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[alanmoore] Scanning comic book illustrations

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  • Michael Thomsen
    I m thinking of net-publishing an update of a huge Neil Gaiman-career overview I wrote for a danish comic book magazine a few years back. Obviously I want to
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 1, 1999
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      I'm thinking of "net-publishing" an update of a huge Neil Gaiman-career
      overview I wrote for a danish comic book magazine a few years back.
      Obviously I want to scan a few illustrations to make sure it will look good.

      Suddenly I realized that it looks the "the Dreaming" and the Alan Moore fan
      page doesn't really have any scans of any importance. Does that mean that DC
      or other publishers give you a hard time if you publish serious web-pages
      about comics with a few illustrations?

      Does anyone know?

      ______________________________________________________
    • DTonks@aol.com
      ... DC ... DC has gone after a handful of websites over the art. I think they ve just insisted that the art be removed and haven t really had a problem with
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 1, 1999
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        In a message dated 99-09-01 05:45:10 EDT, Michael Thomsen wrote:

        > Suddenly I realized that it looks the "the Dreaming" and the Alan Moore fan
        > page doesn't really have any scans of any importance. Does that mean that
        DC
        > or other publishers give you a hard time if you publish serious web-pages
        > about comics with a few illustrations?
        >
        > Does anyone know?

        DC has gone after a handful of websites over the art. I think they've just
        insisted that the art be removed and haven't really had a problem with the
        content (unless the web page is giving away too much info about upcoming
        storylines). I never went to take a look at the pages in question, so I don't
        really know how much art they included.

        American copywrite law has the concept of "fair use," where a certain amount
        of copywrited material can be reprinted without permission. This is usually
        used for commentary or other serious work. There is no "fair use" to use
        Superman in an ad, for instance. I don't know where you are--you mention a
        Danish magazine, so if you are in Denmark or anywhere other than the US, the
        rules will be different.

        Now, here's my disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer. Don't use anything here as a
        legal argument. However, I have worked as a book editor, and this is one of
        the issues we often grappled with. Therefore, I have some experience, but
        it's never been tested in court.

        With that out of the way, it seems to me that a Neil Gaiman overview would be
        a serious work and some illustration would be fair use. The trick of US fair
        use, however, is that there are no firm rules--you have to make your own
        assumptions. You use what you think is fair (though you might make some
        attempt to figure out what the publisher would think is fair, too). If the
        publisher comes after you and says it's not fair, you can remove the
        offending illustrations or you can fight. Given that it's very expensive to
        fight against one of the largest communications multinationals in the world,
        the latter, while possible, might not be realistic. I don't know what DC's
        policy is, but some publishers, particularly when it comes to illustration,
        hold the position that no use is fair. While I believe this would never hold
        up in court, publishers have the ability to keep it out of court by legal
        bullying, so it never gets tested.

        My advice, and remember, it's not informed legal advice, would be to use the
        illustrations you would use in a magazine. The Comics Journal and Wizard face
        this situation all the time. Use the same amount and kind of illustrations
        they would use. You mentioned that it's already been published. If the Danish
        magazine that published it seems similar enough to those US mags, you might
        be able to use the same illustrations they used.

        If your page comes to DC's attention and they think you've gone over the
        line, believe me, they'll tell you. If that happens, they'll send you a
        letter that may or may not be polite, asking (or telling) you to remove the
        illustrations. You'll need to decide how you want to respond, but if you
        comply, DC will drop the issue. Remember, it costs them money to sue, as
        well, so while they may be more willing to do it, they're not looking for
        excuses to, and they're happy to drop something if they feel it's been taken
        care of.

        You also mention the lack of illustration on "The Dreaming" and the Alan
        Moore fan page. Drop the webmasters a line and ask them. There can be any
        number of reasons they don't have a lot of scans. Pages I've worked on don't
        have a lot of illustration because I don't have easy access to a scanner.
        When I get a scanner, they'll have more illustrations. The webmasters of
        these pages could be in the same boat. However, if they have tangled with DC
        legal, they may have good advice for you.

        Sorry for the length of this. Although Michael was particularly asking about
        a Neil Gaiman page, I thought the information would be useful to anyone
        considering a Moore page as well.

