If Alan Moore Wasn’t Pissed Before…

Excuse me if I digress for a moment, but now it looks like DC is pretty much making it a point to thumb their noses (or use whatever fingers they choose) at Alan Moore.  I try to stay out of the discussions about Marvel and DC as much as possible.  There are other sites which do it much better than I, and frankly could get an actual response from the publisher.  But this time I am breaking my rules and looking directly at something being produced by the Big Two.  This:

Watchmen Toaster

A Watchmen Toaster.

Really?

It wasn’t bad enough that DC decided to milk the Watchmen cash cow by creating Before Watchmen? But now they have to create kitsch products to sell along with it???

Yes, DC is entirely within their rights to do this. There is nothing legally against what they are doing. They are also legally within their rights to offer the heirs of Siegel and Schuster a paltry sum for creating the most iconic hero of all time. but just because you can do something does not mean you should do it.

In the end, this is exhibit 972 in the ongoing case of why creators should retain control of their creations. If not, you are going to get burned.

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4 Responses to If Alan Moore Wasn’t Pissed Before…

  1. Derek says:

    Personally, I don’t think ALan Moore has any right to get upset. Moore has made a career by doing what he wants with other people’s creations. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lost Girls, ect…

    Hell, even Watchmen was meant to be pre-existing characters.

    • Brian Gardes says:

      I can see that. And it is a good point. And all of those creators (or their heirs in the case of LoEG and Lost Girls) have every right to be upset about the use of the characters. But, in those cases, those properties have lapsed into the public domain. And, while the characters from Watchmen were originally intended to be the old Fawcett characters, in the end they were not. They were given new personalities, new back stories, and new identities. In short, even though they were originally intended to be established characters, they became original creations as he worked the story.

      Since he created them for DC, they own the rights to those characters (as they also own the rights to the Fawcett characters). And, because of that, he has no say over the direction of the characters he created, nor does he have say over the products which are licensed with those creations.

  2. Rich Johnston says:

    It’s not a good point. The original Watchmen contract was meant to be (and was promoted as being) a creator owned deal. There were headlines to this effect, arranged by DC PR.

    Then after the trade paperback happened and stayed in print, the creators discovered that it wasn’t creator owned at all.

    In other media, such as in film and TV, the writers and actors have gone on strike in order for contracts to be changed to reflect DVDs and then online sales. In comics, it was just Alan, he went on strike against DC. And has been on strike ever since.

    Also, DC didn’t make the toaster, it was a Warners license and distributed to comic stores through Dynamite.

    • Brian Gardes says:

      My “good point” was in response to the fact that Alan Moore has made several high-profile “creator owned” books involving characters he did not create. And, especially in the case of Lost Girls, I am sure that their creators would not be thrilled about their depiction.

      And you make a good point that Alan Moore has gone on “strike” against DC. Good on him for sticking to his guns. In this day in age of awareness and the plight of folks like Gary Friedrich, I would hope that more creators will learn from his example and demand changes to the contracts which allow the corporations to make the money and the creators to get a page rate.

      As to your last point, well, see my point above. DC did not make the toaster. Their massive corporate parent company signed a licensing deal which will allow the each corporation to make money off the property without the creators seeing a dime. Which they have the right to do. But that does not make it right.

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