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2000 AD => General => : Funt Solo 20 May, 2021, 07:37:37 PM

: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 20 May, 2021, 07:37:37 PM
Article on ComicScene: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS? (https://comicscene.org/2021/05/19/pat-mills-asks-should-characters-die-with-their-creators/)

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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 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....
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: broodblik 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
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: IndigoPrime 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 20 May, 2021, 08:21:41 PM
Can't let a mention of Disco Rogue go unchecked:

(http://www.2000ad.org/covers/2000ad/mediumres/301.jpg)
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 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.

(https://www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk/uploads/images/menu-chars-gorebrah.png)
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 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....
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Colin YNWA 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.

: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: JayzusB.Christ 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Rogue Judge 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Professor Bear 20 May, 2021, 11:45:43 PM
(https://filmreviews7.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/w0gtohc.jpg)
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Mister Pops 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.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 21 May, 2021, 02:48:46 AM
Pretty sure Groundhog Day was in February. Duh!

---

It's perhaps ironic that Mills' creations, more than most, I'd love to see other writers have a go at. Instead of Slaine being a vehicle with which to explore various historical mythologies, he might have created one of his own. Instead of the ABCs becoming a series of Returns, they might have moved onto a new thread.

As for Nemesis - we did get Shakara.

Other things I've been enjoying: even though it seems unpopular, I've been enjoying post-Smith Indigo Prime and Devlin Waugh, and quite liking that there's not a huge gulf of time between series. It would be great to see Smith back, but I don't dislike the new stuff. Also - really loving that the Dark Judges are so prolific at the moment (in my reading, I'm still in 2019), with Kek-W's Deadworld explorations and the Megazine's vari-authored space saga. Could mystery-Niemand be the new Dredd helmer I've been waiting for?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: broodblik 21 May, 2021, 05:33:26 AM
I always have the greatest respect for Pat's creations and what he did for comics.

But this is how I see all his latest interviews:

import random
import time

listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains = ['The French Model so coool',
                                'UK Publishers ooh they suck',
                                'Other writers a lot of hacks (exluding Moore,Wagner, and Gerry)',
                                'My DREDD people my Dredd maybe Wagner a little bit',
                                'More Commissions (I actually ment only to me)(PS - publishers should get nothing)',
                                'Creators is the only people that count (forget to say Creators=Writers and Writers=Pat)',
                                'No one is allowed to write my stuff even if I have to rehash the same old same old theme to infinity and beyond',
                                'Spacewarp yeh baby yeh, Spacewarp !!!!!!!!',
                                'I created 2000AD, did I mention I created 2000AD',
                                'I am the man that created 2000AD !!!!!',
                                'lets do the Spacewarp again again again',
                                'The system oppress the freedom of the mind']

# lets give our toughs to an interview
i = 0
ii = random.randrange(11,101)
while i <= ii:
    print("Lets start here")
    # mmmmm lets see how many stuff we are going to say today
    y = 1
    yy = random.randrange(3,13)
   
    while y <= yy:
        # role the dice to see what we are talking about today
        talkingabouttoday = random.randrange(0,len(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains))
        print(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains[talkingabouttoday])
        y+=1
    i+=1
    # lets take a rest
    print("Enough for now\n")
    time.sleep(3)   
       
print("Now I am done by remember {}\n".format(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains[random.randrange(0,len(listoffsomeoldsameoldcomplains))]))
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: IndigoPrime 21 May, 2021, 08:38:07 AM
^ That’s pretty great and very apt. It’s also particularly interesting to see the artists thing mentioned time and time again. Mills does seem defensive on the behalf and appreciative of his artists, but they’re like people cycling through his band. He’s Robert Smith in his own Cure. Everyone else is dispensable, rather than a creator.

Funt Solo’s thoughts on post-Smith are interesting. For me, they show the entire range of what works and what doesn’t. Rory McConville’s scripts didn’t click with me. They seemed too normal. They were desperate to wrap up long-standing background colour that didn’t need addressing. They didn’t really nail the spirit and essence of the strip. Kot, on the other hand, has written scripts that feel like Devlin Waugh.

