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  1.  (2393.21)
    Moral rights are not derivative rights as a point of clarity. Tokyo pop is misapplying the word here.

    Moral rights allow you to block changes to your work by legitimate owners and exclusive licensee who otherwise could. This incldues say arguing the paper they chose is wrong or that your work can't be shown in that frame. Under US law this is limited to fine art of 200 reproductions or less under VARA.

    TP is using it to mean derivative rights, which make this even more vile.

    Sent via blackberry.
  2.  (2393.22)
    To be blunt:

    Any contract like this, from "hey buddy" to "we don't need them lawyers" should by a reason for the company to go broke and the earth to be salted.

    Not that I have bias.
    • CommentAuthorCaBil
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2008
     (2393.23)
    I just doublechecked that list's submission guidelines, and the only Dark Horse is completely willing to look at just a writer's submission. AP wants to work with hyphenates and Dynamite just wants to know your experience.

    The rest, Archaia, SLG, Top Cow, IDW and Top Shelf all either explicitly list that the are uninterested in writers or require anywhere from 5 to 22 pages of art with any submissions.

    As for Dark Horse, my own mistake. I thought their New Recruits program was it, which asks for just finished proposals with art...
  3.  (2393.24)
    The rest, Archaia, SLG, Top Cow, IDW and Top Shelf all either explicitly list that the are uninterested in writers or require anywhere from 5 to 22 pages of art with any submissions.

    Well, shit. Keep trying.
  4.  (2393.25)
    Getting a break as a writer is hard? Well, fuck me! Who'd a thought that possible?

    Find an artist. Create something. Imagine how hard people found this before the internet...

    Opportunities are not going to take running jump at you. Make them yourself. If your work is good enough then persistence and hard work will be your salvation.

    I don't wish to sound harsh or bitchy, but no one gets a free pass here.
  5.  (2393.26)
    Find an artist. Create something. Imagine how hard people found this before the internet...


    It really wasn't that hard. Dozens upon dozens of us used to do it, in Britain.
  6.  (2393.27)
    @warrenellis

    My point entirely. People managed it before the ubiquitous worldwide communication network that breaks down all barriers between localities (for those who can afford it) on the entire planet. So they can certainly manage it now.

    If I ever set my mind to writing a comic I'd be looking for an artist WAY before I started pestering publishers.

    As for bad deals? That's just part of the early years of being involved in a creative industry in the current climate, and no matter how bad you perceive your lot to be, those before you had it worse.
    •  
      CommentAuthorLokiZero
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2008
     (2393.28)
    Artists are everywhere, and they want exposure. They're on Craigslist, conceptart.org, deviantart, just to name a few.

    I'm sure panel&pixel has tons of resources for finding artists, like the engine did.
  7.  (2393.29)
    As for bad deals? That's just part of the early years of being involved in a creative industry in the current climate, and no matter how bad you perceive your lot to be, those before you had it worse.

    You know what? Don't take that too far. I had deals in 1990 that piss all over the TPop deal. Don't view that shit as anything other than a step backwards, please.
    • CommentAuthorCaBil
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2008
     (2393.30)
    The point I was trying to make in a roundabout way is that my decision to take the TokyoPop deal was not taken in isolation. It is just another avenue that I am pursuing, it's just one that came to completion first (Well, after 18 months of pitching, revising and talking with my editor). I wrote the manuscript, got it approved and even already been paid for it, so all I am doing with it at the moment is trying to help my editor and artist get the damn thing done.

    I am giving up my other projects/pitches? No, I am still working on them. But as an example, the Viz OEL person has said in interviews he wants to see finished stuff as a sample. I can't show him a script, but once my project is done, I will have something.

    And as for artists, well, when you can't pay for much, you get what you pay for. I have tried the old engine and panelandpixel lists, along with local artists. I've had lots of experience with artists flaking out and/or disappearing just with trying to get single images for tabletop gaming projects, never mind trying to get one to stay around long enough to cough up five pages.

