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JamesVenhaus
08-05-2015, 01:57 PM
I just found out today that I will be getting a deal memo from IDW to publish my creator-owned 3-issue limited series. If I like the terms of the deal memo, then a contract will be forthcoming from their legal department. Does anyone have a lawyer they recommend to look over the deal memo and contract? Anyone been down this road before and have any advice to share?

Troy Dye
08-06-2015, 04:50 AM
I just found out today that I will be getting a deal memo from IDW to publish my creator-owned 3-issue limited series. If I like the terms of the deal memo, then a contract will be forthcoming from their legal department. Does anyone have a lawyer they recommend to look over the deal memo and contract? Anyone been down this road before and have any advice to share?

Congrats on landing a deal with IDW. That's no small feat.

Michael Lovitz wrote the book on comic book law (literally). Well, a comic book anyway.

http://comiccon2014.sched.org/event/51db6f09ad293d714b07aecd65e1745f#.VcMQkGah23B

http://lovitziplaw.com/

Scribbly
08-06-2015, 08:35 AM
I just found out today that I will be getting a deal memo from IDW to publish my creator-owned 3-issue limited series. If I like the terms of the deal memo, then a contract will be forthcoming from their legal department. Does anyone have a lawyer they recommend to look over the deal memo and contract? Anyone been down this road before and have any advice to share?

Rather than the deal demo what your lawyer should read is your contract.

JamesVenhaus
08-06-2015, 11:58 PM
Rather than the deal demo what your lawyer should read is your contract.

Agreed. But, I want to make sure the contract matches the deal memo. Hopefully it will all be pretty straightforward. But, I'd like to have a lawyer look at the contract to make sure it says what I think it says.

Steven Forbes
08-07-2015, 12:19 AM
Agreed. But, I want to make sure the contract matches the deal memo. Hopefully it will all be pretty straightforward. But, I'd like to have a lawyer look at the contract to make sure it says what I think it says.

You always have the option to have them write the contract in plain English, in order for you to understand it. Legalese is meant to be hard to penetrate. If they don't want to rewrite the contract in plain English, ask why not.

Remember, YOU have the power. THEY want YOUR product. Negotiation is always on the table.

As is walking away.

JamesVenhaus
08-07-2015, 09:30 AM
Remember, YOU have the power. THEY want YOUR product. Negotiation is always on the table.

As is walking away.

Thank you Steven. I appreciate the advice. The publishing deal seems pretty simple, its the separate option deal from IDW Entertainment for media rights that I want a lawyer to look at. I am a published playwright, and I've had one of my plays optioned for a film in the past, and the deals can be pretty complex. The deal memo should arrive today. So, hopefully I will know more soon.

maverick
08-11-2015, 06:32 PM
why are you asking us? open your phone book and find someone local to your area.

JamesVenhaus
08-11-2015, 07:10 PM
why are you asking us? open your phone book and find someone local to your area.
I am asking this group because I thought someone in this group might have some experience with a lawyer who is familiar with entertainment law and/or has specific experience with comic book publishing contracts. Not the kind of thing one can find in the phone book.

Scribbly
08-13-2015, 01:49 PM
I am asking this group because I thought someone in this group might have some experience with a lawyer who is familiar with entertainment law and/or has specific experience with comic book publishing contracts. Not the kind of thing one can find in the phone book.

The problem is that each experience is different and unique. Also it varies if you are the artist, the writer or both. Famous or unknown creator. All these things count.
What works fine for someone may not work the same for others.
In the history of comics very few people went for real lawyers advice. And usually that was when it was too late. Maybe Kirby's family , or Superman creators, walking dead starting co-creator artist as well for example. And even so, you must keep in mind they initially had agreed and accepted as good their publisher's or associates deals.
The main thing is what are you looking for and what do you want get from this. And how much you want to give away in order to get published by such publishing house.
And start working from there. Reading the publisher's deal you'll see if it match your expectations or not.
An entertainment lawyer would work over show business stuff where the big money deals are. He/her may charge or ask for a retainer fee. Are you willing to afford it?
And maybe I'm wrong, but a publisher's deal has two choices for the author, take or leave it, unless the author's fame gives him chance or room for negotiation.
I suppose, since you have a deal coming, that you had done some research about your publisher's deals with creators and you may know what kind of agreements they usually manage. If not, you will learn of it after reading the contract.
Self-publishing is another valid option where we can have the 100% of everything, including economical winnings and loses.

JamesVenhaus
08-13-2015, 07:39 PM
The main thing is what are you looking for and what do you want get from this. And how much you want to give away in order to get published by such publishing house.
And start working from there. Reading the publisher's deal you'll see if it match your expectations or not.


Agreed. Perhaps I should have started by saying my editor at IDW suggested that once I approve the deal memo and IDW's legal department sends me a contract that, " you may want to have someone look over it for you. If you have a friend you is a lawyer, some one who is willing to do it pro bono, I recommend that." So, I'm not saying I need a lawyer because I'm in a Kirby-like situation. I want a lawyer it was recommended to me, by the publisher, that I have one.

The deal for a creator owned comic that no one has heard of from unknown creators is pretty simple and yes, it will likely be "take it or leave it". Although I've asked around and there are a few things that are or may be negotiable such as the terms of the option period for media rights, etc. And, there are some things that I've been told to check to make sure they are included (number of comp copies of the comic, etc) So, I'm grateful for that advice.

The most important parts to me are there. I own the intellectual property forever, and i'm not being asked to relinquish that.