        --Doug
      • Brad! Brooks
        ... I think you re right, but I know that Gene Kannenberg (who writes for The Comics Journal and is an academic who writes on comics) was quoted a price of
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 1, 1999
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          > In a message dated 99-09-01 05:45:10 EDT, Michael Thomsen wrote:
          >
          >> Suddenly I realized that it looks the "the Dreaming" and the Alan Moore fan
          >> page doesn't really have any scans of any importance. Does that mean that
          > DC
          >> or other publishers give you a hard time if you publish serious web-pages
          >> about comics with a few illustrations?
          >>
          >> Does anyone know?

          > With that out of the way, it seems to me that a Neil Gaiman overview would be
          > a serious work and some illustration would be fair use. The trick of US fair
          > use, however, is that there are no firm rules--you have to make your own
          > assumptions. You use what you think is fair (though you might make some
          > attempt to figure out what the publisher would think is fair, too). If the
          > publisher comes after you and says it's not fair, you can remove the
          > offending illustrations or you can fight. Given that it's very expensive to
          > fight against one of the largest communications multinationals in the world,
          > the latter, while possible, might not be realistic. I don't know what DC's
          > policy is, but some publishers, particularly when it comes to illustration,
          > hold the position that no use is fair. While I believe this would never hold
          > up in court, publishers have the ability to keep it out of court by legal
          > bullying, so it never gets tested.

          I think you're right, but I know that Gene Kannenberg (who writes for The
          Comics Journal and is an academic who writes on comics) was quoted a price
          of $100 a shot to reproduce Todd Klein's lettering in an essay on
          calligraphy and comics that was to appear in a book from a noted academic
          publisher. My advice? Don't bother. DC don't care about fair use and they
          have the backing of Time Warner's entire legal dept to prove it.

          Although, what with the news about Siegel's heirs being entitled to 50% of
          the copyright of Superman, maybe they'll be unduly busy.

          --
          Brad! Brooks
          Editorial Director, cartoonist-in-spare-time,
          Les Cartoonistes Dangereux
          82 Osterley Park View Road
          Hanwell, London, W7 2HH, UK
          bradlcd@...
          lcdcomix@...
          tel/fax: 00 44 181 567 9755
        • DTonks@aol.com
          ... would ... the ... DC s ... illustration, ... That just seems absolutely ridiculous. Not that it surprises me, though. Was this book to be done by a British
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 1, 1999
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            In a message dated 99-09-01 11:18:29 EDT, Brad! Brooks wrote:

            > >Michael Thomsen wrote:
            > >
            > >> Suddenly I realized that it looks the "the Dreaming" and the Alan Moore
            > fan
            > >> page doesn't really have any scans of any importance. Does that mean
            > that
            > > DC
            > >> or other publishers give you a hard time if you publish serious web-
            > pages
            > >> about comics with a few illustrations?
            > >>
            > >> Does anyone know?
            >
            > > With that out of the way, it seems to me that a Neil Gaiman overview
            would
            > be
            > > a serious work and some illustration would be fair use. The trick of US
            > fair
            > > use, however, is that there are no firm rules--you have to make your own
            > > assumptions. You use what you think is fair (though you might make some
            > > attempt to figure out what the publisher would think is fair, too). If
            the
            > > publisher comes after you and says it's not fair, you can remove the
            > > offending illustrations or you can fight. Given that it's very expensive
            > to
            > > fight against one of the largest communications multinationals in the
            > world,
            > > the latter, while possible, might not be realistic. I don't know what
            DC's
            > > policy is, but some publishers, particularly when it comes to
            illustration,
            >
            > > hold the position that no use is fair. While I believe this would never
            > hold
            > > up in court, publishers have the ability to keep it out of court by legal
            > > bullying, so it never gets tested.
            >
            > I think you're right, but I know that Gene Kannenberg (who writes for The
            > Comics Journal and is an academic who writes on comics) was quoted a price
            > of $100 a shot to reproduce Todd Klein's lettering in an essay on
            > calligraphy and comics that was to appear in a book from a noted academic
            > publisher.

            That just seems absolutely ridiculous. Not that it surprises me, though. Was
            this book to be done by a British or an American publisher? Part of the
            spirit of the American law is that the publisher must make their own
            assumption of what is fair without asking permission. If the publisher raises
            the issue with the copywrite holder, that's seen as a tacit admission that
            the publisher does not consider the intended use fair. Therefore, they can't
            backpeddle when DC asks $100 per use and claim that it would've been fair use
            anyway.

