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Author Topic: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?  (Read 2523 times)

Funt Solo

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PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« on: 20 May, 2021, 07:37:37 PM »
Article on ComicScene: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?

Quote
And when writers have taken over my stories, it’s always been a disaster.

Well, of course I'm going to bring up the superlative (ABC Warriors strip) Red Planet Blues by Alan Moore (1985 Annual). Oh, and Bax the Burner! Moore, again. And Satanus Unchained - probably the most credible storyline about a dinosaur with a grudge.

The key thing that grates when Mills goes on about his rights is the shifting sands of who "owns" a character. Of course, he always finds in his own favor. So, if it's him that's borrowing someone else's work to riff on, then it's all just an innocent blending of creative forces. But if he's decided to apportion himself ownership, then it's a crime to tread on his hallowed ground. He's like a dog with a bone - that he took from another dog.

Given that Gerry Finley-Day wrote the vast majority of Invasion!, does that mean Pat shouldn't have written Savage? Or that he owes GFD some cash? And should he have given up on Slaine when his co-creator (Angie Kincaid) was shelved off the project?

I do agree with him to an extent. Flesh should have died with Twentieth Century Mills.
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Leigh S

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #1 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:00:47 PM »
To copy n paste wot I wrote elsewhere:

If Pat was consistent it would be a stronger argument- Dredd is a house character? But Satanus and Rico aren't? What makes Dredd less of Wagner's invention than Nemesis is Pat's? Either the rights reside with the creators or they dont. I wish all rights* resided with the creators (*well, at least the majority share of rights so publishing risks are covered).

Why isnt Slaine a House character when he was created under exactly the same contract as Dredd? I presume Pat's argument runs that a strip like Dredd and Rogue was hothoused by editorial, rather than springing fully formed from the Auteur, but no strip arrives fully fformed in the writers head, its a collaboration the minute an artist is assigned.  And then another one, and then the writer changes the rules and has a new idea about Leyser swords....


Also, the stories by other creators would be rubbish unless the original creators get some cash, at which point it's creatively acceptable? really? How does that work? Either the argument is that the stories are not the same and fans dont want some bowdlerized parody of the originals genius, or others CAN right them just as well, in which case it is purely a moral question of "do they have the right? Pt can;t seem to decide which it is. You could easily read Pat's stance as "I am happy for the fans to get this shitty version of their favourite stories, so long as you keep the cash rolling", which isn't the most anti-establishment, eat the rich position that we would expect of Pat....

broodblik

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #2 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:10:41 PM »
Here is an example of a character that was created by Pat and written by someone else that actually worked wonders and that was Hook Jaw.  I think making broad statements like no one can write my characters are hacks is just lame. Most cases the original writer works the best but it is not always the case.

Coming back to the main point and the reality is whoever owns a character can pretty much do whatever they want with it. It is not always the best approach and respect to the creators does not bring in the "money".

A lot of what is said in this article have been repeated by Pat a million times. Cry Wolf
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

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IndigoPrime

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #3 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:13:19 PM »
His stance just winds me up now. I get his point about subservience. But there are very different market realities now, and it’s always been true that you had people who were accepting and those who were not. There’s also always been that refusal for some people to grapple with risk versus reward. They want publishers to take the risks yet have the rewards for themselves. I personally would like to see the balance shift from where it’s at now, but there’s a level of delusion from some parties as to how far you can go in one direction without dealing with the other.

The characters thing is incoherent. As already said, it’s always about what works for him. Mills fumes when an editor dares do anything to his work, but rewrote other people’s input when he was an editor. And it’s OK for Moore to write Swamp thing, but not for anyone else to write Rogue Trooper? Really? So: no War Machine. No Cinnabar. No Rennie strips in that universe. But disco Rogue is fine, as is all the Re-Gene tosh. OK, then.

Frankly, he’s done rather well out of Rebellion, although he’d never admit it. I can’t think of another writer given such free reign, and whose strips have been ring-fenced—and with, frankly, diminishing returns on some of them. (Mills himself has said as much—that he hasn’t always put in the effort, because he doesn’t believe the return is worth it.) Beyond that, most of what he’s written is collected (yet he gripes that a few things haven’t been) and that Hachette collection is heavily Mills (which was also bad, because it didn’t make him millions). They’re even reprinting fucking Finn, with all its horrible Ike-like vibes.

