Artist Stephen Bissette‘s open letter to DC doesn’t express anger that NBC’s Constantine exists, or anger about a specific way they’re interpreting the character that he, as one of the character’s original creators, might be privy to when we plebes are not. Rather, DC hasn’t seen fit to communicate with Bissette about the show at all. And he’s pissed.
Wrote Bissette on Facebook:
Dear DC Comics:
How are you this morning? Nice to hear.
Look, I’m the ONLY original Constantine co-creator active online.
And with CONSTANTINE getting so much attention lately, and me being the only original co-creator online, I’m getting a lot of requests for this and that—interviews. Podcasts. Etc.
So, in your corporate mind, what should I do?
Every time you ramp up the Constantine or Swamp Thing whatever, someone at DC apparently resents anything I might say—or so I’m occasionally told—but I have no idea what’s going on from your end.
I mean, if you want me “in the loop,” or to shut the hell up, or to behave, or to misbehave, or whatever-it-is-you-want, you really DO know how to reach me.
Well, anyhoot, I sincerely hope all is well with you, congrats on the spiffy new TV show upcoming, everyone really seems so excited about it, and since all I see out here is all everyone else sees out here, and it begs so many obvious questions, which people then ask me, directly, I just thought you should know what a conundrum all this is.
And it gets to be more of a quandary daily now.
PS: I appreciate you have “bigger fish to fry.” I mean, your NY offices are fighting winter, while you CA offices are in a major draught. It must be hell.
Thanks and take care—stay warm, or have a bottle of water (Hydrate! Hydrate!), and nice per usual to hear from you…
“Steve” aka Stephen Bissette
Need some ice for that burn, DC? Oh, your money baths take care of it? Well, that’s good for you then.
DC’s under no legal obligation to call Bissette up and say “Hey, we’re turning your character into a TV show, FYI.” But, as Bissette points out, it’s more about plain ol’ courtesy. “I don’t know ANYONE [at DC] any longer, I don’t think,” he explains. “Again, I don’t think this is ‘my’ problem [as in, it's not on him to contact DC]—shouldn’t basic reach-out or a PR ‘this is to inform you’ letter to the core original creative teams be a no-brainer by now?”
(Bissette also clarified, regarding him saying “I’m the ONLY original Constantine co-creator active online,” that “Jamie Delano is of course active online, everywhere; I’m just referring to the SWAMP THING team,” so fact-checkers, put your red pens down.)
The fact that we wouldn’t necessarily expect a giant corporation like DC to open a line of communication with Bissette—hell, just send him a quick e-mail or Facebook message—doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to expect them to do that. Because it’s decent, but also because it makes good business sense: Ignoring one of the co-creators (and, I’m guessing, the others) of a series with a huge cult following at a time when you’re doing a TV show that fans aren’t necessarily all that sold on is a really stupid PR move. If you reach out to Bissette and tell him about the show and his response is a public “They’re ruining Constantine!,” well… he probably would’ve said that anyway. If you have the chance to get the co-creators on board and talk to the hardcore fans about how the show might not suck, you take it. You at least don’t ignore Bissette like he’s not important.
DC Fumbles How They Deal With Fans and Creators Number… what is this? Are we in the thousands yet?