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Hear Ye, Hear Ye, by royal decree,grab your cups and pour your tea,

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, by royal decree,grab your cups and pour your tea,

My last “Fan Blast”—or whatever they call these things--appears to have gotten a few people’s attention.  

Though  writing such a critical dispatch is not what I’d prefer doing with my  afternoon, my observations on what’s gone awry with the comic business,  followed by a few offerings on how to right itself, have engendered more  than a few critical responses.  To those who missed out, here’s a brief  review;

Imagine  you’re an artist about to engage in the always challenging task of  drawing a 22 pg. comic book.  You’re full of inspiration, youthful  invigoration, and, much like the greats who came before—you possess a  vivid imagination.  That’s why you’ve entered the comic book field,  rather than doing sneaker designs for Nike and making ten times the  bread.  

You  begin sketching your panels with high hopes and, one exhausting month  later, when you’re certain you’ve put everything you have into these  pages, you hand them in. 

The front office rings.   They have some concerns.  

Concerns?   As in problems with inept storytelling, poorly constructed figures, or  confusing panel design?  Is the perspective on your backgrounds out of  whack, or your Superman faces way off model?  What about deadlines?  No  one makes deadlines anymore.

No.  It’s about that little tiny detail you included that violates some kind of “Copyright Infringement”.   Y’know, like putting a can of Coke in an actors hand like the movies  do?  Except in that case, it’s not an infringement, it’s an invitation.  Coke even pays them a couple mil for the privilege.  

Maybe I’m in the wrong business.

But  this copyright problem--is it really something to sweat over, like  alcoholism, inoperable cancer, or surviving TSA lines?  Or is it just  some arbitrary trifle that world-weary adults make up to take the fun  out of life?  

For  those who work under the vast, unsteady employ of W.B. and The Mouse,  the mega corps to which I’ve aimed this wake-up call, give your legal  team a 2 week break in Jamaica, and I, the humble Dude, will offer a  couple of options I won’t even charge you for.    

Option 1.  Keep using this legal nonsense as an excuse to penalize the artist for doing their job.

    Option 2.  Abolish this legal nonsense, concentrate on real threats, and honor the artist for doing their     job.  

Punish or praise?  If that’s a brain twister, scratch your subscription to Fortune 500 and Psychology Today.

If  those ideas don’t appeal, here’s a bonus option:  Fire the malcontents  writing letters like this and have the lawyers and editors draw the  books under their own suffocating rules.  

No?  Hey, you might save some $$!

Finally,  to you uptight C.E.O’s who can’t recall a time when your attention  wasn’t divided 300 ways and pine for your wild, carefree college days,  think of this situation like month-old underwear.  Your spouse keeps  telling you to change your shorts, but since you no longer have a sense  of smell, why change them?  

Who wants a Coke?

Here’s to a few million surely owed in endorsements,

--Steve Rude the Dude

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