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Gryphon
06-12-2011, 10:43 AM
Ive been hearing that Marvel does not pay royalties on work that was done previously. I know that they dont pay royalties on overseas reprints, but I had thought they do pay royalties for stuff in North America.
Can someone here explain the whole situation?

TIP
06-12-2011, 10:46 AM
There was an article recently about how much scratch Prince Andrew made on the Jarvis One-Shot he penned.

justjeffery
06-12-2011, 11:03 AM
Im pretty sure thats not true.

EDIT: Guess I stand corrected.

xyzzy
06-12-2011, 11:07 AM
Where did you hear this? Is the source reliable? What are the details of the claim?

Dood Lee
06-12-2011, 11:16 AM
IIRC, Marvel doesn't pay royalties at all. They pay what are called "incentives" or something like that. The difference is that royalties are legally paid throughout the lifetime of the work, and Marvel's incentive program runs for predetermined amount of time?

Gryphon
06-12-2011, 11:17 AM
http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/topic/17173/Marvel-Royalties



I've heard this directly from quite a few number of pros.

For one, it's a well-known fact that Marvel doesn't pay any royalties to creator estates. All those classic Kirby reprints (like the recent Kirby CA Omnibus) -- not a dime goes to the Kirby estate. DC, on the other hand, pays royalties in perpetuity. Even when their contract predated royalty agreements, I know that DC will often provide a royalty (even a token sum) to creator estates.

For living creators, Marvel's not consistent. Some have said that Marvel's royalties only extend for a few years. But you can find plenty of pros who were never paid for reprints. A small sampling:

Charles Vess:
Royalties. Yes, they are the name of the game for any freelancer. I’m still receiving (on a quarterly basis) payments for work I did for DC (Sandman, Books of Magic, etc.) as far back as 20 years ago. On the Marvel side of the coin they stopped paying any royalties on my Spider-Man graphic novel (Spirits of the Earth) about 3/4s of the way through the print run. Earlier, when I confronted them on their selling publishing rights to LOTS of my creator owned & © pages of my art overseas (from Epic Illustrated), with actual copies in hand, they said, and I quote, “We gave it away.” I wonder which company I might want to work for if I were to do another GN?Erik Larsen:
Essential Punisher #3 just came out and it reprints all five of the Punisher stories that I drew. Yeah, yeah--I didn't receive a dime for it and I wasn't even sent a single copy of the book but it's out there if you feel like supporting a huge, soulless, money-grubbing machine which is out to crush all competition, steal ideas and end life as we know it. Feed the machine. See if I care.Evan Dorkin:
Marvel Comics is soliciting a Captain America: Red, White and Blue trade paperback for this September. I guess they're putting out whatever Cap stuff they can while some people give a crap about him being dead or whatever the hell's going on, because this is a book they practically pretended didn't exist when it came out in hardcover. Anyway, the two-page Milk and Cheese-style Red Skull and Baron Zemo strip I did is in this book, along with work by Bruce Timm, Mark Waid, Paul Dini, Paul Pope, Peter Kuper, and others. It also reprints Kirby, Frank Miller and Steranko stories. $20, iirc. Your call, Marvel doesn't pay royalties on this sort of stuff from what I understand, so no skin off my grape either way.One of the reasons why DC has been so slow to reprint anything beyond the 70s (and before reprints became more prevalent) versus Marvel is that their prior royalty agreements would make many of the projects financially unfeasible unless new contracts were drawn up.

Digital-wise, Marvel doesn't fare much better. Remember when DC announced that they were the first company to offer digital royalties? Marvel threw a fit and said they paid royalties. . . until people started digging and realized 1) Marvel's letter only announced a plan was in place and 2) they hadn't paid any creators yet (even though the DCU program had been running for several years).

Christine Valada (Len Wein's wife):
“Marvel has reproduced works in various electronic formats for years, and I can assure you that my husband hasn’t seen a goddamned dime for any such use of Giant-sized X-men #1 or anything else he ever created for Marvel. Meanwhile, royalties from DC for a relatively minor character got us through the worst of our past 15 months of hell. Until Marvel takes the steps that DC has to compensate the creators who made the company great, all it is doing is blowing smoke. Anyone who thinks Marvel is the better place to work is just deluding themselves.”A big difference between the digital plans (and perhaps with print as well although I'm not certain) is that Marvel only pays incentives (when a certain sales threshold is reached) whereas DC pays royalties (for any sales, no matter how small).

Jason California
06-12-2011, 11:18 AM
.

McGill
06-12-2011, 11:25 AM
.

Exactly.

