- Posted by Johanna on July 14, 2008 at 9:18 pm
- Category: Comic News
I know few people in comics pay attention to Moonstone, but they publish some neat pulp-influenced titles, including a comic book version of the long-running action hero the Phantom. They’ve been putting out the series in various formats since 2002.
So they were somewhat surprised when, at the Chicago convention last month, Dynamite Entertainment announced that they’d be putting out a Phantom comic in 2009. When asked, Moonstone responded that they still had the license and were going to keep putting theirs out.
Moonstone contacted King Features and discovered that neither Moonstone or Dynamite had an exclusive license, so Moonstone could continue with its publishing program.
Dynamite responded by saying “we’ll wait until you’re finished, then,” announcing a two-year delay. But that wasn’t all! Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci gave a Newsarama interview where he made all kinds of insinuations about the competition:
it seems Joe [Gentile, of Moonstone] has jumped the gun on many of his claims. Joe made a situation, which could have been resolved amicably a bit uncomfortable for all parties. …
He was emotional, unfair to King Features and to Dynamite, as I do believe there could have been a more professional way to handle it. …
Although quite charmingly, Joe has been promoting Zorro as if he has the comic rights by not stating what he is publishing in his generic ads when he has no comic rights. …
We announced it, Joe got defensive, decided to go off on a soapbox without knowing all the particulars or stating all the facts accurately. He made the situation worse, King Features and I wanted to make the situation better.
Yeah, way to set a good example of professionalism there, Nick. And all while constantly claiming how his company is taking the high road and patting himself on the back for being a nice guy. You can’t prove it by this. And fans are noticing, with some going so far as to drop Dynamite publications after reading his comments.
So who screwed up? Who knows? It’s tempting, to conclude after Nick’s tirade, that Moonstone must be the nice guys, but we’ll likely never know the details. The lesson to take from this is threefold:
- If you’re going to pay for a license, make sure you’re the only one who can exploit it in your field.
- Ensure all the Ts are crossed before you go making public announcements.
- Be aware that sounding like a jerk when trying to give your version of the truth may backfire on you.
Update: Moonstone’s Joe Gentile responded to Nick’s comments in a statement that takes the high road.