            Illustrations are a whole different animal than words, though. One factor in
            fair use is the percentage of a work that's being used. If you use 500 words
            from a 1500-page novel, you're barely scratching the surface. An
            illustration, however, even a panal from a comic, can stand on its own as a
            complete work. I think the whole concept of fair use of illustrations exists
            on much thinner ice.

            > My advice? Don't bother. DC don't care about fair use and they
            > have the backing of Time Warner's entire legal dept to prove it.

            That may be true, but I think you should consider the difference between
            print publishing and web publishing. If I publish a book with something I
            think is fair but DC does not, the books already been printed, distributed,
            and sold before DC can even find out about it. In that case, they have me
            over a barrel and I'm not going to get out of it without some expense--either
            to them for the use or to myself for having to recall the print run and, if
            I've got enough money left, reprinting without the offending material.

            A web page, particularly a fan web page, on the other hand, is a much
            different animal. You haven't invested a lot of money in it and it's easy to
            change. IF you do something DC doesn't approve, you can delete the offending
            material without a lot of difficulty. I'd be willing to take more gambles on
            a web page than in printed matter
            .
            > Although, what with the news about Siegel's heirs being entitled to 50% of
            > the copyright of Superman, maybe they'll be unduly busy.

            One can only hope.

            Once again, here's my disclaimer (yes, I do take legal matters seriously).
            I'm not a lawyer, and I'm just offering my personal opinion, which in no way
            should be taken as legitimate legal advice.

            Doug
          • Michael Thomsen
            Thanks for the interesting comments about the Scanning -question I raised. The story the Todd Klein lettering was ridiculous and a little scary. I guess I ll
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 3, 1999
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              Thanks for the interesting comments about the "Scanning"-question I raised.
              The story the Todd Klein lettering was ridiculous and a little scary.

              I guess I'll put my page on the Web sometime soon and see what happens.
              Compared to some of the large "Sandman" galleries out there, a serious
              journalistic page shouldn't really bother DC - I think. My page will have
              about the same amount of pictures as an average Comic Journal piece. It'll
              be in danish at first, but maybe I'll translate it if I can find someone on
              the Net that will help me with the finer aspects of english gramma.

              Anyway as you mentioned people usually get a fair warning before getting
              sued over Web contents - unless it's MP3's obviously. Oh, and the suing is
              usually done by firms in your own country - and I don't really think that
              the danish DC publisher (They only publish "Superman" and "Batman" here)
              will be that much concerned about a few "Sandman"-scans.

              By the Way, why aren't there any more Alan Moore stuff on the Web? The "Fan
              Page" is very, very good, but it's mostly fact-based. And the annotations
              are useful, but they're not that much fun to actually READ all the way
              through. Aren't there any popular culture obsessed academics out there
              (someone just like the girls in Promethea - haha) writing long and
              interesting pieces on "From Hell" or "Watchmen"?

              I would like to do a Moore career overview one day, just like my
              "nearly-finished" Gaiman piece, but the thought of writing about "Birth
              Caul" and "Voice of Fire" scares me a bit, it'll probably make me look like
              an idiot - I'm trying to write something intelligent about the Gaiman/McKean
              collaborations at the moment, and that's hard enough.

              Thanks again
              Michael Thomsen

              ______________________________________________________
            • Michael Thomsen
              ... I have mailed the two web-masters, I ll let you know if they ve got any interesting stories to tell. . . . Michael Thomsen
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 3, 1999
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                Oh yeah I forgot:


                >You also mention the lack of illustration on "The Dreaming" and the Alan
                >Moore fan page. Drop the webmasters a line and ask them. There can be any
                >number of reasons they don't have a lot of scans.

                I have mailed the two web-masters, I'll let you know if they've got any
                interesting stories to tell. . . .



                Michael Thomsen

                ______________________________________________________
                Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
              • Ian McLean
                ... I found some V For Vendetta annotations once - but they were riddled with inaccuracies, often stated obvious information, and the email address of the
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 6, 1999
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                  >By the Way, why aren't there any more Alan Moore stuff on the Web? The "Fan
                  >Page" is very, very good, but it's mostly fact-based. And the annotations
                  >are useful, but they're not that much fun to actually READ all the way
                  >through. Aren't there any popular culture obsessed academics out there
                  >(someone just like the girls in Promethea - haha) writing long and
                  >interesting pieces on "From Hell" or "Watchmen"?

