Lets talk contracts...
A very important (yet often overlooked, or ignored) part of being a professional artist is addressing contracts. Contracts are rarely discussed within the comics’ community. Often times, new comic book creators do not know the best way to handle contracts. Some are starry-eyed, hungry artists who are eager for a career in comics. Some will rush to sign any contract in hopes of establishing a career in comics. However, we have a long history of creators signing poor contracts. If Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster could be taken advantage of, then so can you and me. Be smart.
My hope here is to better educate creators on what I have learned about contracts, work-made-for-hire, and the comic book industry. The following are my rules in dealing with contracts:
Rule #1: Never sign away anything that you own. That seems pretty simple. Never sign away or share what belongs to you. That includes any trademark or copyright that you have on your intellectual properties.
Rule #2: Make sure you know what you’re about to sign. If not, seek legal guidance or another professional who can help you understand your contract.
Rule #3: Everything is negotiable. Don’t be afraid to ask for something to be added or excluded to a contract. If the other party isn’t willing to negotiate with your needs, then they probably aren’t a good company with whom to do business.
To be continued…
I posted this (and more) on Facebook: