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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #144

This is the one-hundred and forty-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and forty-three. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Marvel got into trouble for using the likeness of Amy Grant on a Doctor Strange cover.

STATUS: True.

You know, I’ve avoided using this one for awhile, because I thought it was fairly well known, but when reader yo go re told another commenter the other day to check the archives of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed for information on the topic, I realized that, well, it really ought to be, just for completion’s sake. Then a really interesting thing happened – as I did some research, I came across a ton of misinformation about the situation, so I was probably incorrect to think that it was too well known of a story, because a lot of people keep getting it wrong.

In 1986, Amy Grant released “The Collection,” a greatest hits package of her work to that point, which became an extremely popular album (going platinum at least once).

amy-grant-stay-for-awhile-the-collection.jpg

In early 1990, Doctor Strange, Sorceror Supreme #15 came out. It was the second part of a five part story, which involved Marie Laveau, based on a real-life American woman who practiced voodoo in New Orleans in the 19th century. On the cover, artist Jackson Guice depicted the character named Marie LaveauMorgana Blessing with a familiar look to Amy Grant fans…

3645_4_15.jpg

Soon after the issue came to their attention, Amy Grant’s management team, Mike Blanton and Dan Harrell, quickly filed a complaint against Marvel Comics. Now here is where it gets tricky. They were not, as many folks think, suing over copyright infringement. First off, the copyright for the photo belonged to photographer Mark Tucker (an accomplished Nashville commercial photographer, whose work has graced a number of music albums – you can check out his website here), so that wouldn’t work.

No, the complaint, filed by Blanton and Harrell in federal court in Tennessee, was related more to the fear that it would appear that Grant was authorizing the use of her likeness, and was therefore condoning the comic book, which would affect her standing in the Christian music community. Reading from the complaint,

many fans of Christian music consider interest in witchcraft and the occult to be antithetical to their Christian beliefs and to the message of Christian music in general. Therefore, an association of Amy Grant or her likeness [with Doctor Strange]…is likely to cause irreparable injury to Grant’s reputation and good will

A US District Court sealed an out-of-court settlement between Grant and Marvel in early 1991, with a consent decree that Marvel did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing.

The issue may or may not have been asked to be pulled from stores, but since it was a monthly book, such an order really doesn’t have much of an effect (as seen in a previous installment of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed involving NFL Super-Pro, an order to remove usually is not that effective when the item is a periodical, as the issue is usually sold out by the time it is ordered to be removed, or heck, sometimes the next issue has already come out!).

Thanks to yo go re for reminding me I ought to feature this one.

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Steve Lightle died in a car accident last August.

STATUS: False.

One of the more annoying rumors are those that involve a fairly notable person dying when he/she did not, in fact, die. What kind of jerk do you have to be to start a rumor like that?

Anyhow, some such jerk started a rumor in August of 2007 that artist Steve Lightle died in a car accident.

Reader Terry asked:

I heard recently that one of the most underrated artists ever, Steve Lightle, died in a car accident. I’ve not been able to find anything confirming or denying this. Any answers?

The story worked pretty well as a rumor because Lightle has been mostly out of the industry for quite awhile, and was never the most public of figures even when he WAS doing comics (like his acclaimed run as Legion of Superheroes artist, following Keith Giffen).

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In any event, Lightle recently did a variant cover for Action Comics, and produced the cover for DC after he was rumored to have died (the comic was released in December).

ACCv860var1.jpg

Add that to the severe unlikelihood of DC hyping a variant cover by Lightle (like this January piece at Newsarama about the covers) on the internet without mentioning that he died months earlier, and I think it’s safe to give this one a false.

Now if someone could get an actual quote from a living Steve Lightle, then I’d go from 99% sure to 100%! So get on it, people!

Thanks for the suggestion, Terry!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC’s Mature Readers line was formed due to a storyline involving incest.

STATUS: Basically True.

As a lot of readers know, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing was first referred to as “Sophisticated Suspense” with issue #31, which was released without the Comics Code Authority stamp of approval.

2636_4_31.jpg

The previous issues, #30, was Comics Code approved.

2636_4_30.jpg

However, it was actually the PREVIOUS issue that really caused the ruckus.

Saga of the Swamp Thing was one of the first (if not the first out of all) DC comics to be intentionally released without Comics Code Approval…

2636_4_29.jpg

The reasons were two-fold.

