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1/04/2020 9:32 pm  #1


Official Handbooks Reader Survey

Historical text from Comixfan including material from Wayback Machine:

Eric J. Moreels
2006
In an effort to ascertain what readers like/dislike/want to see in the current generation of Handbooks, we'd like you all to partake in a little survey so that we can continue to further improve the books.

So, without further ado, here's the Official Handbooks 2006 Survey!


1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?
 
Janne Pietikainen
2006
Ooh, a survey!!! :grin:

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

The amount of information in them. The featured characters vary a lot, so there's something new for everyone, and after reading a profile you feel that you know everything about the character.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

I don't really dislike anything in them. Sure, things can always be improved but I don't know how I would improve the Handbooks.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I prefer the new ones. They gather much more information and the entries have also information that's interesting but not necessarily directly involving the character.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

The longer ones are always better. The short ones usually just involve really major stuff that I usually already know.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

I guess it could be nice to see corrections in the books. With bibliographies you know that they are @ Marvel.com but you don't know if there are any corrections before you go through the trouble of checking it online. Later it might be nice to have the corrections in the same place.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

Both have their good sides.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

Not as good as the regular Handbooks. I rather see a theme book with regular entry format. Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook did give a lot of new information but after reading some entries in these Handbooks I got a feeling that they aren't as complete as the regular profiles.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

Not another one for the X-Men.  I prefer profiles for characters about whom you can't find good information online.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

More in-depth profiles, please. The current A-Z series has good entries.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I rather not pay extra. It already costs a lot to import them to Finland. I don't mind seeing old art, although sometimes you can see that there wasn't a good picture available for the character.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

Not really.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

I rather see Ultimate entries in their own Handbooks.
 
Keogh
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

They're fairly well in-depth, and there's always a number of entries of characters I didn't know about before and do find interesting.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

There's usually one entry in an issue that I find tedious, although I'll admit that's a matter of my own personal taste.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I haven't read previous series, before the 2004 theme books, so I can't answer.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

I'd like to see the bibliographies in the issues.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

Probably published in future issues.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

Both are fine.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

It depends on the title. Though I've noticed, especially with the X-Men 198 Files, that in places the lettering could be hard to read at times.

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

Characters who haven't been profiled, but really a mix of material. If a major character has been through enough that an update is warranted, then so be it.

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

Don't really know if I can answer that one.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I don't mind the fact that the art inside is previously published, as long as good judgment is used in selecting the material. I might suggest a rotating group of three or four artist for the covers.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

Not particularly.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

Yes. Never publish an entry on Howard the Duck again. :evil:
 
Chris Day
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

the thorough research... and obscure details and characters


2. What is it you dislike most about them?

when some details are incorrect (it sometimes happens, ie info on the Phoenix Force where it actually bonded to Jean Grey before Onslaught rather than during Morrison's run of New X-men as it is described, and other similar issues which have been raised in this Handbooks area)
usually this isn't too bad, but it sometimes happens. mostly this is just nit-picking, stuff which should be fixed for any future versions of the handbooks...

sometimes the entries are too basic and lack thorough research. - for example, the women of marvel handbook had only enough space for one character on a page, and most of that page would be taken up by the picture and graph. sometimes the quality of the information suffers due to the large quantity of characters covered.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I haven't read the originals so I can't say... usually these handbooks are quite up-to date and that's always a good thing.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

I like both, but haven't seen much of the online versions...


5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

Marvel.com corrections should be okay I think (maybe there should be a corrections thread in this forum)... but if there is a new bio for a character printed, it goes without saying that prior mistakes from earlier handbooks should be noted in some form...


6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

I like both for different reasons... but one can really only do one set of A-Z handbooks at a time, whereas a themed book (Spidey, Avengers, X-men, etc) can have significant updates from prior handbook information.


7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

these are quite a bit of fun... I like the creativity that goes into these as well as the thoroughness of the research.

however, the Saga handbooks (like Astonishing X-men Saga) are not as useful or necessary as the detailed handbooks.

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

most of the major characters are already profiled (or will be once the A-Z handbooks are done) so I think the minor characters deserve thouough entries more than the A-list characters do... and characters that have only had very small bios probably deserve more thorough entries in the future...


