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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Daredevil Omnibus


ADD wrote to me a couple weeks ago:
Hey Roger,
I have a question for you that I just posted to my blog
Let me know if you have any info at all.
Hope all is well!


As I may have mentioned, it was rather strange to see in the pages of the Daredevil Omnibus the pages from FantaCo's Daredevil Chronicles, a magazine I worked on, though Mitch Cohn was the editor. The intrepid Alan David Doane asked me if Marvel had asked permission to appropriate pages directly from the FantaCo publication, and whether they paid the contributors.

The short answer, as far as I know, is no. The long answer is a little more complicated.

When FantaCo put together the X-Men Chronicles, a fanzine about the uncanny mutants edited by me, Marvel was very pleased. SO pleased that they gave us permission to use the Marvel Comics Group strip on the top of the page of the Fantastic Four Chronicles (cover by John Byrne, edited by me) and the Daredevil Chronicles (cover by Miller/Janson, edited by Mitch). In other words, they were licensed products of Marvel. Therefore, my guess is that Marvel believed they had a right to appropriate the DDC for the DD Omnibus, as it was their product, so there was no need to give permission.

Fred Hembeck tells me that Peter Sanderson, whose FantaCo interview of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, appears in the book, was given a copy of the book, according to Sanderson's Quick Stop column. Fred, whose illustration accompanies that interview, is still waiting for his copy. You'd have to ask John Byrne and George Perez whether their Daredevil drawings earned them a copy, or something more.

Incidentally, at least one "independent comics" publisher loathed the DDC, because of the emphasis on Miller and Janson, to the exclusion of the rest of the canon (Wally Wood, e g.). I won't tell you who he is, but you know when the sun or moon temporarily disappears?

I asked Mitch about all of this. He wondered about the copyright issue too when I first mentioned the project to him. I agree with him that would depend on how the copyright was done, which he recalls was all FantaCo except for trademarks owned by Marvel. While he notes that Tom Skulan (the FantaCo owner) might have a case against Marvel, we both would think Marvel would have run it past their legal department before committing to do it. "It's not like they needed that stuff in there," Mitch opined.

You should know that the subsequent Avengers Chronicles, which Mitch edited, and the Spider-Man Chronicles, which was my baby, no longer had the Marvel Comic Group strip. That's because of something that happened, a decision I made, that caused Marvel editor Jim Shooter to call with a profanity-laden tirade that poor Mitch got to hear. But that's a story for another day.

ROG

1 comment:

Nik said...

Ooo! I want to hear the Shooter story! I still have all my old Fantaco Chronicles somewhere moldering away - the Spider-Man one was a huge favorite of mine back in the day.