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Creator-Owned versus Work-for-Hire.

hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
edited July 2007 in Graphic Violence
Inspired by this exchange:
Keith wrote: »
hughtron wrote: »
Keith I am telling you I would rather have The Invisibles than All-Star Superman and, uh, Creator-Owned Something By Darwyn Cooke than The Spirit.

Anyway, this isn't about cancelled comics anymore, so I will shut up and stop bitching.

I'm pretty sure Darwyn Cooke would rather be doing The Spirit than "Creator-Owned something"

...let's talk about creators.

There are some fantastic creators working in the Marvel/DC idea mines, and if their biggest dream is to write Superman one day, or tell their killer Batman story, then they are wasting their time. To paraphrase Warren Ellis, "if your biggest dream is to write work-for-hire superhero work, than get out. Stop it. Comics doesn't need you." Even a creator like Darwyn Cooke, one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, somebody who truly understands what these icons are about and how to use them to tell a good story. I'd rather see what he could create on his own, given the chance.

How many of the 'great works' that have been produced in the last sixty years were about Superman, after all?

It is my contention that creator-owned works by great creators are almost always superior to any work-for-hire stuff they might create.

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hughtron on
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Posts

  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Warren Elllis hates superheros, fuck you for telling someone is "wasting thier time" because they love Superman and want to write him.

    Balefuego on
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  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User, Disagreeable regular
    edited June 2007
    Warren Ellis is a fucking retard.

    I want to write for the superheroes we all know and love. Why wouldn't I? You get to play your own hand in today's mythology. You get to look back and see the people reading a character or watching their movie and think "I had a hand in that"

    instead of "Hey I made my own stuff that nobody read but man I feel really proud!"

    Garlic Bread on
  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2007
    But nobody who is alive today created Superman. Nor, given today's comics-by-committee methods, can they really say anything new or exciting using him.

    If there is a fantastic writer out there who wants to to write something, I want them to tell me something new, something different. Superman, as inspiring and great a concept as he is, is played-out.

    We need new myths.

    hughtron on
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    What about Runaways. That is a superhero book focusing completley on brand new characters that BKV created himself. That is also set in the mainstream Marvel U

    Balefuego on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    Warren Elllis hates superheros, fuck you for telling someone is "wasting thier time" because they love Superman and want to write him.

    I think you're missing his meaning, which is that a person's greatest ambition shouldn't be to take the reins of someone else's creation for a few months.

    Because, frankly, if that's all you do then you're not contributing anything to comics. Truth is that, years from now, your little addition to the history of the character is going to get lost in decades of mythos and then perhaps written over by some giant reality bomb.

    It's kind of like someone saying they aspire to be a substitute teacher. You're selling yourself short.



    That's not to say work-for-hire stuff is bogus. Warren Ellis does it, doesn't he? Just don't limit yourself to it and, if you can't help that, then maybe take up a field that you might actually be able to contribute something lasting to.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    A good example to bring up would be Robert Kirkman.

    His book Invincible is wonderful. It also give you the impression that the motherfucker wants to write Spider-Man. (or at least Ultimate Spidey)

    But if you've read UXM it's painfully apparent he's terrible with established characters.

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    I mean, I love Ellis' writing. He writes some great stories.

    But that was one of the most retarded statements I have ever read.

    Blankspace on
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  • hughtronhughtron __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    What about Runaways. That is a superhero book focusing completley on brand new characters that BKV created himself. That is also set in the mainstream Marvel U

    Runaways is an example of work-for-hire done right. Although one (i.e. me, Hughtron) could argue that it's not nearly as good since the actual creators left.

    hughtron on
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  • ServoServo Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    man, who gives a shit

    i like superhero stories and i like stories that aren't superhero stories. nobody's putting a fucking gun to ed brubaker's head (who, buy the way, is an example of a writer whose creater-owned stuff is as good his marvel stuff) and making him write cap. if they want to write their own thing, nobody's stopping them

    Servo on
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  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User, Disagreeable regular
    edited June 2007
    hughtron wrote: »
    But nobody who is alive today created Superman. Nor, given today's comics-by-committee methods, can they really say anything new or exciting using him.

    If there is a fantastic writer out there who wants to to write something, I want them to tell me something new, something different. Superman, as inspiring and great a concept as he is, is played-out.

