“100% Committed to Diversity”: C.B. Cebulski and Sana Amanat Appear on CBS This Morning to Talk Marvel’s Fresh Start

Today, CBS’ This Morning show ran a feature with Michelle Miller on Marvel Comics. And she talked to a couple of the big cheeses.

When asked about the films, new editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski called the movies the face of Marvel, and extended that metaphor to describe the TV shows as the arms, the consumer products as the legs that move the body along, but the comics as the heart, the muscle pumping ideas into the blood to the rest of the body.

He talked up the Marvel Fresh Start initiative as “one big tapestry, one big soap opera. And our job is to keep adding to this tapestry in new and original ways and every now and then we have to come up with new ideas, create new characters, switch up the creative teams and that’s what we’re doing now.”

The show talked about bad PR in 2017, including Senior VP David Gabriel as they put it, blaming sales slump on diverse characters. Leading Cebulski to say,

“We’re 100 percent committed to diversity, Marvel is the world outside your window and we want not only our characters but our creative talent to reflect that world and it hasn’t been an easy road to be honest with you. Going back to the 60s when Marvel were created it was created by a number of white men here in New York City who were working in our studio. But now, we do not have any artists that work in Marvel. All our writers and artists work — are freelancers that live around the world so our talent base has diversified almost more quickly than our character base has.”

Miller also talked to senior executive Sana Amanat, including the creation and publication of Ms Marvel, their first lead female Islamic character. “Ms Marvel number 1 just having that copy and knowing its a part of history. People paid attention because there’s something about the idea of Kamala Khan and it has nothing to do with being Muslim or South Asian or whatever. But something about the idea of representation and having a character like that who is totally unexpected that I think people had been craving for such a long time.”

 

“I hope to be very much like a lifestyle brand. And also, the other big thing that’s going to happen at Marvel is, I don’t think it’s going to be associated as a boy brand. Marvel has always been inclusive and I think it should be a place that anyone looks at that red logo and they realize, ‘Oh yeah, that’s just a really cool entertainment company.'”

Michelle also brought up the history of the fake ‘Akira Yoshida’ Japanese identity he wrote under to evade strict publisher guidelines. And CBDstates that’s the first time he’s spoken about it. Not entirely true, but C.B. replied,

“I’ve always wanted to write and tell stories and it was a different time in cultural politics. And I made some very bad choices at that time, ones that I regret and that I’ve since made amends for and have been working to, you know, really kind of put behind me.”

He continued “Everyone who works in this role at Marvel, be it, you know someone who’s an assistant editor, or even the people who letter the books, or someone who works in our accounting department, everybody here works at Marvel because they love it. And we all have ideas. And we all are creative in our own right, you know. And we all contribute to the success of this company and have put Marvel on the path where we are now,”

You can see the whole report below.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.