... Let's end with Marvel Animation -- it's been a few months now that Steve Wacker came in from the print side of Marvel to take on the position of VP, Current Animation. From your perspective, what has having someone like him, with his experience, meant to Marvel Animation thus far?
Marvel TV Chief Jeph Loeb: Marvel's "Ultimate Spider-Man" cartoon is also under the umbrella of Marvel Televison.
Loeb: Wacker has, first and foremost, always been a terrific storyteller. I think that's why he was as good an editor as he was. He was somebody that I worked with, and it was one of the best experiences I had as a comic book writer. When it became apparent that more and more of my time was going to need to be focused on the live-action side of the division, we had to make sure that the stories we were telling on our three shows -- "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H." and "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" -- continued with the kind of quality and fun that we've been having.
Stephen had come out for several summits, and had been a voice that we were listening to long before we knew that we could extricate him from New York. It very much felt like, this is the right shoe to fit the Marvel Animation foot. He, along with Cort Lane -- who's been there longer than I have -- continue to tell remarkable stories with a staff and writers that love those characters. ...
What I've learned about Marvel Animation is, although Disney owns it, the company pretty much operates on its own. It's got minimal (as in zero) connection with Disney Television Animation. The Mouse lets its Marvel units operate independently, and independent they are. When TAG negotiates contract points with Marvel Animation, it doesn't consult Disney labor relations but plows its own path.
Pretty much a separate entity.
Marvel Animation has a small studio in Glendale. They have experienced staffers who turn out episodes for a limited number of series, Guardians of the Galaxy being the newest addition to the MA family. Because space is limited, in the last few weeks they've expanded to an additional building further down the 5 freeway, but they still keep costs ... and square footage, down to a minimum.
Because Marvel and its animated subsidiary are nothing if not cost-conscious.