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#602077 - 04/28/13 05:23 PM BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Purely intended for educational purposes.





WRITERS
=======
Brian Azzarello
Darwyn Cooke
John Higgins
J.Michael Straczynski
Len Wein

ARTISTS
=======
Neal Adams
Rafael Albuquerque
Mike Allred
Lee Bermejo
Tim Bradstreet
Cliff Chiang
Michael Cho
Becky Cloonan
Amanda Conner
David Finch
Gary Frank
Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Michael Golden
Adam Hughes
Phil Jimenez
Dave Johnson
J.G. Jones
Micael Kaluta
Chip Kidd
Andy Kubert
Joe Kubert
Jim Lee
John Paul Leon
Josh Middleton
Olly Moss
Kevin Nowlan
Paul Pope
Ivan Reis
Eduardo Risso
Steve Rude
P. Craig Russell
Chris Samnee
Bill Sienkiewicz
Mark Simpson (Jock)
Ryan Sook
Brian Stelfreeze
Jim Steranko
Jill Thompson
Bruce Timm
Ethan Van Sciver
Matt Wagner
Scott Williams

COLORISTS
=========
Laura Allred
Brad Anderson
Tony Avina
June Chung
Barbara Ciardo
Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Lovern Kindzierski
Lee Loughridge
Laura Martin
Paul Mounts
Trish Mulvihill
Phil Noto
Sonia Oback
Alex Sinclair
Brennan Wagner
Glenn Whitmore
Matt Wilson

LETTERERS
=========
Sal Cipriano
Jared Fletcher
Rob Leigh
Carlos Mangual
Nick Napolitano
Clem Robins
Steve Wands
John Workman

EDITORS
=======
Mark Chiarello
Chris Conroy
Will Dennis
Mark Doyle
Wil Moss
Camilla Zhang

_________________________
"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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#602080 - 04/30/13 12:43 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
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Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 361
And while some of these creators were working on this project that so distinctly sides with corporation over creator they were also attaching their name and work to a publication called Creator Owned Heroes. You gotta love the industry.

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#602082 - 04/30/13 01:49 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Just a few, though. Phil Noto and Paul Mounts played large roes in COH but were small players in BW. Paul Pope did an interview in COH and Dave Johnson provided one cover for COH and BW. The most significant contributor to BW who also participated in COH was Amanda Conner, but her husband Jimmy Palmiotti was the main guy on COH.



Looking again at the list, the main one that really upsets me is Kevin Nowlan. I understand the issues the other BW perpetrators who were also Alan Moore collaborators — Len Wein, Boleslav Sienkiewicz, John Higgins and especially Jim Lee — may have had with Moore, but I just don't get this one. I would like to think that his cover was just some convention drawing they had in a drawer somewhere (since it's an homage to a very famous rendition of Batman and Robin by Carmine Infantino), rather than being a commission especially for BW.

I have asked Kevin to address my concerns on his sporadically updated blog (http://kevinnowlan.blogspot.com/), and hopefully he will.
_________________________
"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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#602083 - 04/30/13 02:24 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
And Comicon lurker Greg Jolly keeps the cross-site flame war going over at the Little Exasperated Nancy Girls forum:

http://lxng.forumotion.com/t277p30-blacklisting-the-before-watchmen-team#2514
_________________________
"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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#602084 - 05/01/13 11:38 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Ha ha, wow.

Free advice, guys: it doesn't count as ignoring someone if you continue to read and discuss everything they write.

_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602087 - 05/02/13 12:43 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
I can't decide which is funnier: How their whole theme is reactionary to me (they even invited Ritchey), or that the board area with the most topics is Isabella's spam section.
_________________________
"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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#602088 - 05/02/13 12:55 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
You never had the guts to go up to anyone at a convention and tell the Allen's honest truth.

Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
You pay for my air fare, rental car, admission cost, room and meals and I'll go to any convention you want me to, confront anyone you say.

Hey, here's your chance, Greg:

http://www.bigwowcomicfest.com/

Eleven Before Watchmen scabs are appearing. I'll confront every one of them and film the whole thing if you just convince your beard to cough up the dough.
_________________________
"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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#602098 - 05/08/13 06:58 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Dan Smith Offline
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Registered: 04/17/13
Posts: 1
I had considered composing a list like this to avoid creators that had worked on Before Watchmen. I figured that it really wasn’t worth my time since I read so few comics, and almost no DC Comics.

