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A First Comics revival... of sorts, so....what about the EC?

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  • A First Comics revival... of sorts, so....what about the EC?

    Dear Mike,

    2005 is set to be the year of First Comics/Publishing titles being re-released for the first time since the company went bankrupt, and the creators have finally taken control of their material (re: American Flagg!, Grimjack, Nexus, Badger, Jon Sable, etc). My question to you is: WHO exactly owns the copyright to all of the adaptations that were released by Pacific, First Comics and Tops? You are the liscensee (like George Lucas does with everything Star Wars), or the individual creators involved (Roy Thomas, P. Craig Russell, Gerry Conway), or the defunct companies that liscensed the properties?

    I believe you made mention recently of getting some of this material back into print, and it is long overdue (especially with the tie in to The White Wolf's Son and Swords of Heaven/Flowers from Hell).

    There's a Conan revival in both comics and the literary field, and the timing is great for the adaptations to be reprinted.

    Just wondering,

    Jeff

  • #2
    Actually, I asked about this. I think I'm the primary licensor, and I'm sure Craig, Mike, Howard and the others, with whom I've had such satisfactory collaborations since the 70s would be perfectly happy to see the material released. Some of the later Elric material was actually pretty bad when First started trying to get cheaper artists and so on, but the Corum comics by Mignola are superb as are the earlier Craig Russells. And I'm sure Howard would be perfectly happy to see Swords of Heaven come out again. I think the problem is that it's fairly hard to do new material, these days, let alone old, so the priority goes to the old.
    However, if this new Elric comic does well, my guess is that there will be a market which somebody will want to fill.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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    • #3
      Thanks, Mike. I'm glad it was on your "radar."

      Yes, I noticed how poor some of the later adaptations were, especially compared to the elder ones, most notably by P. Craig Russell (Elric, at least). Graphic novel demographics have changed, leaning more towards the bookstore markets (even though Manga is winning out there against the traditional Marvel/DC), and fantasy is hot, once again thanks to manga and even the Conan revival.

      Mignola made a splash this last year with Hellboy getting a higher profile outside of the main comic book ghetto, so his past work might be of greter interest. Russell seems to have gone off to do mostly "obscure" adaptations of operas these days and is absent, but The Dreaming City and Elric of Melnibone are breathtaking to behold even today. Great art is always great art, and faithful adaptations are so hard to come by.

      I really hopes it works out, to see these editions back in print soon. I recently bought the Marvel and First trades of the Elric stories (although I haven't found Sailing on the Seas of Fate in trade), and Stormbringer by Tops disappears quickly (as does Swords of Heaven), and I couldn't be happier with them.

      What matters most is the quality of the products, and these are top notch. I'm certain that some publisher out there would love to reprint them and do it right, to benefit everyone.

      Best of luck and I'll be in line next week for young Elric!

      Jeff

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