NickT
06-12-2011, 12:38 PM
http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/topic/17173/Marvel-Royalties
Note though that the people you quote are all older creators, so it might just be that they don't update their deals. I saw a colourist say Marvel give them royalties and DC don't, so they definately have something.

xyzzy
06-12-2011, 01:22 PM
So, wait - are people complaining about not receiving something that they're not contractually/legally entitled to?

KirbyKrackle
06-12-2011, 01:28 PM
Does Stan Lee get any money?

Andrew
06-12-2011, 01:50 PM
So, wait - are people complaining about not receiving something that they're not contractually/legally entitled to?

Probably, yeah.

Vigilance
06-12-2011, 03:31 PM
Probably, yeah.

It just sounded to me like they're answering a question. Saying "DC paid me royalties and Marvel didn't" isn't bitching, it's probably the truth.

Forrest
06-12-2011, 04:01 PM
I guess when I'm looking to buy collected editions, I should look to DC.

SteveFlack
06-12-2011, 04:08 PM
I guess when I'm looking to buy collected editions, I should look to DC.

Why? If these companies are actually in breach of a contract, there would be lawsuits like crazy. This sounds to me like royalties and incentives were never part of their contracts. So any money that is given is a goodwill gesture, not something they are required to do.

Buk Was Right
06-12-2011, 04:11 PM
Why? If these companies are actually in breach of a contract, there would be lawsuits like crazy. This sounds to me like royalties and incentives were never part of their contracts. So any money that is given is a goodwill gesture, not something they are required to do.

Fuck you Steve! I want to make a STATEMENT with my purchase about a situation that I'm barely informed about!

ACTIVISM!

totalsellout
06-12-2011, 04:13 PM
I guess when I'm looking to buy collected editions, I should look to DC.

i look for books i want to read.

SteveFlack
06-12-2011, 04:18 PM
Fuck you Steve! I want to make a STATEMENT with my purchase about a situation that I'm barely informed about!

ACTIVISM!

I only believe in ironic activism. That's where I buy things that support thing I don't like.

Buk Was Right
06-12-2011, 04:21 PM
I only believe in ironic activism. That's where I buy things that support thing I don't like.

That's next level shit.

SteveFlack
06-12-2011, 04:24 PM
That's next level shit.

I'm ahead of the fucking curve.

Forrest
06-12-2011, 05:38 PM
Why? If these companies are actually in breach of a contract, there would be lawsuits like crazy. This sounds to me like royalties and incentives were never part of their contracts. So any money that is given is a goodwill gesture, not something they are required to do.

Oh, I'm not suggesting Marvel is doing anything illegal. I'd simply prefer to know that when I'm shelling out cash for comics that the people who actually made those comics (or their ancestors) get at least a fraction of that money.

SteveFlack
06-12-2011, 05:46 PM
Oh, I'm not suggesting Marvel is doing anything illegal. I'd simply prefer to know that when I'm shelling out cash for comics that the people who actually made those comics (or their ancestors) get at least a fraction of that money.

Are you implying they didn't get paid? Because they did.

DC aren't saints either. I mean, just look at the Siegel's legal battle over Superman. If you really are that concerned, I'd stop buying anything that's not self-published.

KSChris
06-12-2011, 05:50 PM
You're gonna be missing out on a lot of good comics that way.

NickT
06-12-2011, 05:53 PM
Oh, I'm not suggesting Marvel is doing anything illegal. I'd simply prefer to know that when I'm shelling out cash for comics that the people who actually made those comics (or their ancestors) get at least a fraction of that money.

Woo! American Vampire Volume 2 is on NYT Bestseller List. Thrill slightly dampened by DC, unlike Marvel, not paying colorists royalties.
http://twitter.com/DaveMcCaig/status/79293458778566656

Buk Was Right
06-12-2011, 05:58 PM
http://twitter.com/DaveMcCaig/status/79293458778566656

Gaaaah! Now I don't know WHO I should be mad at and taking a stand against by not buying any of their products... Until I either forget or the next thing that I REALLY want comes out!

ACTIVISM!

Forrest
06-13-2011, 11:39 AM
Are you implying they didn't get paid?

Not at all. However if out of the money I spend today, none of that money goes to the original creators, that's a problem for me. And that's the case no matter what company does this. My original statement may have been too simplistic. Yes, of course DC has been guilty of this sin as well. I'm not saying "boycott Marvel collected editions" or anything. I'm just saying that if I'm thinking of laying down $50 to 100 for hardcover reprints of golden and silver age comics, it looks like picking DC over Marvel will give me better odds that the original creators or their ancestors are getting some of that cash. After all, when I by a Jack Kirby or Neal Adams collected edition, I'm want to see the work of Jack Kirby and Neal Adams.