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#602100 - 05/10/13 10:44 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Dan Smith]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Why boycott everyone connected to BEFORE WATCHMEN?

I thought it was a dumb, creatively bankrupt project, so I didn't buy it. I was gratified to see sales in the low 40,000 range. Maybe DC lost a little money on it.

And sure, I'm disappointed in the comics pros who disregarded Alan Moore's request for WATCHMEN to be left alone. They should have shown solidarity.

That said, DC and Marvel have screwed comics creators for a profit since their very beginnings. I don't need to name names, right? We all know the history. So -- why are we still buying anything from DC or Marvel, including comics, reprint books, movies, T-shirts and all the other licensed material?

I don't blame Steve Rude (for example) for BEFORE WATCHMEN. Rude drew one comic book, and frankly, he needs the work. I blame DC. It was DC's decision. So why boycott Rude the next time he produces something but keep giving DC our money?

And if the answer is, well, as of this moment, we're all going to boycott everything connected to DC forever and ever, why are we just starting now? Are we morally satisfied with everything DC has done over the last 75 years? And what about Marvel?

It's hard to be morally pure. If we're going so far as to shun eight different letterers because they carry the stain of BEFORE WATCHMEN on their souls, then it seems odd that we didn't wipe our hands of the entire industry ages ago.

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#602101 - 05/10/13 10:55 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Why boycott everyone connected to BEFORE WATCHMEN?


So that when Before Sandman rolls around, it won't be profitable to take the job.

Quote:
So -- why are we still buying anything from DC or Marvel, including comics, reprint books, movies, T-shirts and all the other licensed material?


I'm not. Before Watchmen was the last straw; haven't bought anything from DC or Marvel (including a movie ticket) since it came out.* Why Marvel? And why now? Well, because like I say, it was the last straw, not the first. When I was twelve, it was easier to shrug my shoulders at the treatment of guys like Jack Kirby and go, "well, it was a different time, and I dunno, I like Fantastic Four, it's not like Walt Simonson did anything, and mumblemumblemumble." As an adult, with a huge example right in my face, it's harder to ignore.

Quote:
It's hard to be morally pure.


In this case, it's really not. It's only hard if you consider "continuing to read Batman" a priority.

---
*A kind of simultaneous last straw was seeing The Avengers. I enjoyed it, but couldn't shake that feeling like, "This movie is making how much money? And Kirby's family aren't fucking millionaires?"

It felt ugly. That ugliness helped the decision a lot. Now Iron Man 3 has rolled around, and despite having enjoyed the first two, I haven't seen it. Haven't really missed it, either.

It's not unlike quitting smoking. When you stop making excuses for why you keep doing it, you realize the room smells better without it.
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602102 - 05/10/13 11:31 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I can see the logic in your approach, Ceci. The answer boils down to, "It didn't bother me enough before, but now it does. This was the final straw. No more."

Fair enough.

For my part, as irksome as I found BEFORE WATCHMEN to be, as much as I wish these people would go and create something new rather than flog a 26-year-old Moore story, I don't know that I share your level of moral outrage over it.

I was outraged by BP's calamitous actions in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. DC just makes me roll my eyes. To the extent that I don't buy much from DC anymore, it's simply because DC doesn't publish much that interests me.

Muddying the waters: You mention the finances of Jack Kirby's heirs. As it happens, DC went out of its way in the 1980s, through the munificence of its top executives at the time, to give Kirby retroactive ownership rights on his Fourth World characters, so that he (or his estate) would get paid when those characters are used. DC since has used those characters a lot, particularly in animated and live-action shows. It's a safe bet that Kirby's heirs today get more money from Darkseid & Co. than they do from Captain America, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and Thor.

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#602103 - 05/10/13 11:52 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
(EDIT: Whoops, as I was typing this, you posted again. This isn't meant as a response to that second post, just as more musing from me.)

I might add though, even if someone was still buying DC I would still take issue with the premise: "Unless you can solve all problems in one swoop, you should ignore one that's right in front of your face."

Around the time the Chick-Fil-A mess was all over the news, I kept hearing things like, "Oh, you wanna boycott Chick-Fil-A? Well, are you going to boycott every company that's ever done anything wrong? No? Then this is stupid." And it struck me as bullshit.

Untangling the horrid mess that is "American Companies Who Do Awful Things" is more than one can expect of a single person. For instance, Bank of America is pretty much a thoroughly reprehensible company, but for a while there I had to do business with them; they bought my mortgage off the original lender. It was either give them money, or lose my house.