The first involved this horrific two-page spread involving lots of scary zombies that artists Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben cooked up. Remember, as mentioned in a previous edition of Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, at the time, the Code was fairly restrictive on scary stuff, so that even more than a year AFTER this incident, they would not accept artist Kevin O’Neill work PERIOD, as ALL of it was deemed too scary!!

The second, though, involved the storyline itself. In the story, it is revealed that Abby Cable’s husband, Matt, who was miraculously healed following an accident, was in fact being possessed by Abby’s own uncle, the evil villain, Anton Arcane!! And the two of them had sex in the issue!! That was also too much for the Comics Code folks (note that I originally had a brain lapse, and wrote father instead of uncle, which is silly, as I knew the joke in the issue was that he reveals himself by telling her, “Say Uncle”! Thanks to the folks who wrote in to correct me).

And since that was basically a major part of the issue, DC decided to ultimately release the issue without the Code approval, and once they made that decision, presumably felt that since the world didn’t end with that, they would just stop submitting it for Code approval, all together, leading to their “Sophisticated Suspense” “warning” that the comic was intended for adult readers.

Now, I say “basically true” because I really do not know if DC was planning on doing this ANYways, and this just sped things up. It was pretty clear at the time that A. The book was a hit and B. Alan Moore was going to continue exploring some pretty dark areas, so it was probably expected that they would eventually have to do something with the Comics Code.

It just so happens that it was this story that made them finally go through with it – I just do not know whether it just sped things up, or whether it decided things for them.

Many thanks to John McDonagh, who sent me this one, and is probably responsible for more urban legend suggestions than any other reader! Thanks again, John! You’re the bee’s knees!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for all this week’s covers!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

See you next week!

70 Comments

“One of the more annoying rumors are those that involve a fairly notable person dying when he/she did not, in fact, die. What kind of jerk do you have to be to start a rumor like that?”
I ran across a weird twist on this one the other day- I was interviewing Paul Smith from Maximo Park, and amongst other crazy rumours, his wikipedia page stated that he left Maximo Park three days before the interview. The interview where he was talking about a tour he was going on with, you know, Maximo Park.

I don’t think it’s right to compare the Amy Grant and Hopi incidents, because there are two differing circumstances involved here.

What happened with NFL SUPERPRO was a matter of sensitivities being offended, which while a case of bad manners isn’t really enforceable by litigation.

Amy Grant, however, could cite her right of publicity, which is a somewhat more evolved legal precedent and could have been pursued more vigorously, hence the out of court settlement. (cf: http://www.publaw.com/rightpriv.html)

I don’t think it’s right to compare the Amy Grant and Hopi incidents, because there are two differing circumstances involved here.

The comparison was only to the logistics of removing a monthly comic book from the shelves, Jim.

The link quotes Buzz Dixon (writer of the NFL Superpro issue) about how an order to remove has little effect, as the books are normally gone by the time they’re ordered to be removed (or heck, the next issue sometimes is already on the shelves).

But just in case anyone read it the same way you read it, I edited in my above comment! :)

*Abby’s own father, the evil villain, Anton Arcane*

Anton Arcane is Abby’s uncle, her father is Grigori Arcane, the Patchwork Man.

SanctumSanctorumComix

February 29, 2008 at 6:39 am

I didn’t realize that people were mixing up the reason behind the Amy Grant bruhaha.

Yeah, she was more horrified by the fact that her face was displayed – hugely – as a part of a “satanic” comic story & used to represent a voodoo witch character than anything else.

But, being a huge Doctor Strange nut, I read all about it when it was happening.

She shouldn’t feel TOO put out though.
BECAUSE of it, I actually went out and BOUGHT that CD of hers (to be placed IN my Doctor Strange collection).
So, it did garner her my dollars.

Maybe some other crazies did so as well.

~P~
P-TOR

SanctumSanctorumComix

February 29, 2008 at 6:43 am

Oops… I mistyped.

She wasn’t being portrayed as the voodoo witch (Marie Leuveu), but Morganna Blessing; a willing bloodletter to a vampiric character (Doctor Strange’s younger brother; Victor, who was the 90’s incarnation of “Baron Blood”).

Yeah.

~P~
P-TOR

Interesting as always, Brian. Slightly off-topic, but will CSBG be posting up anything to celebrate Superman’s 70 birthday today?

I thought DC intentionally released the issues of GL/GA dealing with Speedy’s drug addiction without CC approval.

IIRC, Marvel did one in the 70’s also, but in Spider-Man.

I remember selling that Amy Grant issue of Dr. Strange back in 1990.

One day, someone who I’d not seen before walked into the store where I worked and bought a copy.