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 11:41 AM
Not at all. However if out of the money I spend today, none of that money goes to the original creators, that's a problem for me. And that's the case no matter what company does this. My original statement may have been too simplistic. Yes, of course DC has been guilty of this sin as well. I'm not saying "boycott Marvel collected editions" or anything. I'm just saying that if I'm thinking of laying down $50 to 100 for hardcover reprints of golden and silver age comics, it looks like picking DC over Marvel will give me better odds that the original creators or their ancestors are getting some of that cash. After all, when I by a Jack Kirby or Neal Adams collected edition, I'm want to see the work of Jack Kirby and Neal Adams.

Man, the paperwork you must do before making a purchase must be a real hassle. All the request for contracts and receipts for payments delivered.

Andrew
06-13-2011, 06:10 PM
Oh, I'm not suggesting Marvel is doing anything illegal. I'd simply prefer to know that when I'm shelling out cash for comics that the people who actually made those comics (or their ancestors) get at least a fraction of that money.

Why do the descendents of creators deserve royalties? In the real world, you and I don't profit off of work that our grandparents did 50 years ago.

Buk Was Right
06-13-2011, 06:14 PM
Man, the paperwork you must do before making a purchase must be a real hassle. All the request for contracts and receipts for payments delivered.

The family trees and contracts I had to wade through just to buy the Back to the Future Blu Ray set was inTENSE.

dEnny!
06-13-2011, 06:19 PM
Why do the descendents of creators deserve royalties? In the real world, you and I don't profit off of work that our grandparents did 50 years ago.

But the work our grandparents did 50 years ago isn't still generating revenue.

GelfXIII
06-13-2011, 06:20 PM
Comics Industry, meet me on camera three...


*turns to camera three*

Treat your people better. This sounds bad.

dEnny!
06-13-2011, 06:22 PM
http://twitter.com/DaveMcCaig/status/79293458778566656

Is it wrong, or maybe I'm missing some information, that I think royalties should be paid to creators who come up with the idea, not service the product?

Maybe this is why comics are so expensive. We have to keep every person who works in comics flush with hookers, booze, and blow. :p (I'm teasing y'all.)

Buk Was Right
06-13-2011, 06:22 PM
I don't even buy lightbulbs because I heard that Thomas Edison's ancestors don't see a DIME off of those things.

dEnny!
06-13-2011, 06:24 PM
I don't even buy lightbulbs because I heard that Thomas Edison's ancestors don't see a DIME off of those things.

Yet comic creators are driving Beamers, flying around the globe, and eating sushi off naked chicks.

EDISON!!!!

Andrew
06-13-2011, 06:35 PM
But the work our grandparents did 50 years ago isn't still generating revenue.

You never know for sure. My grandfather was a tailor. For all I know, he designed a certain style of clothing that still generates revenue (fashions do come and go, and what's old eventually becomes new again). But if he didn't copyright it, he didn't own it, so I don't benefit off of it.

And the same applies to these creators who have worked for Marvel/DC. It was work-for-hire. None of them owned these creations, period. It might not be a nice reality if creator rights is something you're passionate about, but that's the reality of the situation nonetheless. So to say that their grandkids and great-grandkids deserve paychecks for something they had absolutely nothing to do with decades before they were even born is stretching it.

dougmac
06-13-2011, 06:39 PM
Yet comic creators are driving Beamers, flying around the globe, and eating sushi off naked chicks.

EDISON!!!!

Don't forget adopting kids like they are Brangelina ;)

dEnny!
06-13-2011, 06:49 PM
You never know for sure. My grandfather was a tailor. For all I know, he designed a certain style of clothing that still generates revenue (fashions do come and go, and what's old eventually becomes new again). But if he didn't copyright it, he didn't own it, so I don't benefit off of it.

And the same applies to these creators who have worked for Marvel/DC. It was work-for-hire. None of them owned these creations, period. It might not be a nice reality if creator rights is something you're passionate about, but that's the reality of the situation nonetheless. So to say that their grandkids and great-grandkids deserve paychecks for something they had absolutely nothing to do with decades before they were even born is stretching it.

There is a difference between a tailor and a designer. Isn't there?

I'm not sure I don't disagree regarding the descendants, but I think part of the reason some of the Golden Age creators kids are receiving the benefit is because they actually never received the full benefit owed them based on the ever changing law. And let's be honest, laws were initially pretty heavily in favor of the corporation.

