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The Creator's Bill of Rights:
A Letter from Erik Larsen 3

I received the e-mail below from Erik Larsen on January 27, 2010. The topic was on the Creator’s Bill of Rights. The Larsen sketch posted above was sent to me by my pal Brandon J. Carr. -Al Nickerson


I have never understood what point of a "Creator's Bill of Rights" is.

Who decided what creator spoke for me and decided what rights I did or did not have? In what way has that been adhered to or enforced?

I have often heard it spoken about in reverence by the people who were there but I have never seen it, read it, or had it cited by anybody in all my years as a creator or publisher. It seems as pointless and arbitrary as me naming individual slices of Kraft cheese slices before I devour them. Okay--so Percy Pro decided I should be able to reprint my comics...why does that hold any weight with anybody? We're not forming a country and establishing rules--a few guys got together and made a list of "rights" with no authority invested in them by anybody.

I not only don't think it's "viable today" but as far as I can tell it's never been viable.

Which is not to say that creators don't have rights--of course they do--but the people who hammered out the "Creator's Bill of Rights" weren't the ones who determined what those rights are or were--those rights were determined in courts of law all across this land. I suspect that any judge would not put much stock in any Bill of Rights cobbled together by a small group of comics pros holed up for a long weekend somewhere.

-Erik Larsen

Image Comics
2134 Allston Way, 2nd Floor
Berkeley CA 94704
(510) 644-4980

Next: A Letter from Fernando Ruiz Fernando shares his opinions on creator’s rights and work-made-for-hire .

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