Creator Roger Langridge is taking something of a stand – even if he seems frankly so down to Earth he’d never call it that – and is no longer going to work for the Big Two Funny Book Farms. This announcement is particularly salient, because it comes at a time when the Kirby estate is getting rimmed out of Avengers cred and Before Watchmen is desecrating the altar of a masterpiece. At least to me, yeah, I know.
Roger Langridge is the latest creator to say he is no longer going to work for Marvel or DC Comics because of concerns about the way they treat creators.
The subject came up last week, when Langridge, the writer of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, the Muppets comics (originally created for BOOM! Studios and now being republished by Marvel) and John Carter: A Princess of Mars, was interviewed on the Orbital podcast. After chatting about his newest comics Snarked! and Popeye(which IDW Publishing has just expanded from a four-issue miniseries to an ongoing series), he added this:
I’m very happy to be cultivating a working relationship with people like BOOM! and IDW at the moment when Marvel and DC are turning out to be quite problematic from an ethical point of view to continue working with.
I think it’s down to everybody’s individual conscience, but I think those of us who have options–and I do have options, I’ve got a working relationship with a couple of different publishers, I’ve got illustration to fall back on, I’m not beholden to Marvel and DC for my bread and butter, so it seems to me that if you do have the option you should maybe think hard about what you are doing and who you are doing it for. I was writing the last issue of John Carter when the news came that Marvel had won a lawsuit against the heirs of Jack Kirby, and Steve Bissette wrote a very impassioned post about the ethics of working for Marvel under those circumstances, and pretty much then I figured I should finish the script I was writing and move on, and it’s not like Marvel needs me. It’s no skin off their nose if I don’t accept anything else from them in the future.
On his blog, Langridge clarifies that he made the decision last summer, at a time when he wasn’t doing any Marvel or DC work, so he’s not so much quitting as deciding not to go back. His statements come less than a month after iZombie and Superman writer Chris Roberson made headlines with his announcement that he’s ending his relationship with DC because of its treatment of creators and their heirs.
I’m not familiar with the majority of Roger Langridge’s work. I’m a douche, I know. What I am familiar with is his run on Thor: The Mighty Avenger, and that alone has given me a lot of respect for the creator. It’s also appreciable that he admits that he has a lot to fall back on, and this allows him to take such a stance. I’ve come across the writings of other creators who say that can’t subsist without the teat of the Enormous Two.