?

JEFF: We'll just be putting out more trades: 3 times the number of trades for Amazing Spider-Man. It would be the same thing I would imagine. We'll just collect each story arc as it finishes and get the book out as soon as we can. Really, I think the only impact you'll see is that there are more trades.

DAVID: You just won't see a Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man trade or a Sensational Spider-Man trade. And I'll add, our plan right now for people who are wondering is the Amazing Spider-Man will be going directly into Premier Hardcover Editions first.

GORMUU: That sounds logical. It's one of the most popular titles, obviously, and the way it will now be coming out ought to make it even more desirable. It is likely to send those sales numbers for Spider-Man through the roof in comparison to what Friendly Neighborhood and Sensational used to do.

DAVID: Alright, enough of your questions. Get to everyone else's! They are dying to hear them. Quit hogging the spotlight. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Couple quick Masterworks questions. One is from Rustbelt. He thanks you for finally going back to print on the out of print Masterworks, and I think that is a sentiment shared by many people. How often can we expect the new back to print volumes to come out?

DAVID: We're looking at one every month, as long as we can put up with the work load, we'll do one per month.

GORMUU: Will all the back to print Masterworks be restored, or just the ones restored from the Omnibus volume?

JEFF: We're still working that out.

GORMUU: Forum member Revive the Red Raven is on a crusade to get the old classic Red Raven comic in Masterworks, which is one of the very first comic books Marvel ever produced back in 1940. And he is curious about the possibility of seeing that in the Golden Age Masterworks series, and he's curious if you have the film from that book to produce a Masterworks for it. It has been reprinted previously by Marvel.

JEFF: Those Golden Age Masterworks are a challenge....first of all trying to find the film. Even if we don't have the film, we can still produce the book by reconstructing the pages from an actual copy of the comic. But as you can imagine with the Golden Age comics, even those are difficult to track down, so it's a real challenge gathering all those materials. Red Raven is something we haven't really explored yet, so I couldn't tell you offhand the status of the materials, but it's certainly something we could consider for the future.

GORMUU: I think part of his question relates to the idea that the Red Raven story was reprinted by Marvel over ten years ago in the Golden Age of Marvel trade paperbacks, but just because it was reprinted then doesn't necessarily mean that the same material is still available to you now.

JEFF: We'd probably be able to locate those films or digital files depending on how the book was produced, but not having that reprint in front of me, I can't speak to the quality of it. Sometimes these books have been reprinted in the past, but the quality isn't up to the standards we try to stick to now. They might not have recolored it to match the original. The line art may not have been reconstructed well.

GORMUU: So you have certain standards you want to keep in place, and you want to make sure all the material goes through this new system of standards now?

JEFF: Yeah.

DAVID: And keep in mind, from my perspective of marketing and sales, there might not be that much of a "get" to putting out a Red Raven Masterwork. So for Jeff and his group to go through all that work is almost, I hate to say pointless because it's not pointless to us to put that stuff into collections, but sales-wise we might not see the results on the other end. We do with Captain America, with Sub-Mariner, with the Human Torch, with the All-Winners volumes that we've been doing. There's a lot more going on in the Marvel Universe that drives people to go back and pick up those books.

GORMUU: So I guess we should hope that Red Raven gets to join the New Avengers or something.

DAVID: Exactly. We'll put it out to coincide with the Red Raven movie. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Well, turning our attention to the Omnibus format, which is the newest format Marvel has been putting out and seems to be very popular. The books have been selling out left and right.

DAVID: So popular that other companies are now putting out their own "Omniboo".

GORMUU: That's correct. A good idea is worth stealing and this is a good idea: compile massive amounts of prime material and put it in an oversized hardcover, and that's what the Omnibus strives to do. And from forum member Giant Turtle Boy comes this question....and I don't come up with these names (Laughter.)

DAVID: I think you do. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Well, I go by the name Gormuu, so I can't talk. What is Marvel's approach in choosing material to go into the Omnibus format rather than the Masterworks format?

DAVID: Actually we've been choosing material that has already been collected in the Masterworks format.

JEFF: I think there's just the one exception, right? Amazing Fantasy.

DAVID: Yes, Amazing Fantasy is something new we are trying out, you're right, and the Eternals. But for the most part, the big huge 1000-page volumes have been stuff that Jeff already has access to for the most part in terms of files. So it has been a little bit easier to put together, and we've been centering them around movies.

