Comics journalist and bony saltwater fish Tom Spurgeon posted the following story on The Comics Reporter this morning (which was subsequently posted on the Has DC Done Something Stupid Today Facebook page):
Someone off the record and not for attribution but someone I trust with knowledge of the situation described it to me like this: "DC's media rights to Preacher expired, after more than a decade of trying to get this show going and failing miserably. They refused to re-assign media rights to Garth [Ennis], which he tried to get back when Paul [Levitz] cancelled The Boys over its content, despite it being WildStorm's only hit at the time. Within weeks -- no kidding -- of getting his rights back, Garth got Preacher to Seth [Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg] and AMC. It's an interesting story, and it might generate interest in other creator-owned DC titles, but it's actually a deterrent for them in retaining talent, since most of the folks Vertigo would publish all know one another and [are] aware of the happenings with Preacher."
Spurgeon goes on to note that this story could deter creators from working with DC on creator own projects, since the prospects of getting a big money TV or movie deal might be dramatically better if they simply go it alone or work with a less stupid company that won't greedily clutch the rights while failing to do anything with them:
If a sole operator has greater success in securing a potentially lucrative televsion deal of the kind everyone wants after the outright failure of such a deal being secured by the big company, there is much less of a reason to work with the big company in question on a whole host of project-types given the options in the current creative landscape. Adjust your expectations and career goals and press your questions during negotiations as appropriate in the light of this information.
Lots of big words there. Remind us to never play Tom Spurgeon in Scrabble.
Go and read the full story at The Comics Reporter, and stick around the site and read some other articles while you're there as well - it'll serve to offset your bad karma for all the articles you read on this site. Of course, while Tom Spurgeon may be a superior journalist, it's clear that we're much better at headlines.