Robot 6

Quote of the Day | Jim Lee on Bill Finger’s cover credit

detective27-special1

“Speaking specifically of that particular cover, we always list the writers’ credits on the cover, and he scripted that issue. No one is denying Bill’s massive contributions to the DC mythology — not just Batman. It’s never been our take that it was only Bob Kane. But the credit by Bob Kane, that’s a very specific thing, and has been around since the creation of Batman, over 75 years ago. It’s hard to talk about this publicly other than, we love what Bill Finger has contributed to the mythology, and we’ve always acknowledged and compensated him and his estate for that work.”

– DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee, addressing Bill Finger’s credit on the cover of the upcoming Detective Comics #27 Special Edition, and renewed discussion of the late writer’s role as the co-creator of Batman

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7 Comments

That sounds like corporate speak for, “Don’t sue us, we’ve dealt with the Shuster’s.”

*sighs* How hard is it really to put a credit on a comic? They’ve got lawyers, they could talk to the family. But why deal with this at all. Now or ever, right?

DC has no respect for its characters creators, and what little they do show, is out of what creators rights fighters like the guys at Image, and people before them have done.

Make no mistake, DC will not do any more than they legally have to. Nor will they ever treat creators with any respect unless they become so massively important to them like Gaiman and Morrison that they’re afraid to lose them. Something the New 52 has showcased as well is more of a promotion of the prominence of their characters than the actual creators of the work. Disney is no different with their Disney comics, which is why we’ve lost talents like Don Rosa and Marvel too.

My hope resides in companies like Image and IDW and Boom, who I hope will create better deals and more creator friendly environments.

Jesus S!,

Because there are one thing we know and and one thing we don’t know.

First: finger worked for Bob Kanes studio. It’s acknowledge by everyone that Kane did a first draft. The batman we knew was Improved on by Finger reworking of certain elements. So even now that would be work for hire.

Two: we have no idea what was in Kane’s contract with DC. We don’t know what would happen if DC removed or alter the credit. For all we know there are clauses that could cost DC a lot of money… Or even the rights of the character.

akkadiannumen

June 27, 2014 at 9:58 am

“we have no idea what was in Kane’s contract with DC. We don’t know what would happen if DC removed or alter the credit. For all we know there are clauses that could cost DC a lot of money…”

Actually, one specific thing about his contract is known based on what I remember reading, maybe more: He’s to be listed as Batman’s sole creator now and forever. And yeah, it would cost DC a bundle to just try to change that, particularly considering DC agreed to those terms in the first place and they’ve let it stand for decades.

Yeah, you guys don’t know what you’re taling about. akkadiannumen is right. DC makes bad decisions a lot of the time, but here they’re just stuck.

In other words:

Bob Kane’s estate has got us by the b@!L$!

So we can’t give Bill his well deserved recognition.

Regardless of what’s in the contract, there are potential workarounds. Nobleman has suggested a number of potential creator credits for Finger even assuming he can’t be credited as Batman’s co-creator, including “Gotham City created by Bill Finger” and the slightly more awkward “The phrase ‘The Dark Knight’ created by Bill Finger”.

Jim Lee: Co-founder of Image Comics and Corporate Drone of DC Comics.

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