Comics Disassembled: Ten Things of Note from the Past Week in Comics, Led by Persecution!

It’s a weird week for news, with no clear headliner to be found. So instead, Comics Disassembled gets personal to kick the week off. Let’s get to it.

1. Marvel, Oppressing Stilt-Fans

There are a lot of reasons for people to be mad at Marvel, and those reasons are shared all the time, every day. Most of the time I give them the benefit of the doubt, as my hope springs eternal and love carries on forever. I like Marvel! What can I say?

Well, most of the time found its limits.

MARVEL RESTRICTED THE MAKERS OF THE UPCOMING M.O.D.O.K. SERIES ON HULU FROM USING STILT-MAN!

Now, a couple caveats. Did I know this already? Yes. Series co-creator Jordan Blum told me months back when he was on Off Panel, as he was very and rightfully proud about how they had planned to use the character, and that was as the bartender at The Bar with No Name, a role in which Stilt-Man would use his telescoping legs to get items from the top shelf of the bar, a very, very funny joke. It was a great idea. But was I made? No. But do I enjoy being fake mad about one of the only times Stilt-Man earned consideration for adaptation? YES I DO. RAGE.

The dream of course is that Marvel blocked the character’s use because they have enormous phase 4 plans for the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so they didn’t want to waste his flavor in the show. That’s the dream, but let’s be real: the character’s rights are probably tied up in Spider-Man or Daredevil or someone else which makes him difficult to use. But a boy can dream, so this one shall. Stilt-Man, coming to Disney+ in 2027!

2. Manga, Blowing Up

Polygon has a mini-feature about the explosion of manga during the pandemic, something I’ve heard about endlessly throughout, but now we have real numbers to it thanks to the efforts of Ana Diaz’s reporting! After years of growth, manga as a sector grew by 43% (!!) year-over-year in 2020, per NPD Bookscan. That might not sound like a lot, but it is. Manga was already a huge part of the comic and even publishing game, so 43% growth in the book market is a staggering leap year-over-year.

It only seems to be continuing in 2021, as well. Whenever I talk to someone who is in the comic selling game, they get all starry eyed when it comes to manga sales. Go to any book store or comic store and it’s hard not to notice that manga is getting a push, and it’s likely because it’s a self-starter to begin with. This is all a good thing, and definitely underlines how the energy and success of manga needs to get tapped into if the rest of the comics world wants to get a taste of that feeling. That’s not to say styles need to be aped or anything needs to be copied, but what separates one from the other? That’s an important question to answer.

Still: this is very, very good news, and I was happy to see Polygon cover it.

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