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#470990 - 07/19/01 12:15 AM "He's passionate about his characters."
Agrasshopperwalksintoabar Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 2795
Loc: Milky Way
After reading the LA TIMES article on Avi Arad and how one executive stated that Mr. Arad was "passionate about his characters.." AARRGGHHH!!! I know, I know, in a society that is ruled by capitalism, this is what happens, but, can I say Thank the Tao that Jack Kirby has passed on to the Imagination Realm and does not have to read this tripe! It is just WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I know there are going to be many, many, many messages that will justify what was said (you can buy a company and that company and everything in it becomes yours, it's the way America and the world works, etc., etc.) but it is JUST as wrong to call them HIS characters (and I know Mr. Avid didn't say this, it was said by a suit wearing, umm, my mom always told me if you can't say something nice, say it anyway!) as it is that more and more Marvel comics are coming out with OUT "Stan Lee Presents" (and YES I agree it should also say "Jack Kirby Presents" and "Steve Ditko Presents" and "Herb Trimpe Presents" as well as every other key artist of the 60's that built Marvel.) Gee, and to think nothing would have been said if, "Mr. Avid is passionate about MARVELS character." Peace, Love and Freedom be with you always.

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"Oh your god.. the dead have risen and are voting repubican!"
_________________________
"Part of me suspects that Iím a loser, and the other part of me thinks Iím God Almighty.Ē

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#470991 - 07/19/01 05:01 AM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
Raw Shark Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 107
This post makes me smile. [img]/resources/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]

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#470992 - 07/19/01 08:12 AM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
Just to play Devil's Advocate here. Would you rather Arid think of them like the shareholders involved in Marvel Entertainment, as properies to make money off of. Or would you rather he think of them as his, something he has to look out for, improve upon, and treasure. Or maybe he is being way to clingy. Who knows?

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#470993 - 07/19/01 08:18 AM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
Peter David Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/01
Posts: 855
Loc: NY, NY
Quote:
Originally posted by Agrasshopperwalksintoabar:
After reading the LA TIMES article on Avi Arad and how one executive stated that Mr. Arad was "passionate about his characters.." AARRGGHHH!!! I know, I know, in a society that is ruled by capitalism, this is what happens, but, can I say Thank the Tao that Jack Kirby has passed on to the Imagination Realm and does not have to read this tripe! It is just WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I know there are going to be many, many, many messages that will justify what was said (you can buy a company and that company and everything in it becomes yours, it's the way America and the world works, etc., etc.) but it is JUST as wrong to call them HIS characters (and I know Mr. Avid didn't say this, it was said by a suit wearing, umm, my mom always told me if you can't say something nice, say it anyway!) as it is that more and more Marvel comics are coming out with OUT "Stan Lee Presents" (and YES I agree it should also say "Jack Kirby Presents" and "Steve Ditko Presents" and "Herb Trimpe Presents" as well as every other key artist of the 60's that built Marvel.) Gee, and to think nothing would have been said if, "Mr. Avid is passionate about MARVELS character." Peace, Love and Freedom be with you always.



Did Arad actually refer to them as "my characters", thereby perhaps implying what you're inferring? Or did the LA Times writer say "his characters." If it's the latter, then it sure sounds to me like your beef is with the Times rather than Arad.

PAD

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#470994 - 07/19/01 10:06 AM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
GregF Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 120
Loc: CT
Arad didn't say it, it was just a line in the article. And while it may not be a politically correct line... it's technically accurate, since Marvel owns the trademarks on these characters. They can do whatever they want with them, since none of the classic characters are creator-owned.

Frankly, if the Spiderman pic is any good, Arad can say whatever he wants, in my opinion. If it means he fights a little to preserve the quality of the characters and their mythos (rather than doing, say, what was done to Thor in that atrocious Hulk movie), more power to him.

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#470995 - 07/19/01 03:23 PM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
Raw Shark Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 107
Quote:
skylion originally posted:
Would you rather Arid think of them like the shareholders involved in Marvel Entertainment, as properies to make money off of.


Yes, because frankly that's what they are, and I'd like to see them admit that to strip off this ridiculous "hey-we're-the-good-guys" veneer Marvel has been trying to construct around themselves. I find it interesting that back when CBLDF started up and creator ownership was a "hot" thing, everyone would applaud politely when people would rage about Jack Kirby being screwed out of his rights. But now whenever someone makes a post like this that even hints that Marvel might actually be just a corporate entity looking after its own assets by any dirty means necessay, they get pounced on with a fury of "man, that's just the way things are" or "who cares -- Quesada roolz". Marvel's the good guy, huh? Tell that to Joe Simon.

I'm sorry if I come across as an asshole, but I happen to take comics very seriously. And part of what I love about them is the message that in the end you stand up for what is right, that you fight against even those transgressions perpetrated through "legal" loopholes and double-talk.