As he paid, he shook his head and said, “Oh man! Marvel are in a lot of trouble!”

He must have heard the ruckus and thought he was buying a collectors item!

I thought DC intentionally released the issues of GL/GA dealing with Speedy’s drug addiction without CC approval.

IIRC, Marvel did one in the 70’s also, but in Spider-Man.

Not quite. Stan Lee was asked by anti-drug government sorts to do an anti-drug story in Amazing Spider-Man #96-8. When the CCA refused to permit even a negative depiction of drug use, Lee published the story anyway.

As a result, the CCA altered their rules to permit anti-drug sorts of things, so a year or so later, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, and Dick Giordano had no trouble publishing the famed heroin storyline…with CCA approval.

Huh. thoughts on all three things:

-I’d never heard the Amy Grant story, so I’m glad you decided to go ahead. I think you can probably assume that there’s always one of your readers that isn’t familiar with an urban legend, no matter how widespread it may seem.

-Steve Lightle may be the single most under appreciated artist in comics. I believe the first mention of his possible death may have actually been in the CBR forum

– For all the flack DC editorial has gotten over the years from Alan Moore, they really should be commended for allowing him to push the envelope early on. They could have very easily sent that story back and told him it was unacceptable, but they allowed his artistic vision to win out. I guess it’s too bad they didn’t do the same with Rick Veitch a few years later.

Hey Brian, great week… and i say that because it looked like you were raiding my longboxes! I was reading Swamp Thing back then, and never noticed the change, only that the stories got cooler… and I was a huge Dr. Strange fan, too, and didn’t notice it looked like Amy Grant until the legal battle brewed up.

Not only did that Alan Moore story lead to DC eventually putting “Mature” labels on their comics, it led to Alan Moore leaving DC because the creators had not been consulted by DC before deciding to label the books.

Moore’s position on this is made clear in an old issue of The Comics Journal, but I don’t have access to the specific issue at the moment.

Planetary, The Lost Girls and the Ultimates all contain overt incestuous reference, as did Camelot 3000. However, it’s always been the 60’s & early 70’s relationships between comicbook family members that felt creepy to me. Wanda & Pietro, Light Lass and Lightning Lad, even Sue and Johnny were way to lovey-dovey for my tastes. Anyone with siblings can tell you brothers and sisters rarely kiss, tell each other how “great” they look or act extrememly jealous when a significant other comes in the picture. This was all common practice between siblings early in the silver age.

Jonah Weiland did a great interview with Steve Bissette back in 2003 in which he details his work on this issue and the behind the scenes concerns. It’s about 2/3 of the way down. Check it out! http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=2907

“One of the more annoying rumors are those that involve a fairly notable person dying when he/she did not, in fact, die. What kind of jerk do you have to be to start a rumor like that?”

No joke, this actually happened to me. I work for a small newspaper, and a competitor got fed up with me printing correct information as opposed to the falsities they were spreading, so, instead of doing their job and checking their facts before going to press, this other writer decided to do something more drastic, and told people throughout my coverage area that I was dead.

I’ll tell you, there’s nothing more disturbing than friend and family calling you and asking if you died.

People are just sick.

Not that I consider myself notable or anything. I’m just sayin’…

I doubt Amy Grant herself would have cared so much about being on the cover of a Doctor Strange comic book other than that they so obviously swiped her image without even asking.

Yes, the copyright went to the photographer, but it’s still pretty bad when you take someone’s face and massively “stamp” it on a cover! At least ask the person first! (Hmmm … of course … I’m not sure if it’s as bad as constantly using one’s image … did Marvel get approval before they decided to use Jackson as Ultimate Nick Fury?)

In any event, Amy Grant’s publicity WOULD be concerned … even if she wasn’t … because as a Christian I’m painfully aware of those who call themselves that and are hyper-sensitive to such things.

Growing up in a private Christian school, I had to endure being surrounded by those who could not listen to rock ‘n’ roll, or even some who couldn’t even watch Smurfs or Care Bears because they were “magical”. He-Man was banned at the school because of the actual title, and Halloween was a definite no-no.

Again, they weren’t all like that but because some of the parents were fanatical we all had to suffer. (Of course, I had to taunt the children who couldn’t partake in such things and whether or not they believed the same by singing the latest pop songs or describing in detail the shows they coudn’t watch.)

Sooo, Dr. Strange would definitely had been a no-no with peeps such as these and would probably have had a witch-hunt for poor Amy. Considering in the 90’s upon the release of her first secular album, she faced those fanatics who said she was no longer a Christian as a result, and there were actually those who boycotted her and destroyed her previous cd’s because of her video, “Baby, Baby.”