Pia Guerra
06-13-2011, 06:59 PM
The thing about this business though, it's the appeal of individual creators that usually bring more sales. If a book goes into reprints it's usually because the team working on the book made it so and withholding a bit of profits made on those extra (and not always expected) sales seems kinda douchey.

dEnny!
06-13-2011, 07:13 PM
The thing about this business though, it's the appeal of individual creators that usually bring more sales. If a book goes into reprints it's usually because the team working on the book made it so and withholding a bit of profits made on those extra (and not always expected) sales seems kinda douchey.

Now let's look at Dave McCaig's comments.

You state it's the appeal individual creators that usually bring more sales. I'm going to say writers like BENDIS, Gaiman, Vaughan, Ellis, Ennis, Moore, Morrison, Johns, etc and artists like Mignola, Maleev, Quitely, Lee, Kirby, Romita, etc etc etc bring in readers.

The letterer usually isn't the draw. There are very few colorists, everyone knows the Matt Hollingsworth, Laura Martin, and Dave Stewarts in the field, but those people are also working with the top writers/artists usually as well.

So should every member of the production process be entitled to royalties to some varying degree/percentage?

The creative industry is very different than the field I work in; hard for me to wrap my brain around some of the concepts.

I do think the people who laid the foundation and who create new characters should either get ownership of the characters or residuals/royalties whatever you want to call it for the income those creations generate, but how do you quantify how much a character like the one Bendis created in Jessica Jones (Alias) or David Mack's ECHO generates when they are a part of the AVENGERS, a team book where maybe most readers are buying it because of Cap, Iron Man, etc. Obviously when the book stars that character that makes it a little easier. I think making sure the creators receive credit saying something like ECHO created by David Mack for Marvel Comics would be cool.

Pia Guerra
06-13-2011, 08:31 PM
Now let's look at Dave McCaig's comments.

You state it's the appeal individual creators that usually bring more sales. I'm going to say writers like BENDIS, Gaiman, Vaughan, Ellis, Ennis, Moore, Morrison, Johns, etc and artists like Mignola, Maleev, Quitely, Lee, Kirby, Romita, etc etc etc bring in readers.

The letterer usually isn't the draw. There are very few colorists, everyone knows the Matt Hollingsworth, Laura Martin, and Dave Stewarts in the field, but those people are also working with the top writers/artists usually as well.

So should every member of the production process be entitled to royalties to some varying degree/percentage?

The creative industry is very different than the field I work in; hard for me to wrap my brain around some of the concepts.

I do think the people who laid the foundation and who create new characters should either get ownership of the characters or residuals/royalties whatever you want to call it for the income those creations generate, but how do you quantify how much a character like the one Bendis created in Jessica Jones (Alias) or David Mack's ECHO generates when they are a part of the AVENGERS, a team book where maybe most readers are buying it because of Cap, Iron Man, etc. Obviously when the book stars that character that makes it a little easier. I think making sure the creators receive credit saying something like ECHO created by David Mack for Marvel Comics would be cool.

I'm not sure what the current situation is with letterers and colourists regarding to cut, but it seems fair to include them. The main point here is something is better than nothing. If these people contributed to the success of a book, they should get to enjoy some of that success. And creator credit sounds good. Works for Terry Nation who gets a credit every time Doctor Who use the Daleks.

justjeffery
06-13-2011, 09:05 PM
This got me thinking about the phases of being a comics person...

Phase 1 - fan. You find comics, reads a few and enjoys them. Start to love the medium, the characters and the creators.

Phase 2 - aspiring comic creator part 1. You starts to feel like they want to do more than just read... and want to get involved but dont know exactly how... so you find out. Research, study, practice...

Phase 3 - aspiring comic creator part 2. You do self printing, you submit submit submit, You get published. You dont get paid, but youre so damn happy to be published that it doesnt matter!

Phase 4 - comic creator. You've made it! You get little jobs here and there. Small press, then Image, then IDW... you're not making a dime, but hell.. YOU'RE MAKING COMICS!

Phase 5 - big 2 creator. You've made it! You'd do it for free, but they pay you! You're living your dream!

Phase 7 - you're a bitter comic creator, you bitch about not getting enough money, about your work not being this or that, about hollywood not making the movie right...

I skipped phase 6 because I dont know what happens there that leads to phase 7... when do your original contracts go from "holy crap, Im writing for Marvel and they're paying me" to "my contract sucked and I shouldnt have signed it"?

SteveFlack
06-13-2011, 09:16 PM
The way I see it: People know what they sign. Were the deals good? Were they bad? It's not my call to make. If these companies were in breach of contract, they're would be lawsuits. If not, then it's not my problem.

Forrest
06-13-2011, 09:51 PM
The thing about this business though, it's the appeal of individual creators that usually bring more sales. If a book goes into reprints it's usually because the team working on the book made it so and withholding a bit of profits made on those extra (and not always expected) sales seems kinda douchey.

