We know from the cases of Ethan Van Sciver and Chris Wozniak — as well as by going way back to how they treated Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, and Joe Schuster — that DC Comics doesn’t like to give credit where it’s due, much less pay people for their work. That is, until they are lobbied hard enough.
The historic examples of Finger, Siegel, and Schuster had their fences mended to a fault when their credit as creators was restored to the bylines of Batman and Superman, respectively, but that took decades, and the causes had to be taken up by family and their fanbases. Despite that progress, DC remains up to its old corporate tricks.
This year, a new claim is being lodged by artist and animator Al Nickerson who says DC hasn’t paid him royalties for reprints of his work regardless of the terms in his contract. Consequently, he went public with his grievances, using Facebook and YouTube to let his fans know what was up and keep them updated.
“I had contacted DC Entertainment in regards to royalties to [the] recent reprinting of my work,” Nickerson said in a Facebook post. “They keep adjusting the ‘threshold to pay royalties.’ So, I had to remind them of my contract. Stay tuned for details.” Parenthetically, he added, “And this isn’t the first time I’ve had a problem with DC concerning paying me royalties.”
In the comments, he elaborated, “No one at DC Entertainment nor from Warner Bros. Discovery has gotten back since the May 1st ‘Your royalty check is in the mail…’ email to me. Since then, I have emailed them a number of times, [and] have gotten no response, therefore, I suspect, that no check was ever mailed to me.”
Nickerson then presented a receipt — a screenshot of the email in question. “Here’s a screenshot of the email from DC Entertainment letting me know that my royalty check was ‘in the mail.’ That was May 1st,” he explained.
“Since then, there’s been no check…DC Entertainment has not responded to any of my emails, nor returned any of my phone calls,” Nickerson concluded.
The issue has come up before for both Nickerson and Van Sciver, but they were able to get them solved. “I didn’t know that Ethan had problems with getting his dough from DC Entertainment. If so, then, yeah, I wonder how he worked that out,” Nickerson wrote in another comment, adding all he needed to do in the past was show DC his contract.
“Currently, I’m going through the same annoying process with DC as before. DC collected my work in reprinted trade paperbacks. I reached out to them about getting paid. They let me know that they had created a new rule, in regards to the amount that needs to be accumulated before they pay me. I reminded DC that my contract states otherwise,” he added.
Nickerson worked at DC as an inker and artist for eight and a half years from 2001-10. During that time, he lent his talents to Superman and Steel as well as titles connected to the Animated Universe shows such as Justice League Unlimited. Today, he works on his own books including The Sword of Eden, a Christian comic available now.
Do you think Nickerson will get paid? Tell us your opinion below.