When someone says they're writing a book on a certain topic, the first thing I want to know is what makes them qualified to write the book. Do they have the qualifications to be an expert? Have they done their homework? Where is their information coming from?
Last week I announced my plan to write a comprehensive business and legal guide to independent comic book publishing (See What is Your Business and Legal Guide to Independent Comic Book Publishing?). Now I'd like to offer some background on who is creating this book and where the information is coming from. At this stage, ICP is being built on a foundation that includes the author (me), the editor, the research, and the interviews.
I've been working in and around comics since 1999. I started as the general counsel for an anime and manga company called Central Park Media. Then I became the International Publishing Manager at Marvel in 2002. In 2004, I opened Creative Contract Consulting and started working with freelance creators, independent publishers and big companies like Amazon. I'm hoping that being in the business for almost twenty years gives me the perspective to understand what this kind of book needs.
Although I've been in the business for a long time, I have never actually made a comic. I have no byline and no credits to my name. I asked my good friend and prior client Mike Marts to join ICP as the editor because he's been on the front line of comics longer than I have. For years, he has been the lead editor for Batman line of books for DC and X-Men line of books for Marvel. Now, he's running AfterShock and finding critical and commercial success in a very tight market. If anyone knows what it takes to get comics out the door Mike does, so he can provide a reality check to my theory and ideas.
A lot of information about the business of comics has been written over the past 30 years. In addition, there are dozens of books and hundreds of articles about the publishing industry in particular and business in general that can be applied to independent comic book publishing. I've spent the past five years researching these sources. I've share many of them online and in my Professional Comics Creator Newsletter (Sign Up Here for the Free Newsletter). Combining the published knowledge of the industry will serve to reinforce the professional experience Mike and I bring to the book.
As an entertainment attorney, I've had a lot of comic creator clients and I've listened to a lot of people at various levels of the industry about their experience in making comics. ICP is going to include information I've collected from several dozen or my own interviews as well as podcasts, interviews, and convention panels I've sought out on this subject. By pulling all these viewpoints and knowledge together, I want to create a comprehensive picture of the industry.
ICP is a major project, but I've collected the pieces to deliver the best book possible. Now all I have to do is sit down and write it.
If you have any questions about ICP, or if there is a specific topic you want to make sure I discuss, please let me know in the comments.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE AN ISSUE WITH YOUR COMIC PROPERTY, DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR LEGAL ADVISOR OR CONTACT C3 AT firstname.lastname@example.org FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.