Exactly.

Myk
06-13-2011, 10:33 PM
Royalties are above and beyond what's stipulated in the contract, I'm assuming. Unless I'm wrong, I kind of get the impression that it's like if company X decided to give free goody bags full of candy, and people working for company Y are complaining that they don't get goody bags. If you did work for hire and got paid for it, isn't the material you created now property of whomever paid for it?

What I'm suggesting is that it's not so much douchey that company Y isn't giving royalties above and beyond the amount agreed to contractually, as much as it's nice that company X does.

Myk
06-13-2011, 10:44 PM
This got me thinking about the phases of being a comics person...

Phase 1 - fan. You find comics, reads a few and enjoys them. Start to love the medium, the characters and the creators.

Phase 2 - aspiring comic creator part 1. You starts to feel like they want to do more than just read... and want to get involved but dont know exactly how... so you find out. Research, study, practice...

Phase 3 - aspiring comic creator part 2. You do self printing, you submit submit submit, You get published. You dont get paid, but youre so damn happy to be published that it doesnt matter!

Phase 4 - comic creator. You've made it! You get little jobs here and there. Small press, then Image, then IDW... you're not making a dime, but hell.. YOU'RE MAKING COMICS!

Phase 5 - big 2 creator. You've made it! You'd do it for free, but they pay you! You're living your dream!

Phase 7 - you're a bitter comic creator, you bitch about not getting enough money, about your work not being this or that, about hollywood not making the movie right...

I skipped phase 6 because I dont know what happens there that leads to phase 7... when do your original contracts go from "holy crap, Im writing for Marvel and they're paying me" to "my contract sucked and I shouldnt have signed it"?

The impression I get is that phase 6 involves editorially mandated decisions made based on commercial factors, and criticism from the mass audience, none of which have been dealt with (or at least in levels close to those) in the previous phases, but are absolutely a necessary part of the job.

Also, everyone bitches about not getting paid enough at their job :) If my current job made me sign a new contract with less benefits included, I like my job well enough to sign it, but I definitely would bitch about it.

Burrell
06-14-2011, 04:44 AM
Tom Breevort seems to have a problem with DC when they don't pay royalties...


Marvel’s Tom Brevoort tweeted;

Is it really true that, for the Marvel-generated Doc Savage stories that DC has been collecting, they’re not paying the creators anything?

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/02/17/treating-creators-like-royalties/

He conveniently doesn't have anything to say on the Marvel royalties policy.

xyzzy
06-14-2011, 06:31 AM
The thing about this business though, it's the appeal of individual creators that usually bring more sales. If a book goes into reprints it's usually because the team working on the book made it so and withholding a bit of profits made on those extra (and not always expected) sales seems kinda douchey.

You say withholding, like the creators are entitled to that reward, which does not appear to be the case.

I don't work in a creative field, but when I have a contract worker who does a good job, I don't give them more money. I give them another job. That's not being douchey. At least, I don't think so.

GelfXIII
06-14-2011, 06:52 AM
This got me thinking about the phases of being a comics person...

Phase 1 - fan. You find comics, reads a few and enjoys them. Start to love the medium, the characters and the creators.

Phase 2 - aspiring comic creator part 1. You starts to feel like they want to do more than just read... and want to get involved but dont know exactly how... so you find out. Research, study, practice...

Phase 3 - aspiring comic creator part 2. You do self printing, you submit submit submit, You get published. You dont get paid, but youre so damn happy to be published that it doesnt matter!

Phase 4 - comic creator. You've made it! You get little jobs here and there. Small press, then Image, then IDW... you're not making a dime, but hell.. YOU'RE MAKING COMICS!

Phase 5 - big 2 creator. You've made it! You'd do it for free, but they pay you! You're living your dream!

Phase 7 - you're a bitter comic creator, you bitch about not getting enough money, about your work not being this or that, about hollywood not making the movie right...

I skipped phase 6 because I dont know what happens there that leads to phase 7... when do your original contracts go from "holy crap, Im writing for Marvel and they're paying me" to "my contract sucked and I shouldnt have signed it"?

somewhere in there is the realization that you are making $500 off your Spider-man story, and Fox just made $500,000,000 off making your spider-man story into a movie, and there is some room to bargain.

Greygor
06-14-2011, 06:55 AM
somewhere in there is the realization that you are making $500 off your Spider-man story, and Fox just made $500,000,000 off making your spider-man story into a movie, and there is some room to bargain.

But only before you sign the contract, afterwards I'm pretty sure you're screwed.