Under the Weather LinkBlogging

Note to self: Do not eat KFC. Especially not when you’re already feeling crappy. Thankfully, these people appear to be feeling better.

In preparation for the upcoming release of the second Kat & Mouse book, Tokyopop editor Tim Beedle has begun posting behind-the-scenes art (link no longer available) from the series. I really enjoyed this charming tale of two schoolgirls solving mysteries, because the characters are modern, interesting, and snappy. It’s a pleasure to get to see what went into making them who they are.

Tom Spurgeon is running an end-of-year contest giving away the Strikeforce: Morituri series. Its premise, about soldiers given powers that will kill them, but no one knows exactly when, was ahead of its time but should fit right into a world that watches Heroes and Battlestar Galactica avidly. Personally, I recommend stopping reading when the writer changes from Peter B. Gillis to James Hudnall at issue #21 — it’s a distinct change, much for the worse.

Eisner judge James Sime wants your help determining nominations. He’s asking for suggestions of what you thought were the “fantastic” books of the year. I’ve already sent him my list.

Checker will be reprinting more CrossGen trades, but the creators of the work aren’t getting any money from it (unsurprising, given Checker’s track record).

Given that some of this work is what they weren’t paid for originally, I encourage readers to skip the books. If you need a more selfish reason, how about “I doubt that the stories have been wrapped up in any significant fashion, so you’re just going to be frustrated when they run out of inventory work to repackage.” My morbid curiosity wishes someone would sue — since they weren’t compensated, there’s some question whether the company even owned the copyright on some of the work they sold to Disney who then licensed to Checker — but I doubt it’s worth it monetarily.

Please note that former CrossGen creator Ron Marz is much nicer and optimistic than I am, saying

there’s really no reason to penalize Checker because Mark Alessi stiffed us. It would be great if the creators saw a little royalty money, or even just a token, but it’s really not something that Checker is responsible for. If you’re interested in the material, the best way to help out the creators is to pick it up, and show there’s an audience for it. If sales are decent, maybe there’s a little profit to go around.

3 Responses to “Under the Weather LinkBlogging”

  1. Lisa Lopacinski Says:

    KFC is gut-rot. I can’t eat it anymore either.

    that whole Checker thing bumms me out. The CrossGen stuff was pretty good, and when the bottom fell out and all of those creators were left empty handed, it really stunk. Now they’re taking the stuff and re-packaging it and those people who did all of the work are STILL empty handed.

  2. Nat Gertler Says:

    While I understand your discomfort, I’ll have to disagree here. Checker is in the right paying Disney, the people who own the work at this point, for the rights. If they were expected to pay double, they would likely simply not make the deal at all (remember, these books weren’t exactly vastly profitable in the first place – if they had been, this situation would not have arisen). The power of the bankruptcy procedings is the power to move assets unencumbered by debts on them, and then to use the money to pay off the creditors — which may not have availed the creative creditors much in this case (being so far down a long list of creditors), but in theory it’s what could allow the WFH creators to recoup some of what they were owed.
    This isn’t to say that there’s not room for Checker to find some way to work with the creators (for new covers, signed editions, whatever), but Marz is right. These guys were stiffed by Crossgen, not by Disney (who, in buying the rights, helped see that some of Crossgen’s creditors got paid), nor Checker (who, by creating a market for the rights like the ones Disney bought, helped make it worth it to Disney to pay the money they paid.)
    And before someone says that this is just me as a publisher talking – I’ve made a lot more money in my life as a freelancer than as a publisher. Been stiffed a few times myself.

  3. Johanna Says:

    I’m sure everything you say is right, Nat, but even if I was interested in a bunch of unfinished stories, I wouldn’t feel right morally knowing that the people who made them exist never got compensated for them.




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