    I am not trying to be all woe is me. What I am trying to say it is hard (which I hope we can all agree on) so don't blame people for taking what opportunities do exist, even if they are crappy ones...
  8.  (2393.31)
    another angle to see it, CaBil, is this:
    the umbrella of "good comic art" is pretty damn huge. there is room for all sorts of styles.
    have you considered maybe taking a life drawing class and taking the necessary steps to learn how to do the art yourself? you never know, you might surprise yourself.
    just thought i'd chime in...
  9.  (2393.32)
    That's just part of the early years of being involved in a creative industry in the current climate, and no matter how bad you perceive your lot to be, those before you had it worse.


    There are many bad deal in publishing. All the ones I ever saw looked better then this.
    • CommentAuthoracacia
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2008 edited
     (2393.33)
    That's disturbing. Is it a joke? It's so blatantly sleazy. I also feel like there's an argument happening that boils down to: "C'mon, the comic business's cup has always been half empty plus work is so hard for me to find, so if someone spits in the cup I say give 'em a pass and let's all drink up."
  10.  (2393.34)
    That bit about "it's a French term" is just priceless.

    "So, now we come to this thing called 'Democracy'. That's a posh term for Everyone Gets A Say, and it was invented by the GREEKS. I think we can give the wisdom of those greasy olive-gobblers a miss, eh?"

    @CaBil -- I have some sympathy with what you're saying. When you're starting out you encounter so many seemingly closed doors that the prospect of being able to flap around a Completed Beautiful-Looking Artefact can indeed threaten to outweigh any personal considerations for Not Being Fucked In The Soul.

    ...but it really shouldn't. Not just because (as has been mentioned) there are plenty of other ways of getting that Completed Beautiful-Looking Artefact made, or because those doors are never quite as closed as they may seem... but because it also sets a dangerous precendent. If you're prepared to sacrifice your rights like this once, at what stage do you say "well, no more of that for me?" Your intellectual property has basically been rubber-stamped with a big "WORTHLESS" label, and it'll be increasingly difficult for you -- and for all those other companies you want to work for -- to see past that. If and when you're able to use your Completed Beautiful-Looking Artefact as a passport into the offices of other editors at other companies, you can absolutely guarantee they'll know about the Tokyo Pop deal and will ask you about it. At which point you're obliged to explain that, yes, you bent over the table for TP and etc etc etc, but could you Please now have a fancy creator-owned gig with all rights reserved and a favourable royalty return?

    ...And you're also obliged to not be overly surprised if their spiky bitter laughter chases you all the way to the door.

    That's absolutely a worse-case scenario and I don't mean to be a scaremonger, but even so. Take it from someone who started out as a Work For Hire shill: when you're in the mindset of "I've created this character for a reason other than love" (whether it's as a passport to better things or just a way to pay the rent) it's very, very, VERY difficult to make the jump into the sort of bolshy DON'T MESS WITH MY BABY, I MADE THIS IN THE NAME OF ART mindset you need if you're going to be doing your creator owned stuff any justice.

    On a related but different note, "starting out" with 2000AD is superficially not that dissimilar from the TP deal, in that you're creating your own characters and worlds but the company owns them all. The differences are that a) 2000AD won't let anyone else play with your characters unless you allow it, or you've cut all ties with the company, or you're dead, b) you get remunerated if your creations are exploited, adapted or collected, c) you Always Always Always get a credit, d) you're being judged by an editor, not a bunch of exciteable digipeers, and e) the contract is worth slightly more than a soggy bit of arsewipe. And they quite like French people. Even then, I know a lot of the respected creators who hang around these parts would no more create new properties for them than they'd eat their own shit.
    •  
      CommentAuthorthom_wong
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2008
     (2393.35)
    I think the point that is being missed is that the contract doesn't have to be like this. There is no legal need for Tokypop to try and wrench derivative rights (as JTraub pointed out) from its writers/artists. While companies screwing writers is nothing new, the idea that "this is just the cost of doing business" is specious reasoning.

    Now, can a company stand to make more money by structuring deals this way? I would guess so, otherwise they wouldn't do it. But that doesn't mean it can't change.