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Sina Grace on working for Marvel

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das_boot
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Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by das_boot » 29 Jun 2019, 00:30

https://sinagrace.tumblr.com/post/18591 ... ssion=true

So, this is gross. I was a fan of the Iceman series and this makes me sad. It’s as though Marvel are unaware of how many LGBTQ fans the X-Books carry...
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Anna Raven » 29 Jun 2019, 01:19

I don't know why, I guess the first name threw me, but I always assumed Sina Grace was a woman. This will show me to assume, and is extra ironic coming from a man with the forum name Anna Raven.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by tokenBG1009 » 29 Jun 2019, 03:24

Anna Raven wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 01:19
I don't know why, I guess the first name threw me, but I always assumed Sina Grace was a woman. This will show me to assume, and is extra ironic coming from a man with the forum name Anna Raven.
I've been on these forums for half my life and I thought you were a lady...

It is disappointing that Sina felt so...constrained? working with Marvel. I'd always prefer people have a good experience with their employers and I thought Marvel was one that would be better than others considering how progressive their books have been over the last few years.

I do think some of his complaints aren't really...warranted? though. Tons of Marvel creators deal with toxic fan behavior. Marvel doesn't really do much to stand beside them either. Hell, some of the tweets he linked connected back to good ol' Comics & Diversity, which is one hell of a misnomer. I imagine most people who end up in their sights either ignore it or fire back in kind. They're basically the the poster child of the alt-right/comicsgate movement.

Also, Marvel doesn't really seem to care if a run is critically acclaimed if it isn't selling well and I don't believe Iceman really did or it wouldn't have been cancelled. So it doesn't really matter that the New York Times gives glowing praise. The only praise that matters to Marvel is how many issues were sold.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Anna Raven » 29 Jun 2019, 05:36

tokenBG1009 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 03:24
Anna Raven wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 01:19
I don't know why, I guess the first name threw me, but I always assumed Sina Grace was a woman. This will show me to assume, and is extra ironic coming from a man with the forum name Anna Raven.
I've been on these forums for half my life and I thought you were a lady...
I never planned on joining a forum and actually becoming active, I was just a fan of Rogue and I registered to ask one question, and next thing I knew I was hooked. Probably should have changed my forum name at some point but it just kind of stuck. Sorry if I catfished you or anything like that.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by tokenBG1009 » 29 Jun 2019, 06:20

Anna Raven wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 05:36
tokenBG1009 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 03:24
Anna Raven wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 01:19
I don't know why, I guess the first name threw me, but I always assumed Sina Grace was a woman. This will show me to assume, and is extra ironic coming from a man with the forum name Anna Raven.
I've been on these forums for half my life and I thought you were a lady...
I never planned on joining a forum and actually becoming active, I was just a fan of Rogue and I registered to ask one question, and next thing I knew I was hooked. Probably should have changed my forum name at some point but it just kind of stuck. Sorry if I catfished you or anything like that.
Meh! Most people assume my name means I smoke a lot of weed. So few South Park fans in the world.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Anna Raven » 29 Jun 2019, 06:38

tokenBG1009 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 06:20
Anna Raven wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 05:36
tokenBG1009 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 03:24


I've been on these forums for half my life and I thought you were a lady...
I never planned on joining a forum and actually becoming active, I was just a fan of Rogue and I registered to ask one question, and next thing I knew I was hooked. Probably should have changed my forum name at some point but it just kind of stuck. Sorry if I catfished you or anything like that.
Meh! Most people assume my name means I smoke a lot of weed. So few South Park fans in the world.
Haha! See, just like Captain America, I totally got that reference.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by P-90 » 29 Jun 2019, 14:13

Like it or not Marvel is a business first and foremost, if a character sells well then it's more than likely they'll get featured in more titles, if they don't it's not in the companies interest to do so. The vast majority of characters (including most straight white male characters) don't sustain a book for very long, this is even true for characters that we would assume are 'big names', certain characters get pushed with a new book over and over again only to have those books repeatedly cancelled. The few characters who do sustain long term titles tend to be the ones that have becomes icons of the industry, most of which were created in the early days of Marvel (Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man etc.) with a few notable exceptions (such as Wolverine)
There are untold characters I'd like to see more of and would happily buy books featuring them (as I have done in the past) but sadly they just don't sell well enough to make their books financially viable.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Lavettye » 29 Jun 2019, 14:39

Sure, Marvel is a business, and it is a business decision to cancel a book that's not selling well. However, the cancellation of the book is not what Sina Grace was complaining about, at least, that's not what I took from the interview.

