Page 12 of 15 < 1 2 ... 10 11 12 13 14 15 >
Topic Options
#559343 - 10/20/09 05:31 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: techmann]
Joe Lee Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Originally Posted By: techmann
{Thanks Joe...I knew it was there... I just choose to needle Allen}

I can respect that, it was just getting a little confusing.

Top
#559344 - 10/20/09 06:13 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: techmann
I will be paid every time that story goes to print.

And how many times do you think it will be printed, Pat?


I did see the collected edition TPB of about five or six issues, including Pat's, in the store last week. So that's at least two printings this year. Who knows? I get your point that it might not have much life left in it saleswise, but it seems like Bluewater are making an honest effort to get it out there.

Top
#559349 - 10/20/09 09:09 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Joe Lee Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Originally Posted By: techmann
Is it reasonable for creators to imply that the success of the political biographies should entitle them to a “Page Rate”. When does this all just become “sour grapes”

The success of the political biographies means there is money there to make a lawsuit worth bothering to pursue. What the courts need to determine is whether or not the case has merit...

Originally Posted By: techmann

If circumstances being “After cost”? then there’s an ignorance at work here Joe. And whats “Reasonable” in today’s market...

If the contract says “After cost” it is reasonable for the creative to request to see the total spread sheet, which I might add Darren will do. What if the creator doesn’t believe the sheet? Is it reasonable for them to challenge the numbers?


I don't think it matters whether it's reasonable or not. But why wouldn't it be?

I think it's about what the publisher could have reasonably expected. If there are enough of these books where artists didn't get paid because they didn't meet the payment threshold, then one could reasonably assume at some point the publisher new the artists would probably not get paid, given the history of such projects and the contract restrictions.

Another thing that might not work in their favor is, if these projects were financially beneficial to the publisher. Did THEIR cost not just include external but internal costs as well. Did the company make money on any of the projects that the artists did not. And I don't mean profits, I mean did any money from producing these projects go towards pay their bills, their payroll, anything? It may not have made money but did the publisher benefit from taking projects that they new would not benefit the artists? It wouldn't be hard to make a case that the publisher could benefit from knowingly engaging the services of freelancers while having a reasonable expectation that the artists would never get paid, given the history of such projects and the contract restrictions.

If the artist's lawyers could show that the publisher was consistently keeping the print and distribution numbers within the window that maximized profits but minimized costs by not having to pay the freelancers, it might go along way to convincing a judge the whole set-up was designed to work in a way to NOT pay the artists. And that's not a hard case to make if they've produced more than a handful of books that didn't meet the payment threshold.

But I'm not a lawyer, this is all speculation.


Edited by Joe Lee (10/20/09 09:28 PM)

Top
#559412 - 10/21/09 05:05 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Joe Lee]
Jesse Hamm Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 682
Loc: Portland, USA
Quote:
Another thing that might not work in their favor is, if these projects were financially beneficial to the publisher. Did THEIR cost not just include external but internal costs as well. Did the company make money on any of the projects that the artists did not. And I don't mean profits, I mean did any money from producing these projects go towards pay their bills, their payroll, anything?


Pat said earlier that the contract states freelancers are paid after printing costs, and if that's the case, it would be easy enough to check Darren's numbers -- you'd just look at the printer's bill.

But if the "cost" includes other expenses, such as "publisher overhead," that's where book-cooking could occur.
_________________________
http://jessehamm.blogspot.com

Top
#559471 - 10/22/09 03:05 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Jesse Hamm]
Joe Lee Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Exactly it would be very easy to determine. I just thought Pat was saying it wasn't reasonable for the artists to ask for the proof, or that they didn't have a case, maybe I misunderstood.

Top
#559497 - 10/22/09 08:39 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: techmann]
ChrisW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Originally Posted By: techmann
Openly discuss the specifics about my personal contract with Bluewater? NO. And here’s why. It’s very unethical to discuss the details of any agreement with anyone other than those the agreement is with, and even only then if their name is on the contract. And in an open discussion, never, even after the contracted time of the contract has passed it’s still unethical, and likely illegal to discuss and details of any contract with anyone other than those whose names are on the dotted line period. Now other than generalities I’ve never discussed the details of my contracts with DC. We are still sorting out all of the back listed properties which they owe me compensation for. And they’re growing with the latest distribution of their DVD sales.
My contract with Bluewater is based on my history in the industry and therefore it could be considered “Specific” in our agreement.
Simply put, if a creator does not like what he reads within the submitted contract then they should make the change they want, note the change to the other party, and negotiate an agreement. Nothing in my contract reverts any property I’m creating to Bluewater. They do have the right to bring in another creative crew if my work falls under professional standards, or I’m so terminally late that they must change creative team to meet the deadline. But the ownership is still mine and as I’m in the middle of the Shatner project we should be seeing some movement on my own properties around the Summer of next year.
Pat Broderick


Pat, all I meant was if you could give something more specific than "I like this contract more than I liked that contract", and trying to acknowledge that there are legal and/or ethical reasons for you to not get specific. "Throw us a bone". Ok, you can't or won't, your statements here are perfectly acceptable.

