Book Excerpt - 'From Superman to Spawn: How Hollywood Got Rich While Creators Got Poor'

The following is a work in progress. It is a chapter from my forthcoming book, From Superman to Spawn: How Hollywood Got Rich While Creators Got Poor. The book will be released later this year. This excerpt is not to be reprinted, anywhere in any format, without the express permission of the author. In the meantime, enjoy this chapter on the 1990 Captain America  movie! ------------ 'I've Never Met Them, Are They Alive?' Work for hire practices were still in vogue with comic book companies well into the 1990s. If you wrote, or drew for Marvel, or DC, then the company owned everything you did. Not only could they reprint it forever, and not pay royalties, but they could, and did, sell the characters (and the concepts that invariably came with them) to any Hollywood studio that came calling. The result led to Marvel selling characters to anyone that came along, resulting in different film studios owning Spider-Man , the X-Men and more. The Marvel situation became so complica

Did Stan Lee Steal Jack Kirby's Movie Credit?

" Those bastards at Marvel, and that bloody Stan Lee! They never once gave Jack Kirby credit for anything. Ever! EVER!!!" I've been hearing that for a long, long time now. Longer than I really want to count. As with all things, the truth, once you did down into it, is somewhat different to the narrative that continues to be spread. The blame for Stan Lee stealing Jack Kirby's movie credits isn't as straight forward as you might think. Let's look at some ads. The fuss all really kicked off when these two ads appeared in  Variety , dated 1 May 1985.  You can clearly see a credit, ' Based on STAN LEE'S Marvel Comic Strip Character'. This is where the fuss all begins. People have continuously pointed to such ads as proof that Stan Lee was a shameless credit hog at the expense of Jack Kirby. With Captain America , Lee had no involvement in the creation of the character at all. But then, Joe Simon often stated that neither did Kirby, and that all Kirby

COMING IN OCTOBER: Terror Down Under A History of Horror Film in Australia, 1897–1973

 Coming in October, from McFarland Publishing.  Terror Down Under: A History of Horror Film in Australia, 1897 - 1973 is available for pre-order right now directly from McFarland Publishing , or via your local bookstore.  In 1948, the Australian government banned the production, importation and exhibition of horror films in a move to appease religious communities and entertainment watchdogs. Drawing upon previously unseen government documents, private letters and contemporary newspaper accounts, this book is the first to extensively cover the history of censorship and the early production of horror movies in Australia. Beginning its examination in the late 19th century, the book documents the earliest horror films like Georges Méliès’ The Haunted Castle (1896), and how Australians enjoyed such films before the ban. The book explains how certain imports, like 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon , were able to circumvent the ban while others were not. It also reveals how Australian t

The Australian Midnight Horror Show Riots

 (Another article submitted to a few magazines in 2021. Again, not a single reply. Not even a polite (or a non-polite for that matter) rejection email) Midnight Horror Show Riots A new gimmick was uncovered in Australia in the second decade of the 20 th century: midnight movie screenings. By the 1950s a new aspect to midnight screenings was uncovered – riots! The first such screening (that can be confirmed) happened at Broken Hill, on New Year’s Eve, 1912 when the short film Auld Lang Syne [1] was screened shortly after midnight. From there the midnight New Year’s Eve film became an annual tradition for Broken Hill and was as much a celebration for the city as Christmas. The popularity, and success, of the screenings was noted and picked up by other cities around the country. Soon it wasn’t just New Year’s Eve that was chosen for midnight screenings, public and school holidays and Easter were targeted. Initially midnight screenings were reserved for mainstream romance, light comedy

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