Comic Contracts: A Guide for Creators

Artists can face major roadblocks when trying to publish their work. A panel at New York Comic Con will discuss copyright, contract law and how to get published for beginning artists and professionals alike.

“It’s literally as simple as… uploading a copy,” entertainment lawyer Thomas Crowell said on registering a copyright. Crowell is the author of “The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators” which is first legal guide for the comic book industry.


The book served as a basis for the last year’s panel, titled “Keeping Control of Your Comic Part 1: Contracts for the Book Creator.” Crowell returns to NYCC on Oct. 6, 2017 at 11:15 a.m. in Room 1A05 for “Keeping Control of your Comic: Copyrights and Contracts for Creators.” Connor Corn, Shaefe Walker, David Gallaher, Xander Bradica and Alan Robert will join Crowell during the panel.

A copyright protects original works of expression and will last up to 70 years after the creator’s death. Any tangible work is automatically copyrighted from the moment of its creation, with no registration required. If you haven’t registered, however, you can only sue for profits made with your creation, Crowell said when discussing exploited material during last year’s panel.

“My “Pocket Lawyer for…” guidebook series from Focal Press is designed as a legal and business toolkit for independent media creators and artists,” Crowell posted on his website.

Comic book creators can find the book broken down into six parts:

  1. Quick Start
  2. Intellectual Property: The Heart of the Work
  3. Contracts: The Engine Which Drives the Deal
  4. Putting It Together
  5. Getting Out There
  6. The Law Library

These parts offer readers quick reference to copyright law, collaboration, licensing rights, social media and publishing deals. Crowell is an attorney, writer and educator with competence in entertainment and media law, and intellectual property protection.



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