He is disappointed about how he was treated by his employer, namely
- that the employer apparently didn't care too much about the product he was producing an advertise it appropriatly. Niche books need to be handled differently than flagship titles. That would actually be a good business decision, but it would also require for someone to think outside the box and get invested a bit more. (This complaint is not a Sina Grace specific one)
- that his employer didn't stand by him when Sina Grace was attacked by online trolls with lots of derogotary terms. Marvel never issued a public statement about it, which they should have IMO (after all, the trolls put Sina Grace in line with child molesters because of the content of the book he was writing for Marvel) and they didn't support him behind the scenes either, as is apparent by him not getting any new regular title to write since then.

Personally I sort of agree with him. There obviously is some double standard involved. A big name guy like Bendis keeps getting the good treatment despite writing a rather mediocre run of X-Men during which he outs Iceman in the worst manner possible (betrayed by one of his best friends for nothing else but pure shock value) and the upcoming writer who fixes that mess by giving Iceman more depth as a gay character gets the stick. It sucks.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by P-90 » 29 Jun 2019, 16:47

Lavettye wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 14:39
Sure, Marvel is a business, and it is a business decision to cancel a book that's not seeling well. However, the cancellation of the book i's not what Sina Grace was complaining about, at least, that's not what took from the interview.

He is disappointed about how he was treated by his employer, namely
- that the employer apparently didn't care too much about the product he was producing an advertise it appropriatly. Niche books need to be handled differently than flagship titles. That would actually be a good business decision, but it would also require for someone to think outside the box and get invested a bit more. (This complaint is not a Sina Grace specific one)
- that his employer didn't stand by him when Sina Grace was attacked by online trolls with lots of derogotary terms. Marvel never issued a public statement about it, which they should have IMO (after all, the trolls put Sina Grace in line with child molesters because of the content of the book he was writing for Marvel) and they didn't support him behind the scenes either, as is apparent by him not getting any new regular title to write since then.

Personally I sort of agree with him. There obviously is some double standard involved. A big name guy like Bendis keeps getting the good treatment despite writing a rather mediocre run of X-Men during which he outs Iceman in the worst manner (betrayed by one of his best friends for Nothing else but pure shock value,) and the upcoming writer who fixes that mess by giving Iceman more depth as a gay character gets the stick. It sucks.
I can only assume Marvel didn't make a statement concerning the trolling because if they did they'd then have to do so every time it happens, with the sad mindset of so many people on the net today it would be a never ending task. Also responding to such people would only fuel their need for attention. Having said that I do feel that Marvel should speak out against those on the extreme left who find it perfectly acceptable to bully a seven year old girl online (the actress who played Morgan Stark in Endgame)
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Lavettye » 29 Jun 2019, 17:13

But Marvel could have at least stood by Sina Grace by keeping him employed. There's so many things being produced, half a dozen War of Realms minis, five or six Age of X-Man minis, a number of regular series…. and they can't give him anything else but six pages in Infinity Warps ?
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Anna Raven » 30 Jun 2019, 00:55

P-90 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 16:47

I can only assume Marvel didn't make a statement concerning the trolling because if they did they'd then have to do so every time it happens, with the sad mindset of so many people on the net today it would be a never ending task. Also responding to such people would only fuel their need for attention. Having said that I do feel that Marvel should speak out against those on the extreme left who find it perfectly acceptable to bully a seven year old girl online (the actress who played Morgan Stark in Endgame)
Who has ever said that the situation involving the young actress from Endgame had anything to do with politics? Everything I've seen is she was getting hassled by overzealous autograph hunters? And why are we supposed to make an exception for her but it's ok to hassle Sina Grace? Is it the age factor? Or are you just making exceptions because you feel one person is more deserving of that support than the other?
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Blackcyclops » 30 Jun 2019, 11:31

