Prolix Steve Bissette has a very very long review of STARDUST and observations on the role of illustrators in film and great links and why Charles Vess getting his name on the movie is a good thing and tons of obscure history, like this:

In fact, the exile of mere “illustrators” to this limbo of no screen credit is sadly emblematic of the ‘creator rights’ era of comics publishing, save for those key works that were wholly creator-owned and comics-creator originated (e.g., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Crow, Fish Police, The Tick, etc.). Things are better than they were pre-1980, but the illusion that the creator rights battles have been fought and won is a pervasive and destructive one. When, in 1986, cartoonist Bill Wray adapted to comics the short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson (aka Radell “Ray” Faraday Nelson), published twenty years earlier in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, for the short-lived Eclipse Comics anthology Alien Encounters under the title “Nada,” he arguably created something new: a collaborative work with new, unique elements. It was Bill Wray’s adaptation, not the original F & SF pulp publication of the story, that brought Nelson’s story to the attention of filmmaker John Carpenter, who loved it. Carpenter contacted both the writer’s agent and Eclipse Comics to buy the rights to both and adapt them himself (scripting under the screen pseudoname “Frank Armitage”) into the film They Live (1988).


  1. While it is true that Neil Gaiman is a great writer (and I really do love most of his stuff) I don’t believe that he would be where he is today, if it were not for the great artist that drew and painted his stories. I’m also sure that he’d be the first to tell you that was true.