Hey, this is a fun thread, in't it?
Stuart: "...it sounds like you guys set some good precedents for a lot of freelancers by negotiating aggressively."
Thanks for the observation. Sadly, companies bear personal grudges over such "good precedents," which has excluded many of us who fought in the trenches then from reaping any of the benefits extended to subsequent talents as "business as usual." It's not particular to DC: Sadly, that's human nature, but it was a vital component in my decision to abandon the field after twenty-plus years.
Best of luck with your new venture, whatever it may be.
As for the back and forth on who did what: Yes, Sting, Michael Moorcock, and all (though not so much BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE, as a fan of that Potter gem who was in on the creation of Constantine can testify) were sources, though the Sting origin will forever be a sore spot for DC (hell, John and I wrote a note on the original art page in which the character first appeared in ST #25, telling the colorist how to color his hair because "It's STING!"). Nevertheless, Alan made J.C. into a recognizable character who added a great deal to ST and opened the door for the Vertigo line.
Like all characters, he has his evident roots -- hey, rodents were what they are for millions of years before Mickey Mouse, and Oswald the Rabbit and Felix the Cat were immediate precursors, but Mickey is the contender left standing. I daresay this discussion wouldn't be taking place at all if Constantine weren't more than a derivative crazy-quilt of components lifted from a rock star's visage and Jerry Cornelius' demeanor and confounding abilities. Constantine owes a debt to them all, but he was and is a distinctive character in and of himself who has enjoyed a certain brief longevity (now there's an oxymoron!) already.
[This message has been edited by Stephen R Bissette (edited 01-02-2000).]