Friday, February 3, 2012

Derivativity

“As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to Moby Dick.”


As noted in this NY Times article that details the recent decision by DC to produce a series of 'prequels' to Moore & Gibbon's classic Watchmen series. It is a crap move, pure and simple. Originally the rights were to lapse back to Moore & Gibbons as the creators, after the series had been out of print for a year. Well, that never happened--Watchmen has been so popular and successful that it has remained in-print to this day and now DC is intent on mining the ideas Alan Moore presented 25 years ago. But then DC is also the publisher that has rebooted their continuity to the point no one knows which iteration of what character is 'authentic,' and of course there's the little matter of the situation via-a-vis the whole sad, sorry legal battle over Superman...that has left DC in possession of "...Superman's ability to fly, the term kryptonite, the Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen characters, Superman's powers and expanded origins..." and turned over all the other classic elements of the character such as his origin, Lois Lane, etc. to the heirs of Siegel & Shuster, the original creators of the Superman character. Oh and it looks like Gaiman & MacFarlane have finally settled their on-going legal skirmishing as well. Neil won only a dozen or so times before it finally sunk-in and things can get sorted out once and for all. Wow. Looks like Graeme McMillan over at News-a-Rama was right--Gaiman's lawsuit may well have been a road map for DC to retain their rights to the 'new and improved' Superman character after all. It's all about derivative works. Hmmmm. What other industry has a lot of derivative works based on old dead guy's writings? It isn't Poker, at least that's not what I'm thinking about...hmmm...oh yeah; what about RPGs? Oh, but that'll 'never' happen because there's 'no money in RPGs.' Right. Sure. Okay...

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