Anna Raven wrote:
30 Jun 2019, 00:55
P-90 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 16:47

I can only assume Marvel didn't make a statement concerning the trolling because if they did they'd then have to do so every time it happens, with the sad mindset of so many people on the net today it would be a never ending task. Also responding to such people would only fuel their need for attention. Having said that I do feel that Marvel should speak out against those on the extreme left who find it perfectly acceptable to bully a seven year old girl online (the actress who played Morgan Stark in Endgame)
Who has ever said that the situation involving the young actress from Endgame had anything to do with politics? Everything I've seen is she was getting hassled by overzealous autograph hunters? And why are we supposed to make an exception for her but it's ok to hassle Sina Grace? Is it the age factor? Or are you just making exceptions because you feel one person is more deserving of that support than the other?
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by P-90 » 30 Jun 2019, 13:39

Anna Raven wrote:
30 Jun 2019, 00:55
P-90 wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 16:47

I can only assume Marvel didn't make a statement concerning the trolling because if they did they'd then have to do so every time it happens, with the sad mindset of so many people on the net today it would be a never ending task. Also responding to such people would only fuel their need for attention. Having said that I do feel that Marvel should speak out against those on the extreme left who find it perfectly acceptable to bully a seven year old girl online (the actress who played Morgan Stark in Endgame)
Who has ever said that the situation involving the young actress from Endgame had anything to do with politics? Everything I've seen is she was getting hassled by overzealous autograph hunters? And why are we supposed to make an exception for her but it's ok to hassle Sina Grace? Is it the age factor? Or are you just making exceptions because you feel one person is more deserving of that support than the other?
I've read that she was being harassed by people on social media because they believed her character was eventually going to become Ironheart and so were complaining about 'whitewashing, some were also attacking her over her acting.
This is wrong on multiple levels, most importantly because she's a child. Even if she was an adult she's just an actress and has no control over the story.
As I posted above, the few scumbag abusive trolls that give the majority a bad name wouldn't change their opinions even if Marvel did respond whereas if Marvel responded to the attacks on the actress hopefully those attacking the girl would reflect on their behaviour.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Wings » 30 Jun 2019, 15:54

The thing is... Bendis sells. Regardless of your opinion of his work, the man sells units. People and shops buy his stuff and can bank on it. I don't think Grace and Bendis' professional situations are comparable in this case, especially since Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man, Bendis has been on A-List titles and company-wide crossovers with his Big Two work. His situation and the way he'd be treated by editors and the big guns at Marvel isn't comparable to Grace, who was placed on a title where the company treated cancellation by issue 12 as a foregone conclusion before they even started work on the book.

I also don't think Grace is lying when he says that Iceman sold well in trade ( I don't think anyone is going to argue that it was selling well in single issues by the end of Grace's first run). That's why Iceman and Unstoppable Wasp were brought back from cancellation, because they'd both being doing way better in trade than they had at comic shops in single issues. They were both meant to return as ongoings and then were switched to be 5 issue minis, but Unstoppable Wasp managed to keep going. It might even have been a case that Marvel had already decided they were gonna see which one of those two resurrected books had the better single issue sales and allow that book to keep going while the other was left as a mini.

Personally, I do feel like Marvel outsources most of the PR heavy-lifting to their creative teams these days, and yes, many of their newer hires will have come from self-publishing, and will be used to having to drum up their own audiences online. But I do think that Grace is right to demand more promotional support for different and niche books that may need help drumming up an audience, or whose audience could come from outside the typical audience of the Big Two. It's hard enough writing a book, without also having to be your own PR machine 24/7 when you're doing work-for-hire for a multi-billion dollar company with the backing of a world-spanning multimedia conglomerate. It's the bare minimum Marvel should be doing for their freelancers and Grace's guardedly expressed frustrations make it clear that they're not doing it. In fact, when the book did generate publicity because of the introduction of Darkveil, Marvel didn't see any value in that and instead their PR team apparently admonished Grace for doing a social media post about his own new character and using quotes that he had already run by them.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Spectral Knight » 01 Jul 2019, 05:43

This comes off a bit sour grapes to me. Books live and die on sales. Always has been the case, always will be the case. It matters diddly-squat what the NYT reviews are giving if it's not doing sales. I think the amount of books that have survived on the trade sales is very, very low (Spider-Girl comes to mind), and if pre-warned that it's likely to be 12 issues and done, I'm not surprised it got binned.

