Latest Marvel Contract Demands No Criticism from Creators?

Edelman,_Scott_(2007)Comic book writer Brian Keene interviewed veteran comic creator Scott Edelman on his podcast The Horror Show, embedded below.

During which Edelman gave details on a new Marvel contract he was asked to sign

I was asked to write an essay to go with the Marvel Masterworks for Captain Marvel, they just got up to volume no 5,  they said would you like to write about it, so I think of the twelve issues I'd written eight of them, so I said fine, I started writing the essay, I remember buying the issue of Marvel Superheroes that had the original Gene Colan, Arnold Drake Captain Marvel with the old costume, the green and white costume, so I started writing this essay and the contract showed up which was eight. ten, twelve pages long it included such clauses as,  one of the clauses that really leapt out at me I would not say anything derogatory about Marvel or its employees… ever. This was not a contract dealing with this one thing, this was a contract dealing with the entire relationship, talking about who owned characters you created, talking about I couldn't put any of my original comic book artwork out on exhibition without the permission of Marvel comics…

I have to admit they did, when I had a conversation with them, they did remove the clause, certain clauses because I said, if I tweet that I hated an episode of Agents of SHIELD that's saying something derogatory about Marvel Comics, I wouldn't want to be in breach of contract by having an opinion about a movie. They were willing to take that out. I did get a phone call, we don't want old creators to be angry at us and that kind of thing. I said, I don't want to nitpick, I have original artwork from the seventies. I don't want to be asking permission or whatever, I finally said, look, what I would like is just a contract that says, I'm selling you a 2000 word essay, you're paying me X hundred dollars, we're not doing a relationship, about this one thing, can there be a contract like that, they really don't do things like that.

Instead, he recommends that readers look to what he has written about the character on his blog. And Brian also mentioned that Brian is blacklisted from DC Comics…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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