Justice Society Credits Removed?

Justice Society cover
Justice Society
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Greg at Howling Curmudgeons reports that not only does the new 1970s Justice Society collection not have an introduction or afterword (expected, if they’re trying to cut costs on historical material), they actually went to the effort of erasing credits on the reprinted story pages where they appeared.

What’s going on? DC’s collected editions department was traditionally pretty good in providing this kind of information. I just talked about Superman vs. the Flash, for instance, which credits everything. Taking out credits isn’t laziness or cost-cutting; that’s trying to rewrite history.

What do they want people to not know? Are they eliminating erroneous earlier credits or trying to avoid correct information that might affect ownership or reprint rights?

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5 Responses to “Justice Society Credits Removed?”

  1. Dan Coyle Says:

    Isn’t there some dispute over how much royalties are paid on reprints of DC material from 1976-1997? I think that was cited as a reason why the Jonah Hex collection stopped short of reprinting any of the ongoing and slotted in unrelated “bonus” stories. That may have something to do with it, but I doubt it. It’s the only thing I could think of.

  2. Tony Isabella Says:

    This royalty issue has been raised, but I think it’s absurd. Yes, it’s true many of the DC contracts of the era call for per page reprint fees. Big deal.

    Did it ever occur to DC to just contact the various creators and renegotiate that on a per book basis? The way publishers do in the adult world?

    I’ll go on record here and now as saying I would be happy to renegotiate on a per book basis if it meant DC would reprint my Black Lightning work. I’d like to see those stories back in print.

    I suspect most other creators would be willing to renegotiate as well.

    Tony

  3. Tommy Raiko Says:

    Look, there seem to be obvious issues with DC’s reprint fees from a certain period and the publisher’s willingness to publish material that invokes those fees and/or their willingness to renegotiate those fees.

    But I honestly can’t believe the absence of creator credits is a conscious attempt to dodge required royalty payments. (OK, I suppose it’s theoretically possible that a creator’s agreement could specify they’re due payment only on credited reprints, but that’s so absurd that unless someone can prove otherwise, I’m gonna pile that up along with all our other favorite conspiracy theories.)

    Maybe someone made a conscious (tho’ controversial) decision that the work looks aesthetically better without the credits in place. Maybe the stat, or the file, or the whatever they were reprinting from lost the credit box. Maybe someone just plain screwed up.

    Honestly, this is one of them cases where I’m reluctant to chalk it up to malfeasance when carelessness might be just as good an answer…

  4. jfire Says:

    I posted a review of this book recently on my site and addressed this issue.

    The creators are listed in the front of the book en masse, but the credit boxes at the beginning of each issue have been digitially removed.

    I’m inclined to agree with the previous poster: Removing the credits was likely an effort (a wrongheaded one) to make the book appear more “seamless”–like a long graphic novel instead of a collection of old comics from the 1970s. The “next issue” blurbs also are missing.

    But these reprints of individual comics never read like long graphic novels. That’s not the way they were originally created. It’s silly to try to make them appear like something they’re not. Plus, it’s a slight to the original creators.

    My review (including scans showing the disappearing credits) is here:

    http://www.thisispopculture.com/2006/09/review-justice-society-vol-1.html

  5. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Following up on the earlier question about why individual credits were removed from the Justice Society collection, someone claiming to be Paul Levitz has posted the following (a few up from the bottom of the page): I apologize for the lack of credits on the individual stories, an error I personally found heart-breaking because of its effect on the Origin, which also had a dedication to Shelly and Gardner. The second volume will in some fashion include the credits from the first, which will be restored if we ever do a second printing. [...]

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