Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Re-Animator Of "X-Men" Dies

Dave Cockrum, who helped revive the X-Men franchise in the Seventies and turn it into one of Marvel's most enduring properties, is dead at 63. The sad details of this story: Cockrum (after enriching DC) switched to Marvel in the early Seventies. He stayed at Marvel for decades, but of course he was a "freelancer," so they never gave him any enduring rights to his creations or apparently any health care costs.
By 2004, he was in a Veterans Administration hospital in the Bronx, and in financial straits. Mr. Adams led a drive to persuade Marvel to share some of the riches it had generated from his characters.

Though the company contended it owed him nothing because he worked as freelancer, it paid him $200,000 and royalties for one character, Nightcrawler, his earliest, according to The Comics Journal. The terms were not officially revealed.

While not confirming or denying the $200,000 figure, Mr. Adams said Mr. Cockrum deserved more.

“They took his characters and made an industry out of them,” he said.

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