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Ghost Rider - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Jan. 31st, 2007

04:49 pm - Ghost Rider

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From:billyabbott
Date:January 31st, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
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The JMS dispute seems to have been (according to Wikipedia) over Top Cow cutting him out of flim rights for Rising Stars. However, the bit that I remember, and remember seeing JMS comment on several times before the last few issues came out, was that he was waiting on an apology for the way he'd been treated and that he'd hand over the scripts if he got one...

From what I know of the guy, he has very strong beliefs in how people should act to each other and sticks to his guns on them very strongly - I believe his email sig of "Permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX magazine" comes from another batch of rudeness against him.
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From:johnckirk
Date:January 31st, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that sounds about right. Mind you, given that there hasn't been any sign of that film recently, the whole issue of rights/royalties may turn out to be a moot point...

Underlying that, there was a question of whether JMS was punishing the readers by behaving that way. There seemed to be two schools of thought on this:

a) As a reader, I am paying Top Cow for a comic each month. Meanwhile, Top Cow is paying JMS for comic scripts. So, if he doesn't hand in a script, that's between him and Top Cow, and it's none of my business. In the same way, if I'm hiring a decorating firm to paint my flat, and they don't pay their staff, I don't have any grounds to ask those staff to come back to work.

b) Although I'm buying the comics from Top Cow, I'm doing that because it's a JMS story. (The spin-offs by Fiona Avery weren't as good, and didn't sell as well.) If the decorators hired a different painter, it wouldn't make any difference to me (I just want my walls to be a certain colour), but I wouldn't want Top Cow to hire a different writer to finish the series off. Also, I bought the previous issues on the assumption (promise?) that the story would have an ending; if they were a set of standalone issues (like several issues of Astro City have been) then I wouldn't mind.

I lean towards the second school of thought, as you may have guessed :) I dropped all of his other comics (e.g. Amazing Spider-Man) in protest while he was delaying Rising Stars, and although I've since started buying his stories again, I only do so in collected form.
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From:billyabbott
Date:January 31st, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
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I agree with the second point as well, but in this case I make an exception because I also have an overdeveloped sense of "rudeness" - ie. Top Cow were "rude" in not cutting JMS in (which seemed to be the spin he put on it from the mailing list entries I saw) and thus owed him an apology. For him to submit scripts in that situation would both go against his sense of "rudeness" and also not punish Top Cow for their actions - he said to the fans that as soon as Top Cow apologised for the behaviour that he would post the scripts...

That all said, I suspect there was a financial component to it that he is missing out in his explanation - that would move it away from being the pure matter of principle that I respect and into a payment battle that would be of much less interest.
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