Word leaked out from Marvel last week that Vice President of Sales Matt Ragone has left the company. Ragone is a long time veteran of the comics industry, who has worked for both DC and Marvel during an industry career that has spanned almost twenty years. Over the past decade at Marvel, Ragone was a pillar of continuity in a sea of change as various regimes came and went and the company lurched into Chapter 11 and then back towards financial solvency. During his career Matt handled almost every aspect of sales. Recently he spearheaded Marvel's push into traditional bookstores, which many feel are replacing newsstands as the prime recruitment venue for comic book readers.
When asked by ICv2 whether Matt's departure was voluntary or forced, Marvel's Bill Rosemann would only smile and say, 'He is no longer with the company.'
Ragone's reputation among retailers remains high. Typical of the reaction of retailers reached by ICv2 was this comment from a long time store owner, 'Matt's a stand-up guy, who managed to maintain his personal integrity in spite of the fact that most of the time he was working for a pack of weasels.' Here's hoping that another company taps that font of experience.