Alan Moore says that if you buy Before Watchmen, "just stop buying my other books".

“I have to say that if you are a reader that just wanted your favorite characters on tap forever, and never cared about the creators, then actually you’re probably not the kind of reader that I was looking for. I have a huge respect for my audience. On the occasions when I meet them, they seem, I like to think, to be intelligent and scrupulous people. If people do want to go out and buy these Watchmen prequels, they would be doing me an enormous favor if they would just stop buying my other books. When I think of my audience, I like to have good thoughts and think about how lucky I am to have one that is as intelligent as mine and as moral as mine. [...] The kind of readers who are prepared to turn a blind eye when the people who create their favorite reading material, their favorite characters, are marginalized or put to the wall — that’s not the kind of readers I want. So, even if it means a huge drop in sales upon my other work, I would prefer it that way. I mean, there’s no way I can police this, of course. But, I would hope that you wouldn’t want to buy a book knowing that its author actually had complete contempt for you. So, I’m hoping that will be enough.” - Alan Moore from the interview found here:

http://www.seraphemera.org/seraphemera_books/Alan_Moore_Interview.html

This comes a couple of weeks after David Mazzucchelli asked readers to not buy the new edition of Batman: Year One after all of the extra work he put into creating the "definitive" edition has been dumped for new printings.

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I think Alan Moore would argue that DC didn't EVER adhere to something he was "told" about his rights,

My point is that he shouldn't have relied on what he was told (his word) about his rights from the company he was negotiating with, especially by the 1980s with the famous history of comics to that point, if a top priority was protecting his creations from ever being used by someone else--which was not a far-fetched possibility, I'd think..

To wit: the rights would revert to him once the book went out of print, which was circumvented by perpetually keeping the book in print.

I had that same concern for my book with CBG, because all the rights would revert to me when it went out of print (and I could own the negatives of the pages for future publishing). So I made sure to find out what constituted being out of print and at what number of copies they either had to declare it or do a new printing. I also got an escalating percentage with every new printing.

In my case, they let it go out of print after three years and one printing. I suppose that's the difference between me and Moore. 

Although there is a Kindle edition now, for which I get a royalty because I owned all the rights before that possibility arose, and they didn't anticipate it, not that I did.

I always laughed at publishers' contracts that say they own all rights during the time they negotiate "through all media existing now and in the future throughout the universe." But it's seems a bit more plausible these days.

I also laughed every time Wizard did a story on creators' rights and how Kirby, etc. got ripped off, lost credit, etc., etc. Wizard made everyone sign work-for-hire agreements and made money off a bunch of my Alex Ross articles until they stopped publishing and never paid me an extra dime or even sent me copies of the various books. I hadn't expected that stuff to have such shelf life, but I knew the deal when I took it.

Here's a thought: Had the book gone out of print, and the rights reverted to him, and he'd done sequels, could DC have sued him for doing stories based on what everyone agrees were somewhat-revised characters they owned? Does the contract say he had the rights to the Watchmen pages or to Watchmen characters, free and clear? 

-- MSA 

"through all media existing now and in the future throughout the universe."

 

What about parallel universes?

In one, he actually did use the Charlton characters. In another, he used the Archie/MLJ superheroes. In still another, he used the Gold Key characters. There's even one where it's Space Ghost and the Herculoids.

What about parallel universes?

I see the billable hours for altering contracts rising even as we speak. The more we learn, the more I find I should have been paying more attention to my Flash comics than my elementary-school science books. Not that I didn't do that anyway.

-- MSA 

In my case, they let it go out of print after three years and one printing. I suppose that's the difference between me and Moore.

I feel like you need a hug.  Would it help to know that I've re-read your book as least as often as I've re-read Watchmen?

I always laughed at publishers' contracts that say they own all rights during the time they negotiate "through all media existing now and in the future throughout the universe."

I work for a company that regulates other companies, including approving their advertised business names.  I've often argued that we should not approve use of the word "International" unless the business has a branch in another country, nor "Universal" unless there's a branch on another planet.  I'm not getting a lot of traction on that, though.

There's even one where it's Space Ghost and the Herculoids.

I can't decide if I really, really want to read that one, or I really, really don't.

 The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"... and I'll look down and whisper "Gloop."

That's the post of the day right there.  Well done, Pete!

PowerBook Pete (aka Tim Cousar) said:

In one, he actually did use the Charlton characters. In another, he used the Archie/MLJ superheroes. In still another, he used the Gold Key characters. There's even one where it's Space Ghost and the Herculoids.

I like the way the Baron played off it.

They're both keepers!

Now I wish I could draw.

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