For me, Kek-W’s Indigo Prime sits somewhat in the middle. It wholeheartedly embraces the weirdness of the strip, and feels suitably epic in its world building. But some elements feel off, not least his infatuation with bringing back old characters to the Prog. (I wasn’t a fan of Armoured Gideon rocking up in another of his series either, nor the Sovs in Deadworld—although that ended up working a lot better than it looked like it would when it began.)

As for Niemand showrunning Dredd, I dunno. His strips have been by far my favourite of the ‘new’ crop of writers. Like Ewing, he just gets the feel and sound of the strip. But he does also frequently shy away from featuring Dredd. That said, the recent SJS story shifted the balance somewhat. I guess the question is what Matt Smith wants to do with Dredd now Wagner’s more or less retired. Does he run multiple (often conflicting) contained strands/worlds, or try to make it a more coherent whole?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Corinthian 21 May, 2021, 09:10:15 AM
Regardless of the merits or de-merits of Mills's broader argument, I can't imagine any situation where a fresh writer is handed a classic Mills-created character and turns out a strip as perfunctory and contemptuous as the final episode of Slaine.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: CalHab 21 May, 2021, 09:14:09 AM
Hmm. I think I broadly agree with Pat's point. The fact that the messenger is not exactly consistent doesn't completely undermine that.

The jab about The Phoenix is unnecessary. It's an extremely well made comic, and nobody who reads one of Jamie Smart's anarchic stories would think it was for "Waitrose" readers.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: IndigoPrime 21 May, 2021, 09:39:17 AM
Jamie Smart is a cartoonist who I firmly believe should be listed among the greats. Bunny vs Monkey and Looshkin are superb, but everything he’s done has at least been very good. His comics are funny, cleverly written, packed with anarchy, and dotted with emotional clout. The places Bunny vs Monkey went were quite daring for a children’s comic. Looshkin recently did a mind-boggling ‘mess with time’ thing that echoed Chronocops to some degree. It wasn’t as complex, but it ran across just two pages, doing something only achievable in comics. Again, that’s quite something for a strip aimed at children. It’s not about the obvious. I would genuinely buy Image-style HCs of both series, if the publisher ever went for that.

For Mills to hand-wave away the entire publication in the way he did, dismissing it as a comic for ‘Waitrose snobs’ just shows him up for being blinkered and, indeed, snobbish himself. Only ‘his’ comics are valid, along with those he likes. Well, fine, but at that point you’ve dispensed with objectivity entirely.

As for his broader point, I mean it works at its very broadest, which is: wouldn’t it be a good thing if creators had more control and got more money from their efforts? But, again, it entirely swerves the risk/reward issue that’s come up multiple times on this forum. As Jim Campbell has noted, the halcyon option of, say, Image is a fallacy for a great many creators; and, notably, Scarlet Traces went to Rebellion after a long time as an indie.

The other main point Mills repeatedly makes about creator control is something I have more sympathy for. If creator X has build a brand and strip over years, wrenching it away and giving it to someone else when the original creator wants to continue is cruel, even when it’s the smart business decision. However, has that ever happened throughout 2000 AD’s recent (Rebellion) history? Some strips have instead just stopped (which Mills also takes exception too, being miffed that a 2000 AD editor wouldn’t commission whatever he wanted to write). I know the John Smith strips carve-up remains controversial, but he fell off the map entirely for over 18 months. I understand the circumstances for John Smith were horrendous, but the editor wasn’t to know that because there was no communication. (Also: it feels like that was about timing. You wonder whether if there hadn’t been Indigo Prime in the tank if that strip would have just remained sleeping. Devlin, though, I think was something Matt Smith wanted to bring back.)

