A recent rumor details that Marvel Comics furloughed half of its editorial staff.
The rumor comes from The Guardian’s Sam Theilman who writes, “Marvel has cut its editorial staff by half, according to a source familiar with the situation.”
Theilman also reports that Marvel confirmed that members of its editorial staff have been furloughed.
Not only has Marvel confirmed they have furloughed members of their editorial staff, but Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston reports that Marvel Comics has “paused 15% to 20% of titles being published.”
On top of those 15 to 20% being put on pause, Johnston also reports a number of freelance creators on X-Men titles as well as Deadpool have been told to pause their work.
These rumors shouldn’t really be a surprise as a Marvel Comics spokesperson confirmed to Newsarama that they would not be publishing comics this week, marking the fifth week in a row in the United States that they have not released new comic books.
Not only have they not released any physical comics in five weeks, but they also haven’t released any digital comics in April.
In a number of deleted tweets, Venom writer Donny Cates defended Marvel Comics’ decision to not publish any comics during the Wuhan Virus pandemic.
As reported by Newsarama, Cates stated, “It’s complicated. But in a nutshell: If we put comics out digitally it hurts comic shops even more. Which in turn hurts you guys.”
He added, “Believe me, no one wants to sell Marvel comics more than Marvel. And we’re doing our best.”
Cates stated in a separate tweet, “There’s a lot behind the scenes about this that you guys don’t know about. But I PROMISE this is the right move for now.” He added, “I know it sucks for the moment, but that’s just it. A moment. And it will pass. I promise. In the meantime, go buy some comics that are new TO YOU!”
While rumors indicate staff has been furloughed and creators have been told to pause their work, Cates indicates they are actually getting caught up on their work and starting creator owned stuff.
Cates writes, “We’re actually getting time to get caught up on schedules and start new creator owned stuff. Most creators I know are extremely busy.”
Cates had previously responded to a fan that the reason they weren’t releasing digital comics was to “show solidarity with comic book stores.”
It’s more complicated than that. We have to show solidarity with comic book stores too.
— DONNY⚡️CATES (@Doncates) April 13, 2020
The last time Marvel Comics’ new comics were shipped was on March 25, 2020. Diamond Comics ceased distribution of new comics beginning on April 1, 2020.