Last week, Bleeding Cool ran an article about Adi Granov, whose credit you may have seen as a Visual Development Concept Artist for Avengers: Infinity War. He had just discovered that one of his stories he had drawn for Metal Hurlant 20 years ago, had been turned into a TV show for Syfy, several years ago. It was put to him in an interview with an Italian broadcaster, was asked about it, and was rather surprised by the news. He shared a few experiences of working with the publisher, Humanoids. We ran some pages from the story and a link to the episode of the Syfy series Metal Hurlant Chronicles in question.
At the time the Metal Hurlant TV anthology was being produced, we insisted that the production company directly contact all creators involved. Some of these creators even participated in the writing of their own adaptations.
That being said, errors do happen, especially during the development of such a large project. If for some reason you weren’t contacted by anyone on the production team at that time, our apologies.
What’s a bit confusing is that you did know about the project. Alex Donoghue (our COO) stopped by your booth in 2013 at the San Diego Comic Con to introduce himself. He clearly remembers the two of you discussing the adaptation.
We certainly didn’t keep this show a secret! We had a panel about it at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con and widely promoted that. We made it clear to the media that all of the creators involved were an essential part of the show’s creation and it was heavily promoted in the press. Each creator of the short stories adapted got a credit on the show.
All of our artists and writers who participate in the creation of full book publications receive royalty statements twice a year that report all single exploitation in any form of media. This was different for short stories published in Metal back then and created under a standard work-for-hire contract. This clearly explains why you haven’t received any royalties or formal communications and statements.
Your post doesn’t do justice to our company, which has always been creator-friendly…while at the same time remaining very demanding in terms of quality and commitment. This is something widely known since its inception by our founders, Moebius, Druillet and their peers in the 70s and that makes our catalog unique.
You’ve been very vocal over the last 15 years that that you didn’t enjoy working with us on this project. I hear you loud and clear, but I do sincerely hope that looking back at the beginning of your successful career, getting the opportunity to be paid to draw art pages for of a short story written by Alejandro Jodorowsky was a unique opportunity. And while we may have gone back and forth quite a bit for changes and adjustments, perhaps in some way our process had a hand in making you the top-tier artist you are in the industry.
Regardless of your negative feelings about the work we did together, you will always be a part of the Humanoids family. And like all families, we miscommunicate, we take the time to explain and we move on. Hopefully, this helps in some way to alleviate your concerns.
I wish you nothing but success.
Adi Granov replied:
It’s actually nice to hear from you, I just wish it had happened sooner. My email address has remained the same all of these years, so a few lines about a TV show adaptation of the work I did for you would’ve been really appreciated back then. I genuinely didn’t know anything about it until this past Saturday when a journalist asked me about it. Seeing the episode (link to which Rich sent me yesterday) was a very interesting experience. In fact, probably one of the strangest experiences I have had. I am neither angry nor upset about it, more just bemused by the whole chain of events.
2002 is a long way in the past, but the truth is that you and Paul Benjamin didn’t really treat me well back then at all. While I don’t think I have been particularly vocal about my negative experiences, I did let Paul and Fabrice Sapolsky know about them when they recently approached me. When I reminded Paul about how negative he was about my work back then, he didn’t deny it, he just said he was passing your words to me. That is besides the point though, as 15 years is a long time in which anyone at any point could’ve sent me a courtesy email just to let me know that my work is being reprinted, my name used, a TV show made, etc. A copy of the magazine, or a DVD of the show isn’t too much to ask for if you are trading off my name and success.
Despite my poor experiences with Humanoids, I have a genuine love for your catalogue and I still regularly buy your publications.
But cue everyone who worked on Metal Hurlant suddenly checking IMDB just in case.