Although the song was about her daughter, it could also be thought of a cutesy love song, and although in the video it was just a story, these fanatics were outraged that she didn’t use her husband as the man she was hot for.

But yeah, Amy Grant herself (aside from maybe being pissed at the lack of consent) would probably have joined with Marvel and had a publicity photo put out with her reading the actual issue smiling at it, but because of psycho fans …

Anton Arcane is Abby’s uncle, her father is Grigori Arcane, the Patchwork Man.

Indeed, the punchline of the issue is Arcane saying “Say Uncle!”

The amazing thing about that issue is how incredibly subtly Moore actually wrote that issue. The incest is never actually directly mentioned, but when you connect the dots you can’t help but exclaim “Ohmigod that’s sick and horrifying!”

“Not only did that Alan Moore story lead to DC eventually putting “Mature” labels on their comics, it led to Alan Moore leaving DC because the creators had not been consulted by DC before deciding to label the books.

Moore’s position on this is made clear in an old issue of The Comics Journal, but I don’t have access to the specific issue at the moment. ”

if he really did leave because they were lableing the comics ‘mature’ why did it take him his entire run on swampthing to leave? They started the Suspensfull Fantasy thing farely early on in his run on the series, so why would he leave a few years later? why not leave immediately, if he was so fed up about it?

Did Amy Grant’s likeness appear on more than one comic book? Because I saw an X-men graphic novel that had a picture that looked like Amy Grant. I believe it was “God loves, man kills.” It had Rev. Stryker in it.

Thanks for the clarification, Brian. Yes, that is an important distinction, though the situation described is more of a de facto happening as opposed to something that would void the order.

In lay talk, that means that when the issue finishes its run and gets pulled from the shelves as part of its schedule, that’s it, it’s over. If it keeps going to press afterwards, however, then the order to remove should still be in effect, and all penalties attached thereto come into full force and effect.

Having said that, I’m sure some reader is going to come back and ask about a reprint of either cover that they’d seen. If there was one done, I’d love to hear about it, as it would make a great test of how effective orders to remove are.

I bought all of those Alan Moore Swamp Thing comics off of a comics spinner in a Peoples Drug store when they first came out, (God how I miss seeing those comics spinners in drug stores and 7-11s!) and I remember when finishing up that infamous necrophilia/ incest issue thinking how fucking bold Moore’s writing was and how ballsy of DC to take the stance of not seeking out the comics code aspproval anymore.

I always say that the Vertigo imprint really started with Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing and when you think about it… all the stuff that Vertigo is known for (Sandman, Hellblazer, Lucifer, etc) all owe their existence because of events that happened during Moore’s run on Swamp Thing.

Well, searching google, I can’t find another comic-book image that looks like Amy Grant. Maybe I got things confused. Still, I could have sworn. . .

He must have heard the ruckus and thought he was buying a collectors item!

And he did. For a time at least. Marvel would go on to reprint the book with the cover having a blank background.

So, Amy Grant killed Steve Lightle?

I thought Alan Moore fell out with DC over their refusal to pay royalties to him and Dave Gibbons from the sale of the smiley face buttons used to promote ‘Watchmen’ or is that another Urban Myth?

@Scott R – Are you thinking of the X-Factor: Prisoner of Love prestige?

http://comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=48928&zoom=4

Jackson Guice is the artist in both cases and the women do look similar – but I think its coincedence.

Since Lightle’s not actually dead, it’s okay for me to say that the Action Comics cover kind of sucks, right?

Superman looks more like Superboy, and the lighting and pencil-work are too Image-y for my tastes.

Brian from Canada

February 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Moore’s latest fallout, IIRC, had something to do with the fact that the producers announced Moore had given them approval for their film adaptation based on the script, but in fact had never bothered to contact him in the first place. Since Moore wasn’t taking any royalty checks — film royalties went to the artists instead — ending is relationship with DC/WildStorm was his answer.

Don’t know if he’s still ticked at Marvel for the latest Cap. Britain TPB fiasco, though.

You think Lightle’s Action Comicw cover sucks, Apocada? Seriously?

Wow. I was thinking it’s actually better than his older, classic work.

Anton Arcane is Abby’s uncle. Her father is his brother, the Patchwork Man.

