No, this is not a story about Alan Moore. I think, by now, we all know Alan Moore’s opinion on the issue of DC Comics, adaptations of his works, and life in general. No, this time the Constantine co-creator in question is Stephen Bissette, who worked on the Saga of the Swamp Thing with Moore from 1983 to 1987 including issue #37 that introduced the character of John Constantine. And with interest in the character high thanks to the proposed NBC series about him starring Matt Ryan, Bissette’s getting a lot of requests for some comment. So what is a semi-retired comic book artist to do? Well, Bissette addressed an open letter to DC Comics on his Facebook page to pose them that very question.
Dear DC Comics:
How are you this morning? Nice to hear.
Look, I’m the ONLY original Constantine co-creator active online.
And with CONSTANTINE getting so much attention lately, and me being the only original co-creator online, I’m getting a lot of requests for this and that—interviews. Podcasts. Etc.
So, in your corporate mind, what should I do?
Every time you ramp up the Constantine or Swamp Thing whatever, someone at DC apparently resents anything I might say—or so I’m occasionally told—but I have no idea what’s going on from your end.
I mean, if you want me “in the loop,” or to shut the hell up, or to behave, or to misbehave, or whatever-it-is-you-want, you really DO know how to reach me.
Well, anyhoot, I sincerely hope all is well with you, congrats on the spiffy new TV show upcoming, everyone really seems so excited about it, and since all I see out here is all everyone else sees out here, and it begs so many obvious questions, which people then ask me, directly, I just thought you should know what a conundrum all this is.
And it gets to be more of a quandary daily now.
PS: I appreciate you have “bigger fish to fry.” I mean, your NY offices are fighting winter, while you CA offices are in a major draught. It must be hell.
Thanks and take care—stay warm, or have a bottle of water (Hydrate! Hydrate!), and nice per usual to hear from you…
“Steve” aka Stephen Bissette
Sadly, this is not a new story. The nature of the beast for decades was that creators create and the publishers – mainly the big two DC Comics and Marvel – reap the monetary rewards. Unless you’re Stan Lee, comic creators are more or less unseen and unheard, as if it were the company itself that invented all these characters and stories. It would be a nice promotional touch to have the original creators of these characters, if they’re willing, talk about the ideas and experiences that went into making those inspirational comics, wouldn’t it?
Granted, the flip side is that they can go on a rant about the evil’s of the business like Moore, but a strategy of silence is more likely to embolden the Moore’s out there than engage writers and artists who are genuinely exited about talking about the comic books they’ve worked on.
What do you Bastards think?