9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

less characters with larger more in-depth profiles please... it means more handbooks can be made to cover characters that were not covered the first time, and more detailed information instead of the very basics that can usually be found online anyway...


10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

only if it's absolutely necessary... the cover should be new, and new internal art should only be created if there isn't a decent substitute already available.
Things like maps and building designs and technology designs that have been created specifically for the handbooks are good in my book... but otherwise it should be kept to a minumum because usually there is something suitable already in print if looking for an image of a character or group...

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?


hmmm... the more complicated family trees probably deserve a page somewhere, particularly the summers/grey family tree, the Richards Family tree, the Mar-Vell family tree, the family tree of the Royal family of the Inhumans, maybe Spider-Man's family tree... including important alternate universe variants and clones... complicated family trees need to be somewhere... with basic details of each person of course...

An Earth X handbook (charachers, events, scientific developments and ideas, etc.) without the "non-canonical" silliness when compared to the rest of the multiverse, particularly 616. and it really must be approved by if not created by the creators of the trilogy...

a Marvel Mythology handbook (pantheons, gods, mythical realms, etc.)

a humaniod subspecies handbook (eternals, deviants, mutants, mutates, new men, inhumans, advanced neanderthals, etc...) and if that isn't enough there are also skrull and kree sub-specied and Earth-dinosaur sub-species and things like that...

a more thorough handbook on alien races (especially the more obscure ones) - maybe with cosmic maps of different empires... for example, how large is the Badoon Empire?

the Marvel Atlas (providence (Avalon/Greymalkin), the savage land, atlantis, the blue are of the moon, Olympia, latveria, lemuria, muir island, monster island, Asteroid M, the X-men's Australian base, etc...)

a thorough villains handbook for those which could use an entry or an update (things like The Pride and some other specific Villain teams that have not been covered in either the teams handbook or the A-Z handbooks). the marvel's most wanted handbook didn't have enough material IMO.

we've had the alternate universes handbook, but what about a dimensions and realms handbook for places that are known about but are usually within one universe (counter-earth pocket dimension, Asgard and the nine worlds, Olympus, Limbo, Otherworld, the realm of the Crimson Dawn, the realm of the N'Garai, Zemo's Castle, the Negative Zone, the nexus of realities, the Microverse, the realm of the Trion, in-between, Landau, Luckman and Lake, etc...)

A Thunderbolts handbook... especially with the new cast in the next few months... surely by then there will be more than enough material for an entire handbook... the T-Bolts characters who were in the Women of Marvel handbook certainly need to be covered in far more detail...

maybe a time-travellers handbook if there is enough new material for it, with an entry on the functions and processes of time-travel and its consequences...

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

I would just like to encourage the writers to keep up the good work... and thanks for the fun reading so far...
 
Andy E. Nystrom
2006

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

In an effort to ascertain what readers like/dislike/want to see in the current generation of Handbooks, we'd like you all to partake in a little survey so that we can continue to further improve the books.

So, without further ado, here's the Official Handbooks 2006 Survey!1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

The greater emphasis on obscure characters.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

Those themed books that are too focussed on better known characters. Also the higher prices of the Legacy issues (though I like the content of them). Also I find that the glossy paper soaks up moisture way too easily and none of them stay in that good a shape all that long.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I like the great emphasis on obscure characters, plus the recognition that it's pointless, unless you are doing a Dead themed book to separate the living from the dead, as many deceased characters return eventually. I also like the greater use of full entries for alien races rather than the 1/4 page format.

Conversely I do miss the old handbook's 1/4 page sub-entries for characters who lack enough background to warrant a full page, as well as Elliot Brown-style maps and diagrams. For ease of read I tend to prefer black text on white background, a la the Deluxe Editions. Also, I prefer the attempts of scientific explanations for the powers than the grids.
I also kind of like the first series' appendix for characters who may not get a full entry for a while.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

Longer, though the capsule biblios are fun as well. It might also be worth considering adding them into the History itself.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

No strong preference, but since many people like to see their name in print, you might get more people submitting if it's in the books. If so, I'd prefer the inside covers so as to not steal space from entries.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

Definitely the A-Z format. More varied entries, plus some characters don't easily fit into a themed book.

