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#559020 - 10/14/09 07:26 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Kirth]
Monsterverse1 Offline
Junior member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 15
Hello. This is Kerry Gammill. You may remember me as penciller of comics like Powerman & Iron Fist, Marvel Team-up and Superman back in the '80s and '90s. I found this site and this thread because I was looking for information on contracts for comic creators. This is all very interesting because I'm currently in the process of becoming an independent publisher and have been facing the financial realities of the comics market in today's economy.

Our books will be horror anthologies and we have been fairly successful so far in attracting some major talent based on the chance to work on something fun and cool (and short) even though they will probably see little or no monetary reward. However, it becomes a problem when dealing with lesser known people who don't have high-paying day jobs and who can't afford to work for free. Although we would love for the book to be very successful, it's almost certain to do little more than break even at best, which means if we pay much for art and stories, we will definitely lose money which makes writing a workable business plan kinda tough.

Unfortunately, an arrangement like Bluewater's seems to be about the only way to get by when operating at this level. So let me ask a question to some of you who disagree with Bluewater's business practices. If you were in my shoes and wanted to publish comics but you knew that, from all indications, it would be next to impossible to actually make money on the books, what kind of contract would you offer? A meager page rate and a work for hire deal giving you all the rights? Nothing up front but a few bucks if the book makes a profit? No pay but complete creator ownership? Some pay and shared ownership with the company? What do you think would be fair to both freelancer and publisher?

I know the Bluewater contract may seem like it gives a raw deal to some artists and writers (even though they were aware of the deal from the beginning), but if you were running a small comics company and you knew a lot of the books you put out probably would not make a profit, what in the contracts would you do differently? I'm anxious to hear your thoughts. Thanks

Kerry Gammill
www.monsterverse.com



Edited by Monsterverse1 (10/14/09 07:29 PM)

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#559021 - 10/14/09 07:32 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
Paul W. Sondersted, Jr. Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/01
Posts: 4593
Loc: Sparks, Nevada, United States
Welcome to Comicon.com, Mr. Gammill. Always enjoyed your work. I look forward to checking out your new stuff.

Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave? What an interesting concept! Early 2010? Not too far off!

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#559022 - 10/14/09 08:03 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Paul W. Sondersted, Jr.]
Kirth Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 1176
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
..

Nice to have you here.

I think the point we were making with the Bluewater contracts is that they SEEMED to be a contract that laid all the BENEFIT to the Company and all the WORK to the Creator.

An artist doesn't live in a fairyland of free food and electricity. While "doing" the work, the artist needs to LIVE and pay his bills like all of us. Page rates are the way most artist do this.

And girlfriends with "good" jobs.

Companies sometimes view page rates as money out the window, but really it's an investment in the final product. If the Company has a true business model and intends to market and SELL product, then page rates are a manufacturing expense, like shrink wrap or postage or paying to get your books listed in Diamond.

If the Comapany is just a "farm" to pry intellectual property rights from creative people and put it in the hands of "money men", then that's not a true business model, that's a scam.

And THAT'S what Bluewater SEEMED to be doing.

You have to give the artists page rates and a cut of the IP rights. That's how you get GOOD product. An artist who doesn't get these things MIGHT try to scam YOU, the same way he MIGHT feel you are trying to scam him.

There are quite a few artists with decent product who have posted here to advertise their creator-owned properties. They have the DRIVE to WORK, they just need the backing of a print house who won't attempt to "rob" them when the deal is done.

..


Edited by Kirth (10/14/09 08:05 PM)
_________________________
It does not have to be that way. You do not have to act that way. You are hurting people. Please stop.


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#559023 - 10/14/09 08:08 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Kirth]
Kirth Offline
Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 1176
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
..

There's a guy on here with a horror/ufo web-comic that looked as good as anything I've seen from Charlton or Gold key in the 1970s.

THIS guy:

http://agitainment.com/ics/

..


Edited by Kirth (10/14/09 08:13 PM)
_________________________
It does not have to be that way. You do not have to act that way. You are hurting people. Please stop.


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#559028 - 10/14/09 08:51 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7089
Originally Posted By: Monsterverse1
If you were in my shoes and wanted to publish comics

...I wouldn't. We need comics creators, not comics publishers. Do something that is meaningful to you and submit it to real publishers, get it in real book stores.
_________________________
"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

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#559036 - 10/14/09 11:03 PM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Kirth]
Monsterverse1 Offline
Junior member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 15
Originally Posted By: Kirth
I think the point we were making with the Bluewater contracts is that they SEEMED to be a contract that laid all the BENEFIT to the Company and all the WORK to the Creator.


But what I'm asking is this: What specifically would you do differently if the details of the contract were up to you? I'm not trying to either defend or criticize Bluewater's contracts. I'm looking for input on what an ideal small press contract should contain that would cover the contributions and risks of both the publisher and the talent in a situation where making a profit from the comic itself is unlikely. Any ideas? Thanks.

Kerry Gammill
www.monsterverse.com

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#559038 - 10/15/09 12:08 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7089
Originally Posted By: Monsterverse1
...in a situation where making a profit from the comic itself is unlikely.

So what's the point? Make it a website. You'll get more readers and it'll cost you less money. If you're so wrapped up in the notion of killing trees, you need to shoot a little higher.

The only Direct Market comics company that got the deal right advances, ownership, production standards was Pacific Comics. There were also Eclipse, Comico, Kitchen Sink and Vortex that were kinda-sorta good. Figure out why they failed and you're halfway there.
_________________________
"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

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#559042 - 10/15/09 12:48 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Monsterverse1 Offline
Junior member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 15
I was going to respond to you, Allen, but I looked through some of your other posts and see it would be pointless. Anyone want to actually address the subject of contracts?
_________________________
Kerry Gammill
www.monsterverse.com

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#559044 - 10/15/09 02:42 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Monsterverse1]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7089
Hey, fuck you too, Kerry.

You want to address the question of why you're worried about contracts if there's no money to be made?
_________________________
"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

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#559047 - 10/15/09 02:53 AM Re: Bluewater Contracts [Re: Allen Montgomery]
IvanJim Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/01
Posts: 2865
Loc: Los Angeles
Kerry-

Whatever Allen may or may not have written in other posts, he raises a valid point here. Stating that you don't respect the speaker doesn't negate his question or his point and it creates the impression that you can't or won't address a difficult question. Why not just address the point he makes and if he doesn't respond to YOU respectfully, or to your point, then dismiss him?

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