GORMUU: A couple of questions that are related: forum members droid714 and Samy Merchi ask if there any plans at this time to release Amazing Fantasy in a Masterworks format down the line? And Samy asked the same question with a different spin concerning Devil Dinosaur, Eternals - books of a classic time, the 60s and 70s - that would seem to be eventually Masterworks worthy. Would this Omnibus material eventually down the line maybe show up in Masterworks?

DAVID: Not for the foreseeable future. For Amazing Fantasy, I want to keep it in Omnibus format for now. But like anything, that could change five years down the road so it's not set in stone. But our plans right now, and certainly for next year, do not include an Amazing Fantasy Masterworks. So this will be the only place to get it for now. There's been some thought on my part, I don't know if I've even talked to Jeff about this, but I think something like the Eternals, the Jack Kirby series, which sold out within weeks of the Omnibus hardcover coming out, might see print as a couple of trade paperbacks at some point. Right now the Eternals is pretty hot with the Neil Gaiman book that is out, so it wouldn't hurt to have that out there for more people to read.

GORMUU: A couple questions from forum members Very Crazy Penguin and Bill Nolan is about the Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane series, which is very popular cult title. It may not sell a lot every month in the direct market compared to other books, but it seems to be doing very well with digests. However, there was a hardcover volume that came out and these gentlemen are wondering if there will be follow-up volumes with the rest of Sean McKeever's series.

DAVID: Who? Just kidding. (Laughter.). I would like to, let's say that. So I don't think there is anything on the schedule right now. We'll probably have some format shifts with Terry Moore coming on, but I would definitely like to finish out the run of the Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane in that hardcover format.

GORMUU: And similarly, Bill Nolan also asked about Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, which is another oversized hardcover that that reprints material typically thought of by people that follow Marvel's collected editions as going into the digest format. Will we see more of the digest types books coming out in an oversized hardcover?

DAVID: Yeah, I think Jeff and I talked recently about you might see by holiday time of this year Power Pack and Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four.

JEFF: I believe so, yeah.

DAVID: Those are tentatively scheduled for this year.

GORMUU: Cosmic Comic asks a question that I will second. "Hey guys, I love the Avengers Assemble books. Is there any chance that you'll also do the Kurt Busiek Thunderbolt series in the same format?"


GORMUU: No chance? I hate you guys! (Laughter.) Why am I even talking to you? That's not what I wanted to hear.

DAVID: We have to look at it. Right now, the Thunderbolts (by Warren Ellis) is the most exciting thing about that run for a long time, so sales-wise, I don't see that there's gonna be any great sales incentive to go back and put those out. Should Kurt come back over here and begin writing Thunderbolts again, then that's when you go back and examine those books and say, "Hey, we need them back in print in this new format." But without anything else to support it and the rest of our line, it doesn't really make much sense to put it out.

GORMUU: Setting aside the quality of the books, which for Kurt Busiek's Thunderbolts was obvious, there's far more considerations than just the absolute quality of the book.

DAVID: Right, and it says nothing about the quality of the series. A lot of us do love that old series. It's just sales-wise we have to make smart decisions so that we have the program.

GORMUU: Right. There are ideas of synergy that often go into the question of "Do we, or do we not put out a particular line of books?" Speaking of a particular line of books that seems to have dwindled down is the Marvel Visionaries hardcovers, and forum member DCMarvelnut asks the question, "Will there be more of the Marvel Visionaries hardcovers?" What's the bad news on that front?

DAVID: We have no other volumes planned at this point.

GORMUU: Is that something you're not ruling out down the line, though?

DAVID: I never rule anything out. Those books are very difficult to put together because you're drawing materials from many different sources, and the disciplines involved in putting that all together. Some things you have digitally, some things have to be reconstructed, some things recolored. It just runs the gamut and it's very difficult to coordinate all that. We can put out like three other books in the amount of time it takes to put together one of those. So, that's also a consideration. Although we do love the books.

GORMUU: Yeah, the Visionaries books are very nice for people that may not be familiar with them. The Marvel Visionaries essentially are a greatest hits compilations of the top creators in Marvel history, from newer creators like Chris Claremont and John Romita, Jr. to the older creators who built Marvel, like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. There are still some great talents that have yet to get a Visionaries book, so hopefully one day we'll be able to do some more of those.