But not cramming a chicken sandwich down my gullet? Yeah, that's easy. So easy that it's almost ridiculous not to, even though no, it does not solve every single problem in America.

Before Watchmen is similar. Despite the post above, I'm sure there are ways in which I continue to do business with Time Warner, either knowingly or unknowingly. Completely disentangling myself from that company... the world's second largest media conglomerate, which has fingers in more pies than I could probably count in a lifetime... would be a much bigger task than one can expect from a single person.

That doesn't mean I should cram J. Michael Straczynski's next show down my gullet. In fact, not doing so is so easy, it's almost ridiculous not to.
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602104 - 05/10/13 11:59 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
I can see the logic in your approach, Ceci. The answer boils down to, "It didn't bother me enough before, but now it does. This was the final straw. No more."


Not exactly. More like, "I began reading comics when I was very young, and these things seemed just like, y'know, how things are. I was able to rationalize it. But this happened when I was an adult, and as a result, it was the catalyst that made me stop rationalizing."

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I was outraged by BP's calamitous actions in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. DC just makes me roll my eyes.


Why choose? You can be outraged by BP, and not buy DC Comics.

Quote:
As it happens, DC went out of its way in the 1980s, through the munificence of its top executives at the time, to give Kirby retroactive ownership rights on his Fourth World characters, so that he (or his estate) would get paid when those characters are used. DC since has used those characters a lot, particularly in animated and live-action shows. It's a safe bet that Kirby's heirs today get more money from Darkseid & Co. than they do from Captain America, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four and Thor.


They did indeed. And how much of that was a PR poke at Marvel, timed to coincide with fan boycotts over Kirby's Marvel artwork? DC also gave Siegel and Shuster a pension... because of threatened boycotts of the Superman movie.

When enough people get behind them, boycotts do good things.
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602105 - 05/10/13 12:31 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Why choose? You can be outraged by BP, and not buy DC Comics.


Absolutely.

To me, though, BEFORE WATCHMEN was less than an outrage. It was just another depressing example of DC having no new ideas to offer. I don't know enough about the contract Alan Moore signed in the 1980s to tell you if DC committed a true act of fraud there. As a reader, I'd like to see a creator's wishes respected when he asks for his groundbreaking work to be left alone. But - that takes us back to DC having no new ideas.

BP, on the other hand, was guilty of some demonstratively illegal and deadly behavior.

As for Chik-Fil-A, I'm a vegetarian, so I wasn't going there, anyway. But the problem with that boycott is that Chik-Fil-A's CEO was the dude who took the gay marriage stand, and a lot of the individual restaurants are owned by franchisees, some of whom disagreed with the CEO. So I withhold my money from a local owner and his local employees because the man who runs the Chik-Fil-A company has a reprehensible opinion?


Quote:
And how much of that was a PR poke at Marvel, timed to coincide with fan boycotts over Kirby's Marvel artwork? DC also gave Siegel and Shuster a pension... because of threatened boycotts of the Superman movie.

When enough people get behind them, boycotts do good things.


I don't dispute that boycotts can be effective, for good and for ill. There are groups I don't like who boycott businesses for doing things I admire. They, too, inflict pain.

I'm not sure that Jenette Kahn and Paul Levitz at DC helped Kirby with the Fourth World characters as a direct result of the public shaming campaign against Marvel. DC gave Kirby his retroactive rights in 1982. I recall the "What about Jack?" shame campaign against Marvel, being a young fanboy at the time, and it didn't gear up until a few years later. Those wonderful back-cover ads on the indie comics ran in 1986, to coincide with Marvel's 25th anniversary.

I could be wrong on that one. Generally, though, I admired Kahn, and I think she tried to act decently because she was a decent person.

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#602106 - 05/10/13 12:47 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
But the problem with that boycott is that Chik-Fil-A's CEO was the dude who took the gay marriage stand, and a lot of the individual restaurants are owned by franchisees, some of whom disagreed with the CEO. So I withhold my money from a local owner and his local employees because the man who runs the Chik-Fil-A company has a reprehensible opinion?


I hate to relitigate something months down the road, but this wasn't what happened (although that was how it was frequently reported on the news).

The head of Chik-Fil-A was donating massive amounts of money to ex-gay organizations that essentially torture gay teens. When you buy a Chik-Fil-A sandwich, at whatever franchise, you're sending money to those groups. This was the reason for the boycott. His opinion on gay marriage also sucks, and isn't surprising, considering where he sends his money. But it wasn't the cause.

