Friday, February 10, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#76) -- Public Domain

Why all the interest in the public domain stuff lately?

Wow. I hadn't thought about it, but it does seem like everything I'm posting about lately is a revival of a public domain property, doesn't it? The truth is it's just a timing issues. I've had the H.G. Wells and Frankenstein projects in the works for years, and they're just now getting traction and making progress art-wise, which excites me to no end.

In addition to those, I'm also doing an online comic revival of the golden-age powerhouse Rip Regan, Powerman. And I recently did the Blue Lady story with Jim Ritchey III for All-Star Pulp Comics, now long ago.

On the prose side, a lot of pulp stuff is hitting recently, however. I'm doing a new adventures of Armless O'Neil for Pulp Obscura, and several others that I can't mention yet until I get approval from the publishers. (Yeah, I'm a tease. I know it. Sorry.)

Why do I pursue so many of these public domain characters? Several reasons.

1. They're fun to write.

2. It's a way of continuing the mythos after the original writers have died.

3. The characters ultimately belong to the fans, and it's a way of rewarding fans for their love of these otherwise forgotten heroes.

4. I'm getting paid for it. (Got to keep the groceries on the table, you know.)

5. I think these heroes deserve to come back. Sure, it's easy to keep Superman and Batman and Spider-Man in front of the masses, but that doesn't mean they are any more deserving of that spotlight than folks like Richard Knight, Armless O'Neil, The Black Bat, or The Domino Lady.

6. Alan Moore shouldn't be the only writer who can make a name for himself (and a living) by giving public domain characters a new spin. (Okay, I'm probably reaching for that one unless I redefine what "a living" is, but the spirit of the statement is still true.)