Friday, October 21, 2005

Followup on EDISON'S FRANKENSTEIN, odds and ends...

Here's the latest on the EDISON FRANKENSTEIN DVD I wrote up on this blog last month, and for Video Watchdog magazine's current issue:

This just in from my fearless VW editor Tim Lucas, forwarded to me:

I recently saw your magazine at a local hobby store and its article on the 1910 Edison Frankenstein. Just to correct some misinformation, I manage a horror collectible store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and we are the current official/exclusive distributor of the DVD from Alois Detlaff/ADA Ventures, Intl.
We are still selling the DVD through our website and retail store for $25.00 which includes free shipping in the USA.
This professional dvd contains the 1910
Edison Frankenstein and a print of the 1922 Nosferatu all on one disc.  You can read more information about the dvd on our website
  • Graveyard Records Edison Frankenstein DVD.

    Thank you for your time.

    That was from Jeff (thanks, Jeff!) at Graveyard Records & Collectables, who you can write at:
    4727 S. Packard Ave.
    Cudahy, WI 53110
    Or just click
  • here.

  • As I say, get it while you can -- this is a tremendous opportunity.

    The Creator Bill of Rights discussion continues, thanks to site sponsor and advocate Al Nickerson and the ongoing active participation of Cerebus creator/self-publisher Dave Sim. Give Dave's latest letter (and relevent archival materials) a close read
  • here.

  • I can confirm one of Dave's statements from my own sometimes bitter experience, and would in fact extend it to any attempt to work with other publishers on DC properties. On his most recent dealings (or, ahem, non-dealings) with DC Comics on a proposed Fables contribution (see comment from Bob, below), Dave writes:

    "...Well, that was my same experience from the 1980s with Paul Levitz whose idea of negotiation was: Here’s the deal. You can sign it or not sign it. Your choice. That is, we’re "thrilled and excited" that you’re willing to capitulate to us without question. If you’re not willing to capitulate to us without question then we’re no longer "thrilled and excited" and, in fact, we’re not even "less thrilled and less excited". What we are now is "completely disinterested"..."

    This has been my experience with DC since the late 1980s, beginning with a proposed (and extensively prepped, to the point of artist Keith Giffen telling me he was ready to pencil from my final completed and quite extensive story outline) Eclipso graphic novel. Most recently (just last summer), this was precisely my experience with the proposed three-novel Swamp Thing series for iBooks and the late Byron Preiss.

    After committing myself to the project fully (and in fact stepping away from my dayjob of the time in part to clear my schedule for this venture), agreeing to the basic terms as they were described to me and the money (which wasn't much), working the phones to arrange for my old friend and former Saga of the Swamp Thing collaborator John Totleben to do the covers and interior illustrations, and clearing the basic story outline with my editor and the necessary clearance with DC for the characters I wished to use, the contract was emailed to me months after our planned starting date. Despite Byron's use of the term "negotiations," it soon became abundantly clear "negotiate" meant precisely what Dave says: "capitulate without question." Even my questions were studiously avoided. It was a frustrating and ultimately fruitless dance, and one I expected going in. I wish I'd been proven wrong.

    In the end, I had no choice but to walk (in part due to a reluctance on the publisher's part -- iBooks, not DC -- to pay a proper advance, though the payment amount had been agreed upon from the beginning and was never an issue in and of itself); I was informed soon after by my former editor (who had since left iBooks -- which was, by the way, one of the concerns I had regarding relevent terms of the contract) that without my participation, the project was considered uncommercial, and was scrapped.

    And so it goes. Anyhoot, read Dave's latest letter, and I'll be weighing in soon myself on Al's site.

    En route home last night from seeing The Fog remake (not a candle to the original), I paid a mere $2.49 per gallon to fill up my Toyota (gas hog, it ain't). This is a full 60 cents less than we paid a month ago, despite the devastation of three hurricanes since.

    What's going on? Having worked at my parent's stores all my teenage years, I know the gas stations aren't making beans off of this, and are in fact bearing the brunt of the heat. The most concise piece dropped into my lap from HomeyM, clipped from The Washington Spectator November 2005 issue:

    A Washington Post investigative report recently analyzed the increase in gasoline prices, which went from $1.87 a gallon last September to $3.07 this year. Who grabbed the $1.20-a-gallon increase? The report found that gasoline taxes actually fell by two cents, and our local distributors and gas stations got less than a penny from the increase. However, the crude oil producers-- including Exxon, BP, Shell, et all-- took an additional 46 cents from our pockets.

    But the big winners by far were the gasoline refiners-- which also happen to be Exxon, BP, Shell et al. Their increase was 70 cents-- a 255% increase for them in one year! In all, of the $1.20-per-gallon price hike, Big Oil-- which both produces the oil and refines it into gasoline-- made off with $1.16.

    As Homey commented in his email, "Again, what kind of press do we have that reports every day to the American people, and yet the people don't know this? They think maybe the gas station is making money or something. Information everywhere, yet no one knows the facts about the most basic things that are happening to them. It is robbery in full view." Indeed -- and yes, HomeyM, our Prez and Vice-Prez (who has indeed brought new relevence to that term) are undoubtably complicit in this, even as on their watch GM and other corporations are currently fleecing health care policies while rewarding their CEOs with obscene excess.

    As I've said here many times already, "the public good" isn't on this Administration's list of priorities; never has been, never will be.