Quote:
Generally, though, I admired Kahn, and I think she tried to act decently because she was a decent person.


I'm sure she was. I also don't think it was a coincidence that Before Watchmen was announced pretty much the day after Levitz left.

I would never make the argument that no good person has ever worked at DC or Marvel. Or BP, for that matter. The fun of a corporation is that they can do incredibly horrible things while still having nice individual people, so really nobody's to blame, right?
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602107 - 05/10/13 12:58 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Well, Ceci, because I respect your judgment, what is the moral argument against BEFORE WATCHMEN?

In terms of it being a creatively bankrupt turd, I'm already sold. That's why I didn't touch it. I'm with you there.

But - and I'm asking sincerely - didn't Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons essentially sell WATCHMEN to DC when they signed those contracts in the 1980s?

I understand that Moore didn't want a sequel (and let's face it, Gibbons didn't, either). I respect that. But they didn't publish WATCHMEN on their own in 1986-87, in the model of Dave Sim, they sold it to and published it through DC Comics Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner, a company both of them were familiar with.

From a moral viewpoint, why should I be upset about BEFORE WATCHMEN? DC evidently owns the rights to Nite Owl, Dr. Manhattan and all the rest.

This jazz about DC never letting the WATCHMEN trade go out of print, thereby keeping the rights from reverting to Moore and Gibbons - I've never really sympathized with that. WATCHMEN, a great comic, has been a strong seller in trade format for decades now. DC isn't inventing that market demand. Why would DC take the book out of publication when, according to Amazon, it's currently the no. 40 best-selling comic and trade?

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#602108 - 05/10/13 01:19 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
I hate to relitigate something months down the road, but this wasn't what happened (although that was how it was frequently reported on the news).

The head of Chik-Fil-A was donating massive amounts of money to ex-gay organizations that essentially torture gay teens. When you buy a Chik-Fil-A sandwich, at whatever franchise, you're sending money to those groups. This was the reason for the boycott. His opinion on gay marriage also sucks, and isn't surprising, considering where he sends his money. But it wasn't the cause.


No, you're right, forgive me, I wasn't remembering the full scope of the CEO's actions. He gave money, which is more than just holding an opinion, and his money came from the chicken restaurants, including the franchises.

Still, my concern remains much the same.

There are people who own a Chik-Fil-A franchise who do not share the CEO's view and who do not give money to oppose gay marriage. Some of them, in fact, were horrified by what he did and were vocal about it. But their life's savings are tied up in this chicken restaurant employing a couple dozen people, so - now what should they do? And why should I punish them?

Again, that one is a hypothetical. To my knowledge, I've never set foot in a Chik-Fil-A in the first place.

I'm not saying boycotts are necessarily wrong - now might be a good time to reconsider buying clothes made in Bangladesh, to cite an example - but it's a complicated thing.

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#602109 - 05/10/13 01:22 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
This jazz about DC never letting the WATCHMEN trade go out of print, keeping the rights from reverting to Moore and Gibbons - I've never really sympathized with that.


Ha ha, whoops. Typed out a whole thing about that, then got to this part. TIME WELL SPENT.

But y'know, either you sympathize with it or you don't. Interviews with Moore suggest that this provision was specifically pitched to him in such way as to say that DC cared about creators, and would be returning the rights to him. All indications are that DC suggested, "this is how you'll eventually own the rights."

That, frankly, is enough for me. It's not the worst thing DC's ever done. It's not even the most recent, considering that it's been ongoing since 1986. But to me, it's bad enough (and as you say, artistically bankrupt enough) that it makes me say, "oh, fuck those guys."

(I also don't believe for a second that Watchmen has been brought back into print every 364 days for 27 years only because the market happened to keep dictating new printings once a year like clockwork. But that's neither here nor there.)
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602110 - 05/10/13 01:29 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
But their life's savings are tied up in this chicken restaurant employing a couple dozen people, so - now what should they do? And why should I punish them?


It's not punishing someone to not buy their chicken sandwich. You don't owe them your business; you're not doing anything unfair by withholding it.

As mentioned above, there will always be good people who work at the worst companies. That doesn't make the companies less awful, or more deserving of our business.
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602111 - 05/10/13 01:38 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
(I also don't believe for a second that Watchmen has been brought back into print every 364 days for 27 years only because it's the market happened to keep dictating new printings once a year like clockwork. But that's neither here nor there.)


