Posted In: News
* Just a quick reminder that the current pricing on all my Sketch Store sketches ends next Friday, June 19th at midnight.
See yesterday’s post for details; after the 19th, all sketch prices will go up and the sketches will be offered at the higher price via other online venues.
This initiates a new sketch sale policy, and remember that the initial prices listed on Myrant as new sketches debut will be the lowest prices ever, so keep your eye on the gallery and jump on anything that might catch your eye.
* What’s as agonizing and horrifically comical as Republicans debating health care?
Try John Byrne and Erik Larsen going at it over aspects of Creator Rights via what begins as a discussion about deadlines and fill-in issues. The Kings of their respective and venerable fiefdoms have no idea what it’s like for those less fortunate and well-heeled than they (including those freelancers who make every one of their deadlines without fail), but it’s sure bleakly entertaining to hear them talk it up.
If this weren’t so painful, it would be funny. It’s like overhearing a conversation between hardcore veteran professional loggers who are not just missing the forest for the trees, but who don’t even know what trees are.
Erik flogs for the indefensible Todd McFarlane: “Neil got a far better deal than he would have elsewhere (as promised) and Neil decided that wasn’t enough and the issue has still not been resolved. The other three writers all took the same deal and were perfectly happy with it. You don’t hear people talking about how Dave Sim was “screwed” because Todd McFarlane “only” paid him $100,000 to write a single comic book. Todd has spent millions defending himself against a guy who, at best, co-created a couple characters.”
And that, of course, is the difference between Neil’s contribution to the 1993 Spawn quartet of guest-writer issues and those scripted by Dave Sim, Frank Miller and Alan Moore — Neil created new characters and concepts that Todd immediately valued, embraced and exploited.
Dave would have had major problems with Todd if Todd had presumed he somehow mystically co-owned Cerebus because Cerebus appeared in that single issue of Spawn Dave contributed to the series.
Neil created something of value to Todd.
Todd stiffed Neil.
The dollar amount paid on that single issue is not the issue. That was paid, just as Frank, Dave and Alan were paid.
The subsequent use of the characters Neil co-created — including full incorporation of them into the Spawn comics, movie and licensing universes — without due credit or payment to Neil is at issue, and given Todd’s and Erik’s own fiscal yardsticks, those are valuable co-creator rights indeed.
Todd is still stiffing Neil, and furthermore dragged a character he had no creative or legal proprietary stake in — Marvelman/Miracleman — into the fray, thereby fucking over another half-dozen+ creators by hopelessly complicating an already legally compromised creative property.
C’mon, Erik — I love your work, but your ongoing defense of Todd is sheer lunacy, especially coming from a fellow creator.
The dollar amount paid Neil for Spawn #9 did not and does not and will never justify Todd’s subsequent behavior.
The lack of clear contracts from Todd for those guest-scripted issues also places the blame for the misunderstanding on the publisher — Todd — for not clearly stating the terms he’d imagined (or retroactively) applied to the one-shots.
That’s Todd’s fault, not Neil’s.
[PS: FYI, I am not a 'hater' of Image Comics. I particularly love The Maxx and Savage Dragon -- have since Erik started the book -- and am forever in Image's debt for Jim Valentino's invite to work with the company that led to '1963,' which in turn made Tyrant possible. I do, however, have strong opinions about creator rights and fair treatment of freelancers.]
[Spawn #9 cover ©1993, 2009 Todd McFarlane; Angela co-created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane, copyright proprietorship still under dispute.]
SpiderBaby Archives: Taboo Origins, Part 3 — First Draft of a Taboo Manifesto
February 1986: The need for a formal document inviting creators to contribute to the as-yet-unnamed horror anthology project was pressing.
This involved nothing less than my articulating at last John’s and my goals for the project, and a philosophy of horror, if you will. This is my first stab, sitting at the typewriter in our kitchen in the Lower Dover Road house in Marlboro, VT my family and I rented…
[Note: I again apologize for the poor quality of these documents -- these are the best-possible scans I could manage from the fading 23-year-old photocopies, which I present here in relative closeup to ensure optimum readibility.]
“There must be something better… Let’s do a horror comic for the 1980s.”
Dated as that sounds in 2009, that was our rallying cry for 1986.
Let’s quit fucking around.
Let’s really make a horror comic.
To John and I, the cutting-edge genre work wasn’t appearing in Twisted Tales or Goreshriek; it was in Raw (Charles Burns, Mark Beyer) and self-published minicomics like Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur. We also knew there was an abundance of work from outside the US that hadn’t seen print in translated English editions — primary among those, in my mind, the Alejandro Jodorowsky / Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud “Les Yeux du Chat / Eyes of the Cat” — and that nobody had ever turned us loose, much less our circle of compadres, confederates and peers.
So, a ‘Manifesto’ was needed…
Tomorrow: The Manifesto, First Draft (it’s looooong, so I’m saving it for tomorrow! Enough eye strain for one day’s post…)