If you are going to do themes, some suggestions: Not Brand Ecch (be sure to include both Charlie America and Chaplain America), Alien Races, Exotic Locations (complete with maps), Squadron Supreme (either or a combo), 1940s and 1950s volumes done legacy style with no retcons except in the appendix. I'd also say Scourge's Victims but there probably isn't enough sales potential there.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

See above. I don't might the latter in small doses, but *please* put "Handbook" in the title. I only just realized that both my dealer and I have been missing some issues that should have been set aside for me because I didn't realize a handbook not titled as such had been solicited.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

Minor. Very easy to find info on the major folks. But interest in attracting sales, including from newer readers, I wouldn't skip the majors entirely. I just find the minor characters more interesting to read about.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

Good question. I like a lot of detail but also a lot of characters. Maybe a mix of both.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I like original art but not to the point of wanting to pay more, and don't mind seeing older art. Having said that, whenever possible try to find a head to toe illustration with the character facing front, as least for the main shot, and avoid shots like the James Scully main illo where he's facing to the side.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

One of the few things I liked about the Masters Edition was the major allies and enemies categories.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

Keep up the good work. Also, I encourage maintaining the A-Z page count. Maybe when you hear of negotiations for licensed characters (e.g. Marvel reacquiring the rights to Godzilla long enough for an Essentials volume), see if you can get the negotiators to see if they can't toss in permission for a handbook entry.
 
Playmobil2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

The great variety of characters and the fact it has many characters I've never heard before, combined with well-known ones.


2. What is it you dislike most about them?

Half-page entries. I understand they're sometimes necessary, but I don't like them.


3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I like the original series very much and I think the new handbooks live up to the work done before.


4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

I prefer the bibliographical data to be posted on-line.


5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

If printing them on each book would mean less characters covered on a given issue, then I'd prefer the corrections to be posted on-line. If a TPB was released, the errata could be included on it.


6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

The A-Z format.


7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

They're usually not as detailed as the other ones.


8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

Both, well balanced. A great joy of the handbooks is to discover/rediscover minor characters, but well-known ones help the sales and there's always tidbits about them we don't know.


9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

Less characters with in-depth profiles.


10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

Since original art would increase the price, I'm okay with re-used art.


11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

Who created each character. But maybe it'd be too hard to research.


12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

Not about the Handbooks themselves but about this research. I hope you guys understand that if a BIG number of people don't answer this research, it won't have much effect.    

Captain Speedbump

Oct 12, 2006, 10:04 am

>1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

The focus on some of the more obscure characters. As a Spider-Man fan, I liked the profiles on the Arranger, Big Wheel, Gibbon, Looter, Man-Mountain Marko, just to name a few.

>2. What is it you dislike most about them?

The power grids. Not the explanation of powers, but the numbered grids themselves. It just seems kind of arbitrary in some cases, and when a character has mostly 2's on a 1 to 7 scale, the graph makes the character seem a little weak.

>3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

Pretty well. I liked the 85-86 and Update 89 books because they covered all the major characters of the Marvel Universe, so I'm glad that the A-Z series has some of the more obscure ones.

>4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

I'm fine with the online bibliographies.

>5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

I'm content with the online errata section (although they must have missed my e-mail when I said that the 2004 Spider-Man book had the Shocker's place of birth listed as "unrevealed" when issue 11 of the Deluxe edition stated he was born in New York, New York, but I disgress...)

>6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

My personal preference is the A-Z format, although I'd love to see maybe some sequels to the Legacy Handbooks.

>7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

Hit or miss. Like I said, the decade legacy books were great, but any title that focuses on major characters such as Secret War Files and Civil War files seem to be redundant to me.

>8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

Without a doubt, minor characters. There are just so many places that talk about Wolverine, Spider-Man, etc, that any more profiles on them just seem tremendously redundant. What I like about the new handbooks are the entries for the minor characters, as stated above.

>9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

I think a minimum of one page and a maximum of two pages per character in a book with 64 pages should suffice. I felt the entries for some characters (such as characters who appear in Thunderbolts) were way too long, clocking in at three or more pages. Ideally, I think a Handbook entry should give a person a pretty good representation who a character is (i.e. origin, powers, motivation, etc.) without having to detail or reference every single appearance the character has ever made.

>10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I'm fine with using previous art, as long as it shows the character fully from head to toe (not just a face or upper body, like in the Marvel Encyclopedias- I still can't believe the Shocker illustration they used!). I think the handbooks have been doing a good job with this for the most part.

