Marvel and DC films have been quite a success for the companies involved. Yet, the harsh reality unveils that it hasn’t been too kind for the creators of the characters, we’re seeing on the silver screen. In a very revealing piece by The Guardian, we get insight into how comic creators are facing the harsh restrictions set by frugal companies and their refusal to compensate their creators.
We get quite a few examples of how contractual wordings are quite the slippery slope. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created the iconic Watchmen series that became the basis for a popular HBO series. They had a contractual share on merchandise profits, but they simply retitled it “promotional items” and refused to pay out the comic creators.
An anonymous Marvel creator had the following to say after his character’s appearance in the popular film franchise:
I’ve been offered a [special character contract] that was really, really terrible, but it was that or nothing. And then instead of honouring it, they send a thank you note and are like, ‘Here’s some money we don’t owe you!’ and it’s five grand. And you’re like, ‘The movie made a billion dollars.
It’s just a small glimpse into how contractual obligations are misconstrued. Harley Quinn’s Jimmy Palmiotti also recommended to lawyer up when you work with a comic book company. They also get a ticket to the premiere alongside the check, but there is no obligation to do so. The reason this practice is the norm is due to how comic creators work for the companies. Marvel seems to be quite infamous for its tight contracts and frugal approach. It’s not too surprising given the rumors surrounding their CEO Isaac Perlmutter.
Still, it’s terrible to read how these creators of our childhood classics are being treated to this day and, hopefully, this is the necessary wake-up call to make due. If you’re interested in reading the full article on the controversy, you can check it out here.
Source: The Guardian