Several questions: One, so is this a firm statement that no, you aren't doing work-for-hire level comics for no money? Which is, as I said, probably the biggest argument in this thread so far. If you're doing work for free, that's your problem, if the company can or can't be trusted to treat you fairly once the comic turns a profit. If you're giving away rights to things you do for free, that's a legitimate creators' rights issue. If you aren't doing that, then we self-appointed guardians of creators' rights have nothing to complain about (except for Allen, who's a dick anyway). You do the work you're expected to do for free, and keep the rights until such time as the company has enough money to ask you to sign them away, that's an intruiging addition to the creators' rights struggles of several decades, and I'm interested in how it works out, as well as hoping that you and Bluewater are successful.

[Just in case I've misunderstood so far, I haven't followed any of the links, and know nothing more about Bluewater or their contracts than what I've read on this thread. If I'm wrong about any of this, by all means, correct me.]

But how can you, or they, justify bringing in another creative team on your work if you happen to fall behind deadlines, without work-for-hire rules? You're wrong if you fall behind on your obligations, and the company is wrong if they bring anyone else in to fake the comic you believe in just to have a book on the stands. Either way, it's damaging to one side or the other, and that's not even mentioning what the stand-in creative team brings to the story, or what their rights should be.

Basically, it comes down to a handful of questions:

1: What is better about working with Bluewater in the event that the books don't turn a profit?

2: What is better about working with Bluewater in the event that the books turn a profit?

3: What is better about your control over your creations than working with anyone else who is (like it or not), seen on a similar level; why go with Bluewater if Dark Horse is still considering for instance?

4: Do you have any free movement to a different publisher if you are unhappy? What about the control of your creations should you separate with Bluewater, who is the one in control? I'm thinking here of one of the proto-sci-fi authors whose name I don't remember, but he made a comfortable living for the rest of his life just selling the movie option of his most important story to various studios who never came close to making the movie. And Jim Lee, who isn't able to do anything with WildC.A.T.S on the new Image book because he and his characters are trapped at DC.

5: How does whether or not Bluewater turns a profit relate to any of this? You're happy with the contract, you trust the company, fine, I will defend you to the ends of the Earth. But for anyone else who may wind up in a similar situation, and you may be in a similar situation [/Arlo Guthrie] what are the options really like, dispassionately, for someone who isn't already signed to the company?
_________________________
If This Be... PayPal!!!

"I think ChrisW is the funniest man in entertainment still alive..."
-- the perceptive Tom Spurgeon

Top
#559498 - 10/22/09 08:40 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: ChrisW]
ChrisW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Allen, you're still a dick.


Edited by ChrisW (10/22/09 08:41 PM)
Edit Reason: Because it's still true.
_________________________
If This Be... PayPal!!!

"I think ChrisW is the funniest man in entertainment still alive..."
-- the perceptive Tom Spurgeon

Top
#559500 - 10/22/09 10:53 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: ChrisW]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
And you're still a limpwristed douche who gets paid to hand out toilet paper.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

Top
#559532 - 10/23/09 09:13 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: ChrisW]
techmann Offline
Member

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 243

Morning Chris.
Sorry about the delay in responding to this but I’m in my last quarter of my BFA degree, 20 hours a week as a student, and still teaching 20 hours a week, still doing commissions, and still working on Man O War. It’s a long week if you get my drift.

1: What is better about working with Bluewater in the event that the books don't turn a profit?

Well let’s look at this. On the books that I own it will still mean that any development of these will give a substantial return to me. As you pointed out that options can be sold repeatedly after the time limit expires per agreement. Also any merchandising profits will generate income also. I’ve structured all storylines at 4 issue arch’s to insure that trade collections can also be produced at regular intervals. So, theoretically, there will be, eventually, multi income streams from work that is completed in addition to what’s being produced on the table.
Under these contracted conditions, without an up-front page rate I can only accomplish this because I’m in a position of deriving my main income from teaching and commissions. Not everyone can do this, but until Bluewater is in a financial position to pay a page rate up front it works for us both. And finally, It gets my work out there, through producing books for bluewater I’ll see greater interest and returns from any conventions I attend and an increase in commission request as this develops.

2: What is better about working with Bluewater in the event that the books turn a profit?

All of the above, and greater profits for me.

