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View Full Version : BUYING story/scripts rights


bastian
12-28-2014, 12:17 AM
Hi digital webbers,

I'm an artist and not much of a writer. I've been searching for a website who would allow me to buy story rights. Could be a short story, a script of some kind. Not worried about the format. Is there such?

I could not find anything on the internet. Could be a good way for writers to make a buck.

Thanks!

Bulletboy-Redux
12-29-2014, 12:49 AM
Seems like the extreme route to take. Have you considered just looking for a comics writer who needs an artist? There are lots of them. I'm sure you can find one with an idea you like. And they wont charge you anything. Hell, they might even pay you.

dmh_3000
12-29-2014, 03:07 AM
As BR said, unless you want to own the book outright just go to the Help Wanted forums and see if there are any projects you want to do.

Alyssa
12-29-2014, 07:25 AM
Like the others, I'm kinda perplexed. Why would you want to PAY to be able to illustrate a comic? There are plenty of writers looking for artists to illustrate their comics- paying for rights hardly seems necessary.

Of course, if you were wanting to adapt an existing novel or a screenplay into a comic, you would want to approach the publisher or production company, respectively. They usually have a department that deals with licensing/rights.

ferah11
12-29-2014, 02:07 PM
Yeah, I don't think that's how it works or at least not too easy or affordable.

I would say create your own idea, design your characters look and personality, write a main plot and then perhaps hire (or befriend) a writer to put all that together, throw at each other ideas back and forth I guess, never actually done it but I think it might be the way to go.

Scribbly
12-30-2014, 01:30 PM
It would be easy for you, as artist, if you learn how to write your own comics scripts well before going on trying to buy writer's scripts.

All the best pioneer comics artist were at some point writers of their own stories.
Almost all the current famous comics writers working for the big mainstream comics publishers
had a past experience as artists and comics artists as well.
If they did it, why don't you?

Marta
12-30-2014, 03:33 PM
Plenty of writers are open to scripting and are seeking artists. So if the goal is simply to seek good stories to illustrate, there's likely no need to pay for them.

There are also plenty of reasons to just write or just illustrate comics. Creators who have talents in one area or stronger skills or interest in one area can put out better stories by teaming up with someone who has complementary talents.

But it seems like the question fundamentally has to do with rights. Some writers do work-for-hire, and are happy to be paid for scripting stories. An artist paying for the script would then own the story. This is a legitimate approach.

As to whether there are websites with such comics scripts, I haven't heard of any like there are for screenwriters. But it should be possible to post (for example, to this site) looking for summaries of scripts that writers are willing to sell, and go from there. The selection wouldn't be that large, but there might be enough scripts to find some of interest.

Robert_S
12-30-2014, 06:45 PM
Like the others, I'm kinda perplexed. Why would you want to PAY to be able to illustrate a comic? There are plenty of writers looking for artists to illustrate their comics- paying for rights hardly seems necessary.



The OP said he wanted to buy the rights to the story, so he would own the story and could claim it as his own. What if the comic becomes a major seller? Writer got his one time lump payment and isn't entitled to anything else, not even credit.

I wouldn't agree to something like this. If I was willing to sell the rights to stories, I'd write screenplays for Hollywood. There's a much bigger payout when a story is bought.

Scribbly
12-30-2014, 07:48 PM
The OP said he wanted to buy the rights to the story, so he would own the story and could claim it as his own. What if the comic becomes a major seller? Writer got his one time lump payment and isn't entitled to anything else, not even credit.

I wouldn't agree to something like this. If I was willing to sell the rights to stories, I'd write screenplays for Hollywood. There's a much bigger payout when a story is bought.

What you do suggest then? Do you "rent" your stories to comics publishers and you keep the rights?

Robert_S
12-30-2014, 08:51 PM
What you do suggest then? Do you "rent" your stories to comics publishers and you keep the rights?

