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#596038 - 02/18/12 10:23 PM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Lawson]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
I think the added twists to this case have justified renewed outrage and surprise. Specifically: 1) the creator actually having to PAY Marvel, and 2) the implied threat to close down the commissioned sketches business (even if that fear is overblown).

Sure, it could have all been predicted by earlier trends, if you subscribe to slippery slope arguments. But not everyone does. We hope for some reasonable accommodation, and each time the envelope of corporate overreaching gets pushed farther, we react.

And sure, we are all complicit with our dollars. But that doesn't mean we can't complain about what's done with those dollars. On the contrary, it gives us even more reason to complain.

Geez, Lawson, your crotchety-old-man persona seems to be out of control today. Normally you're the venomous voice of reason, but this is just cantankerousness run amuck.

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#596039 - 02/18/12 10:24 PM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Lawson]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
oops, double posting run amuck!


Edited by Peter Urkowitz (02/18/12 10:24 PM)

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#596043 - 02/19/12 08:18 AM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
We hope for some reasonable accommodation, and each time the envelope of corporate overreaching gets pushed farther, we react.

If the brief period of rampant creator ownership in the 80's had never happened, I might could see that. But it did, and everyone became painfully aware of how Marvel, DC and Archie do business. If Disney shuts down the leech business of selling unauthorized artwork featuring their characters (and I wonder how many sellers send a portion of their sales to the original creators of those characters) at cons and on eBay, it's truly a fate deserved.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#596045 - 02/19/12 11:30 AM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Joe Lee Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
Stan Lee might be the next victim of a Marvel counter suit

That would be poetic justice.
Not likely though.

He's not a sympathetic as some, not destitute and Lee has sued Marvel before, but could you imagine the hype that would be generated despite all that? It would be as if they sued Walt Disney, or Jim Henson.

"Beloved creator of the comic book and every cartoon character ever, is being sued by the very ungrateful, evil bastard of a corporation built with his own blood, sweat and tears..."

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#596059 - 02/19/12 11:20 PM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Joe Lee]
Joe Lee Offline
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Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
I ran across this journal entry at deviantArt, where an artist tells of an actual real life incident he had with Marvel's legal department, regarding sketches.

If you don't want to read the whole entry, skip down a few paragraphs to the one that starts, "Last year I drew the Wolverine ABCs..."

http://seangordonmurphy.deviantart.com/journal/Grays-285895348

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#596083 - 02/20/12 10:49 PM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Joe Lee]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
That Sean Gordon Murphy guy is a really good artist! I love his architectural backgrounds, especially.

Interesting that Marvel wanted to own his Wolverine ABCs art without compensating him in any way at all. Maybe that was just their opening stance for negotiation, but still. They probably could have marketed a book of those drawings and done very well, if they had just offered a fair deal.

And yet Murphy graciously admits that HE was in the wrong. And he promises not to do any sketches of characters he doesn't own again. Good for him to have taken such a principled stand, but I think he's selling himself and his rights short. There is still such a thing as "fair use" in the law. Even if the big corporations would deny it.

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#596084 - 02/20/12 10:56 PM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Perhaps he's thinking "fair use" is simply "free advertising."
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#596089 - 02/21/12 10:58 AM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I've never really been clear on why artists can make money by drawing and selling pictures of copyrighted characters when they don't hold the copyrights.

For John Byrne, that's been the bulk of his income for ages. He makes tens of thousands of dollars a year in commissions, nearly entirely of Marvel and DC superheroes. But Byrne didn't create those heroes and he doesn't hold the copyrights on them. He just makes more money off a quickie Superman sketch than Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster made creating Superman in the first place.

Whenever I asked, I was told that Marvel and DC have an unspoken agreement to look the other way on such things.

Sounds like the unspoken agreement may be coming to an end.

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#596090 - 02/21/12 11:34 AM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Why not 40 years ago when publisher's nephew Stan Lee signed a deal for a lifetime of riches and artist Jack Kirby got the shaft?


I know Stan's the easy target because he made out so much better than Kirby, but the reasons for that go far beyond who Stan's uncle was.

Stan became the public face of Marvel because he was good at it and he was willing to do it. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence that Kirby either wanted to do any of the promotional/hype BS or that he was good at it OR that he was ever prevented from doing that stuff if he wanted.

Kirby was also a singular talent who didn't really care to work with others if he could prevent it, while it was Stan's collaborative approach that actually made Marvel Marvel for 30 years or so.

And if the lesson of how Siegel and Shuster is to watch your back, the lesson of Jack Kirby is to be careful what bridges you burn. The tragedy of Kirby is less about Marvel screwing him and more about how when the public taste cooled toward him, his ego/pride left him unwilling or incapable of finding the soft landing spot he should have had with either Marvel or DC.

Mike

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#596091 - 02/21/12 11:59 AM Re: Was Gary Friedrich screwed by Marvel? [Re: MBunge]
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Yes, Ditko has been treated much better since he hasn't made a nuisance of himself.
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The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

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