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Thread: The Lament Of Jerry Ordway

  1. #31
    Zen Master of Cool
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGH View Post
    Can I humbly suggest a "business 101 course for artists"...I remain amazed at the number of these guys who sign horrible contracts (exclusive to DC with no minimum amount of work???) and then kvetch in public about how they are treated...I have no dog in this fight...I certainly don't wish him ill...but DC owes him nothing...if he feels he can get work elsewhere, he should ask to be released from his contract (that he never should have signed) and move on with his life. It isn't the industry's job to earn him a living, it's his job to be fast/good/cheap enough to be in demand.
    sarcasm / thanks for your empathy. Let me know when you are looking for work.

    Do you even know how these contracts work? Do you know what it's like to be a freelance artist? Do you know how it feels to be marginalized in a job? Would you feel good if your salary diminished even if your skill level did not?

    Yeesh. A little human kindness maybe? What am I saying? This is the internet.

  2. #32
    Bleeding Cool QCCBob's Avatar
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    So, the DiDiot and company beg LIEFELD to stay and won't give Jerry Ordway a title??? Guess Jerry didn't spend enough time at Marvel and Image to be KEWL... Screw the nuDC. Any moron who can't see the skill and talents of the Ordster as being equal to and, in many cases, FAR higher than 2/3s of the DC52 regulars doesn't deserve a job in this industry.
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  3. #33
    Wrote the Book on Cool
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    Quote Originally Posted by not him - HIM View Post
    Wow, that is a bit of a shock. I'd (wrongly) assumed that Ordway was well regarded and treated like royalty at DC (kind of like JRJR is at Marvel). Clearly not.
    That comparison right there really drives it home, doesn't it? Ordway and Romita are both guys with long legacies whose style may be seen as outdated by some but who, objectively, are still as good as they day they came into the business. The difference in the way they've been treated the last ten years is telling.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acrid_Gunsmoke View Post
    I hate to say it, but I think Ordway's rant pretty much ensures that DC won't give him any more work at all.

    They seem to not like it when their employees air dirty DC laundry on the internet. It's how Chris Roberson lost his job....Dwayne McDuffie lost his job....etc.

    I wish you all the luck in the world, Ordway. Good luck, you are a true professional and shouldn't have to resort to begging for work.
    I think part of the problem is that saying what's on your mind and speaking the truth from their perspective is seen as "ranting". Jerry is one of the most humble people I've ever met, he's a true gentleman and his situation isn't singular. He's being much braver than I could be.

  5. #35

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    While I understand that in the short term the pay may be better at DC and Marvel, people need to get out there and make work they own. Stop work for hire. Ordway can keep working for DC or Marvel but when he doesn't have work he needs to start on a creator owned work.

  6. #36
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    Man....when legends have trouble like this, it just makes you feel horrible about the industry.

    I've done a wee bit of freelance work (not in comics) and I HATED it. I hated the uncertainty and the taxation, not to mention just the ultimate feeling of being used versus appreciated.

    Freelance work is a tough row to hoe, IMO. Stories like this don't make it more appealing. There must be some other way companies can work with their creative people in a freelance manner that benefits both parties in better fashion. Unfortunately, I don't know what that is.

  7. #37
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    Jerry Ordway should work at Marvel since Marvel apparently treat writers so much better.
    *sarcasm

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGH View Post
    Can I humbly suggest a "business 101 course for artists"...I remain amazed at the number of these guys who sign horrible contracts (exclusive to DC with no minimum amount of work???) and then kvetch in public about how they are treated...I have no dog in this fight...I certainly don't wish him ill...but DC owes him nothing...if he feels he can get work elsewhere, he should ask to be released from his contract (that he never should have signed) and move on with his life. It isn't the industry's job to earn him a living, it's his job to be fast/good/cheap enough to be in demand.
    Look, I'm sure you mean well, but having been exclusive to DC I can tell you exactly how it works.
    The no minimum for work clause is there because a number of the higher paid exclusive talent can't produce a monthly book. the Contracts used to be designed so that said talent would have a minimum compensation plus co-payment of health insurance and a monetary bonus at the end of the calender year. this something a lot of freelancers in any industry needs and can't afford. you're still a freelancer, you pay your own taxes,if you're late, you don't get paid. Now Jerry, like myself, is fast enough to pencil 10-11 books a year or 200-220 pages of physical art a year. There are very few art disciplines that require you to do that level of work. The problem is, that the exclusive only locks you into a company, not how much work you do and getting out of an exclusive, with the HI and bonus, is incredibly difficult. Jerry didn't sign the exclusive for himself, he has a family that needed the insurance as well. So just like any parent, you do what you think is best and hope it works.
    Is DC required to keep him employed? No, they aren't. Are they being incredibly shortsighted, yes they are. if you think it's because he's not good enough/fast enough/ cheap enough, you'd be incredibly mistaken.

  9. #39
    Captain Cool swalsh's Avatar
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    Not only haven't they thrown him any art work, but they also haven't given him any writing work... He wrote a lot back in the day (SUPERMAN plots, at least, and POWER OF SHAZAM)

    This was a rough one to swallow. Ordway's a great talent. I think the part that kinda damns him, though.....is that he has a bit of an old school style that might not fit with the current attitude. Which stinks because this company has been bombarding us with older guys from the '80s and '90s. But perhaps in the eyes of the editors his style isn't...dynamic enough? Walt Simonson and Keith Giffen and Howard Chaykin are guys of his "generation" that are still getting fairly regular jobs (at DC and elsewhere), whose art is decidedly different and unique on its own. Ordway is a great artist, but maybe his style is too.....normal for DC. I dunno, but it sucks to see a long-time industry guy getting dissed like this by his employer.

    .....then again, this is the same DC that tossed Curt Swan (whose artwork I would equate with Ordway's - and that ain't no diss) out with the bath water back in the late-'80s when Byrne and Co. took over. So it shouldn't be that surprising.
    Last edited by swalsh; 03-04-2013 at 09:54 AM.

  10. #40
    Bleeding Cool Matt Krotzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGH View Post
    Can I humbly suggest a "business 101 course for artists"...I remain amazed at the number of these guys who sign horrible contracts (exclusive to DC with no minimum amount of work???) and then kvetch in public about how they are treated...I have no dog in this fight...I certainly don't wish him ill...but DC owes him nothing...if he feels he can get work elsewhere, he should ask to be released from his contract (that he never should have signed) and move on with his life. It isn't the industry's job to earn him a living, it's his job to be fast/good/cheap enough to be in demand.
    Even small art schools generally provide a business course, but by and large, it's not particularly helpful in cases like this. They don't go into things like protecting yourself in contract dealings, royalties or even work-for-hire. That's more of a Business Legal 101 class, really... and that's a lot to put into most 2-year curriculum, and probably even 3- and 4-year programs.

    Plus, most artists (especially young ones at the age where they'd get these classes) just want to be drawing/painting/etc... business, legal, accounting... that's not necessarily where the artistic minds latch on and go "oh hey, this is where I should focus." It's sadly one of those "learn from experience" things, unless you get "lucky" enough to get a teacher who's been burned in situations like this and can properly stress the issue in terms they'll understand.

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