But I think this is an important point, based on your chief complaint.

I've visited comics shops for the entire trade lifespan of WATCHMEN. I've always found it sitting on a prominent shelf; it's always a reasonably popular item on the sales charts. (For good reason, it's a great comic.) In fact, it's one of the few trades you can be certain of finding in nearly any bookstore, big box or otherwise.

I have fanboy friends who own several different versions of WATCHMEN - the original comics, the original trade, the fancy Absolute Omnibus box set with a lock of Alan Moore's hair, and so on.

Why didn't DC let WATCHMEN go out of print?

Because it sells.

DC is a publisher. That's the business it's in. If it has a trade that people want to keep buying year after year, it's going to keep reissuing it.

So as cynical as I am, I can't be upset about DC keeping WATCHMEN in print.

I don't know what someone at DC told Moore in a conversation back in 1986. If Moore says he was privately assured that WATCHMEN would go out of print eventually, then I'll take his word for it. But it's possible that nobody realized what a hit they had on their hands.

In 1986, Moore was 33 years old, and he already had written a number of projects for DC. I hate to say it, but if that point was so important to him - "WATCHMEN will revert to me and Dave by XX date" - he should have gotten it in writing.

I can understand his frustration now. But I don't know that I'll boycott Steve Rude because someone allegedly told Alan Moore something that didn't come true.

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#602112 - 05/10/13 02:09 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Why didn't DC let WATCHMEN go out of print?

Because it sells.


Because it sells? Or because sometimes a low seller will keep the rights so it can be sold again later in higher numbers?

Every few years, Marvel will release (for instance) a Dr. Strange miniseries. Not because they expect huge sales, but because if they don't, a few key trademarks will expire, and in the long run, it's worth it. I would bet hard money that the same is true for Watchmen.

But the reason I say it's neither here nor there is:

1) Because I'm not in a DC boardroom; this is conjecture on my part, and I don't like to base an argument on conjecture.

2) Because I really don't think it matters. "We promised you something, but then we realized we could make more money if we didn't do that, so... y'know. Go fuck yourself" is enough reason for me to say "that's shitty."

Quote:
In 1986, Moore was 33 years old, and he already had written a number of projects for DC. I hate to say it, but if that point was so important to him - "WATCHMEN will revert to me and Dave by XX date" - he should have gotten it in writing.


Jack Kirby was 44 when he did Fantastic Four #1, and had drawn his first professional superhero comic 21 years earlier. Was he wrong to be pissed off?
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602113 - 05/10/13 02:31 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Because it sells? Or because sometimes a low seller will keep the rights so it can be sold again later in higher numbers?


The former, I think.

For as long as I've participated at Comicon, the last decade or so, I've also kept an eye on the sales charts for comics and trades/graphic novels. And throughout that time, WATCHMEN has been a regular presence in the Top 50 trades/graphic novels. It's not No. 1, mind you, but it's a modestly, consistently strong seller. This is true even when there are no movies or sequel projects coming out.

That's why comics shops and bookstores (who could give a damn about DC's corporate agenda) keep stocking it.

The lame projects that Marvel and DC publish just to hang onto a trademark, you don't see those on display five, 10, 15 years later at stores.

I don't think it's a nefarious scheme to deny Alan Moore his rights. WATCHMEN is a legitimately good seller. Under the contract that Moore signed, DC can keep publishing it.

I do understand Moore's frustration. In 1986, with the direct market still relatively new, who could imagine a comic book would be collected and kept in print for a quarter-century?


Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Jack Kirby was 44 when he did Fantastic Four #1, and had drawn his first professional superhero comic 21 years earlier. Was he wrong to be pissed off?


Depends on what pissed him off.

The Kirby/Moore analogy isn't a great parallel - and neither would be a Siegel and Shuster/Moore analogy - because the only thing they all have in common is they created something and then they sold it to a publisher.

I don't think Kirby wanted to own the Hulk or prevent others from drawing him. Kirby's main gripe, as I understand it, was that everyone got rich off his comics other than him, and that included his partner, Stan Lee.

I sympathize. As with Siegel and Shuster over at DC, at some point, the moral thing for a company to do - as the millions of dollars poured in - is share some of that with the guys who created the money-making properties, whether or not you are legally required to. That's a moral issue, not a legal issue.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe Moore claims to be inadequately paid for his work. In fact, he seems uninterested in money. What he wants is legally recognized control of what he wrote for DC, which I can respect, but ... that's not the contract he signed.

