There are a lots of words that can describe Nick Rodwell but popular is not one of them.
As head of Moulinsart and husband to Herge’s second wife Fanny, he holds in his hands one of the biggest, most iconic and most loved characters of the 20th Century. A man in this position has to make some hard decisions and will inevitably step on some toes but Nick Rodwell does seem to have a special gift when it comes to annoying people. Not many publishers are on the receiving end of a 200 pages of a book criticising nearly everything they have done.
Stéphane Steeman, Belgian humourist, radio presenter, writer, Herge collector and longtime president of The Friends of Herge has self-published a new book L’escalade. It is not all about Nick Rodwell but about The Friends of Herge and how the actions of Moulinsart destoryed his love for Herge’s works.
… censorship, bans, subpoenas, legal threats, blackmail and so forth, out of decency of our members I never mentioned the name of Mr. Rodwell in our reviews, I never criticized Moulinsart … And yet, I’m in a squad that Mr. Rodwell was nicknamed “The Black List”
It is hard to tell from the sources if this book is born out of personal bitterness against Nick Rodwell and Moulinsart or a genuine, well rounded criticism of the man and the company. Mr Rodwell’s behaviour has certainly been far from the standards set by Tintin and the company’s legitimate desire to protect its copyright has at times appeared self-defeating.
One of the company’s ongoing legal battles is against Bob García. As we reported earlier, Mr Garcia published five Tintin related books. Two of these books used a handful of images that are owned by Moulinsart that the author believed were usable under the idea of Fair Use. At the initial trial, the judge found in favour of Bob Garcia however Moulinsart won on appeal and are now forcing Mr Garcia into bankruptcy to collect damages. Some fans are now trying to organise a boycott of Herge products on behalf of Mr Garcia.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular case, it is certainly doing the image of Moulinsart and Nick Rodwell no good at all.