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Author Topic: Who Are The Creators?  (Read 3135 times)

Funt Solo

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Who Are The Creators?
« on: 06 September, 2021, 05:46:51 PM »
Creator, co-creator, developer or mere peon? Sometimes, it's difficult to tell who's who, or what each appellation even means. In the creative industry of comics, isn't everyone a creator? (Obviously, not the letterers.*)

Do we need new words? Originator? Conceptor! And just because you came up with the idea, you might not write the script. And you almost certainly don't own the property. You might come up with the idea, then write the first script - and someone else gets paid to write all the others, but somehow never gets the "creator" title even though they beavered away creating the majority of the actual character arc, dialogue, plotting and adventure. Or a significant portion of it.

Is Ken Niemand** (for example) one of the creators of Judge Dredd? A co-creator? A developer? An employee? Just a ... writer? It seems odd that you could take someone who understands the intricate world of Mega-City One so intimately and just dismiss them as some kind of easily replaceable cookie-cutter professional. Sure, we should honour the originators, but as they hang up their spurs don't we want other creators to have their chance at fame and fortune (within a small, tight-knit industry on the verge of collapse - ha ha - nervous laughter).

Which brings up that other question: should there be no more Judge Dredd if Wagner retires? I don't think anyone imagines that reality. No more Sherlock? Of course not: demonstrably. No more Slaine? Ah...


*I'm joking. Although they never do get listed as creators in the Nerve Centre sense of the word. Like the lighting technicians of the movie industry - it's not *their* vision. Except, without them...

**I chose him because, as he's not real, it's impossible to offend.

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milstar

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #1 on: 06 September, 2021, 06:05:24 PM »
This was the same issue with Spiderman, which was thx to Stan's machinations behind the scenes. Or Bob Kane in that regard.

Depends how much writer/artist had his hands on the character or title. I remember Mike W. Barr saying how he reportedly developed Son of the Demon in great detail with Dick Giordano. But rightfully, we didn't get Giordano's name in the credit section. To me, Mills was someone who co-conceptualized Dredd with Wagner and at least initially was forefront of the stories. Cursed Earth, which is where Dredd became the star of 2000ad and practically the character we are all familiar with has been (mostly) written by Mills. Up 'til that point, everything was just an experimentation.
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Jim_Campbell

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #2 on: 06 September, 2021, 06:09:32 PM »
I agree that it's not entirely helpful to use "creator" interchangeably for two different things: both the creative team on a particular project and also for, I suppose, more accurately the originators of a specific character/story/setting.

When, to take your example, Ken Niemand and (say) Patrick Goddard collaborate on a Dredd story, they're clearly the creators of that specific story and, indeed, of any new character they might introduce. They don't retroactively get to be creators of Judge Dredd by adding to the existing mythos. That's just not how it works.

It's much the same as the modern version of Wolverine owing far more to the work of Claremont, Cockrum and Byrne than to the Wein/Trimpe guest star in Incredible Hulk #180,* but Wein and Trimpe are the character's creators. Likewise, Swamp Thing has more closely resembled the vision of Moore and Bissette than Wein and Wrightson for decades, but they don't get listed as creators.

(Interestingly, Jamie Delano gets a credit as co-creator of John Constantine for developing the character in Hellblazer, but that was specifically down to Moore asking DC to do that, since he felt Delano's contribution was as important his own.)

*Remember that we didn't even find out that Logan's claws weren't part of his costume until Claremont/Cockrum era X-Men.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #3 on: 06 September, 2021, 07:01:42 PM »
Cursed Earth, which is where Dredd became the star of 2000ad and practically the character we are all familiar with has been (mostly) written by Mills.

This is an outlying reading of the situation. You'll find that most consider Wagner's detailing of Mega-City One, and his characterization of Dredd as an anti-hero as being closest to the established milieu. Conversely, Mills writes Dredd usually as hero and savior.

In terms of world-building: most folk have avoided the rather silly floating rocks that were taken from Damnation Alley (and used as a reason not to fly to Mega-City Two). I'm not sure why Mike Carroll chose to resurrect them for Desperadlands, but each to their own.

Luna-1, with its inclusion of the Sov Judges, is far more significant in terms of world-building than The Cursed Earth.
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Art

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #4 on: 06 September, 2021, 07:15:30 PM »
The two main Dredd outings by Mills don’t have anything of what he claims to bring to the character. He’s pretty much a generic hero, a little stiff and stoic but not “fear and terror”.

He’s certainly a contributor to what Dredd became through his work in an editorial/managerial role on it, and if any 2000ad character could be  claimed to be a group effort* it’s certainly Dredd, but I’d always say Wagner and Ezquerra are the primary creators and deserve to be credited as such.

* a “house character”, as Mills has put it,  I guess.

milstar

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #5 on: 06 September, 2021, 07:37:45 PM »
This is an outlying reading of the situation. You'll find that most consider Wagner's detailing of Mega-City One, and his characterization of Dredd as an anti-hero as being closest to the established milieu. Conversely, Mills writes Dredd usually as hero and savior.

