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General Chat => Help! => : SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 11 September, 2020, 12:19:09 PM

: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 11 September, 2020, 12:19:09 PM
Help needed with a clarification fellas. I'm a huge fan of the strip RAT TRAP, that originally ran in COR!! in the issues dated 29th July 1972 (#113) to 15th June 1974 (#211)* and live in permanent hope that Rebellion will print them- either as Meg floppies, Webshop exclusives like Janus Stark or trades/ hardbacks.

My love of this strip is down to a particularly vivid nightmare I had (presumably during the original run) in which Dr Rat came into my bedroom and blew a raspberry at me. My dad completely failed to subdue his traumatised son, mistaking my no doubt garbled explanation for night time terrified screaming as accusations our house was infested with vermin. I've never forgotten that dream, or the sense of utter terror and have deeply loved the strip ever since.

Rat Trap got a revamp with a new series running in the Eagle from 21st Oct 1989 (#396) to 21st April 1990 (#422) and therein lies the problem.

Does that mean that Rat Trap- in either incarnation- is off limits to Rebellion, and owned by the Dan Dare Corporation? Charley's War was reprinted in Eagle and that has seen various subsequent prints. Do I need to expect Dr Ratty Rat to languish in unpublished obscurity, or can I look forward to a possible volume on my increasingly crowded shelves?

Cheers

SBT

*with teasers in #111 and #112
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Jim_Campbell 11 September, 2020, 01:04:39 PM
Does that mean that Rat Trap- in either incarnation- is off limits to Rebellion

Given that he popped up briefly in the 2018 Misty & Scream special, I suspect not…  :)

(https://i.imgur.com/sLgUnCE.jpg)
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 11 September, 2020, 01:09:35 PM
As I understand it from others more versed in the minutiae than myself and who have publicly made statements about it (Lew Stringer and John Freeman have covered the subject on their respective blogs as they have personal stakes in some of the material), if it began life in one of the publications Rebellion now owns, it belongs to Rebellion even if original material was later created for the New Eagle - see also: Death Wish, Charley's War, Monster, The Thirteenth Floor, One-Eyed Jack, etc.
We've already seen reprints of the Monster and Thirteenth Floor material from the New Eagle, so I'd say Rebellion own it outright, though I'd like to think there's some financial comp to DDC for the New Eagle material.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Richard 11 September, 2020, 01:34:02 PM
Why can't the Dan Dare Corporation just keep Dan Dare and sell everything else? It's not as if they're doing anything with Doomlord and Bloodfang.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 11 September, 2020, 02:11:45 PM
Why can't the Dan Dare Corporation just keep Dan Dare and sell everything else? It's not as if they're doing anything with Doomlord and Bloodfang.

Yes, I wish they would. They are not even doing anything with Dan Dare.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 11 September, 2020, 02:48:12 PM
Not sure how I missed him in the special, and thanks. I must have reading with my eyes closed.
And yes, while I have bugger all interest in Dan Dare in any of his incarnations- beyond a vague nostalgia for the early New Eagle strips- Doomlord is so deserving of a massive hardback (and a relaunch in the prog or Regened, with modern photo strips designed by Clint Langley) it hurts that they arent available.

SBT
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 11 September, 2020, 03:22:45 PM
Why can't the Dan Dare Corporation just keep Dan Dare and sell everything else? It's not as if they're doing anything with Doomlord and Bloodfang.

I'm just guessing, but Dan Dare stories often started on the covers of Eagle and continued inside, so to fully own all the Dan Dare story pages, DDC would have had to buy the rights to the Eagle logo and any characters that appeared on montage covers alongside Dare, so they may not be doing anything with them, but they still need to retain ownership to do anything with the pages they share with Dan Dare.  I gather from comments from those who've had direct dealings with them that DDC - a husband and wife team - are at best ambivalent towards the other Eagle characters, and don't want to dilute their business model.

It's a damn shame, as one of my all-time fave artists, Jose Ortiz, was pretty much a permanent fixture in the New Eagle for about 7 years on various strips, and we'll never see collections of that work - or Alan Hebden, Carlos Ezquerra and Mike Dorey's Comrade Bronski, which admittedly wasn't the greatest strip ever, but if you don't want to own a graphic novel that answers the question "what would Dirty Harry be like if he looked like a member of the Human League, drove everywhere in a dune buggy, and fought the KGB in Cold War-era Moscow?", then buddy, you and I are very different people.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Amstor Computer 11 September, 2020, 03:52:41 PM
It's a damn shame, as one of my all-time fave artists, Jose Ortiz, was pretty much a permanent fixture in the New Eagle for about 7 years on various strips, and we'll never see collections of that work - or Alan Hebden, Carlos Ezquerra and Mike Dorey's Comrade Bronski, which admittedly wasn't the greatest strip ever, but if you don't want to own a graphic novel that answers the question "what would Dirty Harry be like if he looked like a member of the Human League, drove everywhere in a dune buggy, and fought the KGB in Cold War-era Moscow?", then buddy, you and I are very different people.

