Marvel’s Offices Are Kind of a Sweatshop?

Senior Contributor

Marvel is the number one publisher of comic books in America. It’s owned by a major media conglomerate. Its film division is enormously successful. It owns some of the most beloved superheroes in the medium’s history.

So why did they just lay off fifteen people? And why do the remaining employees only get one bathroom?

Because the CEO, Isaac Perlmutter, turns out to be a cheap bastard, that’s why.

Comics Beat has an expose of sorts about Perlmutter’s recent reign of terror. Perlmutter, of course, is the guy who teamed up with Avi Arad to bail Marvel out of the hole it dug itself into in the late ’90s, and who helped turn Marvel into the successful company it is today. He is also apparently a Dickens villain who demands that editors keep up their pace of work, or increase it, using as few resources as possible. And by “resources” we mean “paper clips.”

And, yes, there’s one bathroom for each gender. For the entire company.

It’s especially interesting because it explains a lot about Marvel and DC’s back catalogue and business models. Perlmutter’s penny-pinching pretty much explains why Marvel almost never puts out original graphic novels: they don’t have the money. It explains why I’ve been hearing comics shops bitch about stocking Marvel graphic novels for years: Perlmutter hates back inventory and paying storage costs, so when a movie comes out and all the Thor collections sell, Marvel doesn’t have the stock to replace them.

And it’s kind of sad, because Perlmutter ain’t going anywhere: since Steve Jobs died, he’s Disney’s largest shareholder.

[ via Comics Beat ]

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