Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fangs For The Memories!

I spied this in-your-face cover for an upcoming AC Comics offering, one of their thirty dollar black and white reprint packages. This snarling furry mug by the great Steve Ditko is one of my favorite of his images. 

It was used originally for the debut issue of Mad Monsters from Charlton. What's got me curious is how AC got hold of it. I thought all the rights to this material had reverted to others long ago. Or is this material somehow in the public domain now. I know this kind of thing gets very complicated.

Nonetheless it's a great image!

Rip Off


  1. A large part of Charlton's pre-1970 output (and a few after that) is, in fact, PD.
    So, odds are AC didn't have to get permission to re-use the artwork.
    In terms of Ditko material, almost all the pre-1970 material (including Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, the Question, and horror/sci-fi material is PD.
    I was surprised to see the Silver Age stuff was PD, but if you check the indicias, there's NO copyright on them, and pre-1976 copyright law is quite specific!
    No notice!
    No copyright protection!

    1. So I suppose the only limit is access to the artwork which as I understand it is mostly owned by Richard Broughton, save for the stuff bought by DC for Dick Giordano (or did they buy artwork and not just the "rights" to the Action Heroes?) and the First Kiss stuff bought by John Lustig.

      Hmm. Thanks for the info Britt.

      Rip Off

  2. Even "access to the (original) artwork" is not a contributing factor since many companies using PD art in their compilations including Fantagraphics and Yoe Books/IDW just scan actual comics.
    The only factor there is finding clean copies to work from.
    With Charlton's notoriously-poor printing, that's especially problematic, but the recent Ditko books featuring Gorgo and Konga prove it can be done.


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