When Stan Lee absitively to end his time as Publisher of Marvel Comics, he larboard his cosmos in the easily of one person: Mike Hobson.
While the name may be alien to abounding accepted readers, Hobson was one of the best affecting abstracts in Marvel’s publishing history, allegorical the aggregation through above expansions and some of its best acknowledged years.
Hobson came to Marvel in 1981 afterwards confined 12 years as the arch of Scholastic Book Clubs. He was assassin by then-President Jim Galton to booty over from Stan, who had confused to the West Coast to advance Marvel’s television and blur projects. The son of the acclaimed biographer and biographer Laura Hobson, Mike took his acquaintance as a arcane abettor at William Morris and as Publisher of Scholastic Book Clubs and activated it to a host of new initiatives. Among those were the barrage of Epic Comics (for added adult-focused material), Star Comics (for Marvel’s youngest readers), the Marvel Books imprint, and more licensed agreeable initiatives including the debuts of G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS beneath the Marvel banner.
Successful accountant publishing partnerships would abide a authentication of Hobson’s 15-year career at Marvel, with the aggregation absolution a ambit of titles featuring aggregate from BARBIE to BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD, as able-bodied as all-embracing sensations like AKIRA and the MOEBIUS clear novels. But Hobson was additionally active in administering abounding added key moments in Marvel history. Marvel’s aboriginal clear novel, THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, was launched aboriginal in his tenure—the aboriginal of abounding architecture and packaging innovations spearheaded by Hobson. Key storylines like SECRET WARS, KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT, ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN, THE INFINITY GAUNTLET, and THE AGE OF APOCALYPSE were all appear beneath Mike’s watch.
On the business side, Mike helped baby-sit the advance of the Direct Market, abundantly accretion the agenda of distributors and auspicious the efforts of Carol Kalish and Marvel’s beginning Direct Sales aggregation to abutment this arising channel. He additionally led improvements in Marvel’s press and blush technology, actually alteration the attending of Marvel’s comics and popularizing abounding of the formats still in use today.
After 13 years as the Arch of US publishing for Marvel, Mike confused to the UK to oversee the amplification of Marvel’s European publishing and licensing business. He was a key amateur in establishing Marvel’s affiliation with longtime all-embracing assistant Panini, and he helped actualize publishing programs that brought arresting artists like Salvador Larocca and Carlos Pacheco to the Marvel roster.
In 1996, Hobson larboard the aggregation for added publishing opportunities. But he remained in abutting acquaintance with abounding of his above colleagues and was consistently encouraged to see how the seeds he buried bore bake-apple for Marvel and the comics industry in general.
Mike Hobson leaves abaft an abundantly assorted bequest of success, one that broadcast and adapted the House of Ideas forever. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his ancestors and admired ones.
Sven LarsenNovember 2020
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