JEFF: John Rhett Thomas Visionaries. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Yeah, it'll be two pages and there won't be anybody buying it except my mom. (Laughter.) Forum member Ice Storm asks the question, "What is happening with the Spider-Man newspaper strip book?"

JEFF: We're still working on it. We don't have it scheduled at this point. The original materials we were going to use from another source just weren't up to our standards. They weren't of a quality that we felt comfortable printing, so we attempted to located alternate materials, and we did, in the form of stats and photocopies of the original artwork of those strips. Far superior to what we had originally. So that's a slow burn for us. We'll schedule it when we feel comfortable. We were going to use materials from foreign reprints of the strips. We weren't happy with the quality of the artwork and they'd been re-lettered for foreign language editions. There was an English version as well, but it was a re-lettered English version, it wasn't the original lettering. So that was another consideration.

GORMUU: So the book was solicited and people were very much looking forward to it, but this delay will actually lead to a better book than it would have been.

JEFF: Vastly superior. It'll be worth the wait when we do put it out.

GORMUU: This will be a set that reprints the original newspaper strips by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr., and that's not the kind of book that you want to put out without putting your best efforts behind it.

I have a question relating to Brubaker's Daredevil. We had the complete run of Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev's Daredevil in oversized hardcover, and forum members Pete Donacek and Magic Markle ask the same question, "Will we see Brubaker's Daredevil in oversized hardcover?"

DAVID: Go out and buy the Captain America by Brubaker Omnibus, and then talk to me after the sales on that come in.

GORMUU: You're bribing people, by the way. (Laughter.)

DAVID: You never know. I don't see a reason not to do it, but it's nothing that's scheduled right now. Those hardcovers, even of the Bendis run, it's hard for us to keep a lot of those in stock. They don't tend to move that well after the initial couple of weeks of the sales run, so we didn't want to jump back into putting them out just yet. So we'll see how the Captain America Omnibus goes for Brubaker. I bet it'll be huge seller. And who knows....maybe you might see something like that for Daredevil.

GORMUU: Speaking of the Captain America by Brubaker Omnibus, the stars really lined up for that book. It's the perfect size for what the Omnibus format can do, compiling the complete story from issue #1 to #25, and one that has been in headlines across the world about this story and so now people will be able to get the whole thing in one book. Have you been really stressing out about how many of these books like this you want to put out?

DAVID: No. Jeff and I don't stress out.

GORMUU: You don't? (Laughter.) No stress, really?

DAVID: There are very few surprises in numbers for some of these things. Well that's not entirely true, the Omnibus was a surprise years ago. We'll see what happens. I think it'll do very well, and it made Ed Brubaker very happy so that's really all we need. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Looking at another line that you've just begun is the Marvel Premiere Edition classic hardcovers. That's a new line of hardcovers which are standard size format books that reprint older material from the whole gamut of Marvel's history. You've just now solicited the Avengers/Defenders War as the next installment in this line, with God Loves, Man Kills schedule soon after. Forum member bomaya asks the question, "Will the Marvel Premier Classic line start collecting stories that haven't previously come out as trade paperbacks or collected editions before?"

JEFF: Possibly, but most of the really good, high-end, top-of-the-line stories have already come out in some form or another. They just might not be in print right now, if that's any kind of clue as to what's coming up. You can all figure it out from there.

GORMUU: Well, this sounds like a good way to bring classic stuff back into print that might have fallen out of print a while ago, in a nice, hardcover edition.

JEFF: Yeah, because we really want to reprint the best material. I think there are very few stories you can consider the best of Marvel that haven't ever been reprinted in some form. Although if someone can think of one, we're more than happy to take suggestions.

GORMUU: Essentials might be Marvel's most popular trade format for classic comic reprints just from the sheer volume of sales. Forum member David Bromberg asks the question, "How long after material is released in a color trade or a Masterworks can we expect that it might be feasible to see release in Essentials format?" And again, this goes back to people asking about seeing their favorite material in their favorite format. Marvel has a bunch of different formats that draw on the same material, and many consumers have chosen their favorite formats. Some people are Essentials fans, some people are Masterworks fans. And so they are all wondering, when are we going to get it in our format?

