A recent New York Times feature on the current state of Marvel Comics includes an interview with alumnus Joe Quesada (BFA 1984 Media Arts), who was named Marvel’s chief creative officer last year after having been editor in chief since 2000. The article says that Marvel is, “enjoying a hard-fought moment in the spotlight while it grapples with larger difficulties afflicting the publishing world,” as the print side of the business adapts to 21st century technologies and content delivery.
The piece also highlights Quesada’s role in overcoming a challenging period that the business went through in the 1990s. He says of that time, “It was incredibly frightening. It’s that looking over the precipice and seeing nothing but sky, and hoping that when you jump off, you can fly.” He goes on to say that his strategy as editor had been to, “focus on writers first, and then bring in the artists.” The company found its footing by bringing in successful writers who developed bestselling comics mini-series, while also ramping up its movie franchises; it was the 2008 success of Iron Man that established Marvel’s current position as an industry leader and led to the formal creation of what Marvel calls its “creative committee,” which includes Quesada in his new role.