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Steve Bissette On My Note About Graeme McMillan’s Presentation Of A Link
posted January 3, 2012


"* I found a bit odd the way Graeme McMillan presented this link to a Steve Bissette piece on not being able to release 1963 material because of Alan Moore's active disinterest. I had a similar experience to Steve in terms of losing out on such a gig because of another creator's choice, and while I was of course similarly disappointed, I don't think I would ever say my situation was a case against creator ownership, or even against collaboration."

Nor did I; I merely noted how ironic all this is, which seems utterly self-evident, given my positions for creator ownership and against work-for-hire on principle. That peculiar case history is neither a reason to oppose creative collaborations and co-creator-ownership per se, nor an advocacy for work-for-hire per se. It is what it is: a peculiar, individualized circumstance, all the more ironic since it involves Alan Moore. I continue to enjoy many fruitful creative collaborations and partnerships, and many past partnerships continue to be fruitful: i.e., the Creative Burnouts body of work with Rick Veitch; David Lloyd recently reprinted our one-time collaboration ("Remembering Rene," originally published in Eclipse's Tales Of Terror #7); Stanley Wiater and I profited in 2011 from 2010 and 2011 reprints of select Comic Book Rebels interviews; etc.

I made a public notice of the culmination of the 1963 debacle -- now in its 20th year, since we began work on the project in 1992 -- to note one of the many downsides of 2011 for me, and the upside of still earning quarterly royalties from collaborative work with the same creative partner(s) for DC as work-for-hire hired hands. I could have gone on to cite the fact I am essentially left to using either transfer-of-copyright or work-for-hire contractual language in all my recent N-Man, Fury, Hypernaut, and Sky Solo creative collaborations and/or commissions. While everyone working with me on these will earn a share of any, if any, profits, having to retain absolute ownership of the trademarks and copyrights on everything done with the characters has not been comfortable, nor conducive to making any great commitment to such a venture. More on this later in 2011, when I celebrate the 20th anniversary of our beginning work on 1963 with the print-on-demand publication of Tales Of The Uncanny and one companion volume.

Tom Spurgeon: I certainly appreciate the additional commentary, and I assume it's clear going in and leaving the above I never characterized Steve's statement; I focused on McMillan's characterization of same.