On to some of the other complaints... a specialist PR agency? For one book? Is he daft. This will not happen... it'd be a hell of an investment that would take months before a longer term ROI. Again, Marvel is a business and why add to the costs of a maybe title. If there was a "niche" titles PR function or agency to recoup that level of investment would involve giving them more than Iceman. Also what counts as niche in Marvel? Iceman did because it was a gay lead? It was still a mutant superhero comic compared to say a horror title western or a romance title? Should such books also get niche PR support? There probably does need a function to focus on outside the norm titles but the remit would need to be massively broad which means that a specialist agency couldn't be used and you're bringing outside support where it doesn't make sense. It would be better to have this function in-house but again, still a big expense that wouldn't have been focused solely on Iceman.

The other thing is Iceman got SHITLOADS of coverage in the comics media. I didn't follow the title but I saw it being discussed everywhere. Did Marvel and/or Grace (it seems like he felt he took the lead) do a hell of a job promoting a title to it's "core" audience? To me, yeah. Still didn't sell in the numbers needed to keep it afloat though.

The online trolling sounds disgusting and I have sympathies on that, but what can a company actually do to prevent this? Sounds like they tried to engage with Sina, but as he said, he cut them off. It sounded like they wanted to help (even if it was in a very limited sense) but he didn't want to listen. Is that on Marvel's head.

About getting a "non-gay" title... this sounds a bit shittier from Marvel but again, if you've not been a big hitter, get pitching. Work rarely lands in your lap as a freelancer.

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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Magik84 » 01 Jul 2019, 06:25

I think Comic industry is out-dated in it's weekly sales model, it would be good to see them support trades as legitimate. That said I think they did give Sina a chance, when the trades did sell they brought Iceman back for another series, and like others said many x-men solo titles just don't last. It would be good to have given him a chance on other books, as he had positive reviews, and other writers seem to get multiple chances.

Toxic fandom is difficult to deal with, but yeah think Marvel could do more to support creators/actors in those situations.

As for the PR stuff, yeah having a pr team just for one book is a bit much. If it's true that they were restrictive about him doing self promotion, which doesn't happen to other creators, then that's a problem.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by InsipidLust » 02 Jul 2019, 16:12

As a PR professional one thing I'll say is this: While it seems like having a specialist PR team for one book is a bit much, it's pretty clear based on what he's indicated here (essentially that Marvel was trying to contain any PR about this despite it getting press regularly on the strength of the "story" [the press angle, not the comic book story] and trying to let this book fly under the radar to some extent) that the team actually could have benefited from either having a contractor or somebody more understanding of diversity/inclusion elements in these kinds of marketing pushes work on Grace's book rather than having Grace work with a team that didn't particularly seem to care.

Pushing a press release to your homepage about a book is not doing good PR work. My read on the situation Grace's interviews about the book were clearly fielded primarily by himself until he wasn't allowed to anymore. That is all telling and ugly on Marvel's part.

They probably did want this book to sell, but they also wanted to protect their brand from being too associated with gay publications and I'm sure Bobby's gayness is going to kind of fade into the background with time unless someone really committed to that story goes up to bat for it.

That said? I didn't like Iceman personally. I still see some very intentional examples of sandbagging here though.

This is a mix of things. I don't think Grace is a particularly gifted writer and his story wasn't my favorite. The art in the second edition was awful. That he was prevented, essentially, from marketing his own book in his way when it was clear that he wasn't really receiving support is a problem and kind of sabotage, though, because then when the book didn't sell as well as it should have in the weekly format (and again, it did sell well after the fact) they could be like "well, this is the justification", knowing full well that Grace's obsolescence was in many ways by some design.
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Omnicon » 02 Jul 2019, 17:16

The only thing I hate about Iceman is, that the writers tossed and turned him so much around, that his former steadfast personality turned into an insecure about nearly everything B-lister who needs help from teenagers. And I am not talking about his homosexuality now, but Sinah concentrated very much on that aspect, to establish Bobby as a full time YouTube LA gay male.


