Comics Creators

Marvel Movies & TV General Discussion


They just made $600 million in a weekend, $15 billion from these movies. The creators aren’t asking for tens of millions, but a few hundred grand thrown to a couple of dozen key figures wouldn’t be a blip in Disneys books but could make a real difference for the people who wrote this stuff and helped make the movies happen.

That’s my point. It’s shitty and it’s not something people care about with Disney. Even though the subject has long be raised in other situations. Creators getting their due is an old subject.

There’s not that many situations in business where one individual made something that changed the fortunes of a company and didn’t get anything other than their normal salary. It’s a common thing to have some sort of special compensation. I prefer to think of the creators like other entertainment careers - actors, directors, songwriters, singers, even athletes. The peak people in those careers have ludicrous wealth. Whereas there’s ex Marvel creators that can’t afford healthcare or have to sell shit at conventions just to get by. It’s criminal that the core people who made Marvel what they are now aren’t millionaires from their work, instead of being told they knew the deal at the time so tough shit. When one of the points is there were no movies like this at the time. They didn’t know just how much their ideas were going to make.

And surprising to me that the anti-corporate narrative that’s driven this era isn’t applied to someone like Disney.


I can care about it, but only to the extent of talking about it on the internet. I have the more immediate concern over administrators at my university being paid substantially more than the adjunct faculty (who often have to work multiple jobs or get public assistance so they can afford to pay back the loans they took out for their graduate degrees that allow them to make so little in the first place) while the college can build multimillion dollar athletic centers. I don’t mean that to be dismissive, just to provide an example. However sympathetic most of us are to the creators involved, we all probably have our own concerns, and, frankly, all of us continue to consume the media that’s produced, regardless of our feelings about this particular issue, so what would our concern be, other than just lip-service?


Much, much conflict in history and right now has to do with the distribution of wealth. One factor noted is that, at some point, access to wealth (earning, inheriting, whatever) becomes limited. That tends to lead to the collapse of a society.

Besides, what is armed robbery other than involuntary distribution of wealth?


I wasn’t really talking just about you.


God knows, two years or so back we got into a conversation on the exact opposite, that inventors in tech got no royalties and just a salary and that was good for creators in comics and tv and films.

I think freelancers should be awarded in royalties because their shelf life may be limited but what they create can go on and on and earn forever. They aren’t afforded in most cases company pensions and the like so the system all collapses otherwise. If they are like Margaret Mitchell who wrote Gone With The Wind and lived off it for her entire life then fair enough. The book market has more failures but is much fairer as creator owned is the norm.

I’m firmly on the side of Bendis and Millar, I know the contracts they signed aren’t. No surprise neither are working there now (I believe DC at least throw the odd cheque for other media use).


I’m guessing Marvel will find it hard to get talent, DC seems to be signing up most folks. Still, I wish more guys had the ability to build a brand like Mark did. There’s about 20 creators who should have their own -worlds with a range of loosely connecting books rip to be bought up by some media empire.


I didn’t assume you were. I was just using myself as an example. Some people might just legitimately no care.


Jim, I’ve been trying here.


That’s why you’re my second favorite Robert.


I don’t think it’s that easy. MillarWorld was and - in some respects still - a massive gamble for Mark. It paid off, but he couldn’t have known to the degree it would.

As it is, his idea of working with the top artists, with a deal that really pays off for both him and the artist, absolutely worked. It’s why I keep an eye on what’s he’s up to, as opposed to other creators. Word gets out about how a MW book can pay off, he doesn’t have to go looking for collaborators.

I think if this was an easily replicable model, others would have done it, but I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that really matches the scope and variety of MillarWorld. There’s the Mignolaverse, Kirkman’s Skybound, but that’s only two and I wouldn’t see them as being on the same level. I’m a huge Mignolaverse fan, but it is more of a niche product.


At some point the public sentiment will turn with Disney, like it did for former “good” corporations such as Apple, Amazon, and Volkswagen.

