Monday, June 22, 2009

You Never Know Who's Reading

A few weeks ago, I wrote an entry about DC Comics reprinting one of the stories I had written and sending a letter giving me the opportunity to sign on for a piece of a "royalty pool" for that story as well as any and all of the other stories I'd written from 1976 till 1998 that they might use in any future collections. ("The 'Rights' Thing")

Last week, someone picked up on that, particularly my comments about a Secret Society of Super-Villains volume, and posted the information to a website discussion of that book and a few others that DC announced, solicited, and then canceled. This prompted a number of people on that site to debate the merits of what I said and what I did, with a few of them seemingly misinterpreting the situation. More than a few of them seemed to have come away with the idea that I was single-handedly responsible for the cancellation of the SSoSV collection because...

Over the weekend, Rich Johnston, a popular longtime columnist and commentator on the comics biz, picked up on the story and stated that the book was canceled "because Bob Rozaskis (sic) chose not to sign away his contractual reprint fee in perpetuity in return for a 'royalty pool' scheme, saying 'If there is some collection of my stories that you want to do, I’d be willing to negotiate, but I’m not about to sign a blank check.' " His item included a link back to my original entry. This sparked another discussion, this time on his website, with quite a few comments piling up when I last checked.

As I said in my original entry on the topic, I suspect that the reason the SSoSV volume and a few others like it were canceled had to do with the reprint fees guaranteed by contract to all the writers and artists whose work would have been included. Given the number of pages in the SHOWCASE collections, it would be financially impossible to produce them. Only by having everyone involved signed up for the royalty pool in lieu of the reprint fees could DC have a way to deliver the product. Since the other announced-and-canceled books would not have included any stories I'd written, I can only presume that I was not the only one who did not sign the blanket agreement.

I'm apparently just the only one who has mentioned it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, sure, we know what you SAY - but we all know who still pulls the strings at DC Comics! :)

    I remain,
    Eric L. Sofer
    The Silver Age Fogey