Marvel's conferences with the comics press have been pretty tame lately, but during today's teleconference, Marvel COO Bill Jemas took the occasion of a question by Pulse reporter Heidi MacDonald to chastise her for a comment she made in a recent column in the weekly Comics Buyers Guide. According to Jemas, MacDonald wrote in the CBG, 'Most retailers don't like Marvel's no-overprint policy,' and Jemas took offense at that characterization of retailer attitudes, 'If I sound offended by that, I'm very offended by the idea that especially this respected newspaper would have that kind of a fact misstatement. To state it as a fact, when it clearly is not, that's offensive, and is damaging to Marvel and the industry.'
Jemas went on to expound on the importance he places on relationship between Marvel and retailers: 'It's not something we take lightly here -- we take our retailer relationships very seriously. Part of the Marvel trashing and bashing that goes on in industry publications by people who should be more responsible relates to this DC-promulgated lie that Marvel does not respond to retailers, and does not plan in conjunction with retailers. You cannot find a reputable top-class retailer that hasn't been consulted when they have reached out to Marvel, or that we haven't reached out to directly. Enough is enough. The constant bashing of a company that is doing its best to try and bring this industry back, and trashing people who will miss going home to spend time with their families because they are spending time on the phone with retailers, it's very offensive. This (no-overprint) policy, which was crafted with retailers and distributors, and instituted by Marvel over the extreme grief we received from people who had no business giving us grief, and still do to this day -- that the most reputable weekly retailer magazine would make a statement like that as if it were fact bothers me a lot.'
Other than insinuating that DC might be behind the 'retailers don't like Marvel's overprint policy' remark, Jemas, who before the conference started threatened to answer questions both as himself and as 'Lowell Pevitz,' did not bash the competition, instead admitting that DC Comics was 'way ahead' of Marvel when it comes to television exposure for its characters, both in terms of live action shows and animation. This is a 180 degree turnaround from Jemas' remarks earlier this year, when in Fan Boys and Bad Girls he said, 'It appears that [DC Publisher Paul] Levitz has purposely kept DC below the...AOL Time Warner radar screen' (see 'Comic Wars Heating Up').