As for his line “for the Phoenix aimed at Waitrose readers”… Just fuck off. The Phoenix is a superb comic. It has excellent, intelligent, diverse, smart, funny, anarchic, accessible strips. Yes, it’s too expensive to be properly mainstream, but guess what? That’s the market now. Comics aren’t selling in the millions, and we’re never getting back to that place. He’s like an old man shouting at a cloud, which makes me a slightly less old man shouting at an old man shouting at a cloud. Gah.

Funt Solo

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #4 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:21:41 PM »
Can't let a mention of Disco Rogue go unchecked:

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Funt Solo

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #5 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:31:42 PM »
Gorbrah is really a very good comic about a barbarian. And has fewer OFF PANEL SHOUTY GODS THAT DEMAND THINGS FOR WEEKS ON END.

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Leigh S

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #6 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:43:07 PM »
What even is Pat babbling on about with regards Slaine appearing in Phoenix.  Or has he copyrighted Barbarian?  In which case, every one after RE Howard was shit by his own metric.

Funt Solo

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #7 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:47:50 PM »
What even is Pat babbling on about with regards Slaine appearing in Phoenix.  Or has he copyrighted Barbarian?  In which case, every one after RE Howard was shit by his own metric.

I believe that's a reference to his being in talks with the publishers of the Phoenix regarding an age-appropriate version of Slaine. Or something. Can't remember where I read / heard that. Maybe someone can twat tweet Pat and ask him? Or, if someone could un-ban Frank, I bet he'd know.
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Leigh S

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #8 on: 20 May, 2021, 08:52:35 PM »
But that would be with the original creator?  Or it would be via REbellion, as Pat couldnt unilaterally take Slaine to another publisher, and if he could, surely he would be praising said publisher, not knocking them?

Pat is like the Labour Party, making it as hard as possible to agree with them despite their underlying principles being totally agreeable....

Funt Solo

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #9 on: 20 May, 2021, 09:18:02 PM »
That's the thing, isn't it? I can't imagine many 2000 AD fans who aren't in awe at a lot of his creative output and in agreement in general terms about stronger rights for creators.

There are obvious examples where new creative teams have made a hash of existing characters*, but it's just not a rule that always holds true**. Original creative teams have also run dry on their own characters***, so there's no golden truth.


* Robo-Hunter, I'm looking at you!
** Zancudo.
*** Ten-ten, Ace Trucking.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #10 on: 20 May, 2021, 09:38:28 PM »
By creators he seems to (almost exclusively) mean writers - that's Pat's perspective - but all those artists he worked with to create characters, they are replacable with no impact on the quality of a strip.

Also its easy to produce a list and say that's all the characters ever that have been bettered by folks other than their creators, but just listing Frank Miller and Alan Moore examples does not mean at all there aren't plenty of other examples.

As others have said its hard to disagree with many of Uncle Pat's basic ideas and essential views. He lacks in his delivery and examination of the detail that undermines his pioints sometimes to my eyes.

I do need to reread that when I'm less tired, but as it is that's just irriating.


JayzusB.Christ

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #11 on: 20 May, 2021, 10:41:53 PM »
By creators he seems to (almost exclusively) mean writers

It sometimes seems to me that he just means one writer.  Admittedly I haven't read the article yet though.
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Rogue Judge

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #12 on: 20 May, 2021, 11:28:58 PM »
I was going to add my two cents but IndigoPrime already said it all so well, better than I would have!

Also...I want more Strontium Dog.

Professor Bear

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #13 on: 20 May, 2021, 11:45:43 PM »

Mister Pops

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Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
« Reply #14 on: 21 May, 2021, 12:57:27 AM »
It seems to me that the melter Mills should just hand off his intellectual properties to Stephen Moffett, J.J Abrams or Alex Kurtzman. That would kill any interest in any future adaptaions for me.

Or...y'know...he could kill interest by continuing to write this shite himself.
You may quote me on that.