Both The Tower King and House of Daemon were collected by Hibernia (Tower King even got a limited second printing) and we managed to squeeze a bit of Comrade Bronski into the Eagle Adventure Special a few years back  :) That other New Eagle stuff hasn't appeared yet is very much not down to lack of interest in reprinting it (or a lack of interest from potential readers).

It's a real shame, as there are some gems in New Eagle aside from the extended run Ian Kennedy had on Dare - the aforementioned Doomlord and Bloodfang, but even stuff like Manix (particularly the Hitler storyline) is good, pulpy fun and would be worth collecting.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 11 September, 2020, 04:03:07 PM
I can remember Manix. I enjoyed at the time and for me the art was quite good as well. Would like a collection with Doomlord and Bloodfang
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Woolly 11 September, 2020, 05:25:00 PM
I want to say "DDC should just sell the rights to Doomlord and be done with it", but I can't back that up with anything even close to actual financial advice!

Would it be in their interests to do so? I'm hoping a better informed squaxx can answer this one!
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: IndigoPrime 11 September, 2020, 05:31:06 PM
Depends whether they think they’re sitting on a goldmine, and also whether any potential buyer wants to spend a great deal of cash on a property that’s very niche.

If nothing else, this does make me happy Rebellion owns so much, because they don’t just sit on the material — they do something with it. (Rumours were Titan wanted the stuff Rebellion bought. I shudder at the thought.)
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Richard 11 September, 2020, 05:39:06 PM
If DDC sold the rights to the non-Dare strips, the contract could include a clause that allows them to print Eagle covers with non-Dare characters on them.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Colin YNWA 11 September, 2020, 06:04:38 PM
I still dream of a hardcover Complete Doomlord collection. Maybe one day, one day.

Since learning about Bloodfang (its got Jim Baikie art if I recall right???) I'm mad keen on getting that too.

Damn you Dan Dare Corporation!
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 11 September, 2020, 06:10:39 PM
Both The Tower King and House of Daemon were collected by Hibernia (Tower King even got a limited second printing) and we managed to squeeze a bit of Comrade Bronski into the Eagle Adventure Special a few years back  :) That other New Eagle stuff hasn't appeared yet is very much not down to lack of interest in reprinting it (or a lack of interest from potential readers).

Reprint The Fifth Horseman, you cowards.

I have the Tower King, House of Daemon and both Thirteenth Floor collections from Hibernia, and am currently waiting for the Kid Cops book I know is definitely in the works.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Amstor Computer 11 September, 2020, 06:20:03 PM
I still dream of a hardcover Complete Doomlord collection. Maybe one day, one day.

Since learning about Bloodfang (its got Jim Baikie art if I recall right???) I'm mad keen on getting that too.

Damn you Dan Dare Corporation!

First Bloodfang was all Baikie, and it's lovely (if now palaeontologically-incorrect) work, and one of my favourite Baikie-illustrated strips. Second, more Flesh-inspired, Bloodfang was Carlos Cruz IIRC.

Reprint The Fifth Horseman, you cowards.

I have the Tower King, House of Daemon and both Thirteenth Floor collections from Hibernia, and am currently waiting for the Kid Cops book I know is definitely in the works.

Would love to work on The Fifth Horseman (or Bloodfang, or the Doomlord photo-strips, or a couple of other things I scanned hoping that the DDC might be amenable) - maybe one day...

Also: Kid Cops? Only after a deluxe hardback edition of Saddle Tramp!
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Jim_Campbell 11 September, 2020, 06:27:21 PM
Tower King is a minor classic — I think Hebden’s script would probably have looked a lot less impressive paired with a lesser artist than Ortiz, but House of Dæmon is a stone cold classic, pairing some utterly lovely Ortiz art with Wagner/Grant in their pumping-out-quality-scripts-all-the-time phase. The sheer pace that they turn over ideas in the short page count per episode seems to inspire Ortiz, who moves seamlessly from genre to genre.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 11 September, 2020, 07:19:41 PM
I still dream of a hardcover Complete Doomlord collection. Maybe one day, one day.

