Monday, May 02, 2011

Credit where credit is due

As I think you all know about your little stuffed truly, I have a couple of little peccadillos:

I also have some specific picky little traits. One of them is, whenever I use a comic book panel or cover in my blog, I try to give the creators of that image credit:

Cover of Detective Comics #566 (September 1986), pencilled and inked by Dick Giordano

See? Like that.

Not entirely un-coincidentally, I recently was shopping at Target and picked up this keen Detective Comics #566 t-shirt. It's a wee bit big for me, but these things shrink in the wash, right?

It's an officially licensed product from DC Comics. In fact, as far as I can tell from the label, it's specifically created by DC:

Here, you can pick one up for yourself at Target or! Buy two, buy several, buy one for the dog!

But wait! Let's take a lookee-lou comparison between the original comic book and the wearable version. Aside from the artistic convention of turning the t-shirt into a brighter red and fading the image at the edges, there's some noticeable differences from the "C" to the "T." For example: the original UPC code/promo box in the corner of the comic cover has been removed, although you can see the shadow remnants of the box if you examine the shirt carefully.

Well, two years after that movie, I guess we don't need to know who watches the Watchmen anyway. Answer: viewers of HBO2 at 3:30 in the morning. (And just for completion's sake, here's a version of the comic book with the newsstand UPC code:)

They've also simplified and changed the pricing box. And yes, removed the CCA symbol. Look out, kids: this shirt is not approved by the Comics Code Authority!

Missing from the shirt are the credits of the comic book itself. No wearing Doug Moench, Gene Colan, or Bob Smith's names on your chest, uh uh!

But here's the omission on the t-shirt that actually does bother me the most. The creator of this work of art, the fantastic Dick Giordano...his signature on the comic has been erased from the t-shirt.

Fer shame, DC T-shirts. Sure, I know that as a cover done as work-for-hire, Mr. Giordano probably isn't entitled to any compensation for reproduction of his work, but to erase the man's name from the image...fer shame, fer shame.

Now, I'm a downhome littlestuffed bull without a degree in copyright law, but what I do know is this: in this day and age of progressive creator's rights, why revert to the practice of yesteryear and reverse decades of progress by removing the artist's name from a reproduction of his work? Leaving the signature in would have been inobtrusive, I think, but it's not there.

I've a big fan of giving credit where credit is due. So if you see a little stuffed bull wandering around Brooklyn wearing a slightly-too-large red Batman t-shirt, be sure to check the back where I've spray-painted ART BY DICK GIORDANO just to set the record straight.

Batman...and Dick Giordano...deserve that, at least.


SallyP said...

Good point.

Jeff said...

Excellent post, Bully. Poor Dick Giordano.

Sleestak said...

I felt that way about all those Gene Colan images used for the Iron man merchandise when the movie came out. Good way to call out DC, Bully!