I'm looking over options. But I sure as hell won't sell the rights to the story. What if the story pays off. Then the crew that made it are out. They get one tiny payment and then nothing and who did the work? Moore got screwed over with Watchmen and V and I'm not sure how much Mignola got for the Hellboy movies.

There is self-publishing. There are publishing houses that let the writer keep the rights to the IP and you share profits.

Some would take a lease on the IP, but I'd try to avoid that as well.

Image comics, last I heard, lets the writer retain the rights. They just want a share of profits. I'll have to look into it in more detail, but I'm not to that point yet.

Rob Norton
12-30-2014, 09:26 PM
I'm looking over options. But I sure as hell won't sell the rights to the story. What if the story pays off. Then the crew that made it are out. They get one tiny payment and then nothing and who did the work? Moore got screwed over with Watchmen and V .

if you are referring to Moore getting screwed out of money from the MOVIES of Watchmen and V, im almost 100% sure he didn't want Anything to do with those movies, money included. he publicly stated he wanted nothing to do with them and refused cash. not that he needs it... hes plenty well off. but still....just a point of interest.

rob

Robert_S
12-30-2014, 09:34 PM
if you are referring to Moore getting screwed out of money from the MOVIES of Watchmen and V, im almost 100% sure he didn't want Anything to do with those movies, money included. he publicly stated he wanted nothing to do with them and refused cash. not that he needs it... hes plenty well off. but still....just a point of interest.

rob

Very well. I guess he simply didn't want anything to do with Hollywood.

For my side. I'm keeping the rights to my work, always and forever (or until death takes me).

I would not have a huge problem with sharing profits, but anyone doing work on my stories is going to have to agree to some contractual terms that we would negotiate on, including who owns what as far as story and art. I'm not against making deals, but I don't want vague terms and courtroom dramas.

Steven Forbes
12-30-2014, 09:43 PM
Moore didn't get screwed with Watchmen. He signed a contract. That was business. It just so happens that the book has never gone out of print. That's not his fault. He still gets royalty checks for it.

Any contract that you sign that you didn't write isn't fair to you. It does not have your best interests in mind. You can either ask for changes, or you can walk away. You can always walk away...right up until you sign.

This is busines. Just go in with your eyes open. Know what you can and can't live with.

(And the odds of having a hit comic are only slightly better than being the lone winner of a multi-state powerball lottery. So there's that.)

Alyssa
12-31-2014, 08:40 PM
The OP said he wanted to buy the rights to the story, so he would own the story and could claim it as his own. What if the comic becomes a major seller? Writer got his one time lump payment and isn't entitled to anything else, not even credit.

I wouldn't agree to something like this. If I was willing to sell the rights to stories, I'd write screenplays for Hollywood. There's a much bigger payout when a story is bought.

Careful that you're not superimposing your own views on the OP. This was all he said:

I've been searching for a website who would allow me to buy story rights.

I know how you feel about giving up story rights, Robert. I'd have to think long and hard before doing the same. What Steven mentioned is a huge factor:


(And the odds of having a hit comic are only slightly better than being the lone winner of a multi-state powerball lottery. So there's that.)

Robert_S
12-31-2014, 09:04 PM
Careful that you're not superimposing your own views on the OP. This was all he said:


I was very careful about the use of will and can in regard to his actions.

He would own the rights. He could deny credit for the story once he owns it. I'm not saying he will. I'm saying he can.


I know how you feel about giving up story rights, Robert. I'd have to think long and hard before doing the same. What Steven mentioned is a huge factor:

I'd have to spend a lot of deep time reading a contract because in their phrasing they can make it sound all positive for the writer/team when in fact, they can usurp control.

Moore thought he would get royalties from slurpie cups sold with the Watchmen figures once the IP stopped selling at some threshold. It turns out, he never had any control over the IP, because of the print on demand clause.

