Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney gloms Marvel

This is big. Bigger than a giant-size man-thing. Disney comics always keeps the original art, same policy that Fox set at Bongo with The Simpsons art. Marvel's stated policy has been that they own the art, and only return it as a gift. We'll see. Fred Hembeck sez, "I guess Howard can finally get rid of those silly pants now, huh?..."

Read an article on the deal's Eisner/Iger connection, here. Read writer Steven Grant's cogent thoughts on the purchase, here. And read a couple of Disney/Marvel limericks at Limerwrecks, here, and here.


Kevin Nowlan said...

It would be strange if Marvel adopted Disney's policy on original art, especially now that many (most?) artists send the work in digitally so Marvel never touches the originals.

surly hack said...

Strange would be putting it mildly.

Kevin Nowlan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Nowlan said...

But do you see my point? Let's say most of the Marvel artists send in their work digitally; some editor has to call them up and ask them to mail in the originals after the fact? So Marvel/Disney can keep them? Nah, I can't see it.

(Sorry about the deletion... I just wanted to fix a typo.)

rafael said...

"Uhm, hello, artist-guy? Yeah, this is editor so-and-so. Listen, just wondering... could you send me the original art for the big-crossover-event-of-the-year-that-will-change-the-marvel-universe-forever!-issue that you did? What? You sold the originals? Uhmmmm... could you send me the names of the people you sold them to? Better yet, could you send me your hard drive?"

surly hack said...

I hate to break it to you guys, but Bongo inkers who digitally file their work then have to mail the art in. I'm not saying this will happen at Marvel, but it ain't easy organizing artists--especially widely dispersed artists--to stop a company action. Though the internet will make it harder for the companies to play off the artist's isolation, we'll still have to have a backbone.

Kevin Nowlan said...

Okay, I didn't know that. It sounds crazy but you've worked for them so you know the score.

But I'll assume that original art sales are a large part of the average Marvel artist's income and that if it's taken away there'll be a big exodus away from the House of Ideas.

surly hack said...

Kevin, You know what they say about assuming. :)

And don't sweat the deletion. Does it feel wrong, like using white out on an otherwise pristine drawing?

Kevin Nowlan said...

That's exactly what it feels like! Thanks for understanding!

But I'm gonna stop speculating about Disney/Marvel because my predictions are always wrong.

I was going to ask if you'd work for them, knowing that they'd claim ownership of your originals but I guess I already know the answer since you were okay with Bongo's policy. Or were you?

It's not unusual for me to sell an original for twice my page rate. If DC doesn't change their policy and Marvel does, I'd be crazy to work for Marvel.

surly hack said...

Bongo does pay a better rate to compensate, but only a small percentage of what you can get for your art.

In accepting work, there are two reasons that compete: How much fun it is, and how much it pays. I love the Simpsons' characters, so Bongo comics are fun for me.

Kevin Nowlan said...

Why would a publisher want to keep original art? It seems like an odd, outdated policy no matter how you look at it.

tomfowler said...

hi guys,

i am currently doing a job for disney press. they're NOT keeping my originals. my editor basically made a reasonable argument to disney legal, and they scratched their collective noggins and said:


i'd like to think, based on that experience, that the people at disney are prepared to defer to the the "experts" on how to deal with how they keep their own houses.

that said, a certain amount of healthy, self-preservatin' skepticism is never a bad thing.

ps... i love you both (but not in a gay way)

Kevin Nowlan said...

Hi Tom,

I love you and Hilary right back!

Glad you were able to work thing out with the Disney folks. That's a good sign.

surly hack said...

So, this is now, officially, something other than a gay love-fest. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Group man-hug!

My logic is often chaotic
I'm borderline surly-neurotic
My thinking is hazy
I'm that close to crazy
But don't call me homo-erotic

A.R.Yngve said...

Disney probably isn't really interested in comics pages as much as in the "properties"(=characters and stories).

I don't expect the comic books and the work of comic-book artists to change (much)... but this takeover should very likely lead to a LOT of new superhero-based TV shows.

Comic-book writers might get new job opportunities in television. Will artists prosper from such a job market too? (Concept art? Storyboarding?)