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  1. #166
    You're Talkin' Gibberish! Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    In theory then, since not all contracts are equal(work for hire or other) even at one company, is it possible that Priest, McGuire etc all might have minor differing stipulations within their contracts? That despite this he said/she said of whether they were allowed the opportunity to buy back the rights that some clause may make all of this void having gone through bankruptcy.
    Maguire, not McGuire. With apologies for the knee-jerk.

    I would think that the kind of difference it would take to have the reversion clause voided by bankruptcy would require a major structural difference in the contracts, not a minor differing stipulation; the buyback clause in the all-new books were almost certainly word-for-word the same. But it's at least possible, if not terribly likely.

    I'll also note that if Kevin is correct about what Priest and Bright were told about their attempted buyback, that Acclaim's reasoning made no sense. If they didn't run the contract by someone they should have and still signed it, that doesn't invalidate the contract. Unless there was a clause to that effect, which would be a big red flag to lawyers and others reading the contracts. If that's what they were told, then it was just stonewalling of the "No, we're not honoring the deal, sue us if you like" sort that some companies too often feel they can get away with.

    If that's indeed what happened, that's a shame and a black mark for Acclaim, and hopefully not anything the new Valiant would think was binding.

    But yes, the only people who know for sure precisely what the contracts say are the people who've read them. Which is why what I said about the subject was that VEI owes creators "whatever the contracts say they owe."

    I can't speak to precisely what the Q&W contracts say (I've got the language on the buyback clause in my files, but can't be 100% certain that their language is the same as mine) -- my point is that bankruptcy doesn't erase all previous agreements, doesn't undo all obligations, and anyone telling you it does is either confused or trying to get you to believe something that ain't so. And that the idea that if you create something for a company you aren't due any further compensation is nonsense.

    They owe whatever the contracts say they owe, and each contract may have slightly different language establishing what, exactly, that is.

    But there is no blanket erasure of those contracts or their obligations due to bankruptcy.

    kdb
    Last edited by Kurt Busiek; 03-29-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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  2. #167
    Senior Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Busiek View Post
    I can't speak to precisely what the Q&W contracts say (I've got the language on the buyback clause in my files, but can't be 100% certain that their language is the same as mine) -- my point is that bankruptcy doesn't erase all previous agreements, doesn't undo all obligations, and anyone telling you it does is either confused or trying to get you to believe something that ain't so. And that the idea that if you create something for a company you aren't due any further compensation is nonsense.

    They owe whatever the contracts say they owe, and each contract may have slightly different language establishing what, exactly, that is.

    But there is no blanket erasure of those contracts or their obligations due to bankruptcy.

    kdb
    Thats where I was going after your example that even within Marvel, or DC, work for hire would vary.
    A possible key difference that occurred to me after my prior reply was that you did Ninjak, a wholly original character created by another that belonged to Valiant.
    So I couldn't imagine you'd have a clause in your Acclaim contract that would allow you to purchase the rights to Ninjak, even your version of him.
    That seems to the be issue with Priest, Maguire et al that we've heard. That their contracts allowed them an option to purchase and/or maintain the the rights to Q&W/TA.

    With the pulse the new Valiant seems to have on it's fanbase I've got to think by now this dust storm has registered on their radar.
    So is it safe to assume at least one, if not more is true:
    1) It's legally resolved in their favor, so they just won't address it. It'll blow over given time so don't fuel this with a response.
    2) It's something that was overlooked in the years of legal wrangling and is now being addressed behind the scenes.
    3) They aren't aware of this matter being discussed online at all.
    4) They are aware and are likely drafting a well worded response to the allegations/seemingly unresolved issue now brought up by the announcement of a Q&W ongoing.
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  3. #168
    You're Talkin' Gibberish! Kurt Busiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    Thats where I was going after your example that even within Marvel, or DC, work for hire would vary.
    A possible key difference that occurred to me after my prior reply was that you did Ninjak, a wholly original character created by another that belonged to Valiant.
    I wouldn't describe our Ninjak that way. He's not wholly original, since he's got a pre-existing name, but he wasn't created by another because the name is the only bit he shares with the Colin King version. Ninjak v2 is essentially a new character with an old name, and that's an element that could be easily separable, legally. Revert the rights, ditch the name, and we'd have to call him SAMURAX or something.

    So I couldn't imagine you'd have a clause in your Acclaim contract that would allow you to purchase the rights to Ninjak, even your version of him.
    I do have that clause in the contract, but I don't think it would apply to Ninjak himself, because of the name. Whether it would apply to Lord Akuma, Kraniak or the other new characters Neil and I created, I'd have to check. We do have rights to D-Struct, a villain we created over in STATIC, so that sort of thing is possible, but that was a different deal.

    My guess, without looking, was that the contracts covered multiple eventualities, so they had boilerplate saying, "If you're reviving an old concept, see Appendix A, if you're revamping an old name with new concepts, see Appendix B, if it's a whole new thing, see Appendix C," and like that. So they had one basic contract for the whole launch, but were able to cover multiple eventualities -- Priest & Bright's reversion possibilities, Neil's and my share of licensing moneys generated by the new concepts, etc., with the specifics spelled out in modular attachments.

