UPCOMING PRODUCT
EVERYTHING STAN LEE!
INCENTIVES
THIS JUST IN!
COMIC BOOKS
TRADE PAPERBACKS
HARDCOVERS
3D SCULPTURES
CGC GRADED COMICS
LITHOGRAPHS AND POSTERS
TRADING CARDS
PRODUCT ARCHIVE
DF DAILY SPECIAL
CONTEST
HUMBLE COMICS BUNDLE: GARTH ENNIS' THE BOYS & MORE BY DYNAMITE from humblebundle.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAITING FOR TOMMY: BOB MORALES
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: Which of your ambitions in comics been thwarted so far - and by whom?

BOB: I'll tell you a story that I'm not embittered about, because I think my ambitions are more often thwarted by a general mindset than any one particular person.

While at Vertigo, Axel Alonso was interested in a hip hop/blaxploitation property that Kyle Baker and I had originally pitched Vibe magazine as a serial, but they'd cold feet. Axel loved it, and I did a formal pitch to do it with Kyle, and Karen Berger approved it. So then it came time to discuss terms, and I went in to talk to Karen and she offered me not a lot of money, I think it was 12 grand advance for a 160-page graphic novel, $75 per script page. I asked if she couldn't come up in the price, but Karen explained I'd no track record in comics so DC didn't want to take a greater gamble, also given how weird the project was for them.

Now mind you, at this time I was really hurting for money, but 12 grand wasn't going to make a significant difference to me. So I said to Karen, look, why don't we say screw my advance and I'll take it out of the back end, and then DC wouldn't be risking anything. But in exchange for that, what Kyle and I wanted was to retain those rights to exploit our property in ways that didn't compete with DC's licensing. We wouldn't do T-shirts or statues, that kind of stuff, but we wanted to do clothing licenses, or a hip hop cd "inspired" by our book. Things that DC had no mechanism in play - nor real interest - to market.

We never got to iron out the licensing issue, because Karen got back to me and told me that I couldn't defer my advance: "Finance says they can't do it." And I said, "Look, tell me they don't WANT to do it, I can accept that, but don't tell me that they can't." Because I could accept that I wasn't a big enough deal for them to alter their policy - to them, it'd be an unnecessary headache, that maybe they'd do for Frank Miller, if anyone. And then Karen said an amazing thing: "Besides, we want you to take the money, because the book will probably never earn out."


CAPTAIN AMERICA FULL-SIZE 15" HEAD BUST

Therein lies the fundamental difference between a publisher and a properties factory, and it's an important one to consider. I was interested in making money. To DC/Vertigo, my book was a write-off, whatever the substantive interest they might've had in it. To a book publisher, the possibility of trying to make your author (and yourself, it should be needless to say) as much money as possible is not an alien possibility. Comic publishers are not really invested in making "talent" profit - they'll even go out of their way to point out they're under no obligation to publish work they've accepted and paid for, the kind of thing that would encourage a freelancer to punch out any exec in the magazine world.

So I said to Karen, "This a great deal for everybody but me, so I have to say no, because I know I'll just wind up hating all of you six months, and I really don't want that." I think she was surprised. But honestly, it taught me a valuable lesson about never taking a deal I wasn't happy with. The hardest thing to learn as a freelancer is when to say no, because you're always geared to hustle for work. And being able to turn things down is as necessary as any creative ability.

RICHARD: Creator-owned aside, you've expressed some interest to work within those existing company boundaries. With which other company characters do you believe you might have something to say?

BOB: Probably the more reality-based characters, but I love the crazy science-fictional Kirby characters like Silver Surfer and the Forever People. I don't really think about it much; it'd be like wanting to write Sin City or Bone - it wouldn't occur to me unless Frank Miller or Jeff Smith went mad and asked if I was interested. I don't have any urgency to cop a feel off other peoples' characters - it's probably my advancing age.

RICHARD: And finally, Bob, for the love of Kirby, will you ever enjoy your work?

BOB: Only vicariously.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 Continued Here...

Latest News
Updated: 08/21/19 @ 3:50 pm

1. 'MS. MARVEL VOL. 9: TEENAGE WASTELAND' IS A WINNER OF THE 2019 AMERICAN BOOK AWARD

2. YOUR FIRST LOOK AT THE ART (AND MANY OTHER MISTAKES) OF ERIC POWELL FROM BOOM! STUDIOS

3. HISTORIC ONCE & FUTURE #1 FIFTH PRINTING ANNOUNCED FROM BOOM! STUDIOS

4. IDW PUBLISHING AND CMON LIMITED ANNOUNCE RISING SUN COMIC BOOK SERIES

5. STEPHEN KING NOVEL 'THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON' GETTING THE MOVIE TREATMENT



DF Interviews
JONATHAN MABERRY



CNI Podcast
EPISODE 971 - SDCC: UNDONE W/ ROSA SALAZAR/KATE PURDY/RAPHAEL BOB-WAKSBERG!


Newsletter Sign-up


Dynamic Forces & The Dynamic Forces logo ® and © Dynamic Forces, Inc.
All other books, titles, characters, character names, slogans, logos and related indicia are ™ and © their respective creators.
Privacy Policy