DAVID: We don't actually have an answer for this. Let me start out with that. Plus you run into the problem of someone saying, "Well you know what, I won't get it in Masterworks. I'll just wait until the Essential comes out." So I try to avoid that kind of thought pattern for people. But I'll also say that we don't have any set rules. There's no program that goes off in Jeff's computer that says "X and X Masterworks came out two years ago, it is now time for an Essential volume.: It's really just us looking at the overall schedule and figuring it out from there. That's really the honest truth. We figure out what Essentials we want to come out. Mark Beazley might throw in some of the Golden Age stuff and say, "Hey, it's time now to put out this Golden Age Essential volume", (which I think we might have some in the works for next year.) But we don't look at it and say, "Oh, six months ago this Masterworks or this trade paperback came out so now it's time for an Essential." We won't say, "Now it's time for the Essential champions because the two trade paperbacks came out last year." It just doesn't work that way.

JEFF: We want to put out the best Essentials that make sense, given the marketing schedule, and movie releases. And if those happen to duplicate content that's already been in a Masterworks then we'll do it, but like David said there's no set plan.

GORMUU: Speaking of a set plan, this question relates to the sequencing of Essentials volumes. Traditionally, fans have been accustomed to them coming out at about two per month, which is quite a clip.

DAVID: Traditionally, let's just clear up… that was for about one year, last year that we did that.

GORMUU: Yeah, and that's what relates to this question from forum member Heathenson. He says, "There seems to have been fewer Essentials this year. Will it go back to the two a month schedule?"

DAVID: If time permits. That's basically it.

JEFF: Yeah, we haven't worked on our schedule for next year yet in full, so we can't say for certain.

DAVID: Part of the thing that happens is if we put in a classic trade paperback onto the schedule that Mark Beazley might be working on, or if we put in five classic trades and a Golden Age Masterworks, and two Essentials, all of that comes from one person working under Jeff, so that has to be balanced out. So there are just some months that it's humanly impossible to have two Essentials worked on.

GORMUU: And I've seen that guy's desk.

DAVID: I've never seen the top of his desk. (Laughter.)

GORMUU: Do you even know what Mark looks like?

DAVID: No, I don't actually.

GORMUU: Jeff, you must think he looks like a big stack of papers stacked on top of each other. There might be an OSHA violation in there somewhere he's buried underneath. The Essentials, though, for people that aren't familiar with the format, are typically upwards of 600 pages and when you do two a month, that's 1200 pages you're having to have an editor parse through and make sure get ready for print. That's a pretty hefty obligation of time and man hours. From forum member David Bromberg, another general question relating to Essentials: "Anything you can share about any changes or trends that you might be planning for the essentials format in the next few years?"

DAVID: We're toying with some changes starting January of next year.

GORMUU: And that's all you'll say about that, right? (Laughter.)

DAVID: Right, because you know what'll happen now? This will get posted and people will start talking about what the changes are, and we'll go ahead and pick what the best ones are.

GORMUU: Perfect! (Laughter.)

JEFF: We're talking about some changes, but it won't be anything drastic though.

GORMUU: Well, I think that's very interesting. I think people will have fun speculating about that. And finally our last Essentials question, forum member Sterlling asks, "After releasing Essential Tales of the Zombie last year, will Marvel reprint some more of the 1970s black and white magazine line in this format?"

DAVID: Yeah, I think we're trying to get the Rampaging Hulk done, but it's just a matter of Mark Beazley's time to get it scheduled.

JEFF: It is actually on the production schedule. We're working on it.

GORMUU: Are there any strange licensing problems you run into with those black and white magazines?

JEFF: Occasionally. Not the ones with our characters, but the ones with licensed characters, yes.

GORMUU: Speaking of licensing, that's a good segue to some questions from forum members. The reprinting of licensed characters is a very popular question that people ask of you and people openly muse about on the forums. Any given day on our message board there's at least one or two threads floating around asking "Why doesn't Marvel license Master Kung Fu, or Rom, or Micronauts?" And some of those titles in the 70s were actually very high quality books. And so many forum members, like David Spofforth, Martinmkb, Shaomi, were all curious about any progress on any of these titles in particular, and I guess in general the question, David, is I know you had success with the Essential Godzilla, licensing that from Toho last year, but it's not just as easy as saying we want to do this so we're going to do it, is it?

DAVID: No, it's not. It leaves our hands here in publishing and goes into legal and they go back and forth for what could be months. Let's say in three months time we have a Master of Kung Fu series starting, and we tried right now to get a Master of Kung Fu book out. Maybe if we got it out it would be the end of 2008, well a year and a half after the series started. So that kind of thing is impossible to work on. And really, I'll go back to the Red Raven story. There's not much get to putting out a lot of those licensed characters because we are not publishing them in other formats right now. It's not that any of us are opposed to it, but the tremendous amount of work involved. Jeff and his crew could be putting out five Masterworks in the time that it would take them to even deal with getting the rights to Master of Kung Fu. So it doesn't make a great deal of sense using their time to do that. Does that make sense?


