Hey folks, Ambush Bug here. Just in case you didn’t get to last month’s New York Comic Con doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Thanks to Jamie Coville, we have panels to share with you guys all week! So check out the panels by clicking the titles below!
Graphic Novels - Growing in a Digital World. (1:01:51, 56.6mb)
This was moderated by Calvin Reid (Publisher's Weekly). On the panel was Trudy Knudsen (Manger eContent Acquisitions, Follett), Dallas Middaugh (Director, Publisher Services) Barry Nalebuff (author, Mission in a Bottle), Rich Johnson (Founder, Brick Road Media), Greg Goldstein (President & COO, IDW) and Leyla Aker (Vice President Publishing, Viz). The group talked about digital comics in libraries. Trudy said they are very popular and they need more of them. It was said that comics are great for reluctant readers and manga is the most popular form of comics in libraries. The publishers on the panel discussed getting comics into libraries. Leyla mentioned when going digital Viz decided to build their own App instead of selling through the usual channels, because none of them could do right to left reading method digitally and also so they would get the data on their customers reading habits. IDW said they've been making books like the Artists Edition line to give people a reason to buy print as you can't replicate full sized art digitally. Leyla said Viz had worked to get day and date translations released at the same time as the Japanese publishers as a way of combating free scanlations that were coming out on the web before their version was released. Barry said Scott McCloud's book (Understanding Comics) was very useful when they hired and illustrator for his book. He also talked about the difficulties with getting media coverage because it's a business book told via comics format. Both the business and graphic novel media see it as belonging to the other and not covering it. The group had discussed the diversity of comics out there. They said comics for kids have seen a great deal of growth recently, particularly My Little Pony. Scholastic had ordered more My Little Pony books than anything they've ordered previously. The group had answered questions on how they sell a new type of product they haven't sold before and how they come up with a price point. They talked about getting journalists to cover their work. At the end they spoke about Manga by non-Japanese creators too.
The Rise of Geek Culture. (1:06:31, 60.9mb)
On the panel was Ed Catto (co-founder Bonfire Agency), Shawn Kirkham (Director, Business Development Skybound), Gerry Gladstone (Co-Owner Midtown Comics), Steve Rotterdam (co-founder Bonfire Agency), Rob Salkowitz (Author, Comic Con and the Business of Pop Culture) and the moderator was Milton Greipp (ICV2). The panel started off with Ed Catto giving a presentation of some numbers of how many people are involved in Geek Culture and how much money is spent. He explained the effect of Geeks opinion and how geeks become taste makers for others to follow, then how that influences the media. New Apple and Samsung commercials that incorporate geek culture within their ads were shown to demonstrate how geek culture has entered into the mainstream. They spoke about marketing to the different type of fans and went through some good and bad examples of companies trying to market to geeks (the touched on this topic a couple more times throughout the panel). Another topic that came up is if we have reached "peak geek" or not. Gary was concerned about too many bad superhero movies could hurt the comics industry and said we were not too big to fail. Shawn had talked about the success and new/odd cross promotions of the Walking Dead (including a new debt card). The group discussed efforts in getting movie/tv watchers to buy the comics. Towards the end the group had spoke about the growth in geek girls and cosplay in particular.
Protect It and Publish It! Creating and Protecting Your Comic Book Property. (1:56:04, 106mb)
This is a 2 part panel that I've merged into a single file. Moderated by Thomas Crowell Esq. (Entertainment Attorney) with him were 2 other entertainment attorneys, Matthew Tynan and Sheafe Walker Esq. Also with them was 3 creators, Allan Norico, David Gallaher and Alan Robert. The legal team gave a disclaimer that what they say during the panel is not legal advice. They first talked about copyright, what those rights are, when you get those rights, what the benefits are to registering the copyright and how you can do that. They presented information about contracts, the Chain of Title, why you would want a contract between collaborators, the legal distinction of who the author of the work is and how that is determined legally, the potential pitfalls of joint authorship, exclusive and non exclusive rights, how ideas in themselves can't be copyrighted and what work for hire is. They also talked about the benefits of setting up an LLC, hiring an artist and work for hire agreements. Major comic book cases were touched on briefly and they gave an intellectual properties rules of thumb. The 2nd part of the panel was more about the creative end. They went into issues of promoting what you created in terms of pitching it to publishers and gave a run down of do's and don'ts during a pitch. They mentioned networking with publishers (and their editors) at conventions and tips about establishing a relationship with them at the con. They spoke about negotiating a publishing deal, online submissions, and tips on working with the publisher after the deal has been made. They went into royalties and talked about how the current royalty pool works in terms of what creative role (writer, artist, inker, etc..) gets what percentage of the royalties. They quickly addressed DIY (Do It Yourself) publishing in terms of printing, distributing and digital publishing. Then they gave a contracts rule of thumb. After both sessions they took questions from the audience. Much of the audience were creative people. Those involved at the panel worked together on a booked titled The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators, which will be out March of 2014.
Comics, Hollywood and What Creators Need to Know. (1:24:47, 77.6mb)
This panel was moderated by Buddy Scalera. On the panel was Mike Richardson (Dark Horse), freelance writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti and Ross Richie (Boom!) Jimmy talked about his experience licensing Ash and Painkiller Jane. Mike talked about Dark Horse licensing comics and how his licensed work became Movies (Predator 2 is an example) and his own work being licensed into movies. He told many stories from licensing the Mask, Time Cop and other movies. Ross explained his history of working for Malibu Comics and going away to work for Hollywood. He ran away screaming from Hollywood and started up his own comic book publishing. Because Hollywood reads comics, they recognized his name and came after him for Boom! books. Jimmy explained what breaking down a series means for a TV show. Ross helped manage a talk about what certain terms mean in Hollywood and the various roles that Agents, Producers, Managers and Entertainment Lawyers play and where/why you would need one. Somebody asked about people stealing their ideas and Jimmy and Mike says it actually happens all the time. They wouldn't name names but Jimmy talked about ideas that he had pitched to particular directors suddenly done without his involvement. He said he had a really hard lesson in a company admitting they stole the idea but to successfully litigate it would cost him 2 million dollars. Since he couldn't afford that he had to walk away. Mike talked about getting sued for movies like the Mask and Time Cop. The talked about shopping the property around. Mike and Ross talked about first look deals what they are and the pro's and con's of the deal. Ross Richie had to leave part way through. Jimmy spoke about why he's doing a lot more written work as of late and wanting to raise his profile. Mike talked about giving Carla Speed McNeil more spotlight. Mike said thanks to the internet if you have talent it is much easier to get noticed as people are looking for talented artists. Jimmy and Mike said you can't do a comic that is a movie pitch as you recognize right away and it's makes a bad comic. Mike said publishers that try the comic to movie business model usually fail because it takes a long time for the movie to get made, if it gets made at all. Mike said comic creators want to keep the certain comic book related rights and you want an entertainment lawyer and they should get involved in with rest of the movie as much as possible. Mike said Dark Horse got the rights to do Prometheus comics and he's very happy about it. Mike gave advise on how to pitch to him and recommended the Mystery Box Ted Talk. At the end, Buddy spoke against downloading comics.
Look for more panels from the 2013 New York Comic Convention all week long!