Marvel's first press conference in several months was a low-key affair with most of the emphasis on the Spider-Man Movie (see 'Marvel Talks Spider-Man Movie'), but the spokesmen for the 'House of Ideas' did touch on some other subjects. Rather than cancel three titles with lagging circulation, Marvel COO Bill Jemas has decided to raise the cover price of Spider-Girl, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel by 25 cents. Unable to resist a swipe at his competition, Jemas described the low circulation totals that kept the three titles 'on the bean-counter's chopping block,' as 'DC numbers.' According to Marvel it was a fan, distraught at the thought of losing a favorite title, who came up with the idea of the higher cover price. Under the plan Spider-Girl will now carry a $2.50 cover price with new issues of Captain Marvel and the Black Panther coming in at $2.75. Thanks to the price increase Jemas believes the titles should be safe for at least a year at their current rate of attrition.
When asked by a representative from ICv2 if Marvel ever had or planned to publish an edition of Origin for Wal-Mart, Jemas said, 'Absolutely not.' Likewise Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada pooh-poohed a rumor of a major collaboration between Marvel and Oni Press that was mentioned recently in Rich Johnston's All the Rage column.
Jemas stated that Marvel was in the midst of converting its backlist and key titles to digital files as the books are being reprinted. Marvel is planning an extensive line of CD-Roms based on its library, but the first of these projects, bringing the Essentials line of books to market on CD-ROMs, is at least a year away.