Dear Marvel: You’re Welcome

7 Feb

by Mike Hansen

“Marvel is the only publisher that mandates a recap page go at the beginning of every comic to catch the reader up on what’s happening if they’ve happened to miss an issue.” – Marvel Senior Vice President-Sales David Gabriel (from his ICV2 interview)

Well, except Red Skull: Incarnate. That miniseries didn’t have a recap page in any of its five issues. Marvel’s pretty good about including them most of the time, though.

When I was editor on Dark Horse’s monthly manga titles, they always had a recap page:

Oh My Goddess! Part X #2 IFC

from Oh My Goddess! Part X #2 (published by Dark Horse Comics, March 2001)

Here’s a recent Marvel one:

Mystery Men (Marvel) #5 page 1

from Mystery Men #5 (published by Marvel, November 2011)

Now, I wasn’t the first editor at Dark Horse to use recap pages, but I did make them 100% new-reader-friendly in 1999-2001.

Marvel started doing recap pages around mid-2002.

I applaud Marvel for using them: EVERY publisher should take the time to put these in their serialized comics. It doesn’t take very long at all!

Publishers need to remember that EVERY comic book is somebody’s first comic book (or, at least, first issue of that title). They should make it as easy as possible to hook the readers and keep them coming back.

I wonder if Rich Johnston would call this Swipe File material…?

2 Responses to “Dear Marvel: You’re Welcome”

  1. The Hook February 14, 2012 at 05:40 #

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for a response from Marvel….

    • All Day Comics February 14, 2012 at 11:04 #

      Ha! Yeah, I don’t expect one… It’s certainly possible that Marvel came up with this idea on their own, but I like to think that perhaps I had some small influence that improved comics.

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