I remember hearing that Robert Loren Fleming was run over by a bus in Calcutta or something. As far as I can tell, it was a joke, but I’ve never been sure. I heard it a few different places, he departed Big Blown Baby after the first issue with a sad little strip by Bill Wray looking him in the next issue, there was something about his twin brother…it made my brain hurt for a while trying to figure it out.

I totally agree with post # 12.

wow, that Dr. Strange thing had never been an Urban Legend entry before? I’m quite surprised. Primarily because now I have no idea where I first read about it, if it wasn’t here.

That’ll teach me to go look at the archives myself before sending someone else there in a fruitless search…

i thought that Alan Moore left DC because he, Frank Miller, Marv Wolfman and some other guy all went to the person in charge of DC and suggested that the comic books be rated in the same way that movies were. The person in charge refused, and all of them left DC and vowed never to return. (as near as i can tell, all of them have returned. Miller later did DK2, Wolfman did that Titans annual a year or two ago, and Moore has worked with Wildstorm, which is part of DC.)

Thanks for the uncle/father correct, folks. Total brain fart on my part.

Actually, comixkid2099, you’ve got it backwards. All those creators were AGAINST the ratings system that DC wanted to impose. Oh, and the other person was Howard Chaykin, if I recall correctly.

The Fantome:

Who was the implied incestous relationship in Camelot 3000? I’m not doubting you, it’s just been a while since I re-read it and don’t recall that…

Hey Brian, you changed the “father” thing, but it still says up there that Amy Grant was depicted as Marie Laveau. As SanctumSanctorumComix pointed out above, that’s not the case.

Laveau is the African-American lady crouching behind Baron Blood on the right. The large caucasian face of Amy Grant is supposed to be the face of longtime supporting supporting character Morgana Blessing, as identified in the caption.

It’s a great comic by the way. At the time, I thought it was Roy Thomas’s best work in twenty years, and Guice’s work was amongst his best.

Thanks, Matt (and Pete). It’s funny, I don’t know if Grant’s people even knew for sure which character Grant was “cast” as. :D

The real irony in the Amy Grant situation is that not too long after the Dr Strange issue, she released her first “secular” album (Heart in Motion which sold far better than any of her CCM albums had done within a single year of release–several of her earlier CCM albums have sold more overall than Heart has but that’s counting several years of sales) which earned Amy a great deal of ill will from the Christian music community which actually accused her of selling her soul.
Then, just to sweeten the irony, Amy’s image was even further tarnished with the Christian community when rumors of an affair with country star Vince Gill started up after the two had recorded the title track for her 1994 album, House of Love. The rumors seemed justified when Amy and her husband separated in 1998 and divorced the next year, and married Gill less than a year after her divorce was finalized. (Gill had also gone through a separation and divorce from a long-time marriage at nearly the same time as Grant.)
The really remarkable thing about the rumored affair and later divorce was that the CCM community, while being initially shocked, didn’t really “punish” Amy; her albums continued to chart well on the CCM charts and to receive vast airplay at CCM radio. It’s just too bad that Amy felt a need to take action over the Dr Strange issue, something which only drew more attention to the book, which was a relatively poor-selling title anyway (I worked at a comics shop when the book came out, and I don’t recall our having more than 6 or 8 shelf copies, which DIDN’T sell out despite the “controversy”; I think it sold slightly better than other issues had).

Yeah, comixkid2099, what melvin bradley said.
Miller, in fact, wrote MANY COLUMNS in several of his Dark Horse projects (Sin City and Martha Washington) actively denouncing the idea of a “comics ratings” system, noting that DC’s simple “Suggested for Mature Readers” hadn’t really done much except to target those books by overzealous prosecutors wanting to “protect the kiddies from porn”.
If I recall correctly, Miller wasn’t opposed to keeping certain books out of the hands of “impressionable kids” but he felt the best way was to get the parents to actually spend time looking over and through the books to see if they were suitable for their kids. But Miller didn’t want some oversight committee to do a “one-size-fits-all” system for an industry which, for the most part, doesn’t sell to kids.

Thinking in terms of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing not getting a comics code: I heard a rumor that Neil Gaiman’s Sandman got censored once by the DC editors, and this was over the fact that he mentioned masterbation in an issue, and was explained by the editor: “There is no masterbation in the DC universe.” For all I know you covered this already, but still wondered if this were true.
Also, I’m a little stumped by the Camelot 3000 incest. In Arthurian mythology, one of Mordred’s origins is that Arthur had sex with a female relative through some sort of magical coersion (sometimes Morgaine le Fay, but in ‘Once and Future King’ it was an aunt or cousin of Morgaine le Fay). But this was not the origin they gave Mordred in this version. They actually went for a more disturbing origin… Still, there were so many cases of characters being reincarnations of siblings that something could have occurred. Sorry, but its been forever since I read that series or ‘Once and Future King.’