                  I found some V For Vendetta annotations once - but they were riddled with
                  inaccuracies, often stated obvious information, and the email address of
                  the administrator didn't work - I tried to send some additions. Oh well.


                  Andrew
                • Jess Nevins
                  ... I got my first Master s in American Culture Studies and did an award winning monologue on meta-fiction in Animal Man; my thesis was on the evolution of the
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                    Ian McLean wrote:

                    > >By the Way, why aren't there any more Alan Moore stuff on the Web? The "Fan
                    > >Page" is very, very good, but it's mostly fact-based. And the annotations
                    > >are useful, but they're not that much fun to actually READ all the way
                    > >through. Aren't there any popular culture obsessed academics out there
                    > >(someone just like the girls in Promethea - haha) writing long and
                    > >interesting pieces on "From Hell" or "Watchmen"?
                    >
                    > I found some V For Vendetta annotations once - but they were riddled with
                    > inaccuracies, often stated obvious information, and the email address of
                    > the administrator didn't work - I tried to send some additions. Oh well.

                    I got my first Master's in American Culture Studies and did an award
                    winning monologue on meta-fiction in Animal Man; my thesis was on
                    the evolution of the concept of the Frontier in cyberpunk. I think I fall
                    into the "popular culture obsessed academic" role.

                    The reason I'm only writing "useful" annotations, as opposed to "long
                    and interesting pieces," is that those "long and interesting pieces" are
                    work, and the longer and more interesting they are the harder they
                    are to write. I do the annotations for fun, because people enjoy them,
                    and because I get good feedback on them. If I wrote about Moore's
                    treatment of the archetype, or--better still--his "back to the basic"
                    approach and how it fit in to the Reconstruction age of comics, I'd
                    be spending a lot of my dwindling free time doing something for
                    which I'd be receiving no grade, which I'd be aiming at an audience
                    who'd have little interest in it, and which I'd have to do the virtual
                    equivalent of jumping up and down and screaming at the top of
                    my lungs just to get people to read. Honestly, if I said on this
                    list "I've written a scholarly paper on how Moore is recapitulating
                    pulp culture icons," how many of you would read it? Six? I'd
                    have to spend a lot of hours to produce something worth
                    reading, and the end result wouldn't be worth it.

                    jess
                    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/7160/league1.html
                  • Ed Toshach
                    Honestly, if I said on this ... it ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I think your annotations site is great, and I would
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                      Honestly, if I said on this
                      >list "I've written a scholarly paper on how Moore is recapitulating
                      >pulp culture icons," how many of you would read
                      it>------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      I think your annotations site is great, and I would never encourage you to
                      do unenjoyable work (what the heck would be the point of that), but I would
                      absolutely read that article.

                      By the way, thanks for creating and maintaining your site. I refer to it
                      often, and the fun you have with it is evident.

                      Later,
                      Ed
                    • Michael Thomsen
                      ... Comic book obsessed academics - So they actually exist in america too! You must be the kind of person that Allan Bloom tries to warn everyone about :) ...
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                        >I got my first Master's in American Culture Studies and did an award
                        >winning monologue on meta-fiction in Animal Man; my thesis was on
                        >the evolution of the concept of the Frontier in cyberpunk. I think I fall
                        >into the "popular culture obsessed academic" role.
                        >

                        Comic book obsessed academics - So they actually exist in america too! You
                        must be the kind of person that Allan Bloom tries to warn everyone about :)


                        >The reason I'm only writing "useful" annotations, as opposed to "long
                        >and interesting pieces," is that those "long and interesting pieces" are
                        >work, and the longer and more interesting they are the harder they
                        >are to write. I do the annotations for fun, because people enjoy them,
                        >and because I get good feedback on them.


                        Okay, I can see what you mean - I hope I didn't make it sound like i'm not
                        grateful for the work you put into the annotations - because I am. The only
                        reason I haven't read much of the Alan Moore / Neil Gaiman annotations on
                        the Net is because I only got my computer at home recently. I didn't want to
                        read them or print them at my work. Now I'm probably going to download them
                        to my harddisk one of these days. . . .

                        I agree that if one academic put his obscure pop-culture writing on the Net
                        almost noone would read it. But think of a large collection of work written
                        by different people - covering all aspects of Moores writing. It would be
                        rather cool, wouldn't it?

