Graphicly Closure Leaves Unpaid Creators
Graphicly, the digital comics platform that at one time looked like it was going to be ComiXology’s biggest competitor, announced last week that it was shutting down, and members of its staff had been acquired by print-on-demand service Blurb.
You wouldn’t be alone if you believed that Graphicly shut down in 2012, when the company switched from being a digital comics platform to an ebook distributor. Now that it has officially closed its doors. the company has reportedly left quite a few comics creators in the lurch in regards to payment for works they published through Graphicly.
Over at The Beat, writer Steve Morris talked to several creators who said they’ve yet to see any money from comics they published on Graphicly, though at least one, writer Mike Garley (Dead Roots), did say he appreciated the exposure his books got through the platform. Garley also said he doubts any creators will ever see any money from Graphicly now that it has shut down.
Another creator, Marc Ellerby, co-founder of Great Beast Comics, said, “In general, there was zero contact from the company.”
In another piece, Heidi MacDonald dug up court documents from a wrongful termination suit that indicate the company’s financial woes have been going on for some time.
What MacDonald didn’t find was any evidence that Graphicly ever filed for bankruptcy, which would mean that the company’s debts to comic creators would still be on the table. Bankruptcy proceedings could potentially eliminate or reduce that debt, but for now, a creator could presumably sue for money they’re owed.
None of the creators who have spoken up seem to be inclined in that direction, however.
There’s also the question of just how Blurb will use the talents of the Graphicly staffers it acquired, including founder Micah Baldwin. There has been some speculation that Blurb may be attempting to start a digital comics platform of its own, though reports have been clear that Blurb’s acquisition was of talent only. No intellectual property–that means the Graphicly platform–was part of the deal.