As I’ve said multiple times, I hope bridges weren’t burned and if John came to the then current Tharg with some ideas that were suitable and solid, they would be considered.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: TordelBack 21 May, 2021, 11:01:00 AM
"Look kids, Big Ben,  Houses of Parliament". Perhaps, and I realise this is crazy talk, the issue here is that creators should retain control of,  and be appropriately compensated for, their creations, as they would if they had worked in many other creative fields. In this instance Pat (for it is he) would have an incentive to allow me or Grant Morrison (it's a toss-up really) write Nemesis Book XI, rather than seeing the fruits of their genius make someone else money; or indeed to write it himself if he was arsed to instead of trying get his own comic going against all reason; or say he didn't want anyone to write it at all, in the Moorish manner, and all original scripts should be burnt on his funeral pyre.

Maybe we'd be on Moore & Gibson's  Halo Jones Book VIII by now,  maybe Al Ewing would be doing revolutionary things with Zombo, maybe Rick Remender's ABC Warriors would be the greatest thing ever: who knows. What I do know is that none of us would be here without Pat Mills.

We all understand the realities of the contracts that weren't or weren't signed with open eyes or otherwise, the concept of work-for-hire that most of us that type stuff for living experience, and the production/promotion costs and likely marginal profitability of 2000AD that would be affected by retrospective creator deals and IP ownership. We're not babies.

But if you don't ask,  and piss and moan,  and make yourself an irritation you don't ever get, as anyone who has ever had a weekend off, a hardhat or paid leave must surely know.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Colin YNWA 21 May, 2021, 11:22:13 AM
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

That said I have refered to The Phoenix - and my love of the comic is well rehearsed in these parts - as more 'Middle class' than the action comics that Mills created and championed back in the late 70s and I stand by that, well even if its a very clumsy shorthand that probably says more about me and my origins and insecurities than anything! Even if this was entirely true and justified it doesn't make it a bad thing - its still an excellent piece of craft. In addtion to Jamie Smart there's a host of wonderful talent, Neil Cameron's adventure strips (and Robert Deas) Jess Bradley and Joe List's surrealist humour, the list could go on.

It may feel safer than the comics of the seventies both 'girls' and 'boys' comics, but that is because its made for a different time, for different sensibilities. Its from a time when class shouldn't matter so much (even if i can't get over it!). As Indigo Prime says its so much more inclusive, not just in not having to be a boys or girls comic but in so many other ways.

What this all misses is it still has a wonderful different angle and non-standard approach. Not based on grit and violence, instead its based on surrealised humour, anarchic hijinks and poo jokes. Its more Monty Python at time than anything else... there I go showing my age again.

If Uncle Pat is having a pop at it he too misses that as he too is stuck in his own origins, as I am, and at times seems to miss the world has moved on and can get a little singular and simplistic in his take in things. Even if his principles are to be applauded more often than not.

All this said acknowledging that Tordelback is largely right as well - as ever!
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: GordonR 21 May, 2021, 11:31:39 AM
Always a joy to see Pat take a pop at the abhorred middle classes....from his ex-pat gated community home in Spain.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Professor Bear 21 May, 2021, 11:56:50 AM
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

"Three years ago, I certainly didn’t like the sound of a proposed Slaine-light for the Phoenix aimed at Waitrose readers and, thankfully, neither did they in the end."  Seems he was referring to a pitch to the Phoenix that never went forward?  Given that it never went forward, I can only imagine that the makers of the Phoenix shared Pat's opinion.
If you're reading this, The Phoenix, bring back NO COUNTRY, you bastards.

At a stretch, you might argue that Pat was probably thinking of Mezolith - that he saw some of the painted art and assumed it was a Slaine knock-off and got confused between the Phoenix and the DFC, but you'd have to argue in pretty bad faith there.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 21 May, 2021, 12:18:23 PM
My guess would be whatever he is referring to originated from some shit stirring from the usual suspects who get off on winding Pat up at any opportunity.  "Hey Pat, this creator is talking about pitching a Celtic mythology story to the Phoenix on website X - they are ripping you off again!"
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Colin YNWA 21 May, 2021, 12:19:28 PM
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

"Three years ago, I certainly didn’t like the sound of a proposed Slaine-light for the Phoenix aimed at Waitrose readers and, thankfully, neither did they in the end."  Seems he was referring to a pitch to the Phoenix that never went forward?  Given that it never went forward, I can only imagine that the makers of the Phoenix shared Pat's opinion.
If you're reading this, The Phoenix, bring back NO COUNTRY, you bastards.