3: What is better about your control over your creations than working with anyone else who is (like it or not), seen on a similar level; why go with Bluewater if Dark Horse is still considering for instance?

Bluewater was the first to offer the amount of ownership that I required. Which is to say its greater than the other houses. We tried at Darkhorse and the properties were not a good fit. We tried at Antarctica and it was not a good fit. I tried at Image and it was not a good fit. But the shoe fit at Bluewater .
Also understand that I would work for any of the above-mentioned, except Anacrtica, companies if they were interested.

4: Do you have any free movement to a different publisher if you are unhappy? What about the control of your creations should you separate with Bluewater, who is the one in control? I'm thinking here of one of the proto-sci-fi authors whose name I don't remember, but he made a comfortable living for the rest of his life just selling the movie option of his most important story to various studios who never came close to making the movie. And Jim Lee, who isn't able to do anything with WildC.A.T.S on the new Image book because he and his characters are trapped at DC.

I do have free movement, and let me take this moment to answer and connected question about other creatives finishing a project. If a publisher contracts for x number of issues with a creative and the creative fails to meet the deadlines the publisher still has a very vested interest in getting the book out. In order to meet a shipping deadline the publisher might ask the creative to accept a different artist to produce the art and meet the deadlines. There really is nothing wrong about this and might be necessary due to many factors which the creative professional has no control over. A turn of ones health for instance is an obvious reason where this might be needed. Its also there to protect the publisher from having a creative jump ship after the very first printing to a new publisher for that ‘Greener Grass” As beautiful as the “Ant” book is it’s history is a very real example of why this is a necessity.

5: How does whether or not Bluewater turns a profit relate to any of this? You're happy with the contract, you trust the company, fine, I will defend you to the ends of the Earth. But for anyone else who may wind up in a similar situation, and you may be in a similar situation [/Arlo Guthrie] what are the options really like, dispassionately, for someone who isn't already signed to the company?[/quote]

Beyond the obvious survivability of Bluewater turning a profit it also represents this. I’ve stated that this industry needs more established players on the field so that there are more options for the creative people to profit from. In this industry there’s many personalities heading their individual companies. And they’re not all as concerned about producing good product as they are about who’s working, and not working for them. There might very well be an editor who wants to give work to an individual, but he’s blocked by a president, or vice president, who has had a run in with the creative during an earlier time in his career. Not very professional, even petty, I know, But believe me it happens all of the time. I’ve experienced this myself at both big publishers. But as anyone well knows, when someone attains greater position and power within their respective company they are always in danger of developing a greater ego to go along with it. Remember that old adage “Success has a thousand fathers, but failure is a bastard child” was practically written for this industry

Pat Broderick.

Top
#559597 - 10/23/09 07:49 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: techmann]
ChrisW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Pat, thanks for answering. I didn't even notice any delay, so don't apologize for that.

Like I say, I think the main problem was the perception that you were signing away your rights and weren't even getting paid upfront. I'm genuinely interested in what can happen if Bluewater isn't giving you a page rate up-front. From a creator's standpoint, you're already doing the work for free, you have nothing else to lose, so you're practically guaranteed to put down the best work you're able to do, that you're most interested in doing. In any field, if you like what you're doing, the work you do becomes distinctive, and cranking out pages for free, you'd damned well better like doing them.

I and some (not all) of the commenters here just don't want to see you getting taken advantage of like that. Comic book creators and fans have fought for too long in defense of creators' rights just to roll over in the name of getting more established players on the field. That's like women complaining 'where have all the good men gone' and thus inviting a bunch of pimps to have their way.

Synchronistically enough, I have just now Googled Bluewater to confirm what I had been suspecting from this thread, that Bluewater is the one who made those Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin comics on the rack at my local bookstore (not comic book store, sigh). I saw the Hillary one first, and had a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment. Then I saw the Palin one and thought it was either the most brilliant concept I'd ever heard of or the worst possible thing to ever happen (which isn't much different from how I saw Sarah herself, and I say this as a big Palin fan).

I agree with you about having more established players on the field, let's put it that way. We, the criticizers on this thread, just see Bluewater as no different than any other potentially-backstabbing publishers, and want to make sure you and the other creators aren't setting yourself up for failure. At least Jack Kirby and Jerry Siegel made a good living getting screwed by the companies they worked with. If you're working for free, you don't even get that. It seems barely above vanity press, where you pay for the priviledge of getting published.

We care about you [/Oprah hug], that's the simplest way to put it.
_________________________
If This Be... PayPal!!!

"I think ChrisW is the funniest man in entertainment still alive..."
-- the perceptive Tom Spurgeon

Top
Page 12 of 15 < 1 2 ... 10 11 12 13 14 15 >


Moderator:  Rick Veitch, Steve Conley