Evan Dorkin talks about DC’s “cartoonist ban”:
First up from the files, the only piece of art I was allowed to draw for the Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest book for DC Comics. Not that it appears anywhere in the book. Long story short, part of which has been covered here before: DC has a clause that prevents folks from writing and drawing material unless said person is on the payroll or incorporated. Fear of lawsuits from freelancers claiming their work-for-hire entitles them to ownership of Batman or whatever the hell under some newly-inaugurated copyright laws or whatever the hell. I guess based on DC’s history they fully expect people to try to do whatever underhanded thing they can to chisel money and ownership of other people’s characters when the opportunity even vaguely arises. Or whatever the hell.
End result, I wasn’t allowed to draw a page of World’s Funnest even though I tried to get around it by various means, all of which went bust. Can I have someone else write the page I would draw? A hassle, apparently. Pretend Sarah wrote it? We’d get in trouble and the world would break in half. Use a pseudonym? It could mean jail time and Siegel and Schuster regaining control of Pete Ross. Sign an agreement that I wouldn’t pursue my questionable rights to the DC empire if I drew a goddamned page of a comic? No, no, a thousand times no. They wouldn’t put me on the payroll for a lousy single page, and I wasn’t going to incorporate for a lousy single page, so, no go (Somehow this hasn’t been an issue at Marvel, expect them to lose the rights to every one of their characters any minute now. I’ve got dibs on Fight-Man and whoever else is left over after the great purge).