    We need new myths.

    Frank Miller didn't create Batman but he sure created the way the character is presented today, especially in the public's eye.

    Mike Carlin didn't create Superman but he certainly changed the way people saw the character after the Death of Superman story.

    Greg Rucka didn't create Wonder Woman but he changed the character drastically by making her kill someone after 64 years of never crossing the line

    Garlic Bread on
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I don't care who is writing what so long as its good comics.

    Whether it is creator owned or an established character has little relation to how good it is.

    deadonthestreet on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    A good question would be if The Watchmen would be better or worse if Moore had actually been allowed to use the Charleston stable of characters.

    Personally, I think that would have been a tragedy.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • IrohIroh Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    We have had this discussion before and it was fucking stupid. If you don't like superhero comics, then don't read them. Don't harp on us for keeping brilliant writers down by buying them.

    Iroh on
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »
    Warren Elllis hates superheros, fuck you for telling someone is "wasting thier time" because they love Superman and want to write him.

    I think you're missing his meaning, which is that a person's greatest ambition shouldn't be to take the reins of someone else's creation for a few months.

    Because, frankly, if that's all you do then you're not contributing anything to comics. Truth is that, years from now, your little addition to the history of the character is going to get lost in decades of history and then perhaps written over by some giant reality bomb.

    It's kind of like someone saying they aspire to be a substitute teacher.

    You dont think wanting to be remembered like Frank Miller is remembered for Daredevil, or like Claremont is remembered for 80s X-Men or like Wolfman/Perez are remembered for Teen Titans is a worthy goal for a comics professional?

    I read and love plenty of creator owned stuff, I just think its fucking stupid to shit on something just because its part of the big 2. Guys like Ellis and Ennis aside, most of these writers got into comics because they loved reading about these characters, writing them is a childhood dream. There is nothing fucking wrong with that. If every single comic out there was an Ellis or Ennis style "deconstruction" I would have stopped reading comics awhile ago.

    Balefuego on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Balefuego wrote: »

    You dont think wanting to be remembered like Frank Miller is remembered for Daredevil, or like Claremont is remembered for 80s X-Men or like Wolfman/Perez are remembered for Teen Titans is a worthy goal for a comics professional?

    I read and love plenty of creator owned stuff, I just think its fucking stupid to shit on something just because its part of the big 2. Guys like Ellis and Ennis aside, most of these writers got into comics because they loved reading about these characters, writing them is a childhood dream. There is nothing fucking wrong with that. If every single comic out there was an Ellis or Ennis style "deconstruction" I would have stopped reading comics awhile ago.

    Do you think Daredevil or Sin City and 300 were ultimately more satisfying to Frank Miller as a person, just wanting to do something worthwhile with his life?

    Do you think anyone's going to care about Claremont's stuff after the people who read it when it was current are dead?

    Like I said, I don't think Ellis is suggesting an opposition between creator-owned books and work-for-hire material. He's just saying that it's the hallmark of a poor talent to have no desire to create anything of his or her own.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I only used Miller because he has such a strong name assosciation with Daredevil. You ask any comic fan and I doubt any of them will say they think of Stan Lee and Bill Everett (the creators) before Miller with that character. I am sure he dosent give a fuck about Daredevil anymore though.

    As for Claremont, I wasnt reading comics when his stuff was current, and I fucking care about it.

    Balefuego on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User, Disagreeable regular
    edited June 2007
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    Garlic Bread on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    *cough* Daniel Way *cough*

    Calamity Jane on
    twitter https://twitter.com/mperezwritesirl michelle patreon https://www.patreon.com/thatwronglove michelle's comic book from IMAGE COMICS you can order http://a.co/dn5YeUD
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    How about there are no good writers?

    Blankspace on
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  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User, Disagreeable regular
    edited June 2007
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    *cough* Daniel Way *cough*

    I don't know who that is

    Garlic Bread on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Keith wrote: »
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    *cough* Daniel Way *cough*

    I don't know who that is

    Exactly!

    Hooraydiation on
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I know who he is and I wish I didnt

    Balefuego on
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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    Maybe it should be broader, including people who are more excited about writing a pre-existing character than they are about creating their own. Certainly there are people like that.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    No, the reason Keith doesn't know who Daniel Way is because he writes for Marvel and is generally really shitty.

