FOR TOMMY: SEBASTIEN CLAVET
I presume you must be making them a lot of money in the process
as well as giving the brand and concept a good fluffing. Some
have argued that such companies should pay publishers like
yourselves to revitalize something that had been moribund
of late. Is there an argument for that?
SEBASTIEN: Its difficult to say, in the end there's
no guarantee a twenty year old property will make anyone a
lot of money. I went after Ghostbusters because I love it,
and I think there are enough people out there who feel to
same to make the book a success. I could be wrong.
if I am, I'm getting something I don't think you can put a
price tag on; a chance to tell stories using these great characters
who I have so much affection for. I get to become a part of
that mythos and hopefully produce comics that will inspire
people in the same way the movie inspired me. I know to some
who have a lot more work-for-hire experience than I do that
probably sounds very naïve, but it's the truth.
the comics are a big success and we make some money, great.
If it leads to Sony doing more with the property, I'm all
for that (and I wouldn't say no to being involved). But the
chances of that happening are pretty slim, and even if the
comic does amazingly well I doubt it will ever bring in what
a company like Sony would consider "a lot of money".
line is that I'm not doing this for any of that, so it makes
no sense to second guess Sony's motives or try and predict
the future. I'm not in this for the money, I'm in it for the
joy of working with these characters. I think the reason most
people are in comics is because an established character (Spider-Man,
Superman, whoever) touched them in some way as a child and
they want to re-create that magic. Or at least I hope so.
If you're in comics for the money, you're in trouble.
Well, Tron has been a different story. Again, like Ghostbusters,
a surprisingly large fanbase that has kept the candle aloft,
again a license that begs to be explored, played with, and
looked at from new angles, and again having innate aspects
that never seemed fully explored in the original. The difference
here that it was Disney. Disney have never been what you might
call an ideal licensee for publishing, what experiences did
you have... and why did you think it would be different with
SEBASTIEN: Now I will try to be truly honest here.
I'm not afraid Disney might read this, but I owe them respect
as I don't believe that private business matters should be
discussed in public. Still, I will try to explain a bit about
is another movie I truly cherish. That movie inspired me in
many ways. It got me to buy a C-64, learn computer programming
and delve into areas I would probably never would have if
it weren't for that movie. Additionally the visuals were astounding,
Steven Lisberger had created a world of its own, one that
would be part of cinematographic history. I watched that movie
as often as did Ghostbusters and I know both by heart. Yeah
I'm a movie geek.
next step after GB was to inquire about the possibility of
doing a Tron comic. At that point I had worked with Hasbro
and Sony, so I assumed working with Disney would be the same.
That was a mistake I made. For those who don't know how licensed
properties work, here some basics; Every piece of art that
will be used has to be approved by the licensor, it doesn't
matter who your licensor is, the property is theirs so they
must approve everything; covers, interiors, ads, posters,
scripts, etc. My experience with Hasbro and Sony's approval
process had gone almost flawlessly, however Disney's was different
and I was not prepared for that as well as I should have been.
myself because I took a bigger bite than I could chew. I did
not know, first hand, that Disney's approval process was so
different than what I had already experienced with other companies.
There was just no way for me to know that information for
sure beforehand. It's like buying a car, sure you can read
about the specs in the pamphlet but you don't truly know how
the car reacts until you try it.
all respect to Disney Publishing, they didn't do anything
wrong. I signed a contract with them and agreed to follow
their approval process (which on paper was similar to any
other company's), but when time had came to experience it
I was suddenly faced with a load of work I could not sustain.
my concerns over their increasingly difficult approval process--that
it was impairing my abilities to deliver work on a timely
basis--but it didn't help. Eventually I had no choice but
to drop the license. This wasn't an easy decision to make,
obviously I am a huge Tron fan, but at the end of the day
it was my only choice. The Tron comics were just not meant
to be, at least not with 88MPH.
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