Monday, July 5, 2010

A Message From Joe Quesada

Well yesterday marked a milestone in my life with X-men Supreme. For over six months now I've been developing this fanfiction series, trying my hardest to set it apart from regular fanfiction. Already, it's been successful in a way I did not expect. My website has registered over 2200 hits and the feedback I've gotten while not very big in volume (although I seriously hope that changes *hint hint*) has been positive. But part of my goal wasn't just to create the most awesome fanfiction series in the history of X-men. I wanted this series to be special in that one day it would be recognized by Marvel.

I've already done a great deal of work to set X-men Supreme apart. I have spent time and hundreds of dollars of my own money putting this together. The art I've commissioned and the web services I've purchased are not cheap and I have absolutely no means of making that money back without getting into certain legal issues regarding copyright laws. How many other fanfiction writers can say they're that dedicated? Furthermore, how many other writers work hard to ensure that the series is updated biweekly like a real comic? It is because of this I hoped that somehow X-men Supreme would get an honorable mention as a legitimate expression of X-men.

To do this I sent an email to Joe Quesada himself, thanks to an email address provided by a very dedicated and awesome fan (you know who you are). This is the letter I sent:

Dear Mr. Quesada,

Greetings, I hope you are well and congratulations on your recent promotion at Marvel. You have a lot to be proud of and I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and what you've accomplished. I've long dreamed of one day joining Marvel and contributing my own creative works and recently I have begun something I hope will demonstrate my dedication and passion for comics.

First off, let me start by saying I'm a huge X-men fan. X-men has long been a favorite of mine since the days of the X-men Animated series. So last year I was deeply disappointed to see Ultimate X-men get canceled in wake of the events of Ultimatum. This comic had been my favorite for years. It was a fresh alternative to 616 and one I found more interesting in a number of ways. Luckily, 616 has really gotten more interesting since House of M and I've been avidly following the Second Coming crossover. However, I still feel like there's a void in the X-men universe. Now there is no real Ultimate style alternative. With so many big name X-men dead in Ultimate, it's impossible for it to carry itself as it once did. Other series like X-men Forever are still heavily based on 616 and aren't really full alternatives. So with no further outlets, I took it upon myself to create one for me and X-fans everywhere.

On the January 1st, 2010, the first day of the new decade, I launched my own website entitled X-men Supreme.

X-men Supreme Homepage

This website is a hub for a brand new Marvel Universe that I have created myself. I call it Marvel Universe 1015 (which is actually reflective of my birthday October 15th). On this site I act as though Marvel has employed me to write a new X-men series from the beginning, sort of like how Ultimate started. I started the same way Stan Lee did, using the Original Five and going from there. Since I cannot draw very well, I've done it in the format of fanfiction. But I try not to treat it as such. I have a strict schedule to work by and I call the new chapters 'issues' and not chapters. I also have a regular update schedule that I follow rigorously. Every two weeks on Friday, I add a new issue to the website that continues the unfolding saga of X-men. In the week prior to the update I offer previews as Marvel does before each release. So far I haven't missed a deadline nor do I intend to. Each issue is self-contained and I try to make it work and feel like the issue to a real comic series. They aren't short, spotty, and unrefined. I've summoned my years of writing experience to make this look professional and clean both in terms of style and characterization.

So far the site has been mildly successful. I have a hit counter on the site and it recently passed 1700 unique hits. I've even gained a small following and I've been listed on several fanfiction rings and I've been ranked on various search engines. But I have a strong desire to make X-men Supreme something more than regular fanfiction. I know Marvel by rule does not accept unsolicited work and I'm not asking that X-men Supreme be an exception. But is it at all possible that I can somehow get it recognized as a real series? By real I mean something that Marvel acknowledges in a creative context? Could I get X-men Supreme listed in the Marvel wiki or maybe get a link on your main website somewhere?

Please understand that I know all about copyright issues. I've cited copyright laws on my website stating that I make absolutely no money. In fact, this website has cost me a great deal of money to put together. I even had a title piece commissioned from to act as a centerpiece to my series. I've even had some inquiries from fans who want to contribute art of their own. I do not intend to profit from this venture at all. I only wish to gain some level of recognition as a passionate fan trying to contribute to Marvel and the X-men franchise. I would be more than willing to allow Marvel to advertise on my site and I would be more than willing to make adjustments per Marvel's request. If my small site can somehow help Marvel and X-men, then I am more than content with that. I know I can't be an X-men writer at the moment, but this is the closest I can get and I want it to be more than mere fanfiction.

I am a passionate comic fan and X-men Supreme has become part of that passion. I love what I do and I have enough stories with this website to update biweekly without interruption for the next three years. I could go much longer and I would love to do so with the knowledge that such passion is recognized by Marvel. Please don't think this is just me saying I think I know how to handle these characters better than writers like Matt Fraction, Chris Claremont, Zeb Wells, and Peter David. I know I have a long ways to go to reach their legend, but I would like to offer my take to the greater Marvel community.

Please let me know if this is possible in any way. Is there any way X-men Supreme can become special in the annuls of fan dedication? I understand that you're a busy man and if there's someone else at Marvel I need to discuss this with, please let me know. Thank you for your attention and your generosity. I deeply appreciate it and I wish you and your family nothing but the best. Keep up the good work and keep making Marvel as awesome as it can be.


Now I'll be the first to admit I didn't expect a response, even if it was negative. However, just yesterday I got what I consider to be 4th of July present to remember. Mr. Quesada actually responded! This is what he said:

Jack sorry to say that there is no way that we would ever be able to sanction content that we not only don't create or control, but content that we did not solicit.

Sorry to be so blunt but I'm just trying to be honest. But also let's look at it more pragmatically. What about some other writer who is wither launching or has his or her own fan fiction site, are we to sanction all of these?

While I appreciate and understand your passion there really isn't anything I can do.


Granted, it was not the response I hoped. But I knew from day one that what I was asking for X-men Supreme would be a long shot. I had every indication that my request would be outright ignored. But Mr. Quesada did take the time to read my letter and acknowledge my passion. That in and of itself has to account for something and for that I deem it awesome.

So it does not look like X-men Supreme is going to get any kind of sanction or recognition. It's somewhat understandable. I'm just a fan who writes shit that may or may not be very good. If they recognize me then that creates a precedent that may be too cumbersome to handle. That could distract from Marvel's primary goal, which is to make awesome comics. And no honorable fan should want that.

I guess X-men Supreme is not going to be as big as it is now. It was a long shot and while my proposal was rejected, it was a shot worth taking. I guess the only thing I can do at this point is keep writing, making sure that X-men Supreme is still the greatest, least terrible fanfiction series on the web. I hope that one day this will change, but for now X-men Supreme is what it is. For what I've put into this, I'm okay with that. Nuff said.

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