    Blankspace on
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  • Garlic BreadGarlic Bread Registered User, Disagreeable regular
    edited June 2007
    Keith wrote: »
    Really, the only people you could use to counter Ellis' quote are people who never did anything but work-for-hire superhero fare.

    He doesn't even say that your original stuff needs to be good. You just have to want to do it.

    There's no one that wants to write comics exclusively for already made characters

    Of course people want to write their own stuff. They just also want to write the characters they already know and love

    Maybe it should be broader, including people who are more excited about writing a pre-existing character than they are about creating their own. Certainly there are people like that.

    There's an honor in writing characters that have been around for 60 years

    Garlic Bread on
  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I love Warren Ellis to death. But when exactly did this guy's word become fucking scripture?

    I'd say you should do your own thing, and if you happen to be good with an existing character...run with it. If I'm in a position where I can write stories about Venom, Ghost Rider and Wolverine and they're wonderful (an insurmountable task) am I going to wake up some morning and say

    "Man, I wonder how Warren Ellis feels about this and what I'm doing to the industry."

    Fuck no.

    Calamity Jane on
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  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    By the way, people who write mainstream superhero books also often get to add characters they have created into the mythos.

    Balefuego on
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  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Why's it matter if you use Batman or Shadowhawkfang, last warrior of the Shin Tzu clan to tell your story? Does a new face and costume matter that much? Some people'd like to tell a story about batman, some don't. Honestly, that's the great thing about comics- If you want to use Batman to prove a point, or Spider-man, or Just a Guy named Joe, you can.

    And honestly, what would be the cost of the public taking comics seriously, if we really thought about it? Would the same stories get to be told at all? People complain about comics-by-committee writing now, but if the mass public really did take comics as a whole as an artform, would that improve? Honestly, do people think that comics as a niche property rather than a bland sitcom writing style medium is a bad thing? If comic sales were in the millions, with the whole nation reading comics... do you really believe the original, daring stories would get out? Really? Because V for Vendetta the movie? Really fucking daring when the committee got done with it.

    Whew. OK then.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Dex Dynamo wrote: »
    Why's it matter if you use Batman or Shadowhawkfang, last warrior of the Shin Tzu clan to tell your story? Does a new face and costume matter that much? Some people'd like to tell a story about batman, some don't. Honestly, that's the great thing about comics- If you want to use Batman to prove a point, or Spider-man, or Just a Guy named Joe, you can.

    Again, compare Watchmen as it is now to what Watchmen would have been if Moore had used the Charleston stable of characters.

    You're also assuming that a new character will be analogous to an old one, such that the two are perfectly interchangeable.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited June 2007
    The way I see it, it's not what characters, or what universe you use, it's how you use them to tell a story. And to say that just because you didn't do creator-owned work like Criminal or whatever, just because you wrote only superhero comics in an established universe, to say that just because of those things that what you're doing is basically worthless is pretty far off the point.

    If your story can touch one person, if it can inspire one person, it doesn't matter if you did it with Spider-man or if you did it with somebody that came from your own imagination. It just matters that you connected with one reader, and that's really what you should be striving for, in my opinion.

    DJ Eebs on
  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited June 2007
    Dex Dynamo wrote: »
    Why's it matter if you use Batman or Shadowhawkfang, last warrior of the Shin Tzu clan to tell your story? Does a new face and costume matter that much? Some people'd like to tell a story about batman, some don't. Honestly, that's the great thing about comics- If you want to use Batman to prove a point, or Spider-man, or Just a Guy named Joe, you can.

    Again, compare Watchmen as it is now to what Watchmen would have been if Moore had used the Charleston stable of characters.

    You're also assuming that a new character will be analogous to an old one, such that the two are perfectly interchangeable.

    Well, let's go the other way on that train of thought. Would Kingdom Come or New Frontier have worked as well with completely original characters? I'm not sure, but I don't think they would.

    DJ Eebs on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007

    Well, let's go the other way on that train of thought. Would Kingdom Come or New Frontier have worked as well with completely original characters? I'm not sure, but I don't think they would.

    Unlike Watchmen, those aren't stories where it clearly could have gone either way in terms of being original or depending upon pre-existing properties.

