Thursday, October 16, 2003

I noted Alan David Doane's championing of Tony Isabella and the Black Lightning character he co-created with interest earlier today.

That's right, I said co-created. Trevor Von Eeden was the artist who came up with the visual appearance of BL when he helped develop the character for the 70s series- in fact, Black Lightning was Von Eeden's first professional job (as a teenager!) and ongoing series as well. And DC's corporate screwing extends to him as well as Isabella- I'm not sure, but I don't think TVE gets any co-creator credit, and when DC decided to relaunch Lightning in the mid-90s Von Eeden lobbied long and hard to be allowed to do the art chores (and he was doing work for DC at the time, mostly for its Milestone imprint), but was never seriously considered, he told me once. Which, he said, is not intended as a slam towards the guy they got to do the art...but he said that BL was his favorite of the characters he's worked on and would have hoped to get more consideration for a part in his revival, given his history with the character. I agree, but since the book stiffed pretty quickly, it's kinda beside the point, I suppose. Von Eeden certainly doesn't seem to be holding any grudges, he was just disappointed.

Update 10/17: ADD has already followed up on this entry, checking with Isabella about its veracity. Man, lemme tell ya- if you want the hot comics news, straight from the creators themselves, then head straight for the comics blogosphereiverse! Considering that the only two comics pros I have any sort of relationship with at all are Von Eeden and his former collaborator Robert Loren Fleming (who hasn't written a comics script in about four years, to my knowledge), maybe you'd better look elsewhere first...anyway, all seriousness aside, at the risk of seeming totally unreliable, I'd like to take the opportunity to step back a little from one of my earlier statements, in which I claimed that Trevor claimed to be a co-creator of Black Lightning, which Isabella denies, even though DC has, apparently, been co-crediting Von Eeden. All I have to go by is my recollection of a telephone conversation which took place several months ago, and I may have misunderstood or misheard him. I probably should have sent TVE an email asking him if this was the case before I wrote, but my eagerness to comment led me to throw caution to the wind and get in on the discussion. So if I've misquoted anyone, I apologize. I certainly don't want to cause any disputes between anyone. I'll try to remember, next time I speak with him, to ask him about it.

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