>11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

I wrote an e-mail before with some characters I'd like to receive profiles in the future, but other than that, not really.

>12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

Make more of 'em!


Captain Speedbump
 
Andy E. Nystrom
2006

Playmobil wrote:

Not about the Handbooks themselves but about this research. I hope you guys understand that if a BIG number of people don't answer this research, it won't have much effect.

That or those of us that do will have a disproportionate amount of influence because not enough people are disagreeing with us.

TheMetalMetrosexual
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

The range of characters that otherwise would not have been included--Marvel UK, Golden Age characters, obscurities previously not considered canonical. Thorough depictions of different costumes. Footnotes for alternate reality counterparts.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

I'm really fairly well pleased.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

Yes, though it took a while to get there. Of course, the most classic previous series was considered the deluxe edition, and that wasn't the first, either.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

Comprehensive and online by far.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

This would depend on the amount of corrections. If it can just take up, say, the inside back cover, I would prefer them in print. On that note, I would also like to say that I would prefer the listing of characters with previously published bios to continue to be listed on the inside front cover.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

A-Z by a mile. The theme format would just limit some of the really hard to classify choices that I've loved so far.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

They vary for me. Sometimes, they are redudant, and the stylized format winds up limiting the amount of information provided. Sometimes they're a great way to gather a special group of characters and double the amount of characters covered per month. My favorites have been the Legacy series (where's the 90's book?) for its excellent rarities and ability to capture the zeitgeist, the Marvel Monsters (fine for creatures that generally just appeared once), and the Planet Hulk Guidebook. Some problems are kind of small: the Western book didn't have color illustrations. But then you have the Most Wanted Files book, which kind of squeezed characters who might need two pages into one, and the Cosmic Handbook had that problem and lacked physical stats. .
In a both cases, they lacked biblio's or first appearence stats.


8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

I would like to see some of the majors get recovered, like certain Avengers or anyone in the women's handbook, so this could feel like the definitive series. If they had the right treatment first time around, though, then I wouldn't want to see them again for a very long time. Bring on the minor stars.

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

I like the current take as long as needed approach.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I'm fine with reproduced art.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

Just keep the variety, and things'll be great.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

The A-Z series has been very, very good. I hope that essential template continues.
 
Playmobil
2006

  Andy E. Nystrom wrote:

That or those of us that do will have a disproportionate amount of influence because not enough people are disagreeing with us.

We are indeed trendsetters
 
DragynWulf
2006
For those that have not seen them and might be interested in seeing what the online bibliography and data corrections look like, here are links...
OHOTMU: Bibliography
OHOTMU: Data Corrections
 
Blue_Shield
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

I love the wide range of characters being profiled.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

I can't think of any dislikes.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I believe the current A-Z is the best series(I been reading since the very first series in '83)

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

It can work both ways. Maybe an issue of just bios could be released fo A-Z #1-12(just a thought)

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

Marvel.com is fine.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

I like the A-Z format.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

I like them, but wish the characters entrys were in the same format as the A-Z.

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

I like the current mix.

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

I think it just depends on the characters history/# of apps.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I like original art, but believe the current art is working well.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

I would like to see more entries on characters from different universe/timelines/realities such as What If characters that do not exist in the MU proper or have significantly changed. Even if they are only 1/2 page. Ex: the offspring form Secret Wars(WI!? V.2 #114), the 2099 characters or Earth X characters.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

I hope they continue for a long time to come. Keep up the great work.
 
Zach Kinkead
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

The A-Zs? Well mostly I like that they exist. You guys provide an invaluable resource and it can’t be easy on you guys trying to make sense of things in an era that doesn’t seemed very concerned about continuity or consistent characterizations.

You’ve also improved a lot of things that I found lacking in the themed ‘94-95 handbooks. I haven’t noticed as many errors in the A-Zs and, even if they are there, they’re generally up in the online errata before I even notice. There also aren’t as many glaring omissions.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

While, as noted above, the A-Z handbooks don’t have as many major omissions, they still suffer from a level of “pretend the nineties never happened” denial nearly as bad as the rest of Marvel. On the one hand you guys actually acknowledge the Clone Saga but on the other hand characters like Darkhawk and the Slingers have been glossed over even though they were popular in the 90s and are making a bit of a comeback. I was also a bit thrown by the use of team, group, race, ect bios that give little information on the individual members.

