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 Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team

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Alex Ness

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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 6:12 pm

What? Is 55 a fucking ninja or something? Suspect
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 6:34 pm

Lawson wrote:
You're right, of course, but 55 has a way of sneaking up on you.

I dunno when the assignments dried up for Ordway. I recall him staying busy at DC through the 1980s and most of the 1990s. By the 2000s, it seems like he was maybe getting calls only for fill-in stories and quickie story arcs between the regular creative teams. The editors and writers he originally had worked with were gone.
"No one is left here that knows his first name...

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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 6:42 pm

Alex Ness wrote:
What? Is 55 a fucking ninja or something? Suspect
Don't you number your ninjas?
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Thu May 02, 2013 6:50 pm

Joe Lee wrote:
Lawson wrote:
Realistically, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur...

But not everyone is Robert Kirkman.

Jerry Ordway wants to work for someone.

Most people do. In real life as well, I mean. One way or another. But even people who work for someone need a little entrepreneurial spirit to succeed. Or they get eaten up by the system, not every company looks out for their employees.

Jerry Ordway's dilema was not unpredictable. It's the norm in his business. Did he think he would be the exception to the rule? He should have had a little foresight. Planned ahead.

Not saying it's right, it's just the definition of insanity isn't it, to expect a different outcome after seeing the same outcome over and over.

I'll concede that it's commonplace in a historical perspective, but if you're under exclusive contract with a corporation, there's a certain expectation that they won't capriciously wage a war of attrition against you--that you'll receive paying work from them, as well as the very 'American' idea that years of hard service should be rewarded. Obviously, their moral and contractual obligations are as 'night and day'.

Under the remainder of a long, exclusive contract for a year, with no income? HEINOUS. Didn't occur to any of them to release him early, and therein lies the malignancy.

We just don't expect 19th Century standards of worker's rights to continue to modern day. Even slaves were fed.
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Chris W



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 1:24 am

Exclusive contracts are basically a way to ensure that no one else can bid for the creator's services. TV networks made a point of signing stand-up comedians to exclusive contracts to prevent others from giving them a tv show. For Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Paul Reiser, it worked out. Of course, it helps when there are viable options for a creator. As the only viable competitor to DC, Marvel isn't screaming for a Jerry Ordway comic book.

At one point, DC was screaming for a Jack Kirby comic book, but even they wouldn't publish whatever Kirby pushed on them. It would have to meet the standards of what they consider saleable, and DC was entirely within its rights to decide what DC thinks it can sell. No one except a self-publisher can guarantee publication of whatever they produce. DC wouldn't have published a book of New Gods sketches in 1970, and I suspect they'd only be marginally interested in 2013. There aren't enough people who want to buy a book of New Gods sketches - unlike, for instance, people who wanted to buy another installment of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series, where the publisher handed Asimov a bigger check than he'd ever seen before and told him to bring back the fourth installment - and there aren't enough people on the editorial level who just want the book to exist regardless of what it costs (unlike, for instance, the publisher of "The Fountainhead", who insisted that it was an important book and he would risk his job to make it happen.)

Asimov and Rand had other options for their work. "The Fountainhead" was rejected by at least a dozen publishers, and is now one of the best-selling books of all-time. If we accept music as a precedent, Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf have often said that music companies were formed for the specific purpose of rejecting their album. "Bat Out Of Hell" is also one of the all-time best-sellers, and far-and-away the best-selling album where all words and music were created solely by one man (Jim Steinman.)

Who's going to pay for Jim Steinman's piano doodlings? Jack Kirby's random sketches? A Jerry Ordway comic book?
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 10:30 am

Joe Lee wrote:
"No one is left here that knows his first name...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnU3zuqncwo

Thanks, Joe, I'm going to go hang myself now. Crying or Very sad
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:30 am

heh heh heh heh...
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:48 am

James Ritchey III wrote:

...Under the remainder of a long, exclusive contract for a year, with no income? HEINOUS. Didn't occur to any of them to release him early, and therein lies the malignancy....
I agree completely. Heinous. And probably not even s legal contract, I wonder if it would have stood up to a legal challenge.

