US attorney Gamal Hennessy of Creative Contract Consulting has announced he’s working on a new book Your Career in Comics: A Business, Creative and Legal Framework for Professional Sequential Artists (YCC for short!) that should be of interest to comic creators following downthetubes
Gamal, who has worked for companies such as Central Park Media and Marvel, and now has his own publishing house, Nightlife Publishing, has been helping comics professionals with their contracts and licensing issues for a number of years. Along with his excellent web site, puts out a free newsletter The Professional Comics Creator.
“The business of comics is chaotic, complex and on a certain level, crazy,” says Gamal, who has a wealth of knowledge and talent when it comes to the comic book industry.
“Few other industries transform fantasies and nightmares into profitable communities. Almost every fan of comics has imagined themselves working in the industry. Some of us are insane enough to pursue our passion as a profession.
“But having a career in comics isn’t like becoming a doctor or a lawyer,” he cautions. “There is no license you can get or set path for you to take to superstardom. Everyone who works in comics has a unique story on how they got their position. Everyone in the industry used some combination of talent, perseverance, connections and luck. Everyone had to find their own way.”
With this in mind, Gamal is planning to write a book to help finding your way a little easier. Your Career in Comics: A Business, Creative and Legal Framework for Professional Sequential Artists will go into granular detail on the four major creative positions in modern comics. His goal is to explore aspects of each position to help creators navigate their way between and within each step.
“With luck, this framework, added to your talent, determination and fortune, will lead to a fulfilling career in the complex world of comics,” he hopes.
“This is not going to be a book about comic book case law, creating professional artwork, or a book about pitching to an editor,” he expands. “There are several excellent books on all those subjects and I plan to reference them . This book is meant to be more of a comprehensive guide. I’m in a unique position because of my experience as a lawyer, business manager, and author. I’m going to use all those different perspectives to help you see your comic career as a whole, instead of focusing on one aspect.”
If you’re interested in this project then it’s well worth bookmarking and following Gamal’s blog to follow his progress, as he plans to talk to many leading comics professionals along the way in the book’s creation. He also has his own YouTube channel.
The book might, I suspect, have a leaning toward the US comics industry because that’s where he’s based, but he has plenty to offer comic creators worldwide, based on reading many of his past items, and Gamal’s aims for the book, outlined here.
“A career in comics is based on selling what you own,” Gamal notes. “A lot of what you ‘sell’ will be intangible; time, skill, audience, intellectual property rights, etc., but the basic premise is the same You Can’t Sell What You Don’t Own. If you remember nothing else I say, you’ll still get the main point if you apply this simple concept to your work.”
Gamal hopes his readers will enjoy and get involved in the development of his book.
“If I’ve make the complex world of comics a little easier to understand, then I’ve done my job,” he says.
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