Let Me Think About That Some More LinkBlogging

Remember, the Owner Makes the Rules

My favorite blogger, Graeme McMillan, captures a moment of justifiable anger on the part of Gail Simone (link no longer available). Apparently, Dan Didio was bragging about creators “feeling ownership” of their work on the new DC 52, while Batgirl writer Simone was finding out that “her” character was guest-starring in another book via company promotional mention. One might expect that she might be contacted internally beforehand to coordinate approaches to the character, but seems that’s not the way DC does things now. (Not that they necessarily did that before.) An unfortunate reminder that no matter how much the company encourages creators to feel invested, writers are not owners and their opinions don’t matter. And courtesy and communication go by the wayside very easily.

Wizard’s Public Numbers

Heidi MacDonald looks at Wizard World’s SEC filings to find out that they made $2.1 million from conventions in 2009 and $3 million in 2010. However, I think that’s a matter of diminishing returns, since they put on three shows in 2009 and eight in 2010. With fewer shows, they were averaging $.7 million each; with more, the return goes down to under $.4 million ($400,000) each. Of course, if costs aren’t equivalent, then my averages don’t mean much.

Actually, the statements go on to say that Wizard lost money on shows in 2009, but they made a profit in 2010, due to “the Company significantly cutting production costs on a per show basis while increasing the gross revenue per show. For example, the Company significantly decreased convention show staff and began utilizing more part-time staff to assist in running the live events.” So if you volunteered at a Wizard show for free, then you can feel good knowing you helped them turn a profit by eliminating staff costs.

Even more good/bad news, depending on your perspective — Wizard may not be long for the world. From later in the filing: “These factors raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Comic Documentary Explores the Future

You’ve got six days left to preorder a copy of Stripped: The Comics Documentary through Kickstarter. Dave Kellett (Sheldon) and Fred Schroeder are creating a feature-length movie in which they talk to over 60 cartoonists about navigating these changing times between print and digital. In addition to the expected “how did you get started in comics, the filmmakers are aiming to get some perspective on “where do comic strips go from here?”

They’re already funded (over $82K raised on a $58,000 goal), so you can be sure you’ll get the rewards you sign up for, but more money means better sound, paying for added animation and effects, and other enhancements. Interviewees include Jim Davis, Scott McCloud, Kate Beaton, Stephen Pastis, Jeff Smith, and many many more. They’ve posted two sets of sample clips to give some idea. I’m ordering myself a copy after watching those. Here’s the trailer:

Life’s Too Short to Hold a Grudge for THAT Long

Many of my readers (I hope) don’t remember the classic Rall/Hellman lawsuit feud. Sam Henderson does history a favor by capturing the high points of the 1999 (really? that far back?) dispute and some of its ramifications.

I was stupid enough to get involved in the debate at the time, when Ted Rall came trolling for evidence against Hellman on Usenet, which resulted in Rall calling me names for disagreeing with him. More fun, if you hunt up the decade-old posts, is seeing future Marvel editor Steve Wacker participating. I wonder whatever happened with that lawsuit, come to think of it? There were tons of words spilled over it, but I don’t remember if anything actually came of it.

3 Responses to “Let Me Think About That Some More LinkBlogging”

  1. whyjoshua Says:

    I continue to be astounded by the professionalism of Gail Simone. Never before has someone maintained such a “fan mentality,” openly interacting with her fans (through twitter and tumblr and message boards), discussing her love of the characters, joking about them, and criticizing the industry in general terms for its sexism/homophobia/etc., while still being such a vocal cheerleader (and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way) for the company that employs her and doing apologetics for them when they make an unpopular move (especially re:Barbara Gordon). I follow many DC creators on twitter, and she is one of the most prolific in terms of mentioning other people’s books and cheering them on.

    And yet, despite the unusual support given to the Secret Six crew, DC keeps throwing her characters under the bus. It really shows how DC has no clue how to support some of their most useful advocates.

  2. Heidi M. Says:

    The Rall/Hellman lawsuit was curtailed, as I recall, when one of the lawyers for one side or another died of a brain aneurysm.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Thanks, Heidi. What an odd ending.




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