DAVID: We're not against it at all, but there's no plan for any of it right now.

GORMUU: We have a question from forum member edulopez about the Avengers Classic series, which reprints the earliest Avengers comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and matches it with backup stories set in that time period by modern creators Duane McDuffy writing it and Michael Avon Oeming doing the art. Are there any chances of more series like this, perhaps Fantastic Four or X-Men or anything like that?

DAVID: We're not against it. There's nothing scheduled right now. There's nothing even being talked about. Again, that kind of book takes a lot of work because now it's not only in Jeff's office, it's also in another editorial office (generating the new content), so they have to all get together to get the new backup material, to get the re-mastered pages in. And in the end, there's not a great amount of sales payoff, but it's enough that the people who are happy to see that type of volume will continue to see it for a little while. We talked about how fun it would be to do a Fantastic Four one at some point, but certainly not on the horizon.

GORMUU: A question asked by forum members Zil 7 and also Mikey Ramone: "Will we ever get some nice hardcover collections of covers reprinting all existing covers, maybe different printings and variants, that are often missing in trades and hardcovers, or am I the only one who would love such an idea?" This is a good question because I know that, Jeff, you're working on a book that sort of does that right now, right?

JEFF: Yes, we're working on a collection of the Marvel Zombies covers. The Arthur Suydam covers and other Zombie covers by people like Greg Land and Kyle Hotz.

DAVID: I think even some classic Zombies?

JEFF: Yes, we have some classic covers from Tales of the Zombie, and then some upcoming covers too that people haven't seen yet with some extras thrown in there too. Some commentary by the creators and that sort of thing.

DAVID: And that will be solicited for October on sale.

GORMUU: Just in time for Halloween. Awesome. Part of your now regular horror programming for October.

JEFF: That's about the only one for right now.

GORMUU: Sterlling asked a question about classic trades which I personally will second: "Are there going to be more volumes of New Mutants in the classic line or any new series for the 70s, 80s, and 90s?"

DAVID: Oh yes. The New Mutants Volume 3 TPB will come out at some point, maybe early 2008. We'll definitely be doing another Invaders Classic. There'll probably be another Excalibur and an X-Factor one. Possibly another Alpha Flight.

GORMUU: Looking at the line of classic trades, specifically your approach to compiling them, Marvel seems to have done a really good job of introducing new lines, and then being consistent and bringing new volumes for them and completing them in a timely fashion. For instance, Champions. Both of those volumes came out and completed the whole run. Peter David Visionaries for the Hulk has been plugging along and the next volume is on the horizon.

DAVID: Byrne's FF is nearly done.

JEFF: It has one more volume to go and we already have all the files on that.

GORMUU: So that's part of your goal with these lines of Classic trades, to not leave any orphaned series? You sort of want to make sure people get their fix on these series before putting out a whole bunch of new volume 1s?

JEFF: Certainly there's going to be the one thing every once in a while that peters out, but we do our best to keep these things going. We certainly plan when we are doing the initial research for multiple volumes.

GORMUU: This is a question from forum member Colin P 42: "Has there been any discussion yet of how '90s X-Men and Spider-Man titles will or could possibly be collected?" That is a huge mess to wade into, the way the '90s books were arranged with X-Men and Spider-Man. There were tons of individual issues and their chronology was often very convoluted.

DAVID: We had success this year and last with the Age of Apocalypse, putting out the four volumes and putting that collection together. I think everyone was very happy with that. You will see the Onslaught series from the '90s collected that same way starting sometime in early 2008, or later this year. And as far as Spider-Man goes, you probably won't see much of the '90s Spider-Man material for a while. That's not to say never, but not for a while.

GORMUU: Well thank you guys for being good sports about this and taking questions from the marvelmasterworks.com message board forum.

Website design by Doug Roberts and John Thomas. All comic images on this page are copyright of Marvel Comics, DC Comics or respective rights holders. All photos on this page are owned and used with permission by Roger Stern. This site is for reference purposes and promotion of the Masterworks line of books as well as Marvel Comics and their properties.