CB Cebulski Talks (And Drinks) To The Star

Marvel Senior VP and longtime friend of the site, CB Cebulski, has been terribly frank about the state of Modern comics over food at Toronto newspaper The Star. Maybe Bleeding Cool should start cooking for him. Or buying him more cider and rum. He tells the newspaper;

The biggest thing I learn is why the consistency has gone out of mainstream comics, which used to maintain their creative teams, writer and artist pairings, often for years.

These days, Cebulski can only think of a half-dozen artists who can produce 22 pages a month. “ Everyone else, it takes them six to eight weeks to draw one comic book.”

“We try to schedule two-issue or three-issue arcs and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Cebulski mentions, for example, an artist who spends three days working on a cover, getting paid $450, but selling the piece for $5,000. Some of the top creators may work for $300 a page, but are pre-selling all their work at $1,000 a page. “The more detail they put in, the more they can sell it for.”

“They’re going to take two days or three days on a page, to make it look like a piece of art that someone wants to hang in their house.”

How can any writer or artist maintain consistency when Marvel publishes 20 issues a year? They can’t. Did Marvel ban smoking for their characters? Yes, except for villains. What happened to all the car, junk food and video game ads? Ad sales dried up. Is Marvel autonomous from its new owner, Disney? Yes.

“Disney has had no creative influence on us at all, in the comic division. They bought us and left us alone.” He is happy and optimistic with the corporate culture, except for one detail. “We haven’t gotten the Disney health insurance.”

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