Reading the Tea Leaves: Quesada Becomes Marvel CCO

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Marvel announced this morning that Joe Quesada had been named as the new Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. What does that mean?

In practice, maybe not a lot–partly because his new job didn’t exist before now, and partly because he’ll still have his old one. Quesada will continue to be Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief, a job he’s held since 2000, and the CCO of Marvel’s publishing and animation divisions, which he’s been doing for a while too.

The difference is that he’ll now be officially involved in “creative oversight” of everything Marvel does with its intellectual property. In fact, Marvel’s film and game divisions have been making use of talent from its comics division for years–creators like Matt Fraction and Brian Michael Bendis have worked in one capacity or another on various Marvel movies and games. But having Quesada, who was an artist before he was an editor (and still occasionally works in a creative capacity), formally in charge of coordinating that relationship may mean that Marvel’s projects in various media feel more closely linked to their comics incarnations.

It’s worth noting that DC Entertainment named Geoff Johns as its first-ever CCO in February (the same month that Microsoft named Gayle Troberman as its own first CCO). The entertainment industry has generally become a lot more interested in coordinating its franchises, rather than having the print and animation and live-action and video game and stage-musical incarnations seem like entirely separate spinoffs from a single source (well, Marvel hasn’t been having much luck on the stage-musical front lately). That may be especially important for the two big comics publishers now that MMO games are in the works from both Marvel and DC; the official statement from Marvel’s executive VP Alan Fine, noted that Quesada’s experience “will be invaluable as we bring our characters to life in new media.”

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