Image

Image



And now, he is one of the first people to go down in fights when he is with the others.


This is just my impression and I know other people feel differently and I am ok with every other opinion.

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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by UrbanExplorer » 02 Jul 2019, 19:55

We need a Sabretooth & Iceman series, with both of them sitting at a campfire and singing „Do you remember?“

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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Wings » 02 Jul 2019, 21:10

Omnicon wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 17:16
The only thing I hate about Iceman is, that the writers tossed and turned him so much around, that his former steadfast personality turned into an insecure about nearly everything B-lister who needs help from teenagers. And I am not talking about his homosexuality now, but Sinah concentrated very much on that aspect, to establish Bobby as a full time YouTube LA gay male.


Image

Image



And now, he is one of the first people to go down in fights when he is with the others.


This is just my impression and I know other people feel differently and I am ok with every other opinion.
I'm with you when it comes to frustrations over Iceman B-List status but that's kind of been the case since the 60's aside from under a handful of writers (Carey, Austen, Lobdell, Liu)

I don't really get the "full-time LA Youtube gay male" comment. Bobby spent like 2-3 issues in LA across Grace's time with the character (about a week max in-universe).
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Milkshake08 » 05 Jul 2019, 23:30

InsipidLust wrote:
02 Jul 2019, 16:12
As a PR professional one thing I'll say is this: While it seems like having a specialist PR team for one book is a bit much, it's pretty clear based on what he's indicated here (essentially that Marvel was trying to contain any PR about this despite it getting press regularly on the strength of the "story" [the press angle, not the comic book story] and trying to let this book fly under the radar to some extent) that the team actually could have benefited from either having a contractor or somebody more understanding of diversity/inclusion elements in these kinds of marketing pushes work on Grace's book rather than having Grace work with a team that didn't particularly seem to care.

Pushing a press release to your homepage about a book is not doing good PR work. My read on the situation Grace's interviews about the book were clearly fielded primarily by himself until he wasn't allowed to anymore. That is all telling and ugly on Marvel's part.

They probably did want this book to sell, but they also wanted to protect their brand from being too associated with gay publications and I'm sure Bobby's gayness is going to kind of fade into the background with time unless someone really committed to that story goes up to bat for it.

That said? I didn't like Iceman personally. I still see some very intentional examples of sandbagging here though.

This is a mix of things. I don't think Grace is a particularly gifted writer and his story wasn't my favorite. The art in the second edition was awful. That he was prevented, essentially, from marketing his own book in his way when it was clear that he wasn't really receiving support is a problem and kind of sabotage, though, because then when the book didn't sell as well as it should have in the weekly format (and again, it did sell well after the fact) they could be like "well, this is the justification", knowing full well that Grace's obsolescence was in many ways by some design.
Yeah, I followed this and see a lot of LGBTQ folks very upset about it, and in a way, they're right; the book should have been marketed better. That said, in a rare divergence of opinion from das, I did not like this book whatsoever. I think Grace couldn't plot an interesting story, his character beats were very forced and sometimes preachy, the art was bad, and the humor was a mess of not-even-good-enough-to-be-dad-jokes. On top of that, Shade/Darkveil was kind of a dumb character/intro to me, and he didn't do much with Iceman except make him seem really shallow and...well, white. Which is surprising. So while Marvel handled this poorly, I don't particularly see Grace's side of it either, as he could've constructed a far better book. There are plenty of other LGBT writers out there that can write better than this.

That said, Marvel needs to come out against their toxic fans more often. BUT, if they were doing it, it would be constant. Grace isn't the only one who suffers from this (nor did he claim he was). The women that work for Marvel are constantly harassed, threatened, and told they got there by sleeping with someone. They face rape threats and murder threats in their inboxes and on blogs, Twitter, comic sites, and forums. The LGBTQ workers face a lot of the same. I don't know a good solution, but Marvel needs to, as a company, be more proactive about speaking out against it.

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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Nu-D » 08 Jul 2019, 20:20

“Marvel is a business and its bottom line is profit.”

