There is a schism in the comic industry these days. On one side are readers of DC and Marvel who still enjoy the monthly adventures of their favorite characters and they generally don’t know about, don’t care, or ignore “political” debates over Marvel and DC “screwing” over the creators. On the other side are the vocal minority who stand on a street corner at Comic Con with a megaphone cursing the name of DC and Marvel all in the name of “creator rights” while ignoring legality of contracts that were signed.
On the side of that second kind of person came an editorial on Comics Alliance that eviscerated DC for making a series of Watchmen prequels. The editorial was completely one-sided and reads like a piece of political propaganda from the minority who wants to tear down DC and Marvel, eliminate all contracts, and give control of some of the most popular characters in the world to estates that honestly don’t know how to handle something bigger than they are.
Thankfully, Collider had the chance to ask DC’s Dan Didio and Jim Lee about the whole situation and Lee really unloaded the truth on the audience; which is probably not what the extremists wanted to happen:
It’s interesting because in the Chris example, he alluded to an article in Comics Alliance that goes on about how Alan Moore has been unjustly treated. In this piece of journalism, it only cites interviews Alan has given. People will listen if it’s polarizing and one sided enough. This is not a situation where we have taken things from Alan. He signed an agreement and yet he said ‘I didn’t read the contract.’ I can’t force him to read his contract. So there’s all these things that people don’t know and Alan has said that explicitly – there are all these things that mitigate or go into the analysis. It’s not as clear-cut as people want to make it seem… It’s not a situation where we’re using the characters and Alan’s not being compensated. For everything that’s been done for Watchmen from the books to the movie, money has gone his way. The right amount that he deserves based on the contract. So we have honored that part of the agreement. It is something that can definitely be debated but to say that there is clearly one side that is right, I will dispute that.
The question that sprung that line of thought came from the recent resignation of DC writer Chris Roberson who quit DC in a very public twitter rant and cited that one-sided article as an example of why he was leaving. Jim Lee said he didn’t know the writer, but the guy never approached him or reached out to him prior to blowing up on twitter.
I bring that up because Jim Lee going to DC is probably the best thing to happen to the company, and its creators, in a long time. If you look at DC’s stable of artists and writers, they have probably the most consistent art style and storytelling of the major comic publishers; and many people feel that’s partially due to a creator sitting in the co-publisher’s seat.
The anti-publisher lobby will keep screaming their lungs out, and claiming D-list writers in artists to their side to bash DC and Marvel on twitter. Hopefully more big-name creators will be there to put them in their place.