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    Crazy Credit Confusion in NY Times

    I’m sure by now everyone has seen the article on Batwoman and gender issues in the NY Times from this weekend. I myself only saw it online up until now. I didn’t realize that it was actually a full-page story and gives a lot of editorial real estate to a mass market audience.

    This is no real surprise to to NYT readers, as the Times has always been one to support the comics industry. Articles on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Civil War, Paul Levitz, Infinite Crisis and Wizard come to mind. Although many of them were complete puff pieces (cough cough, Wizard), I can’t really complain about comics coverage going out to 1,680,582 million people.

    Anyway, because I work in magazines and end up hiring a lot of illustrators, it’s second nature for me to look at all the art credits. There were a total of six images for the story - five to DC and one for Marvel (plus a lot more online for the exclusive DC Great Ten previews). This, however, isn’t the strange part. The DC credits read “Above left, Alex Ross/ DC Comics 2006; above, Joe Bennett/DC Comics, 2006.” Name, publisher and year. Pretty standard stuff. And then we get to the credit for the lone Black Panther image: Marvel. Just Marvel. No name, no year. Huh?

    Why no artist credit? Why no more information? Well, there could be several possibilities:
    1) DC pitched the story to the Times and the writer (George Gene Gustines, who will forever be known as G3) or page designer didn’t bother getting the credit from Marvel
    2) DC’s PR department is roughly 12 times the size of that at Marvel (not 12 times, but close)
    3) The NY Times just has a massive comics bias

    It’s probably a combination of 1 and 2, though I’d welcome other ideas.

    If you’re like me, you’re curious who actually did the Black Panther illustration. Well, all you have to do is go to Marvel.com and search for “Black Panther.” Turns out it’s the cover to Black Panther #15. And according to Marvel.com the artist is Mike Mayhew. Except, that art definitely does not belong to Mike Mayhew. In fact, the artist signature says “Leinil” — as in Leinil Francais Yu. So maybe there’s no bias after all. Maybe the Times got the image from Marvel.com (which means it’s 72 dpi, which makes sense why it ran so small on page and would corroborate idea No. 1) but when they went to get the credit they were confused as I was.

    To add to even MORE credit confusion, if you read the story online, the Times gives the Alex Ross/DC credit for the Batwoman sketch to….MARVEL. Beautiful.

    Posted by Tim Leong on May 30th, 2006 filed in Blog |

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