"Go On Dave, Lamp Him" - Radical, Elliott And Aladdin

“Go On Dave, Lamp Him” – Radical, Elliott And Aladdin

Posted by December 2, 2009 Comment

aladdin1aDave Elliott would just like people to know something. That he created the revamp of Aladdin, published by Radical Comics.

Currently in litigation over his departure from the company, Dave Elliott was the one of the founders of the publishing/media exploitation company behind such hits as Hercules, Incarnate and FVZA and was responsible for many of the initial creative hires for the company. Certainly a run down of Radical sees many familiar names from Dave Elliott’s other publishing operations – and at least two entire comics,
Hotwire and The Lords of Misrule.

And he hired good friend Ian Edginton to write the revamp of Aladdin that he’d created. But he feels like his own name is being wiped from history.

On a recent Newsarama article on the book and an interview with Edginton that neglected to mention his name, Elliot responded in the comments, clearly marking his territory.

Glad you like the idea of a Pirates styled Aladdin movie, that is pretty much what I was thinking when I came up with the story Ian’s scripts are based off. Star Wars, Pirates and Lord of the Rings were my primary inspirations.

To get an idea of the dynamics you have to think of Sinbad as being both Aladdin’s ‘Han Solo’ and ‘Obi Wan Kenobi’ to his ‘Luke Skywalker’. (I even had a ‘Chewbacca’ in my first draft of the treatment in the form of a Yeti.)

As the original editor on this Ian was my first choice to come on board and added some very cool elements to the story. Arthur Suydam’s cover are beautiful and hit want I was looking for right on the nail.

At which point, Radical pushed another piece towards Comic Book Resources, describing Ian Edginton as “creator and writer” of this series and again, nary a mention of Dave Elliott.

This does jar with earlier reports by Comic Book Resources when Dave was still with the company, talking about Aladdin saying;

Created by Elliott, with scripts by Ian Edington and the art chores handled by Shern’s Imaginary Studios, Elliot described the series as “Star Wars meets Pirates of the Caribbean, only darker. Much darker. It will be a big project for us in 2009.

Though a Newsarama piece would clarify that a little,

DE: When you’re a creator and you spend all your time helping others get their ideas together, you always feel the longing to create more yourself. When I came up with a really different take on Aladdin I had hoped to write the series myself, but I was just too busy and Barry wanted to put it on the front burner, so Ian Edginton wrote it instead.

BEH: Was that hard?

DE: A little. Ian is an old friend and I love his work, so asking him to do it was fairly painless. I’d originally written it with more of a Pirates of the Caribbean meets Star Wars feel to it, but after talking with Barry and Ian it was decided to go darker in tone, more Lord of the Rings with it. The premise is still pretty much the same, we kept Sinbad and two genies in it, on a trip across the world. I’m very happy with the way it is now, plus Patrick Reilly’s artwork is wonderful and Arthur Suydam’s cover blew me away.

Dave Elliott has also been removed from the Wikipedia entry for Radical Comics that seems to deny he was ever a founder of the company, let alone may have had a role creating certain titles.

Ian Edginton told me;

The long and short of it is, I didn’t say anything about Dave in the interview, because they didn’t ask me. I was just there to talk about the story. I don’t live my life on-line, so I didn’t realize the extent that this thing has blown-up or how long it had been running. If they wanted to know my side, all the had to do was ask.

Still, the simple truth is, Dave bought me in to work up Aladdin from his outline etc, I kept some of it, dumped some of it, reworked some of it and came up with slew of new material, all with Dave as my editor.

I’m pretty much non-partisan here but Dave’s a good friend, he helped me get my first big break. We’re still good mates, in fact we were only talking a couple of days ago, other than that there’s not much else to report.

When contacted, Radical gave me the following statement;

David Elliott worked as Editor in Chief for Blatant Entertainment, Inc. under the terms of a written employment agreement that (1) provided he was an at-will employee and that his employment could be terminated at any time by either Mr. Elliott or Blatant Entertainment with or without cause, and (2) included a Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement. Under applicable law, all work that Mr. Elliott performed while an employee of Blatant Entertainment is the sole property of Blatant Entertainment, Inc. We at Radical Publishing, the subsidiary of Blatant Entertainment, are shocked that Mr. Elliott believes that he “created” the 300 year old middle eastern folklore upon which Aladdin is based, and that he claims as his own Ian Edginton’s original take on that folklore. Rather, inspired by Barry Levine’s vision of a dark interpretation of this folklore, Mr. Edginton produced Aladdin as a work-for-hire for Blatant Entertainment.

Of course I don’t think Dave is claiming he created the original Aladdin legend, just the new take on it. And Radical’s timeline of events does clash with those originally reported in their panels and indeed by Ian Edginton.

So what’s the real story here? Well, Dave Elliott is involved in litigation with Radical over his dismissal, in which he claims to be the sole copyright owner on the new Aladdin comic – and the comment from Radical above could well be a reply to the suit as a whole, which alleges reduced payment, share ownership dispute, creator control issues and lack of comprehensive contracts.

I understand a trial date has been set for October 2010.

It is probably in Radical’s interest that Elliott’s role in the company be diminished in hindsight – and in Elliott’s interest that it bigged up. We may see some back and forth on this one.

(Last Updated December 2, 2009 6:45 pm )

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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