Since learning about Bloodfang (its got Jim Baikie art if I recall right???) I'm mad keen on getting that too.

Damn you Dan Dare Corporation!

I never knew that Baikie was the artist. That will explain why I loved the strip. I assume that FM Candor is the dynamic duo of Wagner/Grant.

Double damn the Dan Dare Corporation
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Art 11 September, 2020, 09:52:57 PM
IIRC from the big Wagner interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMaQG-Wpvo0) it's F Martin Candor, named after some local shops and the F stands for fuck.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Amstor Computer 11 September, 2020, 10:11:45 PM
Tower King is a minor classic — I think Hebden’s script would probably have looked a lot less impressive paired with a lesser artist than Ortiz, but House of Dæmon is a stone cold classic, pairing some utterly lovely Ortiz art with Wagner/Grant in their pumping-out-quality-scripts-all-the-time phase. The sheer pace that they turn over ideas in the short page count per episode seems to inspire Ortiz, who moves seamlessly from genre to genre.

Yes, Daemon is fantastic - aside from the conclusion, which felt as though it had perhaps been cut short and/or hacked about by editorial, it's a rollicking tale. It opens almost as a gothic romance, then spends the rest of the run shifting from horror, to adventure yarn, to comedy, to the kind of absurd horror Wagner/Grant would go on to perfect in The Thirteenth Floor (and it's hard not to see Daemon as a "dry run" of sorts for Max), taking in Vietnam war tales and others along the way. Brilliant stuff.

I never knew that Baikie was the artist. That will explain why I loved the strip. I assume that FM Candor is the dynamic duo of Wagner/Grant.

Double damn the Dan Dare Corporation

I think (though may be incorrect, as it's been a long time since I asked him on FB) that Bloodfang may have been Wagner alone. Regardless, it's a fun little dinosaur-POV tale, coupled with some cracking B&W linework from Baikie.

: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 05 October, 2020, 06:53:20 PM
Been doing a read-through of the Eagle at a leisurely pace but I'm finally at the RAT TRAP era the OP mentions and I think the strip may be the single biggest reason for New Eagle's demise, as its purpose seems to be to personally insult every single remaining Eagle reader one by one while telling them that they, their home town and their ideas all suck.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Monarch 06 October, 2020, 02:17:15 AM
god the thought of titan owning the stuff rebellion now owns makes me shudder...

they can barely reprint other peoples stuff let alone their own
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: matty_ae 07 October, 2020, 04:23:55 PM
It's always slightly worth remembering the facts

The Dan Dare completed a 22-part animated cartoon series that was according to IMDB as being sold to 40+ companies but it was unsuccessful to the point where I think the DDC was being challenged for a £15 million dollar loan that one of the funding partners had borrowed.

They are sitting on an anachronistic character forever stuck in a 1950s that doesn't chime well with modern audiences as a setting for a Sci-fi drama. But if a tryst of Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gattis and HBO came calling it could be worth a great deal for the value of their IP.

And why they are hoping that reprinting Thunderbold & Smokey et al. probably isn't moving the dial but that said Hibernia clearly did broker multiple deals (include Dan Dare in the Holiday Special) that made sense to both parties so it can be done.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 07 October, 2020, 07:05:14 PM
My failing ADHD-riddled man-child memory is not to be taken as gospel on any matter, but as best I can recall, they can't reprint Thunderbolt and Smokey because photostrips are retroactively covered by changes to Equity's standard acting contracts made in the decades since, and I think John Wagner has asserted that his renegotiated creative terms with 2000ad retroactively extends to Eagle material as well, so Doomlord is also a no-no.

They are sitting on an anachronistic character forever stuck in a 1950s that doesn't chime well with modern audiences as a setting for a Sci-fi drama.

LOL the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy is on the phone - it says it want to talk to you about retrofuturism as a significant aesthetic movement within the modern creative industries.  Holding on line 2 is the cottage industry of period war dramas set in England, and boy does it have an earful for you.

What you call anachronism, others call a selling point.  Besides, with the exception of the Wagner/Mills scripts from the first year-and-a-bit of the relaunched Eagle and Garth Ennis' US miniseries, every update of Dan Dare has been a complete disaster.  Leaving aside the 2000ad reboot, Dan Dare was reinvented not once but six times between 1982 and 1989 in the New Eagle* and it sucked ass pretty bad every time.


