American attorney, author and business consultant Gamal Hennessy has launched a Kickstarter for his latest book, The Business of Freelance Comic Book Publishing, designed to help creators on every level build a business working for comic book publishers.
While Gamal’s first, invaluable book, The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing, focused on creating a comic book company, this new book addresses the unique legal and financial concerns of the creator who wants to work for DC, Marvel, and publishers of every size and type. We asked Gamal to tell us a little more about this book, and he kindly obliged, with this selection taken from the book’s introduction…
Contractor, day labourer, freelancer, gig worker, mercenary.
There are many names for those who sell their services by the hour, day, or job rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer. This unaffiliated type of worker has become more prevalent in the 21st century, but in the comic book industry, freelance talent has been the backbone of the business since the beginning.
The vast majority of modern comic book characters and stories are created, designed, or produced by freelance creators. Publishers often own the legal rights to the comics. Cartoonists can generate work without outside creative input but very few comics are made today in North America without one or more hired guns working behind the scenes.
How do these professionals enter this strange world? How do they acquire the skills needed to create comic books? How do they find work? What legal and business considerations do they have to manage in their careers? How do they get paid? Anyone interested in becoming a freelance comics creator or working with them should understand their answers to these questions and explore the commercial realities of the art form to maximize their chances of success.
The Business of Freelance Comic Book Publishing (or FCP for short) is designed to help you achieve those goals. The book can’t guarantee a lucrative, lifelong occupation in comic books. I can’t promise that you’ll get to work on your favorite series or create the next iconic character. Working in this industry isn’t like becoming a doctor or a lawyer. There is no license you can obtain or a standard path for you to take to superstardom. Everyone who works in comic books has a unique story of how they got to their position. Everyone in the industry used some combination of talent, perseverance, connections, and luck to succeed.
But if your goal is to become a freelance creator, FCP will help you develop a business model for your services, leverage the assets you offer to the industry, and transform your skill, time, and creativity into financial gain.
If you want to hire and work with freelance creators, FCP will help you understand the motivations and stresses that are inherent in being a modern-day artistic mercenary. Hopefully, this book can help improve your experience in comic books and improve the business of comic books as a whole.
Gamal Hennessy is an attorney, author, and business consultant with expertise in comic book publishing and IP licensing. He is a recognised expert in the comic book industry serving clients large and small for almost 25 years. He is also the author of The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing and the co-founder of the subscription-based comics advisory service, Comics Connection.
Thanks to Gamal for sharing this with downthetubes