If you’re on Twitter, you may have already noticed that today is #CreatorOwnedDay on the service – and elsewhere on the internet – with comic creators challenged to come up with new characters and ideas that they would own and control. It’s also the first day of Tom Spurgeon’s effort to mention creators’ names in connection with their creations instead of the publishers, something he launches with a post naming three characters’ creators in case you weren’t aware. Clearly, creator rights are on a lot of minds today, and deservedly so, as Steve Bissette points out when responding to the latest round of Avengers movie teases:
I won’t be seeing The Avengers movie. I will encourage others to avoid it, if and as I can.
The thought of sitting through another bloated multi-million dollar-budgeted charade about how “it’s right to fight for justice” when Marvel/Disney can’t cough up the equivalent of, say, one day’s shooting budget for catering or grips to toss a bone to Jack’s heirs—well, that act of enduring that film isn’t at all attractive or appealing to me any longer on any level.
THE AVENGERS? It’s a sham.
If you’re not bothered by, or have made peace with, the Kirby Estate/Marvel situation, then what about the Siegel and Shuster heirs and DC, in regards to the ownership of Superman? Or the Watchmen situation with Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and DC? Or, for that matter, the lawsuit between Tony Moore and Robert Kirkman over The Walking Dead‘s rights and royalties?
Creator rights are one of the big, messy areas of comics that have historically only been addressed half-heartedly (albeit with good intentions); whatever the reason, it feels as if the collective patience with this unresolved existence is wearing thin, and change may be around the corner. Things like #CreatorOwnedDay and Spurgeon’s efforts may be small starts, but here’s hoping that they lead to bigger things.