Sunday, July 20, 2008
Snyder, Robin Snyder...Ditko Squad
Great excuse to show one of the most brilliant Ditko covers of all time
I'm going to throw this open because I'm being pestered by Robin Snyder who keeps asking me odd Ditko-related questions but never gets right to the point.
I think he overestimates me, and perhaps because he himself has worked with Steve Ditko assumes that I to would think it pretty normal to just, maybe, drop him a line. I have to say Robin, when Neil Gaiman is almost paralysed with fear at the prospect of talking with Mister Ditko, you underestimate the esteem in which the great man is held if you think it would be that easy for me. So to clear things up, no, I have not spoken to Steve Ditko; I cannot speak to Steve Ditko: if Steve Ditko spoke to me, my heart would stop.
The matter that Robin is so exercised about is the Mister A story that appeared in Witzend that I have put on the blog here. Robin is of the opinion that it is a copyright matter. And that is where our opinions differ. Robin appears to believe that showing the publication here is tantamount to publishing the thing, or republishing it. I disagree.
The original post here, is clearly a post about Wally Wood's publication Witzend. Wally Wood's Witzend, as one of the commentators on the post pointed out, is an important self-published publication, that many people have never seen and have no knowledge of. It was published 30 years ago by Wood himself. I have posted almost, but not quite, all of the publication on my blog, including the entire Mister A story (not the only one on the www, by the way), from that Witzend, for the purpose of study.
Several things strike me, the copyright vested in the work relates to the work Witzend, in its entirety, it does not relate to individual stories and great though the Ditko story is, it is simply part of this copy of Witzend. Another issue may have had no Mister A adventure, or 4 two-page stories, or a written story. If it was necessary to obtain copyright, and I don't believe it is, the copyright would only need to be obtained from Wally Wood or his surviving representatives; not every contributor. Secondly, this is not the copy of Witzend in its entirety, it is part of the publication, so although all the pages of Mister A are on display, every page of the full publication is not. Thirdly, this is a little blog, and the piece is here for study under fair use and fourthly, if Steve Ditko asked me to move it; I'd probably do so anyway because I'm such a fanboy, the moment I recovered from shock.
As far as I'm concerned, the thing meets the criteria of fair-use, and it is clearly on a blog where the practise of cartooning and the study of that craft is discussed and debated. I might be wrong, so I'm going to switch off the little button that allows me to stop you lot from telling me what you think (the nerve). If you have a view let me know.