If you’re looking to build a business publishing independent comics, then you may want to grab a copy of Gamal Hennessy‘s new book, The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing, now available to the public for the first time.
Writer Gamal is an American comic book attorney with 20 years in the business, who has his own YouTube channel, offering commentary on the US comics industry.
The book, the result of a successful Kickstarter back in 2020, is edited Mike Marts, by a senior editor for DC, Marvel, and AfterShock Comics, with a foreword by Joe Illidge, the executive editor for Heavy Metal, and already enjoyed by hundreds of comic book professionals, including me. He’s also been working on The Business of Freelance Comic Book Publishing, a follow up.
If you want to understand how the comic book industry really works, and you’re keen to create your own independent comics, and own the next generation of iconic characters; if you’re a comic creator who is building a business for your work, then this book is definitely for you.
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!
• The Business of Independent Comic Book Publishing is available to order now from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | ISBN: 978-0-578-72892-6 | Amazon.com | Google Books | Free Digital copy with membership to The Comics Publishing Institute | Available from Ingram for bookstores and libraries
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.