Given the track record of the comic book industry in general - and DC Comics Inc. in particular - and given Moore's fierce intelligence, I'm puzzled as to why he accepted some company manager's verbal assurance that he would get this one thing most dear to him, creative ownership of his stories. This would have been a relatively unique deal for DC in 1986. Why not get that in writing?

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#602115 - 05/10/13 02:50 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
For as long as I've participated at Comicon, the last decade or so, I've also kept an eye on the sales charts for comics and trades/graphic novels. And throughout that time, WATCHMEN has been a regular presence in the Top 50 trades/graphic novels. It's not No. 1, mind you, but it's a modestly, consistently strong seller. This is true even when there are no movies or sequel projects coming out.


Again, I think this is (at best) tangential to my objection, so I don't want to flog it into the ground. But bookstores have only taken an eye towards graphic novels in the last decade or so... and Diamond's Top 50 TPBs isn't exactly a chart-burner, especially during some of comics' more lean years.

Quote:
I don't think Kirby wanted to own the Hulk or prevent others from drawing him. Kirby's main gripe, as I understand it, was that everyone got rich off his comics other than him, and that included his partner, Stan Lee.


He was pretty pissed off that someone other than him drew the Silver Surfer, although I take your point.

Quote:
Given the track record of the comic book industry in general - and DC Comics Inc. in particular - and given Moore's fierce intelligence, I'm puzzled as to why he accepted some company manager's verbal assurance that he would get this one thing most dear to him, creative ownership of his stories. This would have been a relatively unique deal for DC in 1986. Why not get that in writing?


I would think it would be fairly easy to assume DC would treat him well. Swamp Thing was a hit, Watchmen was a high-profile project, and every indication was that Moore was their new golden boy. Why wouldn't they want to keep him happy?

Hell, years later DC bought an entire comic company (Wildstorm) pretty much entirely to get hold of the reprint rights to Alan Moore comics. So it's not unreasonable to assume they want (and have always wanted) more from him.

We've said in other threads that, all moral and legal implications aside, DC was stupid in how they treated Moore. Even if he's being a total prima donna (which I don't believe he is, but let's assume for the sake of argument), keeping him happy means you get a second seller like Watchmen. Driving him away means you don't.
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#602116 - 05/10/13 03:38 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
We've said in other threads that, all moral and legal implications aside, DC was stupid in how they treated Moore. Even if he's being a total prima donna (which I don't believe he is, but let's assume for the sake of argument), keeping him happy means you get a second seller like Watchmen. Driving him away means you don't.


I agree with you completely here.

And I don't think Moore's being a prima donna. I do understand his desires and frustrations. I understand why he wouldn't ever want to write for DC again.

Given the lackluster sales on BEFORE WATCHMEN, I think it's fair to say that DC could have made more money had it stroked Moore like a pet cat and gotten another half-dozen projects out of him. You get writers like Moore once a generation. Why not keep the man happy?

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#602117 - 05/10/13 07:06 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Why boycott everyone connected to BEFORE WATCHMEN?

"Purely intended for educational purposes." Do with the list what you will.


Originally Posted By: Lawson
DC went out of its way in the 1980s, through the munificence of its top executives at the time, to give Kirby retroactive ownership rights on his Fourth World characters, so that he (or his estate) would get paid when those characters are used.

Like I said when this was brought up before: if it is still true that the Kirby estate receives compensation for Jack's creations, please provide another source than a remark at a convention made by a kid who may or may not have been in the room when the deal was struck, who then went on to become the company president twenty years later, relating the story at the beginning of his time as president in an effort to generate good will for his company. Also, some details as to how much that compensation is would be nice (that is to say, is it more than the price of a Happy Meal).


Originally Posted By: Lawson
I don't know enough about the contract Alan Moore signed in the 1980s to tell you if DC committed a true act of fraud there.

Ask Bungee. He seems to know all about it.


Originally Posted By: Lawson
Why didn't DC let WATCHMEN go out of print?

Because it sells.

True, but that's only part of the full answer. It was also to maintain the copyright. After DC flooded the market with the ten dollar edition just prior to the movie, they offered to give the copyrights back to Moore and Gibbons in exchange for a guarantee of no legal challenges to the ongoing trademarks.


