A couple of weeks ago, I heard that Grant Morrison had sent a cease and desist notice to Rebellion over their declared intent to collect and publish The Complete Zenith, by Morrison and Steve Yeowell exclusively via their website and not through comic stores or distributors in a thousand-copy limited edition.
However, talking to Rebellion representatives, they told me they had received no such paperwork.
As I understand it, Morrison claims creator rights over Zenith in that he never signed them away. Rebellion seems to claim publisher rights over standard practices at the time. Titan Books were forced to pulp a previous print run of Zenith books the last time this came up, Diamond Comic Distributors are famously risk verse when it comes to legal matters and will not distribute comics under legal challenge, no matter what the merits of the case.
But what do other 2000AD creators think? Here are a couple…
Peter Hogan (Strontium Dogs)
I think it would be a Good Thing if people were to boycott 2000AD until Rebellion announce they’ve reached an agreement with Grant Morrison over Zenith. Right now they seem to be acting like bullies, and the world has too many of those already.
Ian Edginton (The Red Seas)
Having worked with Steve Yeowell for over ten years now, I’ve held off wading in on this subject, as it’s his business, but I feel I have to play Devil’s advocate here. People seem to forget that Grant, sitting on Zenith for decades, has knowingly deprived my good chum Steve, of any potential sales/royalties, which no doubt would be handsome. It’s okay for Grant, he’s earnt a few bob in the interim but surely, leaving Steve hanging there, isn’t entirely fair? If he doesn’t want Zenith to see the light of day again then fair-do’s but he needs to sort out appropriate remuneration for Steve (and Brendan McCarthy), if he and Steve do own the rights, as seems to be the case, then Zenith could be taken to another publisher. The issue doesn’t seem to be as black & white as it’s painted, there’s a a certain amount of grey here and I get bit fed up of hearing about ‘poor Grant’ being taken advantage of, when he’s neither of those things.