When you think “Disney Duck comics” the first name that comes to mind is, of course, Carl Barks, but then, if you’re a real Uncle Scrooge fan, the next name you think is Don Rosa. Rosa, like his idol Barks, devoted most of his career to writing and drawing intricate, detail obsessed adventures starring Donald, Uncle Scrooge and the rest of Disney’s Duck clan.
But now he’s quitting. Partly because his eyesight is failing, but also because Disney treats comic artists like crap. Hit the jump for Rosa’s not-so-rosy depiction of the “Disney comics system”…
“How many people know how the “Disney system” of comics works? When I describe this to some fans when asked about it, they often think I’m kidding them or lying. Or they are outraged. But it’s an unfortunate fact that there have never been, and I ultimately realized there never will be, any royalties paid to the people who write or draw or otherwise create all the Disney comics you’ve ever read.
Disney comics have never been produced by the Disney company, but have always been created by freelance writers and artists working for licensed independent publishers, like Carl Barks working for Dell Comics, me working for Egmont, and hundreds of others working for numerous other Disney licensees. We are paid a flat rate per page by one publisher for whom we work directly. After that, no matter how many times that story is used by other Disney publishers around the world, no matter how many times the story is reprinted in other comics, album series, hardback books, special editions, etc., etc., no matter how well it sells, we never receive another cent for having created that work. That’s the system Carl Barks worked in and it’s the same system operating today.”
So yeah, Disney’s kind of evil. Who knew? Believe it or not, Rosa became popular enough in Europe that companies would release “Don Rosa Collections” — books being sold entirely on Rosa’s name — and yet he still received no royalties. Rosa eventually had to copyright his own name to make it stop.
Rosa has more (less headline-grabbing) reasons for quitting, which he’s outlined in a lengthy (yet interesting) essay you can read right here.
via Comics Alliance