At a stretch, you might argue that Pat was probably thinking of Mezolith - that he saw some of the painted art and assumed it was a Slaine knock-off and got confused between the Phoenix and the DFC, but you'd have to argue in pretty bad faith there.

Yeah that was my reading of it I have to admit.

And YES to more 'No Country' - it was quite superb. I nosed at the trade collection in Waterstones the other day and it retains the 'To be continued' - which I think was been said in the comic itself too so fingers crossed more is on the way.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: TordelBack 21 May, 2021, 12:20:49 PM
That would be quite a stretch alright (although it goes without saying that Mezolith is beyond wonderful). And Leigh S is correct, Pat's social media following is heavily invested in creating argy bargy.

I should probably add here that I hate seeing Pat knocking/dismissing other creators/editors and comics, trotting out somewhat, err, singular recollections of events, or even being vocally angry with the folk that unquestionably saved 2000AD and gave it a new and wonderful second wind.

But I also hate having to walk home because a protest march has blocked the tram line, or seeing irritating people going to Unite workshops in Mexico City on my hard-earned dues, or having to take time off work because of a teachers' strike. But like Pat's rants, I accept them as a necessary evil in an unfair world. 

And unlike my Union Rep's account of the free bar in Acapulco, Pat actually has done something for me lately.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Steven Denton 21 May, 2021, 12:35:57 PM
"Look kids, Big Ben,  Houses of Parliament". Perhaps, and I realise this is crazy talk, the issue here is that creators should retain control of,  and be appropriately compensated for, their creations, as they would if they had worked in many other creative fields. In this instance Pat (for it is he) would have an incentive to allow me or Grant Morrison (it's a toss-up really) write Nemesis Book XI, rather than seeing the fruits of their genius make someone else money; or indeed to write it himself if he was arsed to instead of trying get his own comic going against all reason; or say he didn't want anyone to write it at all, in the Moorish manner, and all original scripts should be burnt on his funeral pyre.

Maybe we'd be on Moore & Gibson's  Halo Jones Book VIII by now,  maybe Al Ewing would be doing revolutionary things with Zombo, maybe Rick Remender's ABC Warriors would be the greatest thing ever: who knows. What I do know is that none of us would be here without Pat Mills.

We all understand the realities of the contracts that weren't or weren't signed with open eyes or otherwise, the concept of work-for-hire that most of us that type stuff for living experience, and the production/promotion costs and likely marginal profitability of 2000AD that would be affected by retrospective creator deals and IP ownership. We're not babies.

But if you don't ask,  and piss and moan,  and make yourself an irritation you don't ever get, as anyone who has ever had a weekend off, a hardhat or paid leave must surely know.

Lots of creators got screwed and continue to get screwed but Mills isn’t one of them. 2000ad never stopped heavily commissioning his work and although he thinks he’s owed more he gets a back end for reprints. His constant overlooking of co creators and mean spirited attacks on other creators has probably worn away my sympathies for his arguments which I would normally have a lot more sympathy for.

Creator rights have changed and that brings a whole different set of challenges.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s creators we’re definitely exploited and taken advantage of, with massive sales figures and shitty page rates. Now with low sales and being very much a minority interest medium there is a lot less to exploit.

Having said that The film companies still screw the creators of the source material. 
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: TordelBack 21 May, 2021, 12:55:50 PM
Lots of creators got screwed and continue to get screwed but Mills isn’t one of them. 2000ad never stopped heavily commissioning his work and although he thinks he’s owed more he gets a back end for reprints...

