It is so much fun being way behind everyone when it comes to reporting the news. Despite being covered already it never hurts to get information out to just a few more people. Todays news is all about the big guys who have only recently discovered the doughy goodness that is webcomics. You may notice a lack of one of the major players, why hasn’t Marvel joined in on the fuss?
Comic Book Challenge – The winner was announced at the end of August. This year Jorge Vega gives us the story of a buffalo soldier who is bound to kill every day of his life. It is hard to imagine anything as different from Hero By Night. The pitch was good, the story is good, and the art carries it all but now we come down to the delivery. DJ has come through saying that winning the contest is one of the best things that has happened to him in the world of comics. So what does this mean for Jorge, I definitely look forward to seeing Gunplay on Drunk Duck and especially in stores and the big screen, although the material would be perfect for a TV show on Scifi.
Zuda Comics – This is the first I’ve heard from these guys since they began the site. The premise behind the whole thing is Zuda is the webcomic arm of DC, but not like Drunk Duck is to Platinum Studios. Instead this is not so much a community of artists but gathering of competitors. Every month a contest runs and the winner is given an opportunity by DC, with all it’s industry weight, to be something more then an idea. What’s the catch you ask? Well that’s the news. Zuda released their contracts in full to the general public. There are three of them: Submitting, your retention rights, and your job offer.
There are the detractors but I’ve never really understood the problem of signing over a single idea. The approach to take is submit a good idea and once DC has given you a name you turn around and create something completely different and better. They know that and there’s a lot of verbiage in there that can confuse you as whether you own this new idea. They don’t. As for keeping everything as your these contracts go out of their way to state:
Subject to and in accordance with the Rights granted to Zuda hereunder, You or the Team, as applicable, shall retain the copyright in and to the Material.
You will always be given credit for the work, unless someone else takes off with your material and creates a revised comic. That’s where it sucks to be you, as you become another Siegel and Shuster. Face it, the original Superman was not what made money so frankly if these two creative people had retained rights then we might all be saying Sha-zam! instead of being boy scouts. Bottom line is take a look through the agreements. You may find that it sucks to only get 1% of all your print material but 20% of reprints and 40% of media ventures is not bad.
Platinum Studios – Almost exactly 3 weeks ago Platinum announced they were going public. The owner and rights holder for one of the worldâ€™s largest independent libraries of comic book characters filed its SB-2 statement with the SEC to become a public company. The reasoning for doing this now was given by Brian Altounian, the companyâ€™s President and COO.
â€œCapitalizing on the surging wave of interest in [...] comic book and graphic novel material as a source of new content, we have accomplished a fundamental step in our business development plan. This recent capital infusion enables us to confidently move forward and implement the next stage of our companyâ€™s growthâ€
The main examples given are the Comic Book Challenge, publishing approximately 40 comic books or graphic novels per year, and DrunkDuck which currently houses over 4,000 comics. Mr. Altounian believes going public will give PS larger pools of capital to accelerate their growth. Personally this sounds like something long overdue where the webcomic market merely gave them the much needed reason. Now let us se just how much capital they get where they grow to.