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Saturday, December 15, 2018 

Steve Rude says copyright problems are ruining entertainment

The Comic Lounge interviewed Nexus co-creator Steve Rude a few weeks ago, and he revealed that fears of copyright crises at the Big Two are spoiling everything, making it near impossible to work for them based specifically on that:
Comic Lounge: You've done work for Marvel and DC in the past. Do you have any desire to work on any of their characters besides cover work?

Rude: I haven’t been contacted by Marvel in ages, but I can tell you that due to editorial disagreements I’ve had with DC, it’s prohibited me from doing further work for them. These disagreements involve policies that don’t allow anything remotely copyrightable from being drawn in one’s artwork, no matter how small or innocent it might be. A pair of glasses on some characters face might be removed by editors because they have some kind of copyright attached to them. Literally everything appears to be fair game to them. Lawyers and their short-sighted compliant editors have officially managed to take all the fun out of drawing comics. Otherwise I’d most likely be illustrating ACTION COMICS with Superman, or as later offered, the SUPERGIRL book, which I would’ve loved doing.
He's absolutely correct. Petty issues like these are draining the fun from entertainment just as much as ideology is. When it's not ideology ruining the product, it's some bizarre, overwrought fear of copyright violations. How can you spin a great tale if they're going to be so cowardly?

As for Marvel, if they're not doing business with Rude anymore, I can only wonder if it's for the same reasons they may no longer hire Mike Baron - if he's as conservative-leaning as Chuck Dixon is, that could explain why Quesada's bunch no longer want to do business with the Nexus co-creators, no matter how positive their viewpoint supposedly is. Even Carl Potts, co-creator of Alien Legion, which Dixon wrote a few stories for in the past, may be on the blacklist.

But if I were in Rude's position, I wouldn't worry about it too much, since DC and Marvel both long lost direction - a moot point today - and their heavy-handed mandates would make it impossible to produce an entertaining story from an artistic perspective. I strongly recommend he look to the smaller publishers to see what they can offer in terms of artwork and writing alike, because today, that seems to be where it's possible to craft a better product. Though even then, it's advisable to be wary of what liberal politics they could go by.

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The reason why people like Steve Rude aren't being hired because he is too expensive, his art style is dated, and I've always gotten the impression that he works slowly. His race and gender are also working against him giving the current diversity policies at many comic publishers.


The copyright stuff is red herring for a couple of reasons0. Artists, particularly the ones at Marvel, use photo reference all over the place. The Big Two are part of multinational conglomerates. Multinational conglomerates tend to win copyright disputes . Even if they can't use certain intellectual properties, they can prevent others from using it (see Malibu Comics).

How strictly enforced are copyrights enforced in the entertainment industry anyway? Especially considering parodies and cameos would stretch any resources thin in trying to scratch out all of them.

Isn't Kamala Khan just a genderbent underaged Inhuman knockoff of Mr. Fantastic's abilities?

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