That being said, I've known some people in other industries, forced to sign contracts, where they agree to not work for a direct competitor or even the same industry, for a certain period of time, usually a year or six months. And by "forced" i mean they have to choose between a generous severence package with the restrictions or they can opt for freedom and no check.

So yeah i agree the specifics are heinous, but again in general not totally suprising. Especially given DC history like you said, but also given many corporations try an pull shit like that or similar shit anyway, all the time. I think we are all more or less on the same page, if not in complete agreement.

Do we know if Ordway had his lawyer look at that contract? I'm surprised a lawyer wouldn't have caught that paradox.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 12:12 pm

My friends who work in local television news usually have to sign non-compete contracts, which is ridiculous for some guy or gal making $35,000 a year in a small-to-medium market. (Local TV does not pay well.)

They can be fired pretty much whenever for whatever. Station needs to downsize -- the new general manager doesn't like them -- they're getting old (though an excuse is found to cover up this one). But they cannot quit until their contract expires, unless they are willing to "buy out" their contract, which means someone making $35,000 has to pay a ton of cash to a corporation worth millions.

When they leave one station for whatever reason, they cannot go to a competing station in the same market until a period of time passes. So you get downsized -- not uncommon these days. You either have to pack up your family and move someplace new or you have to find a new line of work, at least for a while.
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 1:07 pm

What's funny to me was in the corporation I worked for an industrial building maintenance materials manufacturer, and it was the same there, BIG RESTRICTIVE CONTRACT, but I don't recall having any real info or experience specific to the company that wasn't general or even public knowledge, but i had a huge package and very restrictive contract. Oddly i was hired back again not long after, and stayed a few more years until they downsized again.

When i was working for a monthly magazine, no contract. But there I actually had info enough to undercut them on several major pieces of business. I ended up going to a publisher that did books, and annual reports, annual city magazines, and we actually were able to take some serious business that overlapped, as well as streamlining their production with stuff the other company paid to develop, and even used some vendors I brought along.
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 1:42 pm

Joe Lee wrote:
i had a huge package

Braggart.

Not long ago, I read about a relatively new newspaper chain that was attempting to force its employees to sign contracts. (Print media, unlike broadcast media, traditionally do not work under contract). There was an anti-nepotism rule so strict that if husbands and wives worked at the same newspaper, even if neither supervised the other, one would have to quit or be fired. There also was a non-compete clause similar to TV contracts. So you could be laid off at any time -- and then you could not work for a "competitor," which meant any print, broadcast or online operation that reached any readers in that metro area. Essentially, you would have to quit writing or move to another state.
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 3:07 pm

ChrisW wrote:
Exclusive contracts are basically a way to ensure that no one else can bid for the creator's services. TV networks made a point of signing stand-up comedians to exclusive contracts to prevent others from giving them a tv show. For Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Paul Reiser, it worked out. Of course, it helps when there are viable options for a creator. As the only viable competitor to DC, Marvel isn't screaming for a Jerry Ordway comic book.

At one point, DC was screaming for a Jack Kirby comic book, but even they wouldn't publish whatever Kirby pushed on them. It would have to meet the standards of what they consider saleable, and DC was entirely within its rights to decide what DC thinks it can sell. No one except a self-publisher can guarantee publication of whatever they produce. DC wouldn't have published a book of New Gods sketches in 1970, and I suspect they'd only be marginally interested in 2013. There aren't enough people who want to buy a book of New Gods sketches - unlike, for instance, people who wanted to buy another installment of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series, where the publisher handed Asimov a bigger check than he'd ever seen before and told him to bring back the fourth installment - and there aren't enough people on the editorial level who just want the book to exist regardless of what it costs (unlike, for instance, the publisher of "The Fountainhead", who insisted that it was an important book and he would risk his job to make it happen.)

Asimov and Rand had other options for their work. "The Fountainhead" was rejected by at least a dozen publishers, and is now one of the best-selling books of all-time. If we accept music as a precedent, Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf have often said that music companies were formed for the specific purpose of rejecting their album. "Bat Out Of Hell" is also one of the all-time best-sellers, and far-and-away the best-selling album where all words and music were created solely by one man (Jim Steinman.)