* "Grandson of the original" Dare, "Star Trek" Dare, "Back-From-The-Dead Space Marshall" Dare, "Gritty Loner with a talking gun who hangs out with Vampirella and Johnny Five from Short Circuit and fights space bats" Dare (this is considerably less awesome than it sounds), "Fugitive Buck Rogers In The 25th Century fighting snake men on the werewolf prison planet" Dare, and finally back to "1950s original and best" Dare in the comic's final years, a retrospectively-bizarre creative choice given that this version would have been out of print more than a decade before the New Eagle's target audience of 8-13 year-old boys were even born, and a full decade-and-a-half before post-ironic nostalgia became a viable marketing strategy.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: matty_ae 07 October, 2020, 09:56:17 PM
I always enjoy a spirited response.

Sorry I was not judging the possibility of reprinting photo-strips just making the small point that Dan Dare is really the crown jewels and everything else is nice crumbs. I'd love to see the Doomlord photo-strips back in print and TBH I think they could risk reprinting old photos if the run was sub 200. I mean what are the actors really going to sue for? A few hundred pounds?

Cheap shots aside. I do agree with Pat Mills long-term point that you 're-invent Dan Dare at your peril'. He belongs in the 1950s view of a sci-fi future. I'm not sure it's a 1950s that ever happened but who can argue with post-war optimism of a better world (if still slightly colonial). I wasn't arguing to re-invent his world again. No-one needs a great-great-x-grandson but just that probably only a top-tier current actor combine with a top-tier show runner could pull it off. I hope it happens. And so do the DD Corp but until then whether they approve tiny reprints of obscure stories (however fondly remembered from the old 1982 bird) aint going to pay any Studio Execs child's school fees.

Dan is worth doing right but it's a tough proposition. Probably tougher than any top-tier 2000ad IP especially as the first set of fans are now in their 80s and sadly dwindling in terms of a built in audience.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 08 October, 2020, 12:41:16 AM
I mean what are the actors really going to sue for? A few hundred pounds?

Probably, yes.  The scenario you describe is literally the kind of opportunistic exploitation that industry standard contracts are there to prevent.  The actors' union would pursue a case on principle, not how much profit was involved.

Dan is worth doing right but it's a tough proposition. Probably tougher than any top-tier 2000ad IP especially as the first set of fans are now in their 80s and sadly dwindling in terms of a built in audience.

I don't think they'd ever be the target audience, their only value would be as PR fodder in asserting Dare's cultural significance.  Dan Dare as a contemporary property could be probably be done if it leaned into its own Britishness and avoided US cliches about grizzled loners or whatever - though tbh this would also likely get it pegged as a Dr Who clone.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 08 October, 2020, 03:43:47 AM
With a good creators team Dan Dare will be able to work today. The 50s DD I do not think will work anymore. Unfortunately the "dreaded" reboot has to happen on the character for it to work in today's' age.

So even if Rebellion owned Doomlord for example to reprints would not include the photo stories?
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 08 October, 2020, 11:15:34 AM
With a good creators team Dan Dare will be able to work today. The 50s DD I do not think will work anymore.

A good creative team(Ennis/Erskine) already made the 1950s version work.  Conversely, a US-produced Dan Dare comic book a few years ago went the reboot route and I don't think I've read a single word about it, despite it being from Peter Milligan, a not-unpopular creator around these parts.  It's not that it was either good or bad, but that it failed to register.

I do think you're right that in theory, there's no reason a good creative team couldn't make a Dare update work, it's just that every single time it's been tried, it's gone tits-up.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 08 October, 2020, 11:59:04 AM
The Pete Milligan Dare was fine not the best but readable. For me get a good writer and just imagine what a guy like Patrick Goddard can do to the art department. I think it might be the same case about America's take on Dredd the writers just do not understand the character and what he is about.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Amstor Computer 08 October, 2020, 12:49:28 PM
I mean what are the actors really going to sue for? A few hundred pounds?

Probably, yes.  The scenario you describe is literally the kind of opportunistic exploitation that industry standard contracts are there to prevent.  The actors' union would pursue a case on principle, not how much profit was involved.

Probably worth pointing out here that for many of the photo stories in Eagle, models would include people the photographer knew and could rope in (for example, I believe the photographer on "Thunderbolt and Smokey" knew a teacher at a school and got the OK to shoot there and to have the kids from the school as extras for the strip), IPC staff (Sid Bicknell appears in Doomlord, along with security guards and other staffers) as well as jobbing actors on the books of agencies like Ugly and Photopix (Michael Segal appears briefly in Doomlord, with Mike Mungarvan starring etc.). There's even a Thames TV reporter in one Doomlord segment, along with some random passers-by wrangled in by Gary Compton, the photographer.

