DC to release Before Watchmen this summer


#1

http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2012/02/01/dc-entertainment-officially-announces-“before-watchmen”/

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#2

We all know DC Entertainment would rape Alan Moore’s corpse if it would yield them a few bucks.


#3

I will never get used to DC’s new logo.

I’ll still look out for this.


#4

This just seems so… unnecessary.


#5

So I guess DC dangled a lot of money in front of Dave Gibbons’ nose to act as an unofficial go-between to try to get Alan Moore on board with this thing. Guess how that turned out.

I realize that a lot of people are going to read that and think, “Gee, that Alan Moore is so grouchy”, so I will take a moment to point out that it was an extraordinarily scummy move on DC’s part, essentially exploiting Gibbons’ (thus far) enduring friendship with Moore in a guileless attempt to get Moore to back off from his clearly stated preference for non-involvement. Compound that with DC’s original scummy move of drafting a contract that would return the rights to Moore and Gibbons as soon as the book’s print run ended without telling them that they intended to keep the book in print indefinitely, at a time when keeping books in print was unheard of.

End result: Moore’s name is still nowhere near the project, though the ploy did succeed in (probably) forever sundering the relationship of the two people who created the god damn book in the first place. Nice job.


#6

Shameless money-grubbing, but who’d expect anything less from DC?

I want to not buy it on principle, but I also want to have it. What do?


#7

Think about how DC is counting on fans compulsively buying this despite the obvious objections associated with it, and think about how lowly they must view their own readership to think that way about them.


#8

I agree. We’re practically living in a new Golden Age of comics. There’s so much stuff out there to read that I don’t think I’m gonna be missing out if I don’t buy Before Watchmen. The marketing hype is driving it hard… And if there’s one thing that you can count on from comics fans, it’s the obsessive compulsive behavior to buy comics they don’t actually need.


#9

Here’s a nicely organized piece from David Brothers about the controversy:

http://4thletter.net/2012/04/if-newsarama-knew-better-it-would-do-better/


#10

That’s a very good piece.

I have often thought of DC’s management (DiDio in particular) as uncreative and imperceptive, but there were certain issues in DC’s past that I felt were at least progressed beyond by baby steps at this point. Now, I don’t think there’s been any progress at all.

It’s still the same company that let the creators of its most lucrative characters languish in poverty. It’s still the same company that had to be coerced into giving a pitiful stipend, decades after the fact, to the creators of its flagship character. It’s still the same company that screwed Moore and Gibbons out of the rights to Watchmen in the first place.


#11

Good read. I wasn’t aware that Levitz stopped Before Watchmen during his tenure. He also kept Barbara Gordon in the wheelchair despite several protests from DC’s staff (which also flowed out of a Moore story too, Killing Joke).

I have a ton of respect for Levitz.

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#12

DC ain’t about progress. They’re about regress. Everything they do hinges on their past glories, to a degree far more egregious than Marvel.

I mean, even their chief creative officer is Geof Johns. I think that about sums up the mindset of their style.


#13

Here’s another piece by David Brothers. http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/04/18/creator-rights-before-watchmen-avengers-moore-kirby/

He touches on many of the points in the previous piece I linked, but this editorial is even more ambitious as he includes Kirby in his discussion. He also has a lot of great links at the end of it. I definitely recommend reading this.


#14

Guh. My proletariat rage is absolutely boiling right now.

A question occurs. Batman Begins and (especially) The Dark Knight were enormously successful. Are Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson’s names in the credits?

EDIT:

Robinson is credited as a creative consultant–not as a creator. Finger isn’t credited at all.

Of course Bob Kane is credited. He legally has to be.


#15

What amazes me is all the comments on that article from people who mock and scorn Brothers’ opinion. It’s kinda pathetic how the majority of comics “fans” love these characters so much but have so little respect for the people who created them in the first place.