I can’t say I’m nuts about the vagueness of the Power Ratings either. I liked it better when someone was, say, a “Class 50, able to lift up to 50 tons” instead of a “5, able to lift somewhere between 25 and 75 tons”. Look at Molly from Runaways; she’s, what, a four on the seven point strength scale? That could be anything from 800 lbs to 25 tons so I feel like the write-up might as well read “yeah, she’s pretty strong”. The same general vagueness exists in some of the other stats but in different ways. Heck, the speed ranking has a lot of the exact same issues (instead of “Y mph” we get a range somewhere between X and Z) and then some (assuming the character can do more than just run, is that the character’s running speed, flight speed, or does it represent teleportation?). On the positive side, while I still bemoan the vagueness, I do appreciate what you’re recently started doing (I think ever since the second Ultimate book) where you’ll have different colored stat bars for characters like the Magus or Ultimate Lizard.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

They aren’t as good as the Deluxe Editions but they’re about as good (although different) as the originals.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

Online. I prefer detail and just knocking out the in-house ads in the inside back cover doesn’t provide enough space for that kind of detail.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

Either or. I really don’t mind either way as long as there’s an errata somewhere and the corrections are made when/if these things are finally corrected.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

In general I prefer A-Z. Themed handbooks work fine when you’re dealing in the obscure (Marvel Westerns, Marvel Monsters, ect) or something very specific (Planet Hulk) but they don’t do very well with the bigger stuff (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, ect) because all but the most popular character tend to get lost in the cracks.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

Sometimes they work (Marvel Monsters and Planet Hulk) and sometimes they don’t (Civil War Files).

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

Minor, I suppose. Really I’m more of the opinion that more needs to be done with the characters in the middle. When I read “major” I think characters that are already known by the general public and therefore certainly the comic reading public so I’m not sure why we need any more Wolverine bios. On the other hand when you do characters that are regarded as “too minor” you run into the “who cares” problem. I’d rather see minor characters that have been around for a long time and built up a history (especially characters passed over by the 80s handbooks) or characters that used to be big and/or have had their own book or been in a team that had their own book (especially characters from after the 80s handbooks).

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

In-depth. Otherwise you’re just telling us things we already know.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

While I’m not always nuts about the art choices, I’m not willing to pay extra for new art. Besides, generally speaking, I do like most of the art.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

I remember someone making a suggestion about doing a Marvel Atlas that spotlights Marvel’s fictional locations and I kind of like the idea.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

Not off the top of my head but I’ll add it if something comes to me.
 
Madison Carter
2006

  Zach Kinkead wrote:

While, as noted above, the A-Z handbooks don’t have as many major omissions, they still suffer from a level of “pretend the nineties never happened” denial nearly as bad as the rest of Marvel. On the one hand you guys actually acknowledge the Clone Saga but on the other hand characters like Darkhawk and the Slingers have been glossed over even though they were popular in the 90s and are making a bit of a comeback.

There's actually a very, very good reason for this.
 
Eric J. Moreels
2006

  Zach Kinkead wrote:

They aren’t as good as the Deluxe Editions

I've often scratched my head about comments like this. Why is it some people prefer 20-year-old profiles on characters as opposed to less-than-3-years-old profiles?
 
Zach Kinkead
2006

  Madison Carter wrote:

There's actually a very, very good reason for this.

The Legacy books? Do you really think one handbook is sufficient to cover the entire missing period between the Deluxe Updates and the current ones? It seems kind of odd that the first couple Legacy books acted to briefly highlight the decade’s events for major (or once major) characters that already have more detailed profiles (with a bunch of minor period-specific villains thrown into the mix too) but this time you don’t have any preexisting profiles for, say, Ricochet to expand on.

  Eric J. Moreels wrote:

I've often scratched my head about comments like this. Why is it some people prefer 20-year-old profiles on characters as opposed to less-than-3-years-old profiles?

Detail. Like I said, the general vagueness of things like the power grids just kind of bugs me. It was fine when you guys did the encyclopedias and didn’t have the space but now you do and detail is just one of those things I’ve come to expect ever since I started finding back issues of the old handbooks.
 
