Someone I’ve known online for a few years emailed asking some questions about the Joe Illidge interview that my column-colleague Rich Johnston ran last week I pointed out that a) it has been two years since I was on staff at DC and b) I barely know Joe and know virtually nothing of his day-to-day work at DC.
That said, let me state that in my 25+ years at DC Comics, I was never aware of any type of discriminatory policy based on race, gender, sexual preference, etc. As was pointed out in Rich’s column, my own departments included managers and assistant managers from a wide variety of backgrounds…hirings and promotions that I could not have made without approval from above.
Am I saying that DC is one big happy family? No. There are (and always have been) people in the company who do not like one another or cannot work together, but I feel safe in saying that any type of discrimination brought to the attention of upper management or human resources would not be tolerated.
MAN ON THE RUN
“The Fugitive” has always been my favorite TV series. I watched it every Tuesday night from 1963 through 1967, caught it every afternoon when it was rerun a couple of years later, and ultimately taped every episode when it ran on A&E in the late 80s. It was a series that I’d always hoped would be turned into a comic book, but that never happened. [There was, of course, the original Deadman series, with Boston Brand taking over different identities in order to track down his own murderer – a killer with a hook instead of a hand. Hmmm… no wonder I liked Deadman so much.]
I was disappointed by the movie starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Part of what made the series work was the length of time it was on the air. The two-hour movie failed because it could not give viewers the feeling of the desperation Richard Kimble experienced moving from town to town, getting involved in people’s lives, always with one foot out the door. The time limitation made it necessary for the story to be escape / find the one-armed man / be exonerated.
So now we have a new series, with Tim Daly taking the role that David Janssen made famous, and after two episodes, I find myself hopeful that it can succeed. Being a fugitive in the electronic age is a bit more complicated than it was 35 years ago and the new series addresses that, with both Kimble and Lt. Gerard (his first name changed back from Sam to Phil for the series) taking advantage of it.
And while the new series has already had Daly face-to-face with Helen Kimble’s killer in the second episode – it was half a season before Janssen even saw the man he was searching for – the hint is that this updated version of one-armed Fred Johnson is going to be harder to capture in the long run.
Would I still want to see “The Fugitive” as a comic book today? Yes, indeed… and if anybody out there is planning one, I’d sure like a shot at writing it.
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
1. In an alternate reality, Kamandi became what space cadet?
2. This cartoon penguin was named after a U.S. state.
3. Archie’s pals and gals get their treats at whose ice cream shop?
4. Lollipop-loving Herbie made his debut in what magazine?
5. Lawsuits aside, Blade began his career in what title?
6. Ace of Spades and Mister Memory are alter-egos of what JLA foe?
7. DOOM PATROL #1 was actually #86 of what magazine?
8. Double for Hitler or maybe even the real guy; name this early Fantastic Four foe.
9. Starbuck’s probably wouldn’t want what mug-headed guy as their poster boy?
10. United by Baron Winters, what group prevents great evil from occurring?
11. Paradise Island was the site of a competition to become whom?
12. This long-running DC title offered what with Judy?
13. On their Super-Cycle, what group could “phase” to another location instantly?
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” while watching the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor.
2. The Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island.
3. Tooth decay is the most common affliction of the human race; more than 90% of all Americans suffer from it.
UPDATES ON PREVIOUS COLUMNS:
Jose de Leon [email@example.com] and Frank Strysik [firstname.lastname@example.org] both wrote to remind me that Alan Moore scripted three pages of the HEROES FOR HOPE which was produced to raise money to fight famine in Africa. Richard Corben illustrated the trio of pages, which were part of a collaboration by many writers and artists.
And my pal Bob Greenberger [email@example.com] passed along the following:
“about Tony Harris painting a Starman hardcover. He and James Robinson talked about his doing one, but then they had a falling out overt he direction of the series so Tony stopped painting the covers. It’s not likely this project will happen any time soon.
“Tony is at work on two projects for DC… JSA: THE UNHOLY THREE, a sequel to JSA: THE LIBERTY FILE… and another Elseworlds project, SUPERMAN / BATMAN: THE HELL MACHINES.”
FROM THE EMAILBOX
What’s the average income for a comic writer at DC or Marvel these days (acknowledging that some get paid considerably more than others)? Do artists get paid significantly more?
Eugene Chay [firstname.lastname@example.org]
All the creative people who work on comics (writers, artists, letterers, colorists) are paid on a per-page basis. The more pages they do, the more money they make. Some writers can churn out a 22-page story a week (or more); others take a month to do a single script. Same thing with artists – most pencilers average a page a day (roughly an issue a month working a five-day week) and inkers do two or three a day.
In what issue does Northstar (of Alpha Flight) come out?
Jessie Shockey [Tinkerbom@yahoo.com]
The “Northstar revelation issue” as it’s referred to in Overstreet is ALPHA FLIGHT #106.
Whatever happened to the Andy Helfer / Kyle Baker Shadow? Why did it just… disappear?
Mario Bassett [email@example.com]
As I remember it, the license to the character that DC had was running out and the decision was made to not renew it. Andy and Kyle were having trouble meeting the deadlines and the license ran out before they finished what they’d started.
What is DC’s official position on fanfic published on the net? Do they sue as soon as they discover it? And what about “n-fic” (the “n” stands for “naughty”)?
Jenny in Australia [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Since I haven’t been on staff at DC for almost two years, I can’t speak to their official position. However, any company whose trademarked and copyrighted characters are used in unauthorized material is obligated to stop such use or risk losing their rights.
Fan fiction existed long before the internet, being distributed on a much smaller scale in the form of mimeographed or photocopied pages. In those pre-technology days, it was unlikely that a publisher would even know it existed. Today, however, the availability is virtually unlimited, so the companies are much more likely to be aware of it… and therefore are obligated to do something about it.
Do they usually sue? No. They begin by sending a “cease and desist” letter, telling the infringing party to stop distribution of said material. On the net, that would mean taking the material off the site to which is has been posted. If that does not work, they will usually take the next step and start formal legal action.
And as for “naughty” versions, I suspect they’d be just a little quicker in reacting to it.
All the folks whose questions and comments appear this week are eligible for a 10% discount on anything they buy through Comics Unlimited for the next seven days. You can get those nagging questions answered AND save yourself some bucks by emailing comments and queries using the handy box in the column on the left.
And on that note, I’m out of here till next week.
1. Tommy 2morrow
2. 10essee Tuxedo
3. Pop T8’s
4. 4BIDDEN WORLDS
5. 2MB OF DRACULA
6. Amos 4tune
7. MY GR8EST ADVENTURE
8. The H8-Monger
9. 2 Much Coffee Man
10. Night 4ce
11. 1der Woman
12. A D8
13. 4ever People
Counting the days till the next trivia quiz? Check out BobRo’s Anything Goes Trivia every day at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.