The history of comics is littered with stories of artists and writers who created iconic characters, lost the rights to their creations and then had to accept charity in their later years to pay for health care costs. Everyone from Superman and Batman to Watchmen to Guardians, Ghost Rider and the Fantastic Four have been at the center of intellectual property disputes worth tens of millions of dollars.
Asher Elbein of The Atlantic Magazine wrote an insightful piece on this subject to coincide with Marvel’s celebration of Jack Kirby’s 99th birthday. The main thrust of the article is similar to three pieces of advice I often give my clients.
You can’t sell what you don’t own
You don’t know what you own until you see what’s in the contract
You won’t know what’s in the contract until you can understand the implications of each paragraph.
Comic creators owe it to themselves to get professional help in reading and negotiating their contracts. Every creator wants to see their characters on the big screen and made into toys. Very few of them want to set up gofundme pages to pay for their medical costs.
Read Marvel, Jack Kirby and the Comic Book Artist’s Plight http://theatln.tc/2c0BGe8
Success in the comics industry requires an understanding of the business, creative, and legal aspects of the medium.
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE A LICENSEING OR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ISSUE, DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR LEGAL ADVISOR OR CONTACT C3 AT firstname.lastname@example.org FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.