About elana_brooklyn

(Co-Host Graphic Policy Radio/Contributor) – Elana is co-host of Graphic Policy Radio, our podcast. She started reading comics in Jr. High by stealing her younger brother’s copies of X-Men. She immediately identified mutants as a metaphor for oppressed groups and used this parallel to justify her interest in comics to her incredulous friends and relatives. And has been doing so ever since. A trained but not practicing artist, Elana covers comics art and analyzes comics and the industry from a queer feminist and social justice perspective. By day she works for a community based organization of low-income workers. She has written and spoken about comics and geek culture for Graphic Policy and at the Netroots Nation conference. She is on the board of Girl Wonder and a massive tattoo inspired by Jack Kirby's Fourth World.

Marvel’s Toilet Problem and the 1%

Comics Beat reports that Marvel has only 1 bathroom for men and 1 for women. For the ENTIRE staff.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires at least 2 bathrooms per gender for a staff that size. Or one bathroom with 5 stalls if it’s unisex. And with NYC’s stronger worker protections and building codes maybe even more.

Maybe Make Mine Marvel should be Make Mine Urinary Track Infection since Comics Beat reports staff having to schedule their lunch shifts to accommodate the limited toilet access. That’s some sweatshop stuff people. Not 21st Century.

Marvel CEO Perlmutter is the 1% as we say down at Liberty Square. The writers, editors, artists, colorists, admin workers, janitors and distro staff who make Marvel run and create value for the company are part of the 99%. Time for us to stand up for Yancy street against Wall Street.

When I read this piece in The Beat all I could think of is how Marvel’s management sounds exactly like Verizon’s— a corporation that cutting its employees and benefits even while business is booming. Or like Chase bank which got a massive taxpayer bailout, became profitable then laid off their middle class and working class staffers anyway. (and Chase is still #1 in US foreclosures for that added measure of evil).

Here’s the graph from Comics Beat.

“It seems the only way [Perlmutter] knows how to run a company is by increasing profits – not by investing in new businesses, but simply squeezing the bottom line for every last penny by any means… Marvel employees are kind of like the rats in those caloric restriction experiments. They’re given the lowest possible amount of resources to get the job done. When something absolutely positively has to be purchased, it’s half of what was asked for… Reportedly, people are hoping to hang on until [Perlmutter’s] gone to get to some kind of promised land where people can buy paper clips.”


Call me a wild-eyed business visionary but maybe Permutter could like invest the company’s content. Diversify staff and diversity Marvel’s profit. Publish that cheap TP of Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool that I’ve been itching to buy and doesn’t exist. And if he’s Boss Permutter is sooo big on savings, he can take a paycut.

What would Reed Richards do? Innovate. Not layoff staff. And heck, Marvel is profitable. 

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