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Dick Ayers RIP

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Post by tony ingram on Tue May 06, 2014 2:40 pm

Veteran Marvel artist Dick Ayers died on Sunday, aged 90. He is best remembered for his ten year run on Sgt Fury & His Howling Commandos, though he worked on many other characters, including inking Jack Kirby's pencils on early issues of Fantastic Four, and co-creating the original Ghost Rider for Magazine Enterprises (he later returned to the character when he was purchased by Marvel).
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Post by Barry_Allen on Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:43 am

While I really loved Dick Ayers as an artist, he put out also an interesting autobiography in comics form in his late years, but just being curios, did Marvel really purchased Ghost Rider trademark or simply "picked" it when the copyright for the original Ghost Rider owned by Magazine Enterprises had expired? Question Rolling Eyes pirat
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Post by tony ingram on Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:57 pm

Barry_Allen wrote:While I really loved Dick Ayers as an artist, he put out also an interesting autobiography in comics form in his late years, but just being curios, did Marvel really purchased Ghost Rider trademark or simply "picked" it when the copyright for the original Ghost Rider owned by Magazine Enterprises had expired? Question Rolling Eyes pirat
I've always heard it was the former, but I personally believe it was the latter.
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Post by MajorHoy on Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:17 pm

He had worked for a lot of the U.S. publishers over the years, though I think towards the end of his career he had been working on things like FemForce for AC Comics. (Not sure if he was doing any new artwork for other companies after then.)
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Post by Barry_Allen on Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:26 am

tony ingram wrote:
Barry_Allen wrote:While I really loved Dick Ayers as an artist, he put out also an interesting autobiography in comics form in his late years, but just being curios, did Marvel really purchased Ghost Rider trademark or simply "picked" it when the copyright for the original Ghost Rider owned by Magazine Enterprises had expired? Question Rolling Eyes pirat
I've always heard it was the former, but I personally believe it was the latter.

Seeing the way entities like Marvel (and DC....) usually act, I believe that one too! Rolling Eyes
Glad to see that our fearless leader is back, hope all is well in ancient land of Albion ! Very Happy
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Post by MajorHoy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:14 pm

Barry_Allen wrote:
tony ingram wrote:
Barry_Allen wrote: . . . just being curios, did Marvel really purchased Ghost Rider trademark or simply "picked" it when the copyright for the original Ghost Rider owned by Magazine Enterprises had expired? Question Rolling Eyes pirat
I've always heard it was the former, but I personally believe it was the latter.
Seeing the way entities like Marvel (and DC....) usually act, I believe that one too! Rolling Eyes
Don't forget, back when Marvel originally started re-using "Ghost Rider" (the Western character) back in the 1960s, many people still felt "comic books" were basically kid-stuff without any real long-term value (except for maybe the main "big" characters like Superman, Spider-Man, etc.), so I'm not sure how much value would have been placed on compensation for using "failed" comic book characters from lower-echelon companies no longer publishing comic books.
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Post by Barry_Allen on Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:46 pm

MajorHoy wrote:
Don't forget, back when Marvel originally started re-using "Ghost Rider" (the Western character) back in the 1960s, many people still felt "comic books" were basically kid-stuff without any real long-term value (except for maybe the main "big" characters like Superman, Spider-Man, etc.), so I'm not sure how much value would have been placed on compensation for using "failed" comic book characters from lower-echelon companies no longer publishing comic books.
You made a point here, MajorHoy Wink ; I was also thinking about the way Marvel bought the rights to Marvelman from a 93 years old (and not so well in health...) Mick Anglo back in 2009! Neutral
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Post by MajorHoy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:19 pm

Barry_Allen wrote: . . . I was also thinking about the way Marvel bought the rights to Marvelman from a 93 years old (and not so well in health...) Mick Anglo back in 2009! Neutral
Different time and different corporate entity for Marvel™.
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Post by Barry_Allen on Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:23 am

MajorHoy wrote:
Different time and different corporate entity for Marvel™.