Aaron Kashtan

March 1, 2008 at 8:25 am

Will Eisner did a rather memorable story about a man who was falsely reported to have died. I think it was in Invisible People.

“Moore’s position on this is made clear in an old issue of The Comics Journal, but I don’t have access to the specific issue at the moment. ”

if he really did leave because they were lableing the comics ‘mature’ why did it take him his entire run on swampthing to leave? They started the Suspensfull Fantasy thing farely early on in his run on the series, so why would he leave a few years later? why not leave immediately, if he was so fed up about it?”

He didn’t leave because of the “Sophisticated Suspense” blurb on the cover. He left because of “For Mature Readers” label that first appeared on SWAMP THING #57. which they eventually did without consulting creators.

He didn’t leave because of the “Sophisticated Suspense” blurb on the cover. He left because of “For Mature Readers” label that first appeared on SWAMP THING #57. which they eventually did without consulting creators. He immediately stopped working for DC once that issue was released, but his last issue was #61 because he was already four months ahead on his scripts.

thanks for the correction, guys. that is what i get for believing wikipedia.

One of the reasons that Mr.Moore is that he feels that he’s essentially lost his rights on books such as “V For Vendetta”. “V4V” was originally done in Warrior – an anthology comics magazine published by Quality Comics. It was well received,but never finished due to Warrior being folded. 13 years pass – and DC – having some critical success with Mr. Moore on his Swamp Thing run and other projects – decide to re-publish the saga in mini-series form – and add the missing finale that was always missing – again – 13 years after the fact. At the end of the run, they decided to reprint the whole series in a trade paperback.

Sounds pretty good so far for everyone doesn’t it ?

Not sure how reprinting 13 year old work by Mr. Moore – which was essentially unknown outside of the UK – and giving him the chance to finally finish it off – and then publish it all together in trade format – which was definitely not a common practice back then – well sounds awesome really ! DC at the time, despite giving Mr.Moore the chance to make all this money for long past efforts with the power of theuir marketing efforts behind it – made him one more promise – that the complete rights would revert back to Mr.Moore himself a mere 5 years after the book went out of print.

A bazillion printings later – and probably mainly more to come – and growing due to the popularity that the film had .. it seems as if the book will never go out of print, and therfore – never ever revert back to Mr.Moore. Of course – Mr. Moore is PISSED – because he knows he has signed away the book forever to “greedy corporate scum DC”.

Personally, I don’t believe that DC ever meant to “steal” the book from Moore. I truly believe DC believed they were doing the right thing – more or less creating an environment where an artist could essentially “lease” out their books to DC – and eventually have the books return to their “parents” when DC had gotten “fair use” out of them. At the time – neither DC or Marvel had much success with anything non-capes ( such as “V for Vendetta” ) and trade paperbacks were almost a “weirdo” item – which didn’t tend to have more than a single printing. Books such as “Watchmen”, “Sandman” and “V for Vendetta” changed all that. Not only had the trade paperback overtaken the “pamphlet” ( single comics ) market, but stuff tends to stay in print for years, and has multiple printings.

The REAL Ken Kneisel

March 2, 2008 at 12:39 am

To the fake Ken Kneisel that keeps impersonating me on here: Please stop impersonating me. It’s really not very funny and in fact I’m pretty sure it’s illegal.

you should totally report him to somebody…

In post #13, Ken Raining said,

“- For all the flack DC editorial has gotten over the years from Alan Moore, they really should be commended for allowing him to push the envelope early on. They could have very easily sent that story back and told him it was unacceptable, but they allowed his artistic vision to win out. I guess it’s too bad they didn’t do the same with Rick Veitch a few years later.”

Do you folks at Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed have access to the art for the Swamp Thing issue that was never published, where Veitch wrote about Swamp Thing’s encounter with Jesus Christ? Some art has come out, but to get the entire story in one place would be great…

Wonder what Rick Veitch had in mind after Swamp Thing met Jesus…

Well, Catullus, to go one better than Jesus, he’d have to meet someone who really matters.

He’d have to meet Grant Morrison.

It’s really interesting to hear all these theories on why Alan Moore left DC. None of which have ever been clarified by either side. Is it really worth it? Alan left because of creative differences, I think that’s enough. he never worked for them again and stayed at Wildstorm long enough to decently finish off his ABC stories, then folded the line because Jim Lee sold Wildstorm (out) sorry, to DC.