There likely won't be contracts for any of the dozens and dozens of people involved, and the jobbing actors probably would have been found and paid through the agencies they were signed up with, and I'd be surprised if there were any kind of reprint/future usage rights set out. I'm not sure whether that simplifies or complicates the situation for reprints, but that's roughly where I understand things are with how the photo strips were produced.   

Worth noting though that there have been several collections of girls' photo-strips (My Guy etc.) reprinted in recent years, with strips featuring far more famous actors and celebs, and I don't believe they've fallen foul of anyone.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 08 October, 2020, 12:54:55 PM
DDC does not look like they care anyway for any of their "properties". I believe must likely we will never see any of these properties in the future either as a reprint or as something new.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: Professor Bear 08 October, 2020, 01:17:00 PM
DDC is a relatively small media development firm, they'd have to be mugs to get into a dying cottage industry like comics publishing - but if your concern is seeing older material brought back to shelves so it can be appreciated, you'd be better addressing your complaints to DC Thompson, who have an absolutely massive library of sci-fi and adventure comics - a huge chunk of which would be of particular interest to fans of this parish - with which they're doing absolutely nothing.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Amstor Computer 08 October, 2020, 01:24:58 PM
Not to mention that, as I understand it, DCT have a pretty impressive library of original art and other material. That wasn't the case for the holdings Rebellion acquired where I believe pretty much all of that kind of material was long-gone and Rebellion are obliged to work from the printed comics for reprinting.

DCT are a huge part of British comic history and it's an enormous shame they don't seem to have much interest in doing anything to recognise that.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: broodblik 08 October, 2020, 01:28:06 PM
I also cannot understand having this big library of titles and you do nothing with it.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: sheridan 09 October, 2020, 09:01:04 AM
I also cannot understand having this big library of titles and you do nothing with it.

Yep - I can understand Egmont doing that - they bought the IPC / Fleetway library so that they'd have access to the Disney licence, but a company like DC Thompson produced their own material and don't have any licences (apart from maybe Bananaman).
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: IndigoPrime 09 October, 2020, 10:00:29 AM
I’ve heard various stories about DCT’s thinking here. It seems the company just doesn’t care about its archive in any meaningful sense, beyond appealing to very specific markets. So it’s digitised all the old Beano annuals, so you can buy a copy for the year of someone’s birth, and it’ll churn out reprint Dandy strips for summer specials, but there won’t ever be a phonebook of Bananaman (say).

In a sense, that’s why it’s so great to see The Phoenix routinely lobbing stuff into the wild in collected format. Not everything ends up in those wee books, but you do get a reasonable selection of its best bits.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 28 December, 2020, 09:21:17 PM
NecroBUMP!
I've only gone and pulled the trigger, as they say, on the first appearance of Rat Trap in Cor!! weekly. That's a personal grail ticked off the list.

SBT
 
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Corinthian 26 April, 2021, 10:10:53 PM
"Gritty Loner with a talking gun who hangs out with Vampirella and Johnny Five from Short Circuit and fights space bats" Dare (this is considerably less awesome than it sounds)

Nevertheless, I am so on board for 'Dan Dare vs Vampirella', if anyone can sort out the rights.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: The Corinthian 15 March, 2022, 09:15:20 PM
Been doing a read-through of the Eagle at a leisurely pace but I'm finally at the RAT TRAP era the OP mentions and I think the strip may be the single biggest reason for New Eagle's demise, as its purpose seems to be to personally insult every single remaining Eagle reader one by one while telling them that they, their home town and their ideas all suck.

Presumably this is what got Cor!! cancelled back in 1974 as well.
: Re: Rebellion and Rights to Eagle Strips
: DJThunderGod 27 March, 2022, 10:39:04 PM
Really have no idea what the Dan Dare Corporation are playing at.  They could at least make some money by selling the rights to Rebellion, rather than earning them nothing (which is what's happening now).  A reprint of the early days of the new Dan Dare (Mills/Wagner/Kennedy-era) would definitely sell.  People have been asking about it for years.  I'd certainly buy a copy.  Same goes for reprints of Doomlord, Bloodfang, Manix (the S.M.O.G. era stories are still living in my memory).

The last Dan Dare series from Titan was crap.  I never finished it.  The artwork absolutely murdered it and Milligan seemed to be phoning it in.  A bit of quality control would have been good and carrying on the themes  and characters from either the original or New Eagle version would have actually worked.