No argument there, I have an entire bookshelf of luscious Pat Mills reprint. The share of reprint fees and royalties versus revenue generated, I don't have enough info to judge, beyind raising eyebrows at claims. 

Back in the 70’s and 80’s creators we’re definitely exploited and taken advantage of, with massive sales figures and shitty page rates. Now with low sales and being very much a minority interest medium there is a lot less to exploit.

All true, and obviously I'm writing on fan forum as an ignorant fanboy and not someone with any inside knowledge of the industry, but the creations of the 70s and 80s are still being exploited, are still the backbone of the comic and its public identity (such as it is), and the potential value of the IP determines the value of the entire concern.

The whole thing only exists because of those seminal creators. It's not unreasonable to see that as an outstanding issue, or that creators might see little point in continuing to create something they'll never own.

But...

[/quote]
...mean spirited attacks on other creators has probably worn away my sympathies for his arguments which I would normally have a lot more sympathy for.   

...Also this^^^. He makes it difficult, he really does.

: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Steven Denton 21 May, 2021, 01:07:02 PM
Answering the original question of wether a creation should die with the creator is a hard no. You can write all the sequels to Hamlet you want and copyright post the authors death is already to long in my opinion.

Should IP be exploited by people other than original creators? It can be yes and maybe it will be good and maybe it will be bad. If it’s still in copyright that should depend on if the creators sold or licenses the IP

Did Pat Mills give up his IP for too little? Maybe, but the IP is probably with a lot less now then he made off the back end and continuous work, which was the old business model. The new one in the, you get to chose creator owned or work for higher, is arguably just as bad. 

Creator owned stuff that’s split between a number of creators and the publishers tends to have a good chance of going out of print and never being seen again though complex copyright issues. So that’s not ideal. Creator owned work were one creator owns everything and contracts co-creators as work for higher is possible worse than corporate owned. And I was reading about when Todd McFarlane didn’t get Nail Gaiman to sign a work for higher contract for a single issue of Spawn and has been fighting legal battles with him ever since, so unless your acting like a corporation you had best be a one man band or you are going to get into trouble.



: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Steven Denton 21 May, 2021, 01:21:41 PM
Often cited is creators not creating for things they will never own but you could literally charge people to work on Batman and never run out of professional quality work.

Historical injustices are not hugely relevant to the modern landscape outside of film adaptations because most of the money is also historical and comics just aren’t the cash cow they once were.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: sheridan 21 May, 2021, 01:38:29 PM
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?


And wasn't Ro-Busters and ABC Warriors originally inspired by a poster that Kevin O'Neill painted before 2000AD even existed?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Link Prime 21 May, 2021, 02:32:23 PM
Pat Mills (72) is pretty much our Stan Lee.

Agree with him or not, guy wants to blow off a little bit of steam - so what?

: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Legendary Shark 21 May, 2021, 02:40:16 PM

All of the above is why I'm really not interested in becoming a professional comics writer any more. It's much more satisfying, for me at  least, to remain strictly amateur. Writing for Zarjaz or Paragon is fulfilling enough for me - and complicated enough.

To illustrate, I'm still rather proud of Flesh: Extinction , which would never have seen the light of day if not for Dave and Rich. Those guys taught me, albeit probably unintentionally, that enthusiasm is far sweeter than profit.

Over the years I"he enjoyed a sporadic exchange of emails with Uncle Pat and, without wanting to betray private words, was disappointed in his dismissive attitude to my efforts based on his original ideas - which he did not read. I felt as if he was afraid of giving any opinion on work that was not his own - which is fair enough as I have broadly the same attitude - in case it somehow undermined his own position. As if I was angling to monetise his ideas myself, somehow - which was not the case. The concept of me putting my own spin on his ideas as a labour of love, in honour of the original and not an attempt to supplant or subvert it,  seemed to have little merit. It is difficult for me to read public statements he's given and not feel as if I'm just a hack recycling his ideas. Which, of course, I may very well be - but not intentionally. I never begin by thinking, "I wonder what I can steal,, monetise undermine, and ruin today?" 