                        Michael Thomsen

                        ______________________________________________________
                      • Jess Nevins
                        ... Allan Bloom is wrong on just about every level it s wrong to be at; I m quite sure his wrongness extends to his fashion sense. The idea of objective
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                          Michael Thomsen wrote:

                          > >I got my first Master's in American Culture Studies and did an award
                          > >winning monologue on meta-fiction in Animal Man; my thesis was on
                          > >the evolution of the concept of the Frontier in cyberpunk. I think I fall
                          > >into the "popular culture obsessed academic" role.
                          > >
                          >
                          > Comic book obsessed academics - So they actually exist in america too! You
                          > must be the kind of person that Allan Bloom tries to warn everyone about :)

                          Allan Bloom is wrong on just about every level it's wrong to be at; I'm quite
                          sure his wrongness extends to his fashion sense.

                          The idea of objective artistic "good" or "bad"--the idea which underpins
                          the entire idea of the canon--is logically flawed, deeply so, and not
                          supportable
                          by facts. Bloom won't admit this, and so engages in the usual ad homenim
                          attacks so beloved of his ilk.

                          But culture studies is the wave of the future, and I'm secure in the
                          knowledge of our eventual triumph. :-)

                          > >The reason I'm only writing "useful" annotations, as opposed to "long
                          > >and interesting pieces," is that those "long and interesting pieces" are
                          > >work, and the longer and more interesting they are the harder they
                          > >are to write. I do the annotations for fun, because people enjoy them,
                          > >and because I get good feedback on them.
                          >
                          > Okay, I can see what you mean - I hope I didn't make it sound like i'm not
                          > grateful for the work you put into the annotations - because I am. The only

                          Thanks. I shouldn't have posted first thing in the morning; I came off as more
                          sarcastic than I wanted to sound.

                          > reason I haven't read much of the Alan Moore / Neil Gaiman annotations on
                          > the Net is because I only got my computer at home recently. I didn't want to
                          > read them or print them at my work. Now I'm probably going to download them
                          > to my harddisk one of these days. . . .
                          >
                          > I agree that if one academic put his obscure pop-culture writing on the Net
                          > almost noone would read it. But think of a large collection of work written
                          > by different people - covering all aspects of Moores writing. It would be
                          > rather cool, wouldn't it?

                          It would; but to get that sort of effort out of academics you'd need something
                          to reward them with. The satisfaction of positive feedback from the on-line
                          audience just wouldn't be enough, given how much effort writing the papers
                          would entail.

                          Now, if you announce that you've got a contract to publish a book of
                          essays on Moore's work--and I think someone should be able to get
                          such a contract with a publisher--and you'd have more submissions
                          than you'd know what to do with.

                          jess
                        • RMorris306@aol.com
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                            <<I found some V For Vendetta annotations once - but they were
                            riddled with
                            inaccuracies, often stated obvious information, and the email
                            address of
                            the administrator didn't work - I tried to send some
                            additions. Oh well.>>

                            That's too bad. On the other hand, don't forget that, given the level of education even of some high school and college graduates these days, what's "obvious information" to you isn't necessarily obvious. I've had the tradition for several years of giving a party on Guy Fawkes' Day, and I was amazed to find out how many Americans had never even heard of Guy Fawkes (and hence the primary inspiration for V's costume) at all.

                            Rich
                          • Jess Nevins
                            ... Maybe someday, if I ever have the time...but that s a dubious assumption on my part, sorry... ... Thanks. My newest creation, A Page Of Victoriana
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                              Ed Toshach wrote:

                              > Honestly, if I said on this
                              > >list "I've written a scholarly paper on how Moore is recapitulating
                              > >pulp culture icons," how many of you would read
                              > it>------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              >
                              > I think your annotations site is great, and I would never encourage you to
                              > do unenjoyable work (what the heck would be the point of that), but I would
                              > absolutely read that article.

                              Maybe someday, if I ever have the time...but that's a dubious assumption
                              on my part, sorry...

                              > By the way, thanks for creating and maintaining your site. I refer to it
                              > often, and the fun you have with it is evident.

                              Thanks. My newest creation, "A Page Of Victoriana Characters That Moore
                              Could Have Used In LoEG But Didn't," is nearly complete, and has a bunch
                              of good information not otherwise available on the Net. When it's done I'll
                              announce it here.