This justification is not a moral or ethical one, merely a legal one. A business is a collection of people, and people have moral and ethical duties that are not abrogated by taking on a role that has specifically defined legal duties and goals, such as maximizing shareholder returns. Indeed, with few exceptions, maximizing shareholder returns is not explicitly the sole good that a corporate agent is tasked to accomplish. Corporations can and do include in their charter broader goals, of which the common good can be one. Even where it is not explicit, corporate interests can be advanced by standing up for decency and treating employees and contractors with respect, even at the expense of the bottom line.

I don’t know whether Mr. Grace’s allegations are supported, or if he really was treated poorly at all. But “its a business and they can’t be expected to risk the bottom line or make non-profitable expenditures” is not a valid excuse to fail in basic descency.

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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Spectral Knight » 09 Jul 2019, 11:36

Nu-D, I'll tend to agree with you. Your right, companies can, do (and arguably should) have values and missions beyond making a profit, but profit is probably still the primarily concern, though you're right in that it doesn't negate the company's other responsibilities (both legal and ethical).

There are legal demands that companies treat employees with a certain level of respect, and I'm sure most of us who are employees (or contractors) expect decent treatment beyond the legislative requirements. Of course, a long-sighted take is that they go hand-in-hand - treat employees well, they perform better and are more loyal, meaning more moolah for the shareholders. Having a decent CSR policy means you're more likely to have a positive reputation, meaning consumers are more likely to buy from you, hence more cash in the pocket. This isn't necessarily a catch-all though - this differentiation may not be enough if other values contrast more obviously for the consumer (hence why Primark and Ryanair continue to sell bucketloads in their respective sectors despite them being the spawn of Satan)

So, would any of the 'additional' support that Grace referred to (the dedicated PR company...!) would constitute a basic level of decency for a contractor, or would this be an above and beyond? I can't see his expectations as being a moral expectation - to me, this was an expectation that the book should be treat differently based on the subject matter. In such cases it's a blurred line of is the book simply a product they're trying to shift, or is there a deeper meaning to that specific product. I don't really know the answer to that - it's very dependent on interpretation - but I can't see on the evidence provided that Marvel did anything that would be 'unethical', though not necessarily 'progressive'.

I think that Marvel should be clearer that it doesn't tolerate abuse of any kind aimed at their staff, but again, I'm not sure how Marvel, who don't control these channels, can manage something they clearly don't want their creatives to experience (they did reach out to Sina after all).

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InsipidLust
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by InsipidLust » 09 Jul 2019, 20:00

I think something that keeps being missed in favor of the "Grace asked for special treatment" argument is that he also asked to not be sandbagged by Marvel's PR... which, if he hadn't been, there wouldn't be a request for a PR team. That they did essentially sequester this book off and leave PR mostly to Grace (to hear him tell it at least) until they decided he wasn't allowed to do that anymore is far more problematic than their just not doing more for him.

A more compelling question for me is: why did Marvel want to keep PR about this book contained? Was it because of the subject matter, or was it because they thought it sucked based on the information they had at the time?
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Spectral Knight
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Re: Sina Grace on working for Marvel

Post by Spectral Knight » 10 Jul 2019, 01:17

Did they want to keep it contained though?

Again, I look at the coverage on the comics sites and the book got tonnes of PR coverage. However I work in comms, and there is very, very clear guidance on who should brief press and how. Sure, the guys in the warehouse might have a really good angle for a story in the press, and have a friendly journo who could run with it, but PR has to be managed from a company-wide perspective to protect the brand from stuff getting into press that doesn't correspond with the company's comms objectives.

Look at the NYT article, Grace pushes that modern readers are reading books in trade form and this is an acceptable purchase model. Given I do that myself, I would totally agree with him - however, and it's a biggie, this wouldn't be the company's perspective, who want to be selling you individual issues for higher margin. In this case, Grace has gone against the company line to defend the sales of his book in a massive mainstream consumer publication like the NYT.

I know of people who've been sacked for giving briefings to press that (even when factually accurate) do not align themselves with the company's strategy as this damages the ability of those who are responsible for the brand's PR function to adequately control the news agenda.

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