Who's going to pay for Jim Steinman's piano doodlings? Jack Kirby's random sketches? A Jerry Ordway comic book?

If a company doesn't think something will sell, they have a perfect right to not pick it up, or if they do, not promote it. But the second part leads to some rather odd behavior specific to large corporations, while I've noticed that even unusual material that's actually promoted gets an audience. If something's good, and people know about it, it will sell, is my very narrowly-accepted perception. It clashes with 'what everybody knows'.

Some of the best novelists and artists of all time were productive well into their late 70's--Hermann Hesse, Kurt Vonnegut, Pablo Picasso and Norman Rockwell come to mind--why are comic book creators different? Like I've said elsewhere, it seems a case of 'Observer Phenomenon' crossed with genuine AGEISM.

Ayn Rand cornered the 'Mary Sue-laden, writer's tract for budding sociopaths' market, and good for her. I've always loathed Jim Steinman's songwriting. As much as I love Jack Kirby, he was starting to lose it a little before 1980--but in 1970, he started providing content cannon-fodder for dozens of subsequent creators, and has made DC a lot of money in the bigger picture--whole swathes of Superman legend are the result of Kirby.

Meanwhile, I've little doubt in my mind that a Justice Society of America comic written and/or drawn by Jerry Ordway would be one of their top-selling, 'second tier (not Batman or Superman-related)' books.
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 6:06 pm

I'd love to see Ordway over at Dynamite doing some pulp character book. Public domain, creator owned whatever. He's awesome on period stuff, but I wouldn't mind seeing him do some period scifi.

He'd be perfect on a Doc Savage book.

Maybe a Rocketeer mini at IDW
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Chris W



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 9:51 pm

"A corporation will never pay you enough money to sue them."
- Dave Sim

"If you don't like Jim Steinman's songwriting, you're basically less than human and need to die."
- This one's mine.

I'm also blanking on what Kirby added to the Superman mythos. I could be wrong, but I don't think he created Morgan Edge. Even if he did, Edge is hardly a major character. What else did he add? The Cadmus Project? Feel free to elaborate, but I don't see much of anything that Kirby brought to Superman that DC could still use, beyond "Jimmy Olsen" reprints.
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 9:56 pm

Ok, Kirby did create Edge (and I forgot about Intergang) but they are hardly well-known as Superman characters.
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:03 pm

What about Darkseid and the whole of the New Gods? They have been a huge part of Superman's supporting cast Post-Kirby, especially in the animated versions. And Darkseid was cast as one of Superman's greatest foes in the Superman: Thr Animated Series/Justice League/Justice League Unlimited.

Not sure if that fits what your talking about.


Last edited by Joe Lee on Fri May 03, 2013 11:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Darkseid?

They've rode the New Gods horse pretty thoroughly in TAS and Smallville, besides a couple dozen comics story arcs over the last 40 years.
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James Ritchey III



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:07 pm

Beat me to it by seconds, Joe Lee. Smile
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:08 pm

Oh yeah but i forgot about smallville, he was the big bad the last whole season.
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Fri May 03, 2013 11:49 pm

I thought of the Superman/Darkseid connection, but I really don't see that as being part of the Superman mythos per se. One of my favorite parts of the JL cartoon had Lex Luthor entering the Source and coming out five second later with the Answer. It's a cute merger of different fields, but not intrinsically different from the JLA/Avengers crossover. Kirby brought Darkseid and the New Gods to DC, Superman is the main DC hero, so eventually he'd probably encounter Darkseid. He's fought the Joker, after all. Iron Man has probably fought Magneto too, just because it's an obvious idea. To me, it doesn't qualify as "whole swathes of the Superman legend." They'd team Superman up with Prez, the Spirit, or Captain Carrot if they thought they could spin a few dozen storylines out of it.
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Peter Urkowitz

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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Sat May 04, 2013 11:31 pm

Joe Lee wrote:
"No one is left here that knows his first name...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnU3zuqncwo

That Ben Folds guy is damn good.

