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Marvel Sets SXSW Panel

The company will be touting its comic book arm.
Joe Quesada/Marvel Entertainment
The company will be touting its comic book arm.

As the company celebrates its 80th anniversary, Marvel Entertainment is heading to SXSW this month to restate the importance of comic books to its cultural dominance.

Current Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada will be appearing at the annual conference dedicated to film, music and interactive media Saturday, March 8, to headline an hourlong panel titled Marvel: From Comic to Screens. Marvel’s PR for the event quickly explains the comic-centric positioning for the panel, stating simply, “Everything starts with an idea — and Marvel Comics is the spark that lights the fire!”

The official description of the panel expands further on that notion, describing the comic book arm of Marvel as an “unprecedented vast creative landscape and content factory” (Somehow, I suspect DC might have something to say about ‘unprecedented,’ but we’ll leave that for others to argue), and asking, “Are the next breakout stories of film, television, and gaming happening in the pages of Marvel Comics right now?”

The renewed promotional push for Marvel’s comic book arm coincides with an aggressive push for market dominance for the company, with Marvel upping its comic book output in recent months with a number of special issues and reprint editions tying in with its yearlong anniversary plans at a time when competitors — most notably DC — are shrinking lines and comic store retailers are calling for a more focused and sustainable marketplace.

Marvel has been a staple at SXSW since 2012, using it as a launching pad for a number of initiatives including its now-defunct Augmented Reality app and adaptive audio accompaniment for its digital comics. Last year, it used the event to promote the Cloak and Dagger television series and Wolverine podcast serial, produced in partnership with Stitcher.

SXSW runs March 8 through 17 in Austin, Texas. Marvel: From Comic to Screens will take place in Room 12B of the Austin Convention Center at 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 8.

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