Distant Grumbles At The ‘Dark Matter’ Sweetheart Deal From DC Comics

There are disgruntled voices amongst the freelance community at DC Comics regarding the announcements that all the Dark Matter titles will have levels of creator ownership and creator participance. And many grumble that it’s one rule for them, and another for the rest.

I hear the “what about the workers” lament from those who look up and see Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and Andy Kubert, on staff, getting sweetheart ownership and participant deals on these books, while freelancers go without.

We’ve heard complaints about Jeff Lemire getting such a deal bringing existing characters together for The Terrifics, with no similar deals for Christopher Priest for the Defiance team over in Deathstroke, or Comics for his new Detective Comics Bat-team or Scott Lobdell for his dark trinity at Red Hood And The Outlaws, or Julie Benson and Shawna Benson for their new Birds Of Prey team.

When Image Comics first started, they succeeded initially by “poaching” the talent from DC and Marvel, and offering them deals they could not have gotten elsewhere. But DC Comics seems to have done that to their own creators — poached for Dark Matter from DC Rebirth. Another sign of the division between Dan DiDo and Geoff Johns books at DC Comics?

We also reported that certain creators report they are only contractually on these comics for three issues. What then? Keep the rights while creators lower down the pegging scale are brought in to service them?

It might be an idea just to check in with everyone, explain what’s going on, and smooth over any wrinkles — before Mark Millar starts throwing around that Netflix cash.

About Rich Johnston

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

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