    It's like asking if Mount Rushmore would be as good if it featured the sculptors' self-designed presidents. The very purpose of the work precludes the use of original characters.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator, Administrator admin
    edited June 2007

    Well, let's go the other way on that train of thought. Would Kingdom Come or New Frontier have worked as well with completely original characters? I'm not sure, but I don't think they would.

    Unlike Watchmen, those aren't stories where it clearly could have gone either way in terms of being original or depending upon pre-existing properties.

    It's like asking if Mount Rushmore would be as good if it featured the sculptors' self-designed presidents. The very purpose of the work precludes the use of original characters.

    Watchmen is a weird thing to argue about though. Are there any other examples of comics that were set to use licensed characters but had to switch to others?

    I think Watchmen is more of an anomaly than anything else.

    DJ Eebs on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited June 2007

    Well, let's go the other way on that train of thought. Would Kingdom Come or New Frontier have worked as well with completely original characters? I'm not sure, but I don't think they would.

    Unlike Watchmen, those aren't stories where it clearly could have gone either way in terms of being original or depending upon pre-existing properties.

    It's like asking if Mount Rushmore would be as good if it featured the sculptors' self-designed presidents. The very purpose of the work precludes the use of original characters.

    Watchmen is a weird thing to argue about though. Are there any other examples of comics that were set to use licensed characters but had to switch to others?

    I think Watchmen is more of an anomaly than anything else.

    You could use someone like the new Blue Beetle. Would he work as well or better if he had no connection to the Blue Beetle mythos or the greater DC Universe?

    Hooraydiation on
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  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Both have value. Morrison knows this, and he's a badass.

    Also: as Shakespeare and antiquity knew, originality can be overrated.

    august on
    Pac Man's character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese -- he is an innocent character. He hasn't been educated to discern between good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily activities. If someone tells him guns are evil, he would be the type to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun, even the pistols of policemen who need them.
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    You could use someone like the new Blue Beetle. Would he work as well or better if he had no connection to the Blue Beetle mythos or the greater DC Universe?

    In my opinion, worse. You lose the legacy aspect of the character, which, while you could give the illusion of a legacy in a creator owned work, it'd never be quite as specific as the legacy of Ted Kord, disrespected by some, loved by others. You could try, but I don't feel like it'd be as genuine.

    Dex Dynamo on
  • BlankspaceBlankspace __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007

    Well, let's go the other way on that train of thought. Would Kingdom Come or New Frontier have worked as well with completely original characters? I'm not sure, but I don't think they would.

    Unlike Watchmen, those aren't stories where it clearly could have gone either way in terms of being original or depending upon pre-existing properties.

    It's like asking if Mount Rushmore would be as good if it featured the sculptors' self-designed presidents. The very purpose of the work precludes the use of original characters.

    Watchmen is a weird thing to argue about though. Are there any other examples of comics that were set to use licensed characters but had to switch to others?

    I think Watchmen is more of an anomaly than anything else.

    You could use someone like the new Blue Beetle. Would he work as well or better if he had no connection to the Blue Beetle mythos or the greater DC Universe?
    No he wouldn't. A big part of his character is the fact that he is discovering Ted's legacy and how he has been thrown into the superhero game with these legends he has known about and "worshiped" since he was a kid.

    Blankspace on
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  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    august wrote: »
    Both have value. Morrison knows this, and he's a badass.

    Also: as Shakespeare and antiquity knew, originality can be overrated.

    Why did I mix up Morrison and Ellis?

    I kept thinking to myself "Wait, Ellis writes All-Star Superman, right? How can he say something like that and go and write AS-SM?"

    Dex Dynamo on
  • LRGLRG Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    A good example to bring up would be Robert Kirkman.

    His book Invincible is wonderful. It also give you the impression that the motherfucker wants to write Spider-Man. (or at least Ultimate Spidey)

    But if you've read UXM it's painfully apparent he's terrible with established characters.

    You should read Marvel Team-up, I don't know whats up with UXM(Thought it started to suck after the second arc, really), but Kirkman can handle established characters pretty darn well.

    But I happen to think his creator owned stuff is better because he can actually do more in it. You can add a new bad guy to Spider-man or Give Daredevil more "edge", but I really don't think there is much one creator can do to one of these big name company characters that will honestly "darastically change them forever"

    Can't knock a guy who grew up reading Superman for wanting to write a Superman comic, though

    LRG on
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