“The issue may or may not have been asked to be pulled from stores”

You seem to have a bit of a problem using the passive voice. You’ve used this weird grammar before. Clearly, you mean “Marvel may or may not have been asked to pull the issue from stores.” Instead, you’re saying that someone may have asked the issue itself to go to Marvel and say, “Please remove me from stores.” Which is an amusing image, but unlikely, to say the least.

It’s true that I’ve always had an issue with the passive voice. It particularly came up a lot in Legal Writing during Law School.

He didn’t leave because of the “Sophisticated Suspense” blurb on the cover. He left because of “For Mature Readers” label that first appeared on SWAMP THING #57. which they eventually did without consulting creators.

As I understand it, it wasn’t the “mature readers” thing so much as the whole rating system DC had planned that never wound up happening anyway.

I read an interview with him where he said that at that point he was fed up with corporate comics, and was practically looking for a final straw to make him leave anyway.

[…] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptmany fans of Christian music consider interest in witchcraft and the occult to be antithetical to their Christian beliefs and to the message of Christian music in general. Therefore, an association of Amy Grant or her likeness [with … […]

SanctumSanctorumComix

March 8, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Hey. Speak of the devil.

Joe Q mentions the DOCTOR STRANGE cover in a recent interview/Q&A session at a convention.

Here’s the quote:

JQ: Yeah, there have been but you have to understand that an artist using models and photo references to assist them in their work has been going on for quite some time — there is nothing new about any of this. The only new thing is thing called ‘the internet’ and basically, it is just a matter of time before someone looks up the image and finds the reference. A lot of artists use themselves as a model — I know Alex does, I know I do…it’s the same thing. And sometimes, to expedite matters, an artist will find a reference and they may not even think about where it comes from and they will use it. Low and behold, before you know it, that photograph is found and it’s out there!

You just really have to be careful with what you use as a reference. Likenesses are a much bigger problem — there’s that famous Amy Grant album cover that was used on a Dr. Strange cover, I believe — and that led to a lot of serious legality issues. There are going to be times when you use a likeness and someone may not like it — you just have to be really careful. We do encourage our artists to try to avoid that — but again, we do have to produce work and produce it quickly. Fans of comic books these days demand a certain level of fine detail in their books and artists try to compensate for the amount of work that they are trying to expedite — the pressure is tremendous.

The entire story is HERE:

http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=149363

~P~
P-TOR

Rob Postuma @ 53:

It never fails to amaze me how many fans will bend over backwards to apologize for the Company Policy toward those presumptuous artistes who dare think they might deserve rightful compensation, or god forbid, fair treatment for the products of their blood, sweat & imagination.

One can quibble with Mr. Moore’s take on events; but your take is filled with false “facts” and even falser assumptions.

To wit:

“V4V” was originally done in Warrior… but never finished due to Warrior being folded. 13 years pass –

Three (3) years pass. Last Warrior installment comes out in 1985; first DC issue of V comes out in 1988. But the length of time isn’t really germane to your false assumptions.

…and DC – having some critical success with Mr. Moore on his Swamp Thing run and other projects -

Yes, just some critical success. Let’s not mention the fact that Moore’s take on Swamp Thing arguably laid the groundwork for DC’s entire Vertigo line in terms of both audience acceptance and stylistic approach. Oh, and in terms of “other projects?” There was a little thing called Watchmen — the first issue of which came out in Sept. 1986 and which caused a bit of a shockwave within the comics industry; come to think of it, outside it, too. It remains the only graphic novel to win a Hugo award, I believe.

…[DC] decide[s] to re-publish the saga in mini-series form – and add the missing finale that was always missing – again – 13 years after the fact. At the end of the run, they decided to reprint the whole series in a trade paperback.

Again — three years after the fact. And DC didn’t just out of the blue “decide” to publish the work as some favor to Moore; reportedly, other publishers had approached him about reprinting and concluding the series. Why, why would anybody be interested in reviving this obscure, ancient, forgotten work that would lie fallow forever if not for the largesse of some generous publisher, possessed of an almost avuncular indulgence for those creative types and their wacky passion projects? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Moore was one of the hottest, most talked about talents in comics at the time (*cough*, Watchmen); perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Eclipse comics had some small success by reprinting and convincing Moore to complete another half-finished Warrior serial entitled Miracleman.

Sounds pretty good so far for everyone doesn’t it ?

