Saturday, April 14, 2012

Aquaman by Mike Mayhew plus the mystery of the Paul Norris credit

Aquaman commission by Mike Mayhew

I found this nice commission by Mike Mayhew on DeviantArt, featuring the DCNu version of Aquaman.  I love the rendering here and the splashes of water.

Speaking of Aquaman, I have noticed in the new DC series that the credits page always reads "Created by Paul Norris" in every issue.  Very cool!  I don't recall ever seeing that before.  Norris gets the same credit as Siegel/Schuster or Kane.  Checking out Wikipedia, I saw that Mort Weisinger was listed as a co-creator.  I wondered why the DC credit does not also extend to Weisinger on Facebook, and Eric Nolen-Worthington (TwoMorrows and Modern Masters historian) answered:

Here’s what Paul told me: He went in to the office one day and Weisinger said, “I want a character named Aquaman,” so Paul went home and designed the character from scratch. Weisinger came up with the name, and he did write the first few stories, so technically he was co-creator, but he didn't imbue Aquaman with any personality really—he didn’t even talk with fish originally—and he gave no input on the costume. Paul sued DC for ownership, and part of the settlement they reached was that Paul would get a creator credit.

Interesting!  I googled a bit and found another article on this topic, after Norris died in 2007, on Mark Evanier's site:
...he was at DC Comics where his most memorable assignment was Aquaman, which he and editor-writer Mort Weisinger created. (DC now puts a "created by Paul Norris" credit on all Aquaman comics. The absence of Weisinger's name is apparently a legal problem on DC's end, not a case of Norris squeezing out his former collaborator.)
Some other sites report that DC Comics owed Norris money for each appearance of Aquaman, but only if he was in his classic costume, which led to another lawsuit.  Apparently it was all settled?  Regardless, I could only wish that every creator was honored the same way.  Nuff Said!


  1. it would be nice, yeah. I think it'll come, eventually. enough people seem to want to see it. if you haven't been reading the new Aquaman series, I'd recommend picking it up. it's really good, my favourite of the new52 titles.

    1. Yes, I have been reading this one and I do think the story is good. Ivan Reis has been killing it on the art, he and Joe Prado are clearly enthused. John Siuntres did a Word Balloon interview with them a few months ago. You could tell that Reis/Prado really wanted to do a fantasy-oriented series which could rival some of the great strips like Prince Valiant. And possibly they wanted to get away from cosmic crossovers. They were very enthusiastic about Aquaman, even more than Geoff Johns may have been.


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