In terms of world-building: most folk have avoided the rather silly floating rocks that were taken from Damnation Alley (and used as a reason not to fly to Mega-City Two). I'm not sure why Mike Carroll chose to resurrect them for Desperadlands, but each to their own.

Luna-1, with its inclusion of the Sov Judges, is far more significant in terms of world-building than The Cursed Earth.

And hero and savior was how Wagner wrote him in the earliest strips as well.

As for Luna-1, Sov Judges, for overarching mythology, they are important inclusions, but Cursed Earth is more important in terms of influence on the Dredd strip overall.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #6 on: 06 September, 2021, 07:41:29 PM »
I just had a quick glance at my Dredd data and it's interesting to see the different bits of the world that still have a major impact from different writers.

For example, it looks like the Statue of Judgement was Malcolm Shaw (along with Krong, who has shown up a few times since), and face change machines were Kelvin Gosnell. Gerry Finley-Day made smoking illegal. Mills invents Rico, of course.

I suppose that brings up the notion of writers having their own personal stable of supporting characters.
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Richard

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #7 on: 06 September, 2021, 09:06:10 PM »
Shaw also did the booby-trapped exploding Lawgiver. He didn't create the character though, and if the term creator was used to describe anyone who developed an existing character then it would become meaningless.

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #8 on: 06 September, 2021, 10:26:18 PM »
And hero and savior was how Wagner wrote him in the earliest strips as well.

And my point over on the other thread was that there's a remarkably distinct point where Dredd unmistakably becomes identifiable as the Dredd of today, and that happens under Wagner, too:

Quote
It was interesting to me that when I read the “Complete Judge Dredd” monthly reprints and finally read the first couple of years of the series in sequence, there was very noticeable point where Dredd became recognisably the Dredd of the modern era — specifically, the back end of the Luna-1 run and into the return to MC-1.

Wagner was firmly ensconced as the default writer, and Bolland squared off a lot of those round edges on the uniform, adding those SS lightning flashes to the visor. The moment where Dredd bellows at a potential leaper: “Don’t do it, citizen — littering the streets is an offence!” was the exact point where I saw the Dredd I knew emerge from an awful lot of throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks experimentation.
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milstar

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #9 on: 06 September, 2021, 11:06:30 PM »
And my point over on the other thread was that there's a remarkably distinct point where Dredd unmistakably becomes identifiable as the Dredd of today, and that happens under Wagner, too:

But what is Wagner Dredd? Wagner wrote him in vast array of scenarios. From hero akin to Cursed Earth to arsehole breaking rudimentary rights of the citizens. Granted, John has been the main writer near his whole run, and saying where Pat stands there, is actually a still above other writers contributions to the lore. I have no doubt that both John and Pat worked on the origins of judge Dredd, albeit initially it was John and other writers who wrote most of the stories, until Cursed Earth.

Then again, the question is should we also give credit to creators who made their characters iconic look and manners, even though they weren't the one who started the whole thing. Carlos definitely drew the first Dredd and many others, but it was Bolland whose Dredd practically cemented the definite look of the character.
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Funt Solo

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #10 on: 07 September, 2021, 12:58:46 AM »
But what is Wagner Dredd?

Not that I expect to convince you from your path, because you have form, but I'll (partially) answer that question, even though Jim's already provided a perfectly clear explanation.

Wagner Dredd is telling stories where carefully hatched chickens later come home to roost*, providing you with a long-form believable milieu. Mills Dredd (which is mostly just The Cursed Earth) is borrowing the plot from someone else's novel and doing an endless chapter story (a bit like episodes of early Star Trek), where nothing from a previous sequence really matters in a later sequence (plus grudge-holding dinosaurs and a liberal sprinkling of mawkishness).

*For example, the Sov Judges from Luna-1 return to cause trouble in the Battle of the Black Atlantic: both of these serving as foreshadowing for the events of Pirates of the Black Atlantic, so that the events of Block Mania and The Apocalypse War aren't just dropped in from space.
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Richard

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #11 on: 07 September, 2021, 01:16:55 AM »
Quote
Carlos definitely drew the first Dredd and many others, but it was Bolland whose Dredd practically cemented the definite look of the character.
Not really. Bolland was an iconic artist, but the appearance of the character was already very well established before he worked on the strip.

It's not "Judge Dredd: created by Pat Mills and Brian Bolland."

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broodblik

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #12 on: 07 September, 2021, 04:13:11 AM »
Here is a formula to make your life easier: Dredd = (Wagner * 0,95) + (The Others * 0,05)
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Funt Solo

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #13 on: 07 September, 2021, 04:20:45 AM »
Here is a formula to make your life easier: Dredd = (Wagner * 0,95) + (The Others * 0,05)

I just got nerd-triggered by the use of a comma rather than a period for the decimal point - but then I remembered this video: 58 and other Confusing Numbers
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broodblik

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Re: Who Are The Creators?
« Reply #14 on: 07 September, 2021, 05:12:30 AM »
, is the new style Excel whereas . is old-school
When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.

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.