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Thursday, January 11, 2007

DC Comics Blacklist

I posted these comments onto a thread devoted over on the Newsarama site to my interview with Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle.

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I knew there'd be a certain amount of controversy surrounding this interview, but I wasn't aware of how much there'd be. The editors who did them wrong, well if you read between the lines you'll soon work out who they are. As for Norm and Alan not working at DC - well that's amazed me for years now and I have no idea why. I expect that some people would be upset reading Alan and Norm's comments but here's something to consider - both men have told the truth as they see it and recounted events as they happened from their side. I'd be more than happy to give the same amount of time and space to any editor who'd like to put forward their side of events, but I know that won't happen. In effect Norm and Alan are being black-listed for telling the truth.

What does that say about the comic book industry as a whole? That someone can be shunned because they spoke out against injustice and told the truth? It'd be very easy for both guys to just blow hot air up the collective arses of DC, but then they'd be telling a lie, and neither of them would do that. I've known Norm for a few years now and he's always been honest to me, Alan has given me no reason to doubt his word. So when they both tell me something I believe them. No question about it.

So do me a favour - anyone that has any contacts within DC ask them why aren't Norm and Alan working on a Batman related project. See what answer they give. If the answer is because they spoke out against DC then remind them that they still employ people who've done the same over time - remember Frank Miller's famous comments? Steve Englehart spent a while badmouthing DC around the time of the first Burton movie, but hey - he's done Bat-related work since. In the case of Alan and Norm it's open and shut - people don't like the truth. Tell me what the answer is and then decide who's lied. My bet is that the people at DC won't be telling the truth anytime soon, so hound them and keep the pressure on. It's a simple question: when will Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle be given a Batman project?

I'd love to see DC put out two Batman related books - one by Alan Grant & Norm Breyfogle and one by the editor that's treated them like crap. And then tell me which one sells the more copies because no-one buys a book because of the editor.

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I stand by my offer. If any editor, or professional who was working at DC at the time of Alan's sacking, or believes that they know why Alan and Norm can't find work at DC then I'll publish their views. I'll even keep them anonymous if requested. Somehow I doubt very highly that anyone at DC will speak, even if they were allowed to I find it highly doubtful that they'd want to tell the truth.

Still you can only hope. With a similar interview coming up mid this year in Back Issue magazine the pressure will really be on DC to start justifying the merits of their blacklist - and don't let anyone fool you, it's real, it exists and people are on it.

In the meantime this interview has spread like the proverbial wildfire across the internet. I've kept up, as best I can, with the amount of places that it's been discussed and I'm sure there's more. There's the already mentioned Newsarama forum, naturally it's been discussed in Norm's own forums where the discussion's centered around whether Alan and Norm are in the right or wrong by going public with their experiences at DC and the reasons that they believe they're virtually black-listed from the company. Over at the Dixonverse they mentioned the interview briefly as did Geoff John's ComicBloc forums.

Sadly the latter two places are kind of ignoring the point, but then they appear devoted to discussing their own issues, in the case of the ComicBloc forums those issues appear to be more about what character is better than the other, something that I passed years ago (although get some drink into me and I'll argue with you until the sky falls as to why Thor can beat the living suitcase out of Superman). Various other mailing lists and the like have mentioned it, so perhaps DC can now be embarrassed into revealing why they won't give two of the finest creators to grace their doors since the mid 1980s any more work.

Michael Netzer also gave it a lot of space - as Mike is wont to do. Mike's comments are amongst the most interesting because, as he points out in his introduction to the interview on his site, he was there at the time and more than likely he was going through some of the same problems (not that Michael would say so - he's a bit too nice in that department). However Mike does make some interesting observations and they're well worth the time it takes to read them. Michael is also hosting Ronée G Bourgeois' What A Girl Wants blog now so that means if you haven't already bookmarked Michael's excellent site then now's the time.

Now onto other things for the time being. At least the hotel stuff has died down somewhat. Speaking of blacklists I'm not going to waste my time booking into another place here in Adelaide though as I'm sure that I'm on the hospitality blacklist here. Still it was a hoot seeing emails about it (complete with links) doing the rounds of the government this week, meaning that more and more people have read I could ever have imagined. I had no idea it'd go as big as it did, but hey, what can you say?

Excellent!

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