Journal Entry: Mon May 13, 2013, 9:16 AM
A colleague of mine at my day job whom I respect a great deal, was telling me he is going to our local con with his daughter this weekend. As we got to talking he related something to me that a friend of his, a very successful illustrator, said to him concerning comics that I really want to share.
The gentleman in question says that comics has sort of become like the "MINOR LEAGUES" of entertainment. Based on my love for baseball I can totally see his point. The farm system in baseball exists to nurture and develop talent. Hollywood, being creatively bankrupt, is increasingly counting on creativity from outside it's normal channels to keep people in the theatre seats and watching the TV SETS.
It has fallen on Geek Culture ( Sci Fi Books, Tween Novels, Video Games and Comics) to be the vanguard of Hollywood's creativity though selling and licensing of the Idea's popular in said subcultures. Now if do a comic which is creator owned then your idea, if it has a following or looks like its going to have a following i ripe for exploitation by the hollywood studio system.
One look at Game of Thrones, Twilight, Walking Dead, True Blood and the Marvel Superheo Movies and you can easily see that Geek Culture seems to is being mined to serve the mass market. If you draw for Marvel or DC or one of the other majors then you dont own the property so nine times out fo Ten your not going to glean one red cent if that company licenses one of its properites. Even if you currently draw or right the book and have contributed majorly in it's current popularity and or resurgence.
If you do a creator owned work then you can sell the writes to the thing, but beware. Without proper legal representation you could find yourself selling away your rights for a pittance of what they will eventually be worth. I personally know some guys who did just that. Their are multitudes of producers just a strollin the artists alleys at SDCC just looking for guys whose work and concepts look promising to dazzle with a100 thousand bucks on Ideas that will makes Hundreds of MILLIONS on.
Back to the minor leagues. I agree with the person who likened comics( and the wider geek culture) as the minor leagues. We develop really cutting edge and kick ass concepts, while Hollywood swoops in an gets to buy this stuff for pennies a cap full. A lot of times we Geeks want the acceptance of the mainstream so bad, that we make not so great judgement calls based on that need.
So what do we do. We should by all means sell our Ideas. Its not shame to be compensated for what you create, but make sure that you get the amount of input that you want in the deal. Because, like upcoming World War Z movie , your concepts might not look anything like what you created in the end. The only thing they will share with the theatrical or TV property is the name.
If this is more than ok with you then consider yourself PIMPED. lol.
Listening to: Outerapaces
Playing: Rifts RPG
Eating: Choclate Chip Cookie