With the lines of comic books in their print form and the form they take in “motion pictures” (movies, TV, and the like) continually becoming blurrier and blurrier, the chances of specific characters in iconic situations being pulled directly from the printed page to be shown on the screen grows exponentially. Indeed, we’ve seen this on more than one occasion, and as recently as this year’s ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ where Marvel made sure to set Iron Man and Captain America at just the right angle in front of the camera mid-fight as to emulate the identical image from a comic book spalsh page.
But every so often, a film company – or a company providing marketing for a film – will “lift” something specific from a comic and use it to help promote the film. Generally, the artist responsible for creating the original work is given credit, where credit is most surely due, but that’s not always the case. It appears to be the latter situation that 20th Century Fox stumbled into recently, when they used art from longtime Marvel artist Bill Sienkiewicz to help promote ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ at the San Diego Comic Con.
Sienkiewicz, best known for his work on the series ‘The New Mutants’ and ‘Moon Knight,’ has a propensity for utilizing unorthodox forms of artistry in order to achieve certain looks – he’s dialed up oil paintings and collages, for example, to create his desired results. In fact, working with oil painting, he created what is widely regarded as the “iconic” album cover for the X-Men mutant/celebrity singer known as Dazzler, aka Alison Blaire. The character was created in the late 1970s as a collaborative effort between Marvel and a record company, and she was set to make a “cameo” appearance of sorts in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ in a scene where Scott Summers and Jean Grey find her record in a music store.
That scene didn’t make it into the finished theatrical cut of the film, but it was used in pre-release promotional work and fans became familiar with it because of the scene’s ties to the Dazzler character. Fox, who was obviously familiar with the Dazzler cover art from its appearance in the film, decided to use the artwork as a cover to a replica of the album for a giveaway at SDCC. According to reports, Sienkiewicz did not know about the art’s usage as the promo until fans sought him out to have him sign it.
Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled about the lack of acknowledgement given to him, so he took to Facebook to vent his frustrations:
I’ve been doing this comic-book thing for years. I’m aware most everything is Work-Made-for-Hire. Still, I received no prior notification (a common courtesy), no thank you (ditto), no written credit in any form whatsoever either on the piece or in connection with the premium, absolutely no compensation and no comp copies of the album. It’s like two losing trifectas wrapped in an altogether indifferent fuck you.
Clearly, the man’s upset, and has a right to be; Sienkiewicz did clarify that, while he does not believe that Fox did anything illegal, he is extremely frustrated and disappointed in the lack of professional courtesy afforded to him.
Tony Schaab mixed up all this fake puke at home and then he went to this movie theater, hid the puke in his jacket, climbed up to the balcony, and then he made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa… and then he dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then – this was horrible – all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other… and he never felt so bad in his entire life! A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.