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Sunday, 6 December 2009

Publishing Houses

Publishing houses

America has two major publishing companies – Marvel and DC.

Marvel are responsible for the X-Men, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America, Daredevil, Elektra, The Punisher, Ghost Rider.

DC are responsible for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman and the Justice League.

There are also smaller imprints held within DC.  These are as follows:
Vertigo  - For mature readers
Wildstorm – a range of titles based on games, films, TV shows
Johnny DC – aimed at kids.
Minx - shortlived imprint aimed at teenage girls, now defunct.  It’s closure was probably due to poor promotion.

Each publishing house's stories are self contained universes and they do not (with very rare exceptions) cross over.  For example, you will not find a story where the X-men fights Superman, or where Wonder Woman fights Magneto.

Usually, each superhero character comes complete with many years of history and character development.  However, we will aim to review and feature books which are good jumping on points and either don't require knowledge of the history, or that provide useful synopses.

There are many Manga publishing houses in the UK, one of the largest is Tokyopop.  Manga stories, unlike American superhero books, do not form long running universes based around the publisher.  Instead, each author tends to create their own stories and produce one volume of books about one set of characters.  In this respect they are far more similar to conventional novels.

Independent publishing houses work in the same way.  They don't own the characters like DC or Marvel do, and so there aren't universes built around these characters.  Independent publishers operate in a manner far similar to regular written word books.

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