Originally Posted By: Lawson
if that point was so important to him - "WATCHMEN will revert to me and Dave by XX date" - he should have gotten it in writing.

Never mind that Moore is British, where certain conventions (like reversion of rights back to the creators) are common practice. Never mind that the book market for comics collections was almost non-existent at the time.


Originally Posted By: Lawson
I understand that Moore didn't want a sequel (and let's face it, Gibbons didn't, either).

I'd like a citation for that, as well.
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#602119 - 05/13/13 10:22 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Like I said when this was brought up before: if it is still true that the Kirby estate receives compensation for Jack's creations, please provide another source than a remark at a convention made by a kid who may or may not have been in the room when the deal was struck, who then went on to become the company president twenty years later, relating the story at the beginning of his time as president in an effort to generate good will for his company. Also, some details as to how much that compensation is would be nice (that is to say, is it more than the price of a Happy Meal).


I dunno how much money the Kirby estate gets.

I was as skeptical as you initially, but among the sources confirming that the Kirby estate gets something from the continued use of the Fourth World characters under that 1982 deal is Mark Evanier, Kirby's friend and biographer.

Evanier has confirmed that in his writings and public comments. He has gotta be considered a credible Kirby source.


Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Lawson
I understand that Moore didn't want a sequel (and let's face it, Gibbons didn't, either).

I'd like a citation for that, as well.


For Dave Gibbons, you mean?

I don't have one. I just thought that Gibbons' expression of support for BEFORE WATCHMEN, as published by DC in advance of the project, sounded extremely lukewarm.

I admit it's my own interpretation, but it sounded like Gibbons would rather the damn thing be left alone. However, he also wanted to continue working for DC, and he concluded that doing so required him to make some conciliatory noises about the sequel.

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#602120 - 05/13/13 02:57 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
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It's a pity DC didn't treat Moore a bit better. He's probably the best comic book writer of his generation and if they'd have kept him happy, they'd have made a lot more money and we'd have a lot more great comics. If DC had been nicer and Moore/Gibbons owned the rights to Watchmen, they'd have probably let DC publish it anyway.

Big corporations are naturally greedy. They want it all. Every damn bit of it. It doesn't matter that they would have more if they were a little less greedy.

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#602121 - 05/13/13 04:04 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
among the sources confirming that the Kirby estate gets something from the continued use of the Fourth World characters under that 1982 deal is Mark Evanier

I read Evanier's blog every day and I don't recall this ever being brought up.


Originally Posted By: Lawson
I admit it's my own interpretation, but it sounded like Gibbons would rather the damn thing be left alone.

I admit it's my interpretation, but it sounded to me like Gibbons would have signed up to actually contribute something to BW if he wasn't concerned he'd never be able to find work in comics again after that.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602122 - 05/13/13 04:35 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I read Evanier's blog every day and I don't recall this ever being brought up.


Mark Evanier: "DC does pay the Kirby estate...very nice, fair amounts. Marvel does not. And it always bothers me when a creator's work is reused without compensation to them or their heirs."

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#602123 - 05/13/13 04:42 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
I admit it's my interpretation, but it sounded to me like Gibbons would have signed up to actually contribute something to BW if he wasn't concerned he'd never be able to find work in comics again after that.


I dunno. I just don't get that sense from his comments, but I could be wrong.

Dave Gibbons, formal statement issued through DC Comics: "The original series of Watchmen is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC's reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire."

Gibbons, informal remark to Bleeding Cool: "I didn’t have a lot of input in it. To me anything to do with the movies – as far as I’m concerned, what Alan and I did was the Watchmen graphic novel and a couple of illustrations that came out at the same time. Everything else – the movie, the game, the prequels – are really not canon. They’re subsidiary. They’re not really Watchmen. They’re just something different.”

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#602125 - 05/13/13 10:31 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Mark Evanier: "DC does pay the Kirby estate...very nice, fair amounts. Marvel does not. And it always bothers me when a creator's work is reused without compensation to them or their heirs."

He's talking about the hardcover reprint books. This would be a basic expectation for a living author (what got Steranko steamed about the Nick Fury reprint book, as one example), but doesn't get at the claim the Kirby estate gets paid every time Darkseid or Mister Miracle makes an appearance.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602126 - 05/13/13 10:39 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Gibbons, informal remark to Bleeding Cool: "I didn’t have a lot of input in it. To me anything to do with the movies [...] [is] really not canon."