I don’t know if I have it in me to completely give up, cold turkey, everything Marvel and DC release, but I can certainly understand and respect someone who’s willing to do that based on his principles. I know my excitement for a lot of the stuff they’ve been doing has died down a lot over the past couple years. I mean… Avengers vs. X-Men? Really? People give a damn about who’s gonna win? Isn’t the real question, “Who cares?”


#16

It’s like a Big Mac. People are happier not knowing how the stuff in it got made or where it came from. They instinctively get mad when somebody infringes upon that happiness. It’s like something is being stolen from them by airing the unpleasant truth.

This is the saddest Moore quote from this entire debacle, and it’s uncharacteristically succinct: “I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen.” It’s such a simple thing, and it’s the one thing he’s not getting, never has gotten in past instances, and never will in the future.

I have already de facto given up Marvel and DC publications. It won’t be a big leap from “I’m not avoiding; I just don’t care” to “I am avoiding, because I’m pissed off”. I understand that it would be far more difficult for the people who like this stuff and follow it avidly from month to month.

What would really be hard to avoid is The Dark Knight Rises.

(Not because I’m anxiously looking forward to it, because I’m honestly not nearly as enthused about it as I might have been several years ago… but, hell, nobody’s going to believe me when I tell them that. You probably didn’t believe me just now.)

I narrowly avoided being dragged, kicking and screaming, to see the Watchmen movie. And that wasn’t nearly the “OMFG THIS IS THE MOVIE THAT EVERYBODY IN THE FUCKING WORLD HAS TO SEE” event movie that Rises is going to be. People are going to flat out be unable to process anything less than unmitigated enthusiasm for it. Nothing less than derision, and possibly social ostracism, can be expected for any attempt to avoid it.


#17

Well I’m sure your aware but to put this in perspective they can’t credit Bill Finger even if they wanted to. By law Bob Kane is the only one that can be credited for Batman’s creation.

The reason is Bob Kane’s dad is a lawyer and Bob knew the law inside out. He made sure this was the case.

It’s incredibly unfair but that’s how it goes. Bob Kane always took full credit for Batman everything. I’ve heard a bunch of stories of what a jerk he was in real life, but perhaps it’s best not to speak ill of the dead.

He in fact was not the only one involved. Superman was a ‘happy accident.’ After that there were a bunch of people involved with Batman’s creation because the entire company wanted to create a second hero. Bob just takes all of the credit.

Too be fair this is actually the case with a lot of comic book characters because we don’t always know all the details. Sites like Wikipedia and so on tend to credit a character’s creation to whoever wrote the comic and whoever drew the comic they first appeared in. But more often than not this is not the entire story. Many characters are created through company discussions and sometimes they are created by an entirely different writer / artist that are not involved in the first issue they appear in.

Still movies and so forth are never going to credit everyone involved because in a lot of cases no one knows or remembers the entire truth really.

I can’t really hate on what Bob Kane did. At least he didn’t get robbed blind like most people involved with the industry did back then.

Personally when asked who created Batman I do answer Bob Kane and Bill Finger most of the time. Even though ‘DC in the 1930s’ is probably the most honest answer.


#18

Man, Sano, didn’t you watch that “chicken nugget” scene from The Wire?


#19

I have no idea what you are referencing but I’m going to pretend it’s a compliment because it’s Friday! :party:


#20

I was just thinking of that scene. I’ll find it on YouTube/Vimeo/whatever as soon as my lazy-ass fingers move my cursor to the Google bar.

The way I heard it, Kane was approached by a lawyer sometime in the 1960s and they cooked up a scheme. The Batman movie was in production (yes, the shark repellant bat spray one) and DC was sinking a lot of money into it. The plan was that Kane would threaten DC with a lawsuit he knew he couldn’t win, but would cost them enough in legal fees that they’d have to cancel the movie. Of course, DC caved.

Later, Bill Finger called Kane up and asked about the arrangement, which led to a row. Finger pointed out that he deserved just as much credit as Kane, and Kane’s response was, “I just don’t see it that way.” And that was the end of it.

This is largely the anecdotal version, of course, but it comes by way of Will Eisner, if that helps.