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#470996 - 07/20/01 01:47 AM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
Agrasshopperwalksintoabar Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 2795
Loc: Milky Way
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter David:
[B] Did Arad actually refer to them as "my characters", thereby perhaps implying what you're inferring? Or did the LA Times writer say "his characters." If it's the latter, then it sure sounds to me like your beef is with the Times rather than Arad.

PAD

"(and I know Mr. Avid didn't say this, it was said by a suit wearing..."

Oh, dear Mr. David, you are forgiven for not seeing/reading that I had said Mr. Avid did indeed NOT SAY his characters (was a suit who said that, well, not the SUIT, rather the human bei.. umm, person IN the suit 8=) I kid, I kid) but it is, NEATO (ala: no sweat) because I can always forgive the man who wrote the BEST HULK story in the history of HULK stories (your last HULK story for Marvel, an absolute MASTERPIECE!) And my most humble and grateful thanks to you (and ALL) who responded to my posting (bows)

------------------
"Oh your god.. the dead have risen and are voting repubican!"
_________________________
"Part of me suspects that Iím a loser, and the other part of me thinks Iím God Almighty.Ē

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#470997 - 07/20/01 08:33 AM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
GregF Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 120
Loc: CT
I guess I am coming at this from a slightly different perspective.

I spent 7 years creating universes for a roleplaying company, and have gotten the opportunity to write comics for another company this year. I don't own the rights to any of the characters I have created or worked with, and either company could turn around tomorrow and do what they like with them. Do I wish it was otherwise? Sure... but had I said "Work for hire? No way" and walked away, I never would have had the chance to do this work that has brought so much satisfaction in other ways.

Anyone who knows anything about the history of comics can point to dozens of instances of creators getting screwed -- but you sign the contracts you sign and you live with them. If you don't want to, cool -- the company that owns the characters will simply get someone else to write the book.

Marvel isn't doing anything any differently now than they were doing 35 years ago -- they have always been referred to as "Marvel's characters," just as DC's characters are part of the "DC universe." I'm not sure what difference Marvel saying, "Hey, we're corporate greedheads" is going to make, other than making you feel better.

I don't think you're an asshole, you are just someone who is passionate about the rights of creators... but I think in this case, the people who matter know that they are Arad's characters only in the sense that the company owns the rights to them. And I would assume the creators knew that would be the case going in.

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#470998 - 07/20/01 10:02 PM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
Raw Shark Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 107
Okay, I realize Marvel is never going to admit that they're wrong, although it would definitely make me feel better. [img]/resources/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]

And I realize that Marvel's employees are legally bound from saying that Simon deserves Captain America, but it's still really hard for me to respect them when they ignore it. No matter how many of my favorite writers and artists they get to work on their books.

I guess my problem is that people seem to be buying into their PR. I can't stop Marvel from saying "hey, we're the good guys", but I'd like to stop people from believing it. It's just very disheartening for me to see all these people fawning over Quesada's new direction and moaning that people like Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman should come back to work for them because they're "creator-friendly" now. Because they're not. If they were, they wouldn't make those work-for-hire contracts. If they were, they would not be publishing Captain America right now, Joe Simon would be.

And like I said before, what's worse are the attitudes that their actions are justified because their books are slightly better now, or because everybody else does it. In fact, if you look at their claim against Simon, it's basically: we screwed Kirby, so now we get to screw you. If you don't believe me, look it up.

People sign work for hire contracts because they really are forced to if they want to get into the industry. Hell, even established creators sign them because that's practically the only way to make a decent living in the industry. What you have is a situation of a person in power deliberately cheating someone over whom they have power, just because they can. It's not right if one person does it, and it's not right if an entire industry does it. In fact, it's worse if the entire industry does it because it leaves creators no alternative, forcing their hands even more.

And these work-for-hire contracts are just the tip of the icegerg of unethical business practices in this industry.

Again, my concern that they can do it, or that they've always done it, or that everyone does it, or that it's even legal to do it. My concern is quite simply:

They should not do it.

Will this practice stop anytime soon? Highly unlikely. Will Joe Simon ever get what's rightfully his? Again, highly unlikely.

But can any change ever happen if everybody continues to look the other way, or even worse make excuses, just because their books sell well? I can guarantee it won't.

Raw Shark

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#470999 - 07/23/01 04:01 PM Re: "He's passionate about his characters."
GregF Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 120
Loc: CT
Well, Raw, while it may not be right -- it also goes well beyond the comics industry. It's done in the toy industry, the computer game industry, the roleplaying game industry, and virtually anyplace that uses outside freelancers to create new concepts. Like you said, it is the price of admission -- you use the money you get from work for hire to pay your bills, so you can use your spare time to create your own stuff and maybe have that see the light of day.

As I've said, I did work for hire for years -- and though I don't own my properties, it gave me a decent bibliography that I can use to try to sell my own concepts to someone and try to get a piece of the pie. Good or bad, that's the way the rules of the game are -- the trick is to learn how to use them to your advantage.

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