Monday, April 30, 2012

Chris Roberson Gives DC Notice And is Fired.

Chris Roberson tweeted the following on April 18th:

Having an afternoon cocktail to celebrate the end of my time at DC.

Aside from the Fairest arc I already committed to doing, iZombie will be the last time I’ll ever write for DC.

"@chris_roberson selfishly that makes me sad because not only are we losing iZombie, I'll never get the LSH title I've been hoping you'd get"
Sorry. In a better world, characters like the Legion would be owned by a more ethical company, but sadly not in this one.

The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices.

I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation of my book was announced to discuss it.

Saturday April 21st, Jim Lee and Dan Didio sat down at the LA Times Festival of Books and when they were asked about Roberson this was their responses:

"Geoff Boucher: Yesterday it was announced that Chris Roberson is no longer working on the ‘Fairest’ arc. [To Lee] As a creator, how do you reconcile what Roberson had to say about DC’s stance on creator’s rights?

Jim Lee: I don’t know the writer Chris and it certainly would have helped if I could have talked to him or if he had reached out to me. I didn’t know he felt that way so it was surprising to see that. It seemed odd to me as a creator, I would not publicly state I have a problem with the company that’s paying me to do work for them and I’m going to quit after I do this one project. It would seem wise to me to wait until you finished the project to voice that complaint. You have to imagine from our perspective, for our own internal morale, what does it say for a company to hire somebody who’s that vocally against our principles and yet we’re still paying them. From that standpoint, it doesn’t make any sense.

Dan DiDio: As far as I’m concerned, he made a very public statement about not wanting to work with DC and we honored that statement.

So, Chris basically finishes his work and then says that he will no longer be working for DC. DC turns around, and says you don't work here anymore because you obviously don't want to. Sounds a little immature.
What Chris said about being unhappy with DC's treatment of creators and how they do business was an opinion based on his experience with DC, and many other factors. He felt it was time for him to say something because he was trying to be respectful enough to a company that has questionable business practices, and poor ethical values (these points are constantly brought up and there is never any accountability).

Chris made a little wave, and it may, in the grand scheme of things, not amount to a lot, but the fact that he made the wave n the first place shows that he is trying to be a better man, and make the world a better place. He was fired because he brought to your attention the dark deeds of the comic book publishing world.

We read comics about super heroes battling evil on many levels: Green Lantern is charged with protecting space sector 2814 from evil, Superman's "Grounded" was a walk through the problems in America today, and Batman faces off against crime every night on the streets of Gotham. It is sad that DC comics the "publisher" of these titles has and continues to have questionable business practices when it comes to creators and rights. Where is the accountability? We hold Superman, Green Lantern, and all our other favorite heroes to a standard, and if they deviate from that we are up in arms calling foul and demanding things be fixed. Where is the demand to keep the publisher fair and honorable? There isn't any. Why? People want to read stories about heroes, stores want to sell these stories because they make money, and publishers want to make sure they own every ounce of these stories printed, because they make bank on the desires of the readers. All of this happens even if it exploits the creator who came up with the character or story in the first place. So, I ask this question, Who watches the Comic Book Company? No one.

I can see why Chris Roberson quit, why David Brothers is giving up on buying comics from the big two, why the industry will continue to thrive, the cold fact that creators will continue to be exploited, and fans will sit idly by just to read another story about a hero trying to make the world a better place. I see these things, and it makes me sad.

Read the David Brothers Article or the
Chris Roberson Interview for yourselves.


  1. Isn't Brothers only giving up comics from the Big 2?

    1. I believe you are correct. I will make the change to my post. Thank you for pointing that out.

  2. I have to disagree with your general conclusion from the podcast Brock. While this guy has the right to say whatever he wants, it also seems very naive and childish to do so in the manner he did. Jim Lee and Dan Didio's comments were far more charitable than he deserved, and they come off looking like the classier party. In the adult world, you don't shit where you eat, that's just the way it is.

    1. The sad truth about the whole thing is we live in a world that doesn't protect the creators. The protection is aimed at the companies, and keeping the creativity machine pumping out more product. This is morally and ethically wrong, but hey people want the next issue of whatever comic character they love so that justifies exploitation and shady business practices. Good to know this is the world we live in.