I would have to say anyone going into a contract needs to scrutinize the print on demand clause. Does the publisher keep control of the IP as long as it's being printed in the year? If so, PoD is going to screw you unless it's taken out of the contract or worded so that PoD doesn't count toward control of IP.
You could set a time limit. The publisher has it for 5-7 years or until sales drops below a certain threshold, whichever comes first.

These are all options the team should consider when negotiating.

Scribbly
01-01-2015, 06:20 AM
By the time Allan Moore wrote The Watchmen, in 1987 print on demand was not in existence. POD exist after the internet was up and accessible to everyone, and not before.

BTW, According the law, in a work for hire the writer always keep the credits for his work, but not the rights over it.

Do you know how many comics scripts Alan Moore wrote before creating The Watchmen as "work for hire" for DC comics giving up all his rights over full serialized Titles not just "isolated scripts", in exchange for cashing a page rate?
Moore was working almost 10 years before Watchmen, writing and creating hundred scripts that were always sold as WFH to UK publishers. He also went on self publishing for a small period of time.

All that load of work and experience made of him a well known writer in the comics market many years before he landed on working for DC comics and years before the writing of Watchmen. Watchmen was just another job for Moore and not his best. As he may repeat in every interview he may ever have over the subject.
Do you think Alan Moore or Mike Mignola were fools by selling the rights over their comics scripts?
I think they both were and still are smart professionals who were never afraid of selling their work as WFH.

JennaP
01-01-2015, 12:44 PM
Okay.

The impression I get here is that the OP wants to buy scripts without having to deal with the writers at all - there's no system to do that with comic scripts, but there are systems to do that for certain kinds of (often poor paying) non-fiction - which may be what he stumbled across.

If that's true - then this is not a good way to go about it. As a writer, you do need to do work for hire. It's impossible to break in without it.

However, creatively, it's better to hire a writer, work with them, get to know them, because there's a certain back and forth that comes with the best work. Now, some publishers DO pay the writer and then hand the script to the artist and that's it. I'll take that work, but I'd rather be introduced to the artist and work with them. Most writers would. If we wanted to work solo, we'd be writing prose (I write prose as well, but...). The collaborative aspect of comics is what draws a lot of PURE writers to the medium.

So, I don't think a script showcase like the OP proposes will ever work, because I don't think writers will do it. What MIGHT work is a specialist portfolio site where an artist or publisher can go read a bunch of portfolios and then contact the writers. I have my portfolio on DeviantArt, which is not ideal for a writer, but it's vital to have one and it's vital to have it be available as much for writers as artists.

Robert_S
01-01-2015, 02:19 PM
I have my portfolio on DeviantArt, which is not ideal for a writer, but it's vital to have one and it's vital to have it be available as much for writers as artists.

Link please.

I'm always looking at the art, because eventually, my story will reach that stage and I want to have a good understanding and view of the various art forms.

Scribbly
01-01-2015, 03:48 PM
Okay.

The impression I get here is that the OP wants to buy scripts without having to deal with the writers at all - there's no system to do that with comic scripts, but there are systems to do that for certain kinds of (often poor paying) non-fiction - which may be what he stumbled across.

The impression I get here is that the OP needs a lot of practice on his artwork before going on buying stories or scripts rights.
Not having a working plan, to buy isolated scripts has no sense. And it seems this guy is not having clear idea of what he's asking or looking for.

The comics scripts archive has a lot of comics scripts already published and written by professional comics writers that any artist can use for free and for practice.
Here: http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/archive/the-scripts/

B-McKinley
01-08-2015, 05:23 PM
If the OP isn't picky about the story actually being in script form, then there are lots of stories in the public domain. As long as it's something indisputably in the public domain then there's no rights to worry about buying.

If you search for "Creative Commons Comic Script," you can find things like this: http://www.erictrautmann.us/downloads/scripts/ (Trixie Tempus) which is exactly what the OP wants. (Still no rights to buy as it is Creative Commons.)