So no -  I think I'll just keep on writing for the love of it, thanks.  Money and contracts and rights and all that rubbish would just ruin it for me. Let Pat have the money and the contracts and the rights -  I'll just take the love and the enjoyment.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Jim_Campbell 21 May, 2021, 02:44:06 PM
I"he enjoyed a sporadic exchange of emails with Uncle Pat and, without wanting to betray private words, was disappointed in his dismissive attitude to my efforts based on his original ideas - which he did not read.

With the best will in the world, I don't think you'll find many writers, in any genre or medium, who'll read fanfic, no matter how well crafted or well-intentioned. It opens the writer up to accusations of 'stealing' lesser known/amateur writers' ideas, so the vast majority of writers have a blanket "Not gonna read that" policy.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 21 May, 2021, 03:52:05 PM
Piggybacking on what Jim said - you'll find that's quite a common policy across disciplines. Unsolicited (computer) game ideas sent to established companies will be left unread specifically to avoid any legal questions over ownership.

Your choices, for games, are to either self-publish (thus retaining your ownership) or join a company and try to get your ideas to market that way (and therefore probably not retaining ownership, but getting paid a wage).

---

As to *why* we're examining what Pat said. Well, it's exactly because of who he is that we pick over his utterings.


And wasn't Ro-Busters and ABC Warriors originally inspired by a poster that Kevin O'Neill painted before 2000AD even existed?

Plus it's a Thunderbirds knock-off, of course. That's the rub for me - again and again - from someone who hungrily hacked the zeitgeist to create his baby (2000 AD), it galls to hear him rail against other writers by slapping the "hungry hacks" insult onto his contemporaries, as if he's morally above them. He's not. That there emperor - comic wonder or not - is in the nude.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Legendary Shark 21 May, 2021, 03:56:10 PM

No, no - I get that. It wasn't"t any specific "will you read this?"  "No," conversation. It was more the underlying attitude of what is intrinsically worthwhile and what is intrinsically worthless.

Of course, Pat and I have never discussed copyrights and such because, boy, that would be a spat for the ages! :-)

All that being said, he never tried to stop or block me - which is definitely not nothing - but he certainly thought my efforts were pointless and inconsequential which,  also, I can not disagree with, but that doesn't automatically translate to exploitation or lack of respect on my part -  which is the impression I got.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Steven Denton 21 May, 2021, 08:06:35 PM
Because a lot of my fan art and writing is essentially fan elaborate fan Mail to the creators of comics I have admired all my life part of me would like them to see it. A bigger part of me realises they would probably hate it and think I was some kind of dick head trying to rip them off. It’s a weird and complicated dynamic. Essentially it’s like dressing like someone who you admire but you are not friends with then hoping they notice and compliment your shoes that are knock off versions of their shoes.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 21 May, 2021, 08:34:25 PM
My understanding is Pat was very anti-robots when 2000AD began, considering them a tired trope or some such?  Ro-Busters was  put to him by one of the old-timey editors as "why cant we do Thunderbirds with ex service men?"  Which Pat then decided to use robots instead?

Also Invasion was pitched to Pat by John Sanders IIRC, who had previously pitched it to Michael Moorcock (who had refused to do it on the grounds he wanted no part in Commie Bashing)

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?


And wasn't Ro-Busters and ABC Warriors originally inspired by a poster that Kevin O'Neill painted before 2000AD even existed?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: sheridan 21 May, 2021, 11:00:32 PM
Also Invasion was pitched to Pat by John Sanders IIRC, who had previously pitched it to Michael Moorcock (who had refused to do it on the grounds he wanted no part in Commie Bashing)

I can't imagine what they were expecting Moorcock to do with Invasion (the end of the eighties was 2000AD, Fighting Fantasy and Moorcock for me).
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Art 21 May, 2021, 11:05:11 PM
Willem Sauvage, eternal defender of Albion, wielder of the Black Arquebus, rolling a cigarillo of restorative herbs whilst reading a red topped rune-sheet.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: TordelBack 22 May, 2021, 06:43:47 AM
Willem Sauvage, eternal defender of Albion, wielder of the Black Arquebus, rolling a cigarillo of restorative herbs whilst reading a red topped rune-sheet.

If a 12-episode outline of this isn't on Tharg's desk by Monday, along with Weston's concept drawings, I'll be very disappointed. We'll square it with Pat later.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Art 22 May, 2021, 05:03:18 PM
Original Creation Do Not Steal
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 22 May, 2021, 06:07:45 PM
Jillem Cauvage, surely?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Art 22 May, 2021, 06:23:14 PM
On the multiverse they are one and the same.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Jim_Campbell 22 May, 2021, 06:56:51 PM
I ask: should creators die with their characters…?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 22 May, 2021, 07:17:54 PM
Wouldn't be much left of Pat after all the times the ABC Warriors have been scrapped and hammered back together. Probably best to let them live.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Legendary Shark 22 May, 2021, 08:19:56 PM
I ask: should creators die with their characters…?

Well, I do. Regularly.

(This "joke" would work much better if I was a stand-up...)

: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Richard 22 May, 2021, 09:11:21 PM
Well we still have Batman and Superman. Why should British characters be any different?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Leigh S 22 May, 2021, 09:30:02 PM
We dont have the Batman or Superman of 70 years ago though.  We might have a version of Dredd in the 30 years, but will he be the Dredd we have seen remain (mostly) consistent?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Richard 22 May, 2021, 09:41:10 PM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: sheridan 22 May, 2021, 10:39:44 PM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?

Let me think for a moment...
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: milstar 23 May, 2021, 06:22:55 AM
A bit late to the party, but imo, if for example, John Wagner tomorrow drops dead (natural or unnatural causes), do I think that Dredd would also stop publishing? That he'll meet his demise, briefly mentioned in a Strontium Dog strip? I don't think so. Like Richard here said, Batman and Superman (and many others) continued for decades, why should British comics or any comics be different? The core ideas of these characters are practically the same.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Legendary Shark 23 May, 2021, 07:34:33 AM

Given that Beowulf and Achilles are still cropping up I reckon that good characters never die.

: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: TordelBack 23 May, 2021, 07:38:11 AM
Why should British characters be any different?

There was a time that we said their finite, linear nature was what made them special. Obviously a young man's (or a Kurgan's) conceit, but there was something to it.

I'd happily (not) read CyberLiefield & GregLandClone-37's Age of Strontium summer crossover event of 2050  if I thought it came with the approval and remuneration of the Wagner & Ezquerra estates. And in the highly unlikely event I was alive to (not) see it.

It's not actually about the mortality of creators or creations, it's about the control of creators over their creations: the right to say "nope", or just "pay me". Why do Tolkien's grandkids get creative oversight and a quarter-billion from Amazon,  while John Smith's characters - characters and settings that only Smith could ever have created - rumble on in a grim half-life? 

The only sane answer is "it's a totally different business in a very different time". Well yeah,  but does that make it right?  And purely selfishly, does it make for good stories? Or incentive to create new ones?

No-one is saying Pat's utterances aren't one-sided, abrasive or contradictory*, or that he's frequently egged-on by self-interested or ignorant parties, or even that he's made a decent living that younger creators can hardly dream of from the existing system, if not quite the solid gold house and the rocket car**. But improved creator rights benefit us all (caveats apply), and he's a highly visible and vocal source of pressure in that.direction.

Plus, he wrote Nemesis, Sláine and Defoe, so, y'know.


*Traits that infuse his writing and editorial style.
** Simpsons reference that alludes to the risks of this position.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Woolly 23 May, 2021, 11:12:09 AM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?

I think if you swapped the robots for, say, cowboys, and set in on Earth instead of Mars, maybe change it to a period setting instead of a sci-fi.... The Magnificent Seven anyone?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Legendary Shark 23 May, 2021, 12:20:48 PM

A man made of X-rays, a Yankee trader, and a Zulu shaman go to war...

: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: The Corinthian 23 May, 2021, 12:30:14 PM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?

I think if you swapped the robots for, say, cowboys, and set in on Earth instead of Mars, maybe change it to a period setting instead of a sci-fi.... The Magnificent Seven anyone?

I'd set it in 16th century Japan myself.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: GordonR 23 May, 2021, 01:26:45 PM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?

Coming soon: Rory McConville’s XYZ Guardians.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: JayzusB.Christ 23 May, 2021, 01:37:43 PM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?

Coming soon: Rory McConville’s XYZ Guardians.

If only you'd written Luciferus Unleashed back in 2001, we could have avoided a lot of trouble.
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Mister Pops 23 May, 2021, 02:48:35 PM
Would Pat Mills be mollified if someone did a very different version of ABC Warriors?

Like a story where the first act isn't Hammerstein getting the band back together?
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Funt Solo 23 May, 2021, 04:12:04 PM
Why should British characters be any different?

There was a time that we said their finite, linear nature was what made them special. Obviously a young man's (or a Kurgan's) conceit, but there was something to it.

I'd happily (not) read CyberLiefield & GregLandClone-37's Age of Strontium summer crossover event of 2050  if I thought it came with the approval and remuneration of the Wagner & Ezquerra estates. And in the highly unlikely event I was alive to (not) see it.

It's not actually about the mortality of creators or creations, it's about the control of creators over their creations: the right to say "nope", or just "pay me". Why do Tolkien's grandkids get creative oversight and a quarter-billion from Amazon,  while John Smith's characters - characters and settings that only Smith could ever have created - rumble on in a grim half-life? 

The only sane answer is "it's a totally different business in a very different time". Well yeah,  but does that make it right?  And purely selfishly, does it make for good stories? Or incentive to create new ones?

No-one is saying Pat's utterances aren't one-sided, abrasive or contradictory*, or that he's frequently egged-on by self-interested or ignorant parties, or even that he's made a decent living that younger creators can hardly dream of from the existing system, if not quite the solid gold house and the rocket car**. But improved creator rights benefit us all (caveats apply), and he's a highly visible and vocal source of pressure in that.direction.

Plus, he wrote Nemesis, Sláine and Defoe, so, y'know.


*Traits that infuse his writing and editorial style.
** Simpsons reference that alludes to the risks of this position.

This ^
: Re: PAT MILLS ASKS SHOULD CHARACTERS DIE WITH THEIR CREATORS?
: Colin YNWA 24 May, 2021, 09:09:59 PM
I've avoided entering The Phoenix piece as by my reading it was just a silly - and possibly misinterrupted - swipe. He may have been referring to the specific strip (whatever that might have been?) rather than The Phoenix as a whole?

"Three years ago, I certainly didn’t like the sound of a proposed Slaine-light for the Phoenix aimed at Waitrose readers and, thankfully, neither did they in the end."  Seems he was referring to a pitch to the Phoenix that never went forward?  Given that it never went forward, I can only imagine that the makers of the Phoenix shared Pat's opinion.
If you're reading this, The Phoenix, bring back NO COUNTRY, you bastards.

At a stretch, you might argue that Pat was probably thinking of Mezolith - that he saw some of the painted art and assumed it was a Slaine knock-off and got confused between the Phoenix and the DFC, but you'd have to argue in pretty bad faith there.

Yeah that was my reading of it I have to admit.

And YES to more 'No Country' - it was quite superb. I nosed at the trade collection in Waterstones the other day and it retains the 'To be continued' - which I think was been said in the comic itself too so fingers crossed more is on the way.

Back to the tangent!

Last weeks issues confirmed we're getting more 'No Country' no date yet but its on its way.