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Thursday, June 21, 2012 

Paolo Rivera leaves Marvel over ownership rights

The artist Paolo Rivera has announced he's not working for Marvel anymore, because they're not giving him the rights to his artwork:
So why am I leaving? The short answer: ownership. With the exception of just a few published pieces of art (which belong to other companies), Marvel owns the copyrights to my entire professional portfolio. And why shouldn't they? I was, of course, compensated fairly for it, and for that I’m grateful — but the sum total of that work is not enough to support me in the distant future. My page rate is essentially the same as when I started at 21, so I've decided to invest in myself. What I create in the next decade needs to pay dividends when my vision gets blurry and my hands start to shake (and who knows what else). Now is the time to make that choice, while I’m still young, possess "great power," but have few responsibilities.
This vaguely reminds me of the fallout Gary Friedrich had with Marvel when they tried to make him pay over the lawsuit he'd filed to get proper credit for creating Ghost Rider. While Rivera puts it all politely, it's clear that on the one hand, they're being incredibly selfish in how they're holding onto his art portfolio, and on the other hand, they're not even paying him enough to support his future. This could be another domino effect in how the big two are losing contributors just as much as the audiences.

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"And yet, I’m not done with Marvel by any means. They've been nothing but supportive throughout my decision, as has been the case throughout my career. I will continue to do covers for them and occasional projects as I see fit, just not exclusively."

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