    That seems to the be issue with Priest, Maguire et al that we've heard. That their contracts allowed them an option to purchase and/or maintain the the rights to Q&W/TA.
    They sure did. That possibility was gone over with all of us, even if it was only to show off what generous terms Acclaim was offering.

    I think there's more than one Priest property tangled up in that, too. He was writing at least one other new series that never made it to print but would have had a similar deal.

    With the pulse the new Valiant seems to have on it's fanbase I've got to think by now this dust storm has registered on their radar.
    So is it safe to assume at least one, if not more is true:
    1) It's legally resolved in their favor, so they just won't address it. It'll blow over given time so don't fuel this with a response.
    2) It's something that was overlooked in the years of legal wrangling and is now being addressed behind the scenes.
    3) They aren't aware of this matter being discussed online at all.
    4) They are aware and are likely drafting a well worded response to the allegations/seemingly unresolved issue now brought up by the announcement of a Q&W ongoing.
    Could be. I expect they'll address it one way or the other, but if anything's happening in private, they're not going to rush to make a public announcement until they've been advised by lawyers.

    And not just by lawyers, since if the lawyers' position is "Those guys may have been promised better than this, but we don't think we're bound by those promises, so they get nothing," as has been suggested is the only possible result here, then that won't tamp down any further fuss, it'll just fuel it.

    I expect they'll want to figure out a course that they feel works for them both in legal and public-relations terms, rather than anything that would be perceived as dismissive of Priest & Bright.

    But all this goes to show -- we keep getting told that creators' rights issues are something from the bad old days of Siegel & Shuster deals, or Lee & Kirby deals, and things have gotten better. But the examples just keep marching forward in time -- Ghost Rider, Blade, Wolverine, Watchmen, the Men in Black, now Quantum & Woody --

    It's a lesson to creators and publishers alike: Even if you're careful, even if you don't intend to be anything but fair, doesn't mean the next guy in the office will feel the same way (and by 'next guy' here I mean the guys who came after Fabian, not after Acclaim). Ownership issues, particularly in work-for-hire deals, need to be navigated with both good intentions and skill.

    I don't envy anyone involved in any of this, and hope all parties find a mutually satisfying resolution.

    kdb
    Last edited by Kurt Busiek; 03-29-2013 at 06:56 PM.
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  4. #169

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    I just want to say I'm really grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and professional experience with us. I've learned a lot here.

    Thanks.

  5. #170
    No Reservations Cthulhudrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Busiek View Post
    I think there's more than one Priest property tangled up in that, too. He was writing at least one other new series that never made it to print but would have had a similar deal.
    The late, lamented Concrete Jungle: Legend of the Black Lion (which had direct ties to Quantum and Woody). One issue did make it to print, but that was all. I still have my copy of the printed version, as well as a couple of copies of the black and white preview.
    Last edited by Cthulhudrew; 03-29-2013 at 10:59 PM.

  6. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by ireactions View Post
    I just want to say I'm really grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and professional experience with us. I've learned a lot here.

    Thanks.
    ^^ ^^ ^^

    Thanks for taking time to post on this Mr Kurt Busiek
    always good to hear from someone in the Know ! not just a reader like myself ! I'm still enjoying Valiant Comics and will still buy them ! I'm not just "having a go that the man !" just feel that this is something that needs to be addressed by Valiant, just to clear things up ! as this sort of thing that might put off not just readers but new writers and artists as well

  7. #172
    Senior Member hunter_peterson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ireactions View Post
    I just want to say I'm really grateful to you for sharing your knowledge and professional experience with us. I've learned a lot here.

    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy the Cat View Post
    ^^ ^^ ^^

    Thanks for taking time to post on this Mr Kurt Busiek
    always good to hear from someone in the Know ! not just a reader like myself ! I'm still enjoying Valiant Comics and will still buy them ! I'm not just "having a go that the man !" just feel that this is something that needs to be addressed by Valiant, just to clear things up ! as this sort of thing that might put off not just readers but new writers and artists as well
    I also want to thank Kurt Busiek for coming into this thread, like a BOSS!

    And if Mr. Busiek is still reading this thread, I'd like to thank him for Superman: Secret Identity, which I thought was phenomenal. I haven't read Astro City yet, but as soon as there's some great collections if it I'll be all over it. I'm thrilled he's on the mend and back to work and wish him the best for the future. He's the embodiment of awesome and if I had to evacuate the Earth, he'd be on one of the first ships.
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  8. #173
    Senior Member hunter_peterson's Avatar
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    Now, about the actual announcement... I was a little bit leery of Quantum and Woody being the next Valiant launch, but the creative team is great (Gambit is fantastic and Fowler is godly) and the interview synched up really nicely with Christopher Priest's blog on what he thought the original series was actually about.