He also seems to be able to find cool gigs working with a wide range of people, like that West Australian Symphony Orchestra concert.

I'm sure that musicians can be just as desperate for work as cartoonists, but it does seem like there are at least a diversity of venues for their talents. I read somewhere that if you can stick it out in the music business for a decade or two, then jobs as producers or songwriters or other kinds of behind-the-scenes work tend to open up. Maybe the nature of comics makes that not applicable, but it would be nice if there were more places for older professionals to evolve into.
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Sun May 05, 2013 12:34 pm

ChrisW wrote:
I thought of the Superman/Darkseid connection, but I really don't see that as being part of the Superman mythos per se. One of my favorite parts of the JL cartoon had Lex Luthor entering the Source and coming out five second later with the Answer. It's a cute merger of different fields, but not intrinsically different from the JLA/Avengers crossover. Kirby brought Darkseid and the New Gods to DC, Superman is the main DC hero, so eventually he'd probably encounter Darkseid. He's fought the Joker, after all. Iron Man has probably fought Magneto too, just because it's an obvious idea. To me, it doesn't qualify as "whole swathes of the Superman legend." They'd team Superman up with Prez, the Spirit, or Captain Carrot if they thought they could spin a few dozen storylines out of it.

But you have to take into account much of what we know as the "Superman Legend" came from the non-comic book versions, including Kryptonite, The Daily Planet, Jimmy Olsen, all from the radio show, the Phantom Zone came from the Atom-man serial, HELL, Superman didn't fly until the Fleicher cartoons, he just leaped. I would think that would still hold true these days even more so with comics readership being less than it was in the old days, 50's, 60's 70's...

More people see the live action shows, animated and movie versions than the comics, and these days especially. So the vast majority of people who are aware of Superman, people who may be fans, but might not be into comics, see Darkseid as a Superman villain. He wasn't in any of the other character's shows, Batman cartoons, just various live action and animated Superman shows and he was toe to toe with him all through the two JLA shows, i would think that would count for something.
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Joe Lee
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Sun May 05, 2013 12:48 pm

Lawson wrote:

Braggart.
oops pale
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Lawson



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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Mon May 06, 2013 11:20 am

DC definitely has milked Jack Kirby's Fourth World for all it's worth over the last few decades, in the comic books and in the animated and live-action shows.

I'm not sure that Kirby intended for Darkseid and the New Gods to be such a core part of the DC Universe. Yeah, he introduced them through the JIMMY OLSEN comic, so Superman was flying around on the margins, but that was more of a serendipitous fluke based on Kirby getting that initial assignment. Otherwise, those 1970s comics tended to be set in their own universe. Which makes sense -- the super-powered New Gods seem a little less special if the place already is crawling with hundreds of super-people. What's the big deal about Orion if he's no stronger than Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel or Martian Manhunter?

But -- DC didn't have great cosmic-level villains like Marvel did. So after Paul Levitz used Darkseid as his surprise bad guy in the LEGION's "Great Darkness Saga," he became the go-to cosmic-level villain. Still is. And hardly anyone wanted to create new characters for DC after the Bronze Age, with creators' rights being so weak, so the Fourth World was used to flesh out DC's dusty old pantheon.

Based on how frequently we can find a Fourth World character in a DC project, it's hard to believe the original comics didn't sell.
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PostSubject: Re: Blacklisting the BEFORE WATCHMEN team   Mon May 06, 2013 11:48 am

I think it's interesting that Marvel with all the choices they have, is going to use Thanos their version of Darkseid, for a huge movie crossover villain. There are do many other options.

I'm not saying it's like using The Squadron Supreme, or The Sentry, or even The Black Cat in a Spiderman film. Will the general public see the differences or care? Not sure, it's just funny to me that there are so many villains more obviously unique and uniquely Marvel, it just surprised me they would use a villain so obviously a Darksied homage.

one is a titan
one is a new god

one courts death
the other is seeking the anti life equation

one is ugly, stocky with a blue outfit
the other' outfit has orange trim
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