If you want a resource that might improve every aspect of your comic book publishing, then I suggest you check out the Kickstarter for The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing by American comic book attorney and business consultant Gamal Hennessy. This looks like it will be a great resource for both aspiring and established comic creators.
Gamal taps into more than two decades of experience to break down the complex comics business into layman’s terms, offering guidance on topics such as turning your creative ideas into published comics, developing intellectual property that you own and control, finding and hiring a professional team to create your book and support your business, creating comics — that you can be proud of — on time and under budget… and much, much more.
The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing is edited by Aftershock editor-in chief Mike Marts, and features a foreword from writer and Heavy Metal executive editor Joseph P Illidge.
A book by pros, for pros and aspiring creators alike, while I’m expecting it to be a tad skewed toward the American comics industry, if you’re serious about a career in comics, this book looks to me like it will be well worth a read. After all, who wouldn’t want to create the next Superman or Judge Dredd – and retain ownership of the intellectual property?
Graeme McMillan is pretty enthusiastic in his coverage on The Hollywood Reporter. “The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing is an overview of the way that the comic industry works,” he writes, “especially in regards to original content from small and mid-size publishers, Business sees Hennessy bring more than two decades of experience as an entertainment and comic book attorney to the subject.”
Rob Salkowitz, the comic book writer for Forbes Magazine and author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture is equally impressed. “The book I wrote about the comic book industry is a conceptual 10,000 foot view of the business. Gamal Hennessy wrote the street map. His book tells you everything you need to know.”
When he’s not practicing law, author Gamal Hennesey writes novels and provides both practical business advice and inspiration. Central Park Media gave him his first real taste of entertainment law. As general counsel of a startup publishing company, he acted as the sole owner of all drafting and negotiating of international IP licenses, work for hire agreements and statements of work associated with anime and manga production. CPM’s catalogue included everything from the painfully tragic Grave of the Fireflies to the infamous Legend of the Overfiend and everything in between.
In 2002, Marvel brought Gamal in to handle their new international publishing department. His main function was helping Marvel break into the Japanese market, but he also initiated, negotiated, drafted, and managed compliance for international licenses associated with Marvel entertainment IP. This work covered consumer goods, film, interactive media, and publishing in Europe, South America, and the Middle East. In addition, he drafted many of the exclusive talent deals Marvel began to set up around the time Ultimates began to gain traction. He left Marvel soon after the Ultimates, X-men and Spider-Man deals were established in Japan.
After Marvel, Gamal began helping independent IP creators and freelance artists with their contracts and licensing issues. He’s given lectures at the University of Albany and Comics Experience. Over the years, he’s helped negotiate creator-owned deals with AfterShock, managed the contracts and IP matters for Mad Cave, developed publishing agreements for independent creators, and collaboration contracts for new comic teams. His last major client for C3 was Amazon Publishing, where he drafted and negotiated domestic and international publishing agreements for the Amazon imprints.
He’s more than proved his skills in the business arena, so I reckon a book from him about the comics business is well worth a look. Check out his web site and blog for more on his work if you still need convincing!