DCML Digest Issue 5

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Wed Aug 4 16:55:52 CEST 2004

> From: "Lars Olav Karlsen" <donald at lokarlsen.com>
> When it comes to signatures the Disney Company demands that nobody
> else's signature shall be on the work then Walt Disney's. The artist's
> will never be there.

You are in Europe so you must surely know this is incorrect. Artists'
signatures appear on published Disney comics, often even on the cover
(usually even bigger than the fake "Walt Disney" signature), often on
full-page pin-ups, and including magazines published *by* a Disney-owned
company such as in the France and Italia. And also in America on many other
types of Disney artwork done for various purposes, notably the limited
edition and "collectibles" market, and including art involving the "classic
characters", the artists' signatures do appear. Again... why not? The appeal
of the certain, specific artists responsible is how the work is often being
promoted and sold, so everyone involved *wants* the artists' names to appear
prominently on the work. It increases sales, it increases profits.
As we have discussed before, the (now rare) decision to not list creator
credits or not use artists' signatures is a decision by the individual
publishers, not one dictated by Disney.

> This is the reason to why Don Rosa must hide the D.U.C.K dedications
> that he has because it looks too much like a signature.

This is the reason that I started to hide the dedication 18 years ago, but I
could now post the dedication in "broad daylight" and it would appear in
most all editions (except probably the Dutch). The reason I continue to
*hide* it in the art is because readers enjoy the game, and so do I.

> from what I know it is the publisher that remains the
> rights to the stories, but Disney owns the characters. That means that
> Disney can not just take the stories to another publisher

Oooh, how wrong you are!!! And this is the single most AMAZING aspect of the
deal that a company like Egmont has! Egmont creates thousands of pages of
the *world's best Disney comics* ever year, decade after decade. They
publish very successful comics using those stories. Then they turn over
*complete ownership rights* to those stories to the Disney Company... and
(get ready) PAYS Disney to accept it all! Then Disney sells the right (as
part of the license fee) to the reprinting of those Egmont stories to other
licensed Disney publishers around the world and several other places
(including Gemstone). Egmont is obligated to supply photostats or scans of
those stories, at some reasonable fee for the copies, to any publisher that
requests them by code number or whatever. And the same goes for other
publishers who supply Egmont with copies of their works, like the Italians.
Someone asked if Egmont or any other Disney publisher makes a profit, other
than to cover expenses, for submitting the use of their stories to other
Disney publishers? I am told they do not.

> As long as
> Egmont has a contract with Disney they would be stupid to pay what they
> have to and not make new stories.

Egmont makes new stories only because no other publisher is doing so (or
probably could do it as well as Egmont or supply enough material to suit
Egmont). But Egmont does reprint stories from the Italian and Dutch
publisher, as well as many old classic American comics from the 40's-60's.
If there was an adequate selection of great new stories to suit Egmont, then
the opposite of what you say would be true -- Egmont would be stupid to pay
what they have to and *also* pay to make new stories". And this is one
aspect that we hope will help the American comics -- surely Gemstone pays a
hefty license fee... but why should they pay so much and *also* hire writers
and artists to make new stories when they already have the history of the
world's past and present production of great Disney comics to pick from?
Better they use any profits to secure their position on the American market,
maybe "buy" rack space in check-out lines, maybe place ads, whatever.
Gemstone money should be going to its production and marketing divisions,
not writers or artists.

More information about the DCML mailing list