And yet apparently more important than his relationship with Alan Moore.
_________________________
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602127 - 05/14/13 09:35 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Mark Evanier, in this online comment from February, says the Kirby estate gets paid for Fourth World character appearances in "other media."


Mark Evanier
February 10, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Hello. A couple of the above commenters have written to ask me to weigh in here.

Jack received (and his estate still receives) royalties on the Fourth World books.

The original deal was done at a time when DC execs swore they would never in a million years pay royalties to creators … but they had in some cases and they would later make it a standard policy with new creations.

When Jack did design work for those Super Powers toys of the early eighties, DC decided they could let that material qualify for the then-current royalty plan on newly-created work.

So Jack got paid whenever a Fourth World character turned up in other media, was merchandised or made a major appearance in a comic book. His estate still receives such money. Marvel has never paid him anything on the characters he created or co-created for them.

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#602128 - 05/14/13 09:46 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
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Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Gibbons, informal remark to Bleeding Cool: "I didn’t have a lot of input in it. To me anything to do with the movies [...] [is] really not canon."

And yet apparently more important than his relationship with Alan Moore.


Well, you may know more than I do. I don't know the status of Moore and Gibbons' relationship.

Gibbons has continued to work for DC, and it's likely that he wants to keep good relations with the company, so he's probably going to hold his tongue. Moore does not give a damn what the DC executives think. He can speak candidly. Maybe that creates tension if Moore expects Gibbons to protest on WATCHMEN-related matters. I just dunno.

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#602129 - 05/14/13 01:23 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Mark Evanier, in this online comment from February, says the Kirby estate gets paid for Fourth World character appearances in "other media."

It's like pulling teeth just to get a straight answer every time I ask a simple and direct question.
_________________________
"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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#602130 - 05/14/13 01:27 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
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Originally Posted By: Lawson
Well, you may know more than I do. I don't know the status of Moore and Gibbons' relationship.

All I know is what Moore said in interviews, linked to in previous discussions here. As I understand it, he asked Gibbons not to speak to him any more of Watchmen, and Gibbons kept pestering him about it. Not the money, not the continuing to work for DC; just shut up about Watchmen. Seemed like a pretty reasonable request to me.
_________________________
"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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#602131 - 05/14/13 01:47 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
It's like pulling teeth just to get a straight answer every time I ask a simple and direct question.


Well, that's about as direct a quote from Mark Evanier as I can find online on the subject of Jack Kirby and the Kirby estate getting DC royalties from the use of the Fourth World characters, in comics and outside of comics.

It answers the question to my satisfaction. You may disagree, and that's fine.

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#602132 - 05/14/13 01:53 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
All I know is what Moore said in interviews, linked to in previous discussions here. As I understand it, he asked Gibbons not to speak to him any more of Watchmen, and Gibbons kept pestering him about it. Not the money, not the continuing to work for DC; just shut up about Watchmen. Seemed like a pretty reasonable request to me.


Mmm. Yeah, that sounds familiar, now that you mention it. DC kept asking Gibbons to lobby Moore on WATCHMEN -- for a movie, toys, more comics, whatever -- and Moore said that put stress on their relationship because he had made it clear that he didn't want to discuss WATCHMEN anymore.

It does seem like Gibbons should have just told DC, "Fellas, Alan doesn't want to hear the word 'Watchmen,' period. He's my friend and I'm going to respect his wishes." But again, without condemning or condoning, Gibbons obviously wants to keep DC happy with him so he can remain employed on its comics.

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#602133 - 05/14/13 02:15 PM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7091
Originally Posted By: Lawson
It answers the question to my satisfaction.

It does to mine as well, mostly. I'm referring to how many times I've asked the same question before I got a straight answer. It's the same shit as when I asked if the Kuberts ever got paid for Veitch attending their school, if Bissette made more on his Scholastic assignments than his tuition, how much is the Image administration fee, etc. When I ask a simple question, all I want is a simple answer.
_________________________
"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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#602171 - 06/10/13 03:50 AM Re: BEFORE WATCHMEN Scabs List [COMPLETE] [Re: Lawson]
jackdaw Offline
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Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 514
Well I've not read any DC for 6 months, so I'm doing my bit.

Mind you.... I'm hoping there's no requirement to throw out back issues, there is some stuff I'd like to re-read sometime.

Must admit I was very surprised at some of names on BW artists lists.

Not least Neal Adams. Surely he can't need the money, and I thought he's always been a strong advocate of creators rights, and an all round top bloke.

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