ToddCam
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?
Especially in the A-Z batch, the level of detail is great.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?
Nothing really. Maybe more realistic heights and weights, but since those are the "official" stats, I guess you can't do anything about it. (It's always driven me crazy that most men are above 6'. Is the Marvel Universe filled with giants? And Storm is 5'11" and 127 lbs.? She'd be quite the sickly one.)

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?
Well, I'm really only familiar with the Deluxe Edition/Update '89, and I think that they are very good in comparison. I always liked how the Deluxe had really detailed power descriptions, but if it comes to history vs. powers, there's no contest.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?
I prefer to look at Marvel.com because I prefer to have the space dedicated to entries.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?
On the other hand, corrections in the book would be great.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?
A-Z. I love the mix of characters from many different aspects of the Universe.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?
They're okay. They aren't great for easy information gathering. However, I love the Legacy books.

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?
I would prefer a mix.

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?
I guess more characters, but I would still like a healthy mix.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?
I would like to see more original art, and I would be willing to pay more, but I'm not sure everybody else would be, so I think it might be safer to use the preexisting art.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?
Off the top of my head I can't think of anything.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?
All around a wonderful project that I hope continues into 2008 and beyond. It is one of the books I look most forward to every month. Great job! 

DrGoodwrench
2006
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?

I enjoy their persisting existence and regularity.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?

I would like an agility stat on the power grid, and there are many characters (especially in the Legacy books) that I asssume won't get a proper writeup now (with a power grid and stuff), which is a shame.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?

I did like the OHOTMUME because I liked to imagine that some artist had to get someone like Dr Demonicus to pose for him really specifically. I like to imagine the artist asking him to lift his cape to render his behind visible. And I liked the fact that they could be filed in alphabetical order. But generally, I like the current ones.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?

The comprehensive bios are great, but if someone evil destroyed the internet then they'd be gone. I suppose the answer is to print them, but it's not the same.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?

The evil force that wishes to destroy the internet goes for this question too. Although I suppose it's probably more likely (much more likely) that someone would want to burn down my house, so I'm not sure. It would be nice to see major corrections in the issues, I think, but also at Marvel.com.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?

I like the A-Z format. I like the variety of people that turn up in my comic bag every month.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?

They're okay, but I miss the power grids (especially in things like the Legacy books). And some of them are better than others - the crossover based ones generally have the least new information. Are things like Marvel Monsters canon? I mean, did Elsa Bloodstone write that stuff in continuity?

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?

I like a nice mix. I would basically like to see more characters profiled full stop.

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?

I like the current balance. There are certainly characters from the theme books that would now warrant a larger profile (The Women of Marvel and Avengers 2004 particularly).

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?

I'm not really fussed about original art. I like the covers, but if it keeps the cost the same, don't bother with original art inside.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?

Agility on the power grids?

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?

I don't like it when extended profiles only go into Director's cut issues (KANG!). I'd like to see Century and Dr Goodwrench profiled. And the Legal Eagle.   

Rayeye
2006
 1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?
The diversity of characters, the details, the covers, and the new information (like for example the real names of all Acolytes). I also like it you guys cover Golden Age and Marvel UK characters.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?
Not much really. Personally I would like to see more A-characters from alternate realities being covered (I'm not talking about alternate counterparts of 616-characters, but rather, for example, the members of the X-Men 2099).
Also, sometimes (like in the Fixer's profile) I think there was too much space used for only the abilities section; personally I think one whole page is too much.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?
I think you guys are doing very a good job. With all those detailed information, I assume you're doing a lot of researching work!

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?
Perhaps a combination? Small bibliographies included with the issue, and if people want to know more, there are comprehensive bibliographies posted online.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?
I think it's good to list them once in the books, so people to whom internet isn't (always) available do also learn about the corrections.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?
The A-Z format, although I did like the theme books too. I think with A-Z format there can be more characters covered, because there will always be characters who don't fit in into any theme.

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?
Some of them I did like, like the New Avengers: Most Wanted Files (especially those comments of the Avengers) and X-Men: the 198 Files.

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?
More minor characters. Now with a lot of major characters covered, I think it's time more minor characters (such like you did with Khaos and Crazy Eight) will get their entry.