I’ll be there with popcorn when it happens.


And how do you think they should do it? Do you think a check is good enough? What sort of amount should we be talking about? Should it be some blanket amount for any creator involved? Should it be somehow claculated according to certain parameters? What would those be? etc…

Or are we talking purely in “aknowledgement” terms such as a credit in the credit rolls of the movies? a bigger credit at the begining?

And I mean it in a non-confrontational way… I’m genuinly curious about how could they go about it…

Not defending Disney or Marvel or DC for that matter… As far as I’m concerned Disney is the devil, and Marvel & DC have an abysmal track record in terms of creator treatment, so there’s nothing to defend, really.


I’m sure it will. And then people will jump back on the Disney bandwagon again at some point. Because, like it or not, they know how to entertain. Lots of people deserve more credit for what Marvel has done. At least to Mark’s credit, he has built his own brand. Should be fun to see what he and Netflix do together.


I would argue that it was more difficult for Mark. We like him here of course, and he has many fans and readers, but at the time he really branched on his own there was a very vocal contingency rooting for him to fail and shitting on him everywhere—both the usual internet peanut gallery and other creators. Very similar to the 90s Image crew in many ways.

I do think if Brubaker had put his work under one banner he’s another one that could have done it. But he seems pretty happy where he is and not everyone wants the splashy Netflix deal.


I think they should be treated like book authors, like JK Rowling or Chuck Palahniuk or whatever. It’s one thing to use the Hulk and make an original Hulk movie. It’s another thing to literally adapt the stories created by Lee & Kirby, Millar, Starlin, Brubaker, whoever. They should be treated like book authors in that situation, they should get a check and an “adapted from” credit.

Seems pretty simple to me.


Oh yeah. That still exists. The way some post about Mark, you’d think they’d come down to breakfast and he’d pissed in their cornflakes and left them a note!

To a degree, I get it, as Millar Hyperbole (and he ought to trademark it if he can!) can really irritate, if taken seriously. Go back a few decades and the same was likely true of Stan Lee. Thing is, every time Mark has made bold claims, he’s mostly delivered. The only area where the gods have decreed he be cursed from time to time is frequency, but I care less about that as I read the trade. If he wasn’t delivering, it wouldn’t work.


I think Millar has the perfect combination of acumen, talent, and timing. He came to Marvel and built up a high-profile along with great content and goodwill in the industry at the perfect time, left without drama and built the Millarworld brand up, again, while continuing to create and build new relationships. He’s not precious or overprotective about his work, so that an added value for “Hollywood” working with him. He’s probably the smartest guy in comics.

Bendis has similar strengths, but is a but more conservative and safe with his career. And both approaches have paid off for them.

Interestingly, it’s reflective in their work, too. Millar is flashier and bigger and seen his success in film. Bendis is a bit more restrained and character-focused, and his stuff is more influential on the TV side (DD, Jessica Jones, Daisy Johnson, etc).


How are authors treated?

Also, what happens when you have multiple sources in one single comicbook? Like lifted scenes out of three different books by 6 different creators (writers & artists) using characters created by another 4 creators?


Quarter million dollars for about 20-25 different creators who helped shape Marvel over the last few years. The architect writers. Plus a few artists who designed some of the newer characters that were featured.

Nothing matches Millarworld, but there should be stuff that matches the model. Bendis, Hickman, Aaron, Kirkman, Miller, Moore, Ellis, Ennis, Johns, BKV, Fraction, David, Gillen, Brubaker, Rucka, Morrison, JMS, Gaiman, Azzarello, Abnett & Lanning, Snyder & Lemire to name a few should all have something similar. It’s a complete failure of the industry to be honest, and for me it damns Image comics as a shit company that does no favors for anyone at all.


But it’s a totally different situation than book authors. Millar used characters created by Lee and Kirby and played off of stories from decades of Marvel comics, adapting them, to some extent. So how do you define authorship of you’re Disney? After all, they’re not adapting the specific, singular plots, either.