Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gerry Conway Has More to Say About DC Entertainment

Doug: In regard to the issue of whether or not creators should be compensated for their creations once those characters make the leap from the four-color page to the screen, as Karen mentioned in a comment yesterday, Gerry Conway has posted more missives on his tumblr blog. Please make the jump, and then jump back here to leave some thoughts.

We ran a post on this two days ago; it's here if you need a refresher.


Edo Bosnar said...

I commented in that other thread, but I'll repost it here, as well:
He (Conway) basically confirms this really depressing fact, that whenever these creators' rights issues come up in the comic book industry, the creators rarely have a legal leg to stand on - so it's left to the goodwill of a large corporation as to whether they will do the right, ethical thing.

Anonymous said...

Well... even when there might be a leg to stand on - which seems to be the case with Marvel types who started before the mid 70s - its not necessarily that easy to take legal action.
Getting involved with lawyers when theres a lot of ambiguity.... that can take a fair bit of cash up front.

-sean (got one of those hamburger captchas today - finally understand what you were all on about before)

Humanbelly said...

"You knew I wuz a snake when you took me in. . . !"

This was a nice follow-up post from Conway-- and I even hold him in higher regard for it. It shows a maturity, a level-headedness, and a centered sense of self that maybe ya don't always come across in the arts. (Well-- but moreso with writers, I think, so maybe he is just admirably hewing to type--)
My impotent sense of outrage is somewhat quelled, since Gerry's own level of distress doesn't seem to be cripplingly high.


Edo Bosnar said...

Also, I have to say, given what a total disaster Conan the Destroyer was (seriously, the good thing about it was Grace Jones schooling everyone else on how to play a Hyborian rogue/adventurer/cutthroat), it's really too bad Thomas and Conway's screenplay as they originally wrote it didn't get made.

Humanbelly said...

Y'know, I feel like I have a graphic novel version of it that was published. . . 'way back. Sort of a "here's the movie that could have been" exercise. . .


Anonymous said...

Hmm after reading Conway's article 'honest Hollywood Producer" sounds like an oxymoron (emphasis on moron) to me. The work-for-hire contract that DC employed seems morally unjust yet legally sound. DC retains all rights to characters and stories, but the creators get zero dinero or minimal money at best.

This is one of those situations that reminds me of life's cruelties. One has to make a distinction between what is acceptable in the law versus what is acceptable socially - for example, this is probably not the best example but let's remember apartheid was legal in South Africa not too long ago. So, we had a social evil that was the law of the land. Rules which were morally unjust were legally unchallengeable.

I hope the corporate bigwigs at DC and any other companies are reading articles like Conway's. I for one don't think that corporate profits and proper financial compensation for creators have to be mutually exclusive. Someone at the top has to set a good example sooner rather than later.

- Mike 'needs a lawyer to decipher my captcha' from Trinidad & Tobago.

William said...

It kind of sounds to me like Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas got some really bad advice from their agent. In Conway's own words he calls the deal they got for writing the "Conan: The Destroyer" script "substantial" and later says he can't imagine why the original producer (Ed Pressman) gave them such a "good deal".

This sounds to me like the boys were getting a deal that was above and beyond what most first time Hollywood screenwriters get.

Then later on, Dino de Laurentiis offered to let them write another script for Red Sonja, and they weren't going to get quite the amazing (above and beyond) deal that they got for the Conan script. So their agent tells them they can't take less for their second script than they did for their first one. And he thus advises them to turn it down. Let me repeat that. He advised them to TURN DOWN a two picture deal with a big name producer. From what I gather, Gerry and Roy were new to the Hollywood screenwriting scene, and were essentially trying to break into the business. If those two movies had turned out to be hits, they could have used that to get more work (and more money) later on.

But as it turns out I don't ever recall seeing a single movie with the credit "Written by Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway". So, in order to keep from getting a little less for writing Red Sonja than they did for writing Conan, they ended up basically getting NOTHING. And someone else got the credit, and the work, and the money, for writing those two movies. Brilliant decision. I would have fired that agent.

Humanbelly said...

My thoughts exactly, William.
Y'know, they must've fired him--- 'cause like you said, we never saw there names on any movie credits that we can remember. . .

Man, they were just so painfully naive about the wicked ways of Hollywood, weren't they? I swear, that place lives right up to every cliche'd cartoonish representation of itself-.


pfgavigan said...


Fire and Ice, 1983.

Collaborative effort between Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi. Written by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas.

I've never made it through the entire film but it's not without it's good points. I'm just not much of a Bakshi fan.


Edo Bosnar said...

I don't know about movie credits, but Conway has quite a few writer and/or producer credits on TV. I recall seeing his name on the closing credits of many an episode of the various Law & Order series, among others.

(Today I had to pick out soups - that's a new one...)

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