Don’t Mess with Sergio

August 30th, 2010 | Posted in General

MAD writer extraordinaire Desmond Devlin sent me this link to a highly interesting article about a lively exchange between comic book writer Mark Waid and Sergio Aragon?¬©s at last night’s Harvey Awards. Mark gave a keynote speech about copyrights, public domain and the dawning new era of electronic publishing where he took the viewpoint that, with regard to rampant piracy on the internet, the “genie is out of the bottle” and that energy expended in efforts to protect ownership would be better served being used to figure out how to profit from one’s intellectual property. Sergio strongly disagreed and a heated discussion ensued.

I wonder if Mark knows Sergio used to be the Mexican equivalent of a Navy Seal?

It’s my opinion that, while the creator of a piece of intellectual property still draws breath, that creation is theirs to do with as they will and to receive any and all profits generated by said intellectual property until they either relinquish the rights to it or they die. It’s that simple. Why should a creator’s idea, concept, cartoon or character be any different than some inventor who patents their invention and profits by any use of it? Because one is done with formulas or software code and another with words or a pen and brush?


  1. George Cook says:

    I would say a creator’s work should be theirs until they stop breathing or release the rights to their creation. I look at a lot of artist’s work online every day, but not to steal it, or to copy an idea. I look at it for inspiration as to what kind of ideas I would like to do, be it caricature work, or anything else that may inspire me to put pencil to paper. And Sergio does some pretty cool stuff! I have liked his work for years.

  2. Mark Engblom says:

    Waid’s long been known for his rather erratic, flakey behavior, and this is just one more incident to add to a growing and increasingly bizarre list. All I’ve ever heard about Sergio is how friendly and genial the guy is, so Waid must have really pushed some buttons to get that kind of reaction from him. It must be incredibly frustrating for Sergio to see the younger generation be so willing to “give away the store” in regards to enforcing copyrights, a concept Sergio and his generation have worked hard to secure and teach to new generations of creators…especially when they’re in positions of influence like Waid is (he’s the Chief Creative Officer of BOOM! Studios).

    You tell ‘im, Sergio!

  3. Binky says:

    If it was up to me, the creator and his estate would retain the copyright forever. When a business owner dies, his business doesn’t become public property after a set number of years, so why does this happen to artists? I think copyright ownership should be more like trademarks; you own it forever.

    • Tom says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Funny, but the only people who want copyrights abolished are prime who can’t create for themselves.

  4. Mark Engblom says:

    Looks like Mark Waid has posted a “what I really meant to say” piece up at Comic Book Resources. Click here for the link. I’m not sure if he succeeds in winning anyone over, but it does make his argument more coherent than some of the reporting suggested.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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