Impressively Sized Billboards, Budgets, and Bludgeons

Last year, at around this same time, I wrote a somewhat harsh editorial about the comics industry and advertising after seeing a different ad for a fairly different Marvel comics-adaptation movie on this same Times Square billboard:

[If nothing else, it's pretty interesting to see how that specific corner of Times Square has changed in the year since, if you go back and look at my photograph from a year ago.]

Now, unlike "Kick-Ass", I am so freaking excited for this film. Not just because it's a superhero comic-book adaptation spear-headed by a man better known for his Shakespearean adaptations (Kenneth Branagh), and not just because the production seems to have picked up on the crazy design-style Jack Kirby originally brought to Stan Lee's interpretation of the god of Asgard, but because this film is the first to come out of Marvel Studios with Disney (@Disney) money behind it. Thus promising something even more spectacular than "Iron Man" in production, and hopefully, success. (According to rumors...) the production had run entirely out of money and would never have been made if not for Disney's purchase of Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel). The movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters May 6th.

Look at all the awesome on display here as well:
Well Done, Marvel Advertising. Well Done.

Classy! Let's hope the rest of the ad campaign follows suit...

Oh not so much, huh?
Maybe Not So Well Done Here, Marvel Advertising.

Not exactly classy. But still in the open, where the common man will see it, and that's good.

The film reportedly cost $150 million [via &] so I would assume no expense has been spared on advertising. And the billboards and posters seem to be in a wide range of locations here in New York City. The one I photographed is east of Times Square but there's another one just a block away from the 7-11 where I took the other photo in Queens.

I'm currently working at another comic-book shop in Manhattan and several shelves and long-boxes are organized into sections devoted to comics with upcoming film and television adaptations: Green Lantern, X-Men, Avengers, Captain America, and of course, Thor...

People who are going to say: Huh, this idea of the Norse gods like Thor being from a world where science and magic are the same thing is fascinating OR The idea of Thor being an agent of protection for human beings because he is forced out of Asgard for his arrogance is cool OR The sight of a huge dude with a hammer smashing frost giants is super fucking cool AND then deducing that just as a series of novels are more complex, fleshed-out, and original than a film adapted from them, all of these things are available in more complexity, more frequency, and more originality in the Thor comics that have been coming out since the Sixties... will then travel to a store like the one I'm working in to find a few of them.

Well, these are my hopes. It happened on some level with "Watchmen" and "Scott Pilgrim". Let's see if "Thor" brings another piece of the puzzle into place.

~ @JonGorga

UPDATE 7/8/11:

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