    It actually makes sense to incorporate this property into the Valiant U right now, to me at least, for several reasons. The other options all have some stylistic overlap with the current books, whereas Q&A is quite distinct, being a fairly straight super-heroic book with character comedy. The other books also are all original Valiant titles, making one coming from the (less exciting) Acclaim stable a niche for introducing more of those characters. And the properties unique to that never really got to interact with the classic Valiant characters, so there's definite room for that to be interesting. I honestly can't say I know where they're going to take this book in relation to the other titles, and that's exciting! A more classic superhero duo operating in the context of the Valiant U is just a very interesting one, too, because of the morally ambiguous nature of the rest of the leads. In-universe, Q&W are even stranger. I like that.

    The brothers thing seems partially to make their closeness easier to establish and also to distance them from A&A, I think, and I'm open to it. That said, I'm a newer Valiant reader and have no attachment to the old series. I'm quite excited for a new incarnation of these characters that stands on its own and is tailored for a modern audience.

    As for the whole ownership thing that has been brought up here, I think that it's far too murky an issue to pick a side at this point And we should wait to hear more. I think it would be immensely respectful if Valiant allowed the original creators to finish their run in trade form, using the remastering time to produce the new editions. Doubtful, but a nice idea. Honestly, as long as they get a decent royalty, as many other work-for-hire creators do, I would consider that adequate tribute.
    Looking for artists, know I won't find any. That blows.

  9. #174

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    I think Asmus' ideas for streamlining the original setup are pretty solid. From the preview pages I saw, I really liked how Tom Fowler captured the insane action with some vivid body language and expressions.

    While I would have liked Priest and Bright back, I wonder if maybe the people you don't want doing a reboot of QUANTUM AND WOODY are the same people who did it the first time. The best project for them, I think, would be to find some way to finish their second, unfinished arc (#18 - 40?) and release that alongside the reboot. The way Larry Hama is doing GI JOE: REAL AMERICAN HERO next to the rebooted GI JOE series from IDW.

  10. #175
    Senior Member G. Boney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter_peterson View Post
    The brothers thing seems partially to make their closeness easier to establish and also to distance them from A&A,
    Good point...hadn't thought of that.
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  11. #176

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    someone could always start a new thread where we all forget about the creator's rights and the buyback clause, for those gang ho on buying the title !

  12. #177
    Senior Member hunter_peterson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy the Cat View Post
    someone could always start a new thread where we all forget about the creator's rights and the buyback clause, for those gang ho on buying the title !
    We could just discuss other topics and agree that there's not enough information to actually discuss... I just started a thread with a link to a video interview with James Asmus, if you wanted to use it for that.
    Looking for artists, know I won't find any. That blows.

  13. #178

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    OMG !!! you did !!! SORRY did not see it Just feel that some posters on here who normally do great posts, might be put off not posting ! As like I have already said I love what Valiant comics are doing at the moment but just have feelings over how they have handled Quantum and Woody so far ! This will not but be off buying all the other titles that I enjoy from them and also hope does not put others posting about them too !

  14. #179

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    Honestly -- I'm just hoping that Valiant will handle the situation or has handled the situation with fairness and honour. That's all most people were hoping for -- that Valiant, Priest and Bright come to a fair and mutually satisfying arrangement.

    It was only a select few posters who were joyfully championing the idea that Priest and Bright shouldn't receive any profits generated by their own creation, that product matters while the people who produce it don't, or that Valiant isn't bound to the contractual obligations of the intellectual properties they purchased. The ethical, moral and legal aspects of these arguments have been thoroughly debunked.

    We all want to see QUANTUM AND WOODY successful -- it's just that some of us who have some compassion for our fellow human beings would like to see QUANTUM AND WOODY's success shared by the original creators without whom QUANTUM AND WOODY wouldn't exist in the first place.

  15. #180
    Senior Member hunter_peterson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ireactions View Post
    Honestly -- I'm just hoping that Valiant will handle the situation or has handled the situation with fairness and honour. That's all most people were hoping for -- that Valiant, Priest and Bright come to a fair and mutually satisfying arrangement.

    It was only a select few posters who were joyfully championing the idea that Priest and Bright shouldn't receive any profits generated by their own creation, that product matters while the people who produce it don't, or that Valiant isn't bound to the contractual obligations of the intellectual properties they purchased. The ethical, moral and legal aspects of these arguments have been thoroughly debunked.

    We all want to see QUANTUM AND WOODY successful -- it's just that some of us who have some compassion for our fellow human beings would like to see QUANTUM AND WOODY's success shared by the original creators without whom QUANTUM AND WOODY wouldn't exist in the first place.
    Yes, I agree. I think that topic has been thoroughly covered (i quite liked most of your responses, btw), so maybe we should move on to something else for now? How do you feel about what we've heard about the book so far? Does the change of Q&W being brothers sit well with you? Isn't Tom Fowler just utterly brilliant? (That last one was rhetorical; I KNOW he is. )
    Looking for artists, know I won't find any. That blows.

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