Marvel Entertainment President Dan Buckley announced today that accomplished comics exec C.B. Cebulski has been named Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief, effective immediately. Cebulski replaces former Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, who has mutually parted ways with Marvel after serving in his role since 2011.
Marvel’s announcement describes Cebulski’s new duties as follows:
In his new role, Mr. Cebulski will oversee all day-to-day editorial and creative aspects of Marvel’s publishing division. This includes driving the overall editorial creative vision, shaping the larger story direction of the Marvel Comics line-up, and bringing to Marvel the world’s best and brightest writers and artists. Additionally, Mr. Cebulski will be furthering Marvel’s efforts to expand the publishing division internationally.
Cebulski has been with Marvel for more than 15 years, establishing himself as a top editor, storyteller and talent recruiter by bringing folks like Skottie Young, Adi Granov, Sara Pichelli, Phil Noto, Steve McNiven and Jonathan Hickman into the fold at Marvel. Cebulski’s editorial and writing highlights include Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s acclaimed Runaways—soon to be a TV series at Hulu—and Marvel Fairy Tales.
For the past six years, Cebulski has played a key role in Marvel’s global expansion, serving as their VP of International Development Brand Management, then their VP of Marvel Brand Management and Development, Asia. He’ll be relocating from Shanghai to New York.
“C.B. is one of the most well-known, liked and respected editors and personalities in the comics industry. He has a keen understanding of the Marvel brand, and knows the importance of publishing within the larger Marvel ecosystem,” said Buckley in a statement. “As our characters continue to reach unprecedented levels of global popularity, we need to ensure our core comic business sets the standard with fresh and compelling graphic storytelling that excites both our longtime fan base and new fans. Marvel has set a high bar for super hero stories for over 75 years, and we believe C.B. is perfectly positioned to take Marvel Comics to new heights.”
Though Marvel’s announcement notes that Cebulski is taking the reins at a thriving time both for Marvel and the comics industry as a whole, recent sales numbers paint a less-rosy picture. Per an ICv2 report published Nov. 10, citing information released by Diamond Comic Distributors, comic sales declined 15.74 percent last month, while year-to-date sales are down 9.93 percent. Marvel did maintain its market share lead in October, boasting a 36.38 percent mark, but DC is hot on its heels with a 30.58 percent market share and seven of October’s top 10 best-selling comics, including its Dark Nights: Metal #3 in the top spot. And Marvel recently lost key longtime writer Brian Michael Bendis to DC, further muddying the waters of Marvel’s outlook.
Marvel is hoping that Cebulski will be just the man to not only foster their continued market domination, but also to improve the market as a whole, making use of his international perspective and “working closely with comics partners like Panini, NetEase, Daum and Kodansha to expand the everyday Marvel Comics experience for fans across the world.”
Said Cebulski in a statement:
Spending these last 18 months in Asia, and introducing more fans here to the depth of the Marvel Universe, I’ve seen firsthand how our comics and characters constantly bring joy into people’s lives all over the world. I hope to continue capturing that creative magic here at home, and deliver inspirational and entertaining stories that are true to the classic Marvel DNA, but built with an expanding global mindset.
Speaking to The New York Times, Cebulski said, “It’s crazy. It’s an honor. I’m blown away by the opportunity,” stressing that he wants to foster talent in every phase of the comic creation process. “We always hear about the writers and artists, but people forget the inkers and the colorists and the letters,” he said. “Each of them is an artist in their own right.”
Read Steve Foxe’s recent piece on the state of the publisher, “Legacy Isn’t Going to Save Marvel Comics.”