You seem to think that DC was doing Moore some giant favor by bankrolling the completion of V; I think you may have it a bit backwards.

Not sure how reprinting 13 year old work by Mr. Moore – which was essentially unknown outside of the UK – and giving him the chance to finally finish it off – and then publish it all together in trade format – which was definitely not a common practice back then – well sounds awesome really !

Given Moore’s track record at the time, the chance to print any project “new” to a whole new crop of American Moore fans may have sounded to DC Comics a bit like a license to print money.

Oh, and that trade paperback: Watchmen, collected in book form in 1987 – if I recall, just in time for the Christmas trade. I wonder if the numbers on that influenced DC to try it again?

Oh, yes: and three years. Have I mentioned that? Though I still don’t see what that has anything to do with anything.

DC at the time, despite giving Mr.Moore the chance to make all this money for long past efforts with the power of theuir marketing efforts behind it –

And Moore was giving DC the “chance” to put out a publication that they could promote as a more-or-less “new” work from the creator of the critical and commercial juggernaut Watchmen. A work which he, reportedly, had received other offers to complete in other quarters.

[DC] made him one more promise – that the complete rights would revert back to Mr.Moore himself a mere 5 years after the book went out of print.

I don’t know the details of the contract; I do know that Mr. Moore feels that, on both V and Watchmen, he and his collaborators got screwed because DC followed the letter rather than the spirit of the contract, on the reversion of rights and other matters. (There was another stink regarding DC weaseling out of paying royalties on Watchmen merchandising items because they kept claiming that they fell under the “promotions” exception.)

A bazillion printings later – and probably mainly more to come – and growing due to the popularity that the film had .. it seems as if the book will never go out of print, and therfore – never ever revert back to Mr.Moore.

The only thing that seemed more unlikely in 1987 than a comicbook getting collected in trade was the idea that it would be in print for two decades plus, nonstop; of course, the wording of the contract makes it in the company’s interests to keep the book in print as long as their remained any further possible profitable exploitation of the material. And of course, if we follow the letter of the agreement rather than its spirit, we should feel no obligation to renegotiate terms of the deal with the Creators of the work.

This is hardly the only beef that Moore had with DC over the years: scroll down to the May 23, 2005 entries over here.

Personally, I don’t believe that DC ever meant to “steal” the book from Moore. I truly believe DC believed they were doing the right thing –

And you don’t think Moore believes he’s doing the right thing in taking a principled stand for creators’ rights?

Unbelievable.

There are many valid criticisms to make of Mr. Moore’s position; you’ve failed to make any of them.

Ha ha ha! I’m amazed the rumor got spread so widely. Its great to see it got this much attention, so is my partner in crime, Nina Lightle. To be honest, we’re suprised, looking back on it now, it seems so phoney, we don’t know how anyone could have believe it. As far as i can tell, all those involved were pretty pleased with it. Good work disproving it though. Hope to see you guys again soon, xD

(And yes, i am the Blue-Tail from the post, not just someone trying to take credit)

I congratulate you guys on disproving the Steve Is Dead rumor, though I am completely surprised Blue-Tail’s little rumor actualy caught on! I thought for sure that me saying “WHAT? I was just kidding about being Steves daughter!” would have for sure given it away.
I congratulate everyone whom helped us become what we are today, amused beyond all belief.
You have no idea just how funny this is, to us of course.
To those of you whom don’t know how the rumor begun, here it is.
http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=125929&page=2
And so I thank you all once more and take this most prestigious of awards. -bows out after saving page to favorites-

[…] Comics’ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #15, where the likeliness of Christian musician, Amy Grant was used on the cover. The lawsuit ended with “a US District Court seal[ing] an out-of-court settlement between […]

Lawyers say such stupid things. Was the appearance of Amy Grant’s image on a Dr. Strange cover (which I imagine fewer than one per cent of her fans would ever even become aware of) really going to cause “irreperable harm” to her image? Answer: of course not.

It’s been a LONG time since i read “Camelot 3000″ (and a long time since this article), and i don’t recall if they followed the original in this context, but the incest in the Arthur legends involves Arthur and his half-sister Morgan (possibly they didn’t know they were related) that produced Mordred.

I thought I was being a great Amy Grant fan when I lived in South Florida in the early 90’s. I had read about the use of her likeness on the cover of Dr. Strange, so I would buy up the copies and just toss them. I stopped doing that one day when I walked into a shop and the owner offered me 2 AUTOGRAPHED copies signed by Amy Grant during a radio promo tour! If she did not care, then why should I.

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