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?
More characters with smaller concise profiles per issue. There are so much great Marvel characters, so the more the better.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?
Yes that would be nice, that's what I also liked about the original/deluxe Handbooks. However, I think most of the current pictures are great too. Perhaps you should only use new original art when there isn't a great picture available (for example: the picture in Captain UK's profile was too vague).
Another suggestion: Maybe you should 'bring back' those 2004/2005 covers pencilled by Salvador Larroca or Greg Land. It's not that I don't like the current covers (they are great too), but the Larroca and Land covers were so amazing. I like it that the characters on their covers were moving (running) forward (to the reader), instead of have them standing still (like the current covers).

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?
Items and dimensions, such like the Soulsword, Otherworld, Limbo, the Siege Perilous, etc.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?
Keep going on with the great work. I really appreciate what you guys are doing!
By the way, I'd like to see more supporting characters (baseline humans) being covered, like Stevie Hunter, Tom Corsi, Raymond Sikorsky, etc.
Also, I hope in the future there will be more Alpha Flight characters covered, because I really missed Shaman, Murmur, Flex and various members of Beta, Gamma and Omega Flight.
 
RVcousin
2006
 
1. What is it you like most about the current generation of Handbooks?Everything. It's a nice job of research and of writing. Congratulations. I especially love the teams entries and the bibliography.

2. What is it you dislike most about them?
See #10 and the fact taht old characters aren't include. Characters that were in the previous OHOTMU incarnations. In my opinion, this is a new collection meaning no connection with the previous.

3. How do you think the current Handbooks stack up to previous Handbook series'?
I really love it and this is the best series.

4. Do you prefer small bibliographies included with the issue, or comprehensive bibliographies posted online @ Marvel.com?
Without any hesitation : small bibliographies included with the issue.

5. Would you prefer to see corrections posted in subsequent books or are you content with the corrections being posted @ Marvel.com?
I prefer to see it in the books.

6. Do you prefer the A-Z format or the theme format?
Well, the A-Z format has characters from various horizons and more characters per issue. I think thee theme format should be great for Universes Handbooks (like the two Ultimate Handbooks)

7. What do you think of related Handbook titles such as Marvel Monsters, Planet Hulk Gladiator Guidebook, Civil War Files, etc?
They are great but I don't consider them as related Handbook, but more like an event related Source book. The only one I consider as a related Handbook is the New X-men Yearbook, because the entries are in the same format. If the entries format was the same as the A-Z, I think I would prefer them. For me the Handbooks entries must neutral and not "written" by Iron Man or Nick Fury.

8. Would you prefer to see more major or more minor characters profiled?
Is there any major characters that was not yet profiled ?

9. Would you prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue, or less characters with larger more in-depth profiles per issue?
I would prefer to see more characters with smaller concise profiles per issue.

10. Would you like to see more original art in the Handbooks? If yes, would you be willing to pay a higher amount per issue to cover the cost of commissioning original art?
Absolutely. That's what I was saying in question 2. This the only thing that I prefer in the previous incarnations, even in the Master Edition Handbooks.

11. Is there any information not currently being covered in the Handbooks that you'd like to see?
More items, dimensions, places and I think that some events entries could be awesome. This could be your main difference with the previous incarnation (along with the alternate realities entries). it already exists on Marvel.com but a themed issue with events likes Onslaught, Secret Wars, Civil War, House of M could be great.

12. Do you have any other comments about the Handbooks?
Continue guys, your job is awesome and I really love it. Can't wait to see what you have prepared us in january with the Update issue #1
 
    
 
 

Last edited by Andy E. Nystrom (1/23/2020 3:02 pm)


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1/23/2020 3:10 pm  #2


Re: Official Handbooks Reader Survey

In honour of of much of the lost material being recovered by Wayback Machine (previously only one Capt. Speedbump's post survived), updating a few of my answers

4. As much as I like the Bibliographies, I'd rather the space in the comic go to new entries. and I know the online versions eventually became a pain for the writers with no reimbursement.

6. I still want to see that Scourge's Victims Handbook

7. Definitely prefer Handbooks to Files books, but where it's a choice between Files books or nothing, I'll take the Files books.

12. I would prefer the Hardcover to Secret Wars period format to the current format preferred by the editors. I would also probably prefer a brand new format to same.


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