Black Panther may be hailed as the best thing Marvel has done for the inclusion of black people but like me who have been working and following the publisher for decades have a different perspective about their efforts to reach out to diverse communities. ComicBookBin is the longest-running comic news and review site owned by black people.
People often wonder why there is scant coverage of Marvel Comics at ComicBookbin. No, we’re not against Marvel like the Comicsgates folks. Quite the opposite. We like diversity and inclusion. ComicBookBin has been around since 2002. We cover Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and any other publishers who wants to speak with us.
But communications with Marvel Comics have always been difficult for comic-based media. Marvel just cares about bombarding news folks with press releases and does not do due diligence when we request their support for interviews with their creators or to respond to some of our queries. In 2008, I was trying to interview a few Marvel creators and to prepare for a year-in-review feature for December of that year. I requested assistance from them in September 2008. I barely got a response from the public relations’ guy whose job was to work with comic news sites. Yet, he would bombard us with press releases and hype every day. When we were slow to post his stuff, he would email us to “remind us” to post his press releases.
As you can guess, communications were in one direction and I got fed-up with it. I called Marvel’s PR guy on it. Even spoke to him on the phone. Subsequently, we were cut-off from most communications from Marvel. He has since moved on to work as a marketer/PR guy for other entertainment venues in Hollywood. We have tried to reach out to Marvel many times, but they continue to snub ComicBookBin.
I totally support Black Panther’s success. I have reviewed many of his comics here over the years. I have also interviewed his creators many times. But this time around, I have done scant. I just don’t care. Marvel is getting tons of accolades for creating entertainment that speak to a diverse audience while doing nothing to fix relationships with Blacks who have been covering their material for decades. Coverage of Marvel Comics has been poor for years at ComicBookBin not because we prefer DC Comics. DC Comics listens to us and wants to know about us, Marvel does not care. And so, we care little too.
It is hypocritical for Marvel to act like it is the most inclusive media company ever when it will not speak to us, years after the guy who didn’t like us has left the company. As you celebrate Black Panther, remember that Marvel could do much to improve its communications with black-owned media. Hey Marvel, shall we dance?