Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random Thoughts: Kirby, Marvel and Watchmen: Ultimate Cut

In no particular order...

Joanna Carlson is passing on the information on The Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut.
Coming out November 3, this is the package that I've been looking forward to. Do the companies realize that instead of making us hungry to buy the DVD of a particular movei that we enjoy, they're essentially making us wait so that we don't have to keep upgrading the packages. U2 had it right when they released all the deluxe versions of The Joshua Tree at once. Instead of waiting, I read through all the versions, picked the one that I wanted and bought it. Immediately. I haven't bought a damn Watchman related thing and now I'm glad that I didn't. I'm sure that's not what they wanted to hear but it's the truth.

Steven Grant goes on at great length on the Kirby Family's potential leg to stand on in their suit with Marvel. Steven can get cranky with the best of, but his first paragraph stands at the top of the all-time cranky opening rants that have ever issued from his keyboard. Get past that, however, and there is a ton of great information of the concept of Work For Hire, the legality of forcing someone to sign away rights on the back of a check, and the precedent of whom the assumed author and copyright holder is, which is different from trademark. He boils it down nicely, and as someone in the game for over 15 years now, I learned some new things in regard to how the changes in the 1976 Copyright law effected comics.

To all those who have been across the internet spewing anger and venom against the Kirby estate, wise up and take a good look around you. Do any reading of history and see that the publishers in this game called comics pretty much fucked over anyone that they could in each and every way possible. They deserve for their bad business practices to come back and get them, and they have only themselves to blame by not being proactive when they should and could have. Will Eisner had it right, we're all Dreamers, hoping for that one magic moment when our creation will allow to be rich and happy and live well off of our art. It rarely ever happens, and when it does and has, each and everyone of those artists and writers have been screwed. I believe that it was Mark Evanier who, and i may be wrong so don't kill me, said in his Kirby biography: All Jack wanted to do was make a publisher rich with his art and ideas and have the publisher do the right thing by him. And one by one, they all failed to do so. Jeanette Kahn and Paul Levitz can be considered the only decent people here, allowing Jack to "redesign" the 4th World characters in the 1980's so that he could be a co-owner and get a piece of the New Gods.

For all those that assume that, should Kirby's heirs get ahold of the rights to the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the original X-Men, Captain America, (um... do I need to go on?) that they'll pull the rights from Marvel, I humbly put to you that they are far more likely to want a piece of the franchise, not disable it. This is about money and recognition, in that order. And I don't say that in a bad way at all. If Jack were here and knew that his heirs could finally get what he should have, he'd most likely have been all for it. He knew the value of providing for his family.

Who really benefits from the Marvel Disney deal? The upper brass, the stockholders, not you, not me, not any of the creators unless they make a deal on a new character that Disney/Marvel gets behind, then the sky really could be the limit. Despite all the hand wringing it will likely be business as usual until the distribution apple cart is upset.

And then, all hell is really going to break loose.

Why haven't I been posting more? Been working diligently on the writing, pencilling and inking of the Carnival, trying to get ahead of my own deadline so that i can post the whole second half of the story on a schedule. Thinking about storytelling, researching shots and how to make the whole thing work. Comics have been completely on my mind, my brain is just full of comics stuff, just not in a way that i've been blogging about. Or in a way that i think that anyone might care. I could be wrong. My friend Alex, creator and artist of Robotica, has done some great one a day posts that he encouraged me to do.

There have been some good comics come out, but not in way that inspire me to write about them. Been forever since i've done a review of a regular monthly comic. The only one that really almost made me sit down at the keyboard has been Guardians of the Galaxy, which has been, and continues to be, a ton of fun. Pick it up if you can find the thing. Best read in tandem with Nova, which is good, but not nearly as fun.

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