Saturday, February 11, 2012

Robert Kirkman Appears To Be An Asshole


Firstly, Robert Kirkman, along with artist Tony Moore, created The Walking Dead. A wildly successful comic book that is approaching it's 100th issue...a milestone in comics - especially a "creator owned" comic published by Image Comics as opposed to a Marvel or DC title.  Image used to have a bit of a reputation for not getting books on shelves in a timely manner...but I think they've improved and I love their books.

I digress...

For someone that has many times espoused his support for the Occupy Wall Street camping trips, Robert Kirkman sure doesn't walk the walk.

Secondly, the comic became so popular you've probably seen:
The first item on that list, the television show, is what's upsetting me.  It's extremely popular - and rightly so.  It's fast paced and the characters from the comic book are very nicely represented by fine actors.

When the comic book initially started, an artist named Tony Moore was drawing for the book.  Moore is Kirkman's childhood friend with whom he went to grade school and just so happens to be an incredible artist:

Tony Moore drew the first 6 issues of The Walking Dead.  That may not seem like much, but considering a large majority of new comics get canceled somewhere between issues 5 and 10, he basically laid the foundation and created these characters.

After Moore, came along Charlie Adlard:

Personally, I can't draw a straight line with a ruler.  I can't even trace something from one piece of paper to the next.  So this is all just my opinion.

The Walking Dead is absolutely rolling in the dough right now, and good for them. Make that buck in this world and go do you.  But don't do it while your friends are underneath your steam-roller.

However, Tony Moore is suing Kirkman over royalties he claims were never paid to him.  According to The Hollywood Reporter Moore believes he is due 60% of The Walking Dead's "comic publishing net proceeds" along with 20% of the "motion picture net proceeds".  Sounds 'bout right to me.

Kirkman's now infamous quote about how the tactics he uses to reel artists in for his work: "Trickery and deceit" may come back to bite him.  It is my opinion Moore created these characters.  Proverbially the writer tosses a ball in the air and the artist hits it with his pencil.

Kirkman ain't starving.
Given that we know comics hardly make it to ten issues, never mind 100 (The Walking Dead is currently at issue #93 and shows no signs of slowing down...(well, other than what some people [myself included] perceive to be major decompression at play because the book now sells better at the Trade Paperback level than it does at the single issue level).

Is it fair to think that Kirkman used a kickass artist like Moore to get people hooked on the comic?  Knowing full well most fans don't pick up black and white books, he'd obviously want someone that could make fans look past that, and look at the awesome, gory details of each scene and character and then swap them out so he can start cranking out the fluff?

By the way, the first issue of The Walking Dead sold out instantly...the first 20 issues or so are impossible to find and issue 1 could put your kid through college.

So, Kirkman establishes this great book, "Hey look how amazing the art is! Look how well written the story is!"...people buy it up and he makes a fortune.  Then, to speed things up a bit, Kirkman could go ahead and hire someone like Adlard who, in my opinion, is not nearly as good as Moore in this title.  The detail is lacking, there are two colors: black and white (where Moore used shades of black, grey, white and was wonderful with lighting and shadowing).

Look at the backgrounds of the Moore pictures above...the environment is rich with background settings and extra details.  Adlard seems to draw everything in a white room.  Please goggle the two artists for more comparisons.
Moore's "Rick" on the left, Adlard's on the right.
Another that people began to notice as soon as Adlard took over...Kirkman started having characters address each other by name because, some folks think, they all look, well, indistinguishable.

Again, this is no knock on Adlard...though I'm sure it's coming out that way.

This is more of a fuck you to Kirkman, who is going to be counter-suing Moore for $17,000 is lawyer fees.  Says Kirkman's lawyer:
...Mr. Moore’s contract has an attorneys’ fees clause in it so we will be going after him to collect attorneys’ fees.
Are you kidding me?  Like I said at the onset, it seems Mr. Occupy Wall Street  doesn't like it in his backyard.  He's also the first to preach about intellectual property, how stealing comic books is wrong (he's right by the way)...but it goes both ways Kirkman...those character designs are Mr. Moore's intellectual property.

So, with all that being said: If Robert Kirkman counter-sues Tony Moore for anything, specifically his lawyer fees (nevermind actually paying Mr. Moore for what he's owed),  The Walking Dead (and any other Kirkman book) will not see my money.  Another telling bit of info about all of this, maybe it's just me overanalyzing but: you know the old saying about a how the guilty prisoner falls asleep in the jail cell, while the innocent guy is climbing up the walls in panic?  Well, listen to all the noise and vitriol coming from the Kirkman camp...and compare that to what's coming from Moore and his lawyers: calm silence.  Kirkman and his lawyers have called Mr. Moore and this lawsuit every name in the book..."frivolous", "ridiculous", "absurd" etc.  Gee, Robby, trying to sway public opinion much?

I believe in certain principles and I live by them, I don't simply preach them.

Apparently, Mr. Kirkman just preaches them.

In the meantime, go read the new Batman title drawn by Tony Moore, it's incredible.

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