Sure it was Wink but their acting was often similar, just think about Martin Goodman's tenure and then Cadence Industries about returning original art to artists like Jack Kirby and then the issue of work for hire, always used by the company to justify the intellectual property by Marvel of all the characters that had been published by them even only on a single page, without having to pay the royalties to the creators what they created, like they did with "modern" Ghost Rider creator, Gary Friedrich.
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Post by tony ingram on Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:40 pm

Barry_Allen wrote:
MajorHoy wrote:
Different time and different corporate entity for Marvel™.

Sure it was Wink but their acting was often similar, just think about Martin Goodman's tenure and then Cadence Industries about returning original art to artists like Jack Kirby and then the issue of work for hire, always used by the company to justify the intellectual property by Marvel of all the characters that had been published by them even only on a single page, without having to pay the royalties to the creators what they created, like they did with "modern" Ghost Rider creator, Gary Friedrich.
I've never been clear on exactly how much of Ghost Rider Gary Friedrich actually created. He didn't come up with the name, the flaming skull or Johnny Blaze as a character, did he?
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Post by Barry_Allen on Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:22 pm

I don't remember well, I'd have to check some old issues of Roy Thomas edited magazine Alter Ego, published by Twomorrows Publishing, where Thomas, usually credited as the other co-creator of the character, wrote about the creation of the "modern" Ghost Rider. I remember that, always according to Roy, Gary Friedrich had also co-created the original Son of Satan! Twisted Evil Cool
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Post by Barry_Allen on Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:55 am

In fact there seem to have been some dispute over it, with each of the player involved giving his own version, but they're not too different one from the each other, seems Thomas and Friedrich had been friends and collaborators for decades, since the Charlton days.
Taken from another Twomorrows magazine, Comic Book Artist # 13, in 2001, Roy Thomas said that in 1973/1974:

"I had made up a character as a villain in Daredevil, a very lackluster character, called Stunt-Master, a motorcyclist. Anyway, when Gary Friedrich started writing Daredevil, he said, 'Instead of Stunt-Master, I'd like to make the villain a really weird motorcycle-riding character called Ghost Rider.' He didn't describe him. I said, 'Yeah, Gary, there's only one thing wrong with it,' and he kind of looked at me weird, because we were old friends from Missouri, and I said, 'That's too good an idea to be just a villain in Daredevil. He should start out right away in his own book.' When Gary wasn't there the day we were going to design it, Mike Ploog, who was going to be the artist, and I designed the character. I had this idea for the skull-head, something like Elvis' 1968 special jumpsuit, and so forth, and Ploog put the fire on the head, just because he thought it looked nice. Gary liked it, so they went off and did it."

Also from that mag CBA # 13 Friedrich responded:

"Well, there's some disagreement between Roy, Mike and I over that. I threatened on more than one occasion that if Marvel gets in a position where they are gonna make a movie or make a lot of money off of it, I'm gonna sue them, and I probably will...It was my idea; it was always my idea from the first time we talked about it; it turned out to be a guy with a flaming skull and [who] rode a motorcycle. Ploog seems to think the flaming skull was his idea. But, to tell you the truth, it was my idea."

Then Twomorrows published a book in 2008, dedicated to Mike Ploog, where the artist said:

"Now, there's been all kinds of dialog about who was the creator of Ghost Rider. Gary Friedrich was the writer on it. The flaming skull: that was the big area of dispute. Who thought of the flaming skull? To be honest with you I can't remember. What else were you going to do with him? You couldn't put a helmet on him, so it had to be a flaming skull. As far as his costume went, it was part of the old (Western) Ghost Rider's costume, with the Western panel front. The stripes down the arms and the legs were there merely so I could make the character's costume as black as I possibly could and still keep track of his body. It was the easiest way to design him." So I guess everybody's right from his own point of view! Very Happy
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