Giant Robot NY has a swell online gallery of images from their recent Free Ice Cream show, including R. Kikuo Johnson, Alison Cole, Anders Nilsen and Jeffrey Brown. But sharp-eyed John Jakala notices that Johnson has posted pages from his “Marvel Indie Anthology” story starring the Thing, The Puppet Master and Alicia Masters (above.)
No coincidence, Eddie Campbell just wrote about his experiences writing and drawing Batman for DC:
Then I made things complicated. I said that nothing would make me happier than to draw this myself. They said they didn’t allow a situation where a creator would both write and draw the same book unless he was ‘incorporated’. I mentioned this to Whitey, whom you may remember is a chartered accountant, so that’s exactly his field. He said, “It’s not as complicated as you think. A company’s just a box of documents you can keep under your bed.” And it doesn’t cost too much either, well compared to the amounts I’ve been bandying about here of late. Now, companies are usually named and indexed by having two unassociated words hinged together (well, this is the campbellian explanation), so he finds a combination that he figures will embarrass me, runs the checks to confirm it’s not already in use, and next thing you know I’m director of a company named ‘Antelope Pineapple Pty. Ltd’, just so I can get to draw Batman.
Which points out a curious thing. Although we enjoyed DC’s two BIZARRO anthologies, the rather clumsy “team-up” approach was a bit odd considering that 80% of the contributors are cartoonists who write and draw their own tales. However, as Campbell alludes to, DC has very firm guidelines against creators writing and drawing stories involving DC characters unless the creators are incorporated. The reason is a very narrow reading of certain copyright laws, which always struck as a sad because all the greatest creators in comics are cartoonists, after all. But luckily Howard Chaykin, Kyle Baker and Darwyn Cooke, to name a few, are incorporated and can do their thing.
Evidently, at Marvel they have no such worries. We are definitely looking forward to this issue of Coober Skeeber!