If, by chance, a Robin, or Jenna, or Michelle from my stories objected to my efforts to lay some issues bare in the telling of these stories and wanted some sort of compensation, my options would prove limited. I don't make any money off of these books, in fact, they cost me money to print up and sell at an overall loss. Add the fact that my sales in a given year typically number in the several dozens at best, and one might get the idea of where I"m coming from as far as monetary compensation for these women.
But, I do have the original artwork that portrays Michelle, Robin, and Jenna in these comics almost completely intact, and I could give them some drawings to do with what they wish. If they wanted to print up t-shirts or other merchandise from the art, I would want a piece of that action, and I would try to get that kind of thing in legal writing at my own expense from an entertainment lawyer. The drawings themselves are non-archival, I'm afraid, but I would pay a lawyer to inform me of my rights in the event that someone such as the above mentioned women could sell the drawings to someone else. I'm in no hurry to tell any of the women, or men, for that matter, that I portray in the these books of their existence in the world, but if more substantial sales, possibly a publishing deal, and thus a higher profile came about, that could all change. "Money changes everything," as Cyndi Lauper once sang.
I mention these points because last night and today I experienced a cascade of ideas that would help me flesh out the Dr. Van Helsing story that I mentioned a few weeks back on this blog. I still have at least eight books to complete before I'd even have the chance to work on a three or four book run of that story, but if my recent past productivity indicates future prospects, I could get to that story in four years or less. We live in a crazy world, and I'm a crazy guy, but I can think of someone such as Robert Caro as an example of someone planning out decades of literary work for himself. In his case, it's his biographical series of books on Lyndon Johnson that he probably first pitched soon after Johnson's death in the early seventies and finds himself still working on to this day.
Okay, back to Van Helsing. In my post of a few weeks back, I mentioned a young woman I still go on about as a physical model for the female lead character. Now, I think she still works at this business I patronize, but I don't want to go in there when I think she might work there because I don't want anyone getting any wrong ideas about my intentions towards her. I've pretty much accepted that she made whatever decisions in her life she made a long time ago, and that those decisions don't involve me. I also know that my old ways of trying to get with one such as her don't work. Those old ways involve, in no particular order: chasing her to the ends of the Earth and back, trying to be a great guy and make everything work out all by myself, trying to win her over, or carrying a torch for her. I still think of her, of course, but, even in these times of pandemic, I try to approach other women for social reasons in some capacity. So, to the extent that I still carry a torch for her, I don't attempt to forsake all others on her account.
Okay, back to the Van Helsing story. I could see giving her some original art in exchange for her blessing on the project. There exists many, many examples of the artist/ muse relationship that never involved personal... anything between them. Andrew Wyeth and his go-to model come to mind, and I get the impression that Botticelli never had intimate relations with his Venus on the half shell muse. Now, in New York in the early nineties, I saw some photographs by an outsider artist, a baker by trade, that depicted his wife on a throne dressed up in regal garb of his and/or her making. In the gallery brochure, the critic John Yau described his wife's participation in these photo shoots as an active, equal artistic collaboration with her husband the photographer, rather than the typical connotation of the photographer as the creative force, and the model as a passive muse.
Again, I've no interest in approaching this young woman for such a project. I'd probably lock horns with her over the character that has her likeness- sympathetic though that character may be in the story. Also, I can't guarantee that I will even get around to this project after all that books I have to complete beforehand, but, there it is anyway. If, by some chance I were to make the social acquaintance of this young woman, and she found the whole project okay with her, she could perhaps provide meaningful reference for costuming of the period (early 20th century Amsterdam) for her character, plus other reference of things she could research online or elsewhere. Then again, maybe not. She doesn't have to be my girlfriend for any of that to happen, and I could compensate her with original drawings. Okay?