                              jess
                            • Captain Average
                              ... Ditto! And I wouldn t mind a monograph on An Examination of Moore s Use of Archetypes in His Recapitulation of Pulp Culture Icons , either. ... I only
                              Message 14 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                                >> Honestly, if I said on this
                                >>list "I've written a scholarly paper on how Moore is recapitulating
                                >>pulp culture icons," how many of you would read
                                >it>------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                >
                                >
                                >I think your annotations site is great, and I would never encourage you to
                                >do unenjoyable work (what the heck would be the point of that), but I would
                                >absolutely read that article.

                                Ditto!

                                And I wouldn't mind a monograph on "An Examination of Moore's Use of
                                Archetypes in His Recapitulation of Pulp Culture Icons", either.
                                >
                                >By the way, thanks for creating and maintaining your site. I refer to it
                                >often, and the fun you have with it is evident.
                                >
                                I only just discovered the abovementioned site, but already entirely agree
                                with you, Ed. It's a dadblamed wunnerful idear.
                                Golly-gosh-all-hemlock-gee-whiz-to-pieces-already-yet! (Or is that just a
                                tad *too* enthusiastic?) (I can never tell...)

                                Captain Average, The Enthusiastic-Yet-Respectful Superhero

                                ""If he were ever to have a hit single, it would mean that the bar of
                                excellence had been raised so much that I would lay down and flop like a
                                fish!" - Bonnie Raitt on Richard Thompson
                              • Ian McLean
                                ... It probably wasn t obvious from my earlier posting, but I think your site of annotations is one of the best on the net, and I particularly enjoy your LOEG
                                Message 15 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                                  >The reason I'm only writing "useful" annotations, as opposed to "long
                                  >and interesting pieces," is that those "long and interesting pieces" are
                                  >work, and the longer and more interesting they are the harder they
                                  >are to write. I do the annotations for fun, because people enjoy them,
                                  >and because I get good feedback on them.

                                  It probably wasn't obvious from my earlier posting, but I think your site
                                  of annotations is one of the best on the net, and I particularly enjoy your
                                  LOEG annotations as they pick up on those references I missed.

                                  BTW - has anybody been able to decipher the code in the back of LOEG #2 or
                                  3 (don't remember which)?
                                • Ian McLean
                                  ... level of education even of some high school and college graduates these days, what s obvious information to you isn t necessarily obvious. By obvious I
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Sep 7, 1999
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                                    > <<I found some V For Vendetta annotations once - but they were
                                    > riddled with
                                    > inaccuracies, often stated obvious information, and the email
                                    > address of
                                    > the administrator didn't work - I tried to send some
                                    > additions. Oh well.>>
                                    >
                                    > That's too bad. On the other hand, don't forget that, given the
                                    level of education even of some high school and college graduates these
                                    days, what's "obvious information" to you isn't necessarily obvious.

                                    By "obvious" I was referring to what I found really annoying in some
                                    people's annotations - simple summations of what happens in the comic on a
                                    particular page (eg "A and B talk about C"). These types of summations are
                                    simply an insult to the intelligence.


                                    Andrew
                                  • Jess Nevins
                                    ... Thanks--sorry if I sounded too defensive. ... They did. It was something banal along the lines of If you can read this you need a girlfriend or If you
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Sep 8, 1999
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                                      Ian McLean wrote:

                                      > >The reason I'm only writing "useful" annotations, as opposed to "long
                                      > >and interesting pieces," is that those "long and interesting pieces" are
                                      > >work, and the longer and more interesting they are the harder they
                                      > >are to write. I do the annotations for fun, because people enjoy them,
                                      > >and because I get good feedback on them.
                                      >
                                      > It probably wasn't obvious from my earlier posting, but I think your site
                                      > of annotations is one of the best on the net, and I particularly enjoy your
                                      > LOEG annotations as they pick up on those references I missed.

                                      Thanks--sorry if I sounded too defensive.

                                      > BTW - has anybody been able to decipher the code in the back of LOEG #2 or
                                      > 3 (don't remember which)?

                                      They did. It was something banal along the lines of "If you can read this you
                                      need a girlfriend" or "If you can read this you need to get out more"--nothing
                                      plot related, sorry.

                                      jess
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