A letter from DC Comics Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee to the company's freelancers has outlined a new payment policy that offers royalties to the creators of digital-first comics and colorists (previously, payments just a flat rate), and changes the structure of how all creators are paid. The new plan, which will supplant a policy that has been in place for more than 30 years, goes into effect July 1 and is a direct response to a recent survey DC took of its talent pool.
Specifically, payments (DC doesn't use the term "royalties" because that implies ownership) will soon be based on net revenue -- how much money a book makes after costs -- rather than on the cover price. That gives DC "more flexibility to sell our material in new distribution channels that have different pricing models," according to the letter obtained by ComicsAlliance. That seems to point to digital comics and possible experimentation with pricing there.
So is this a positive or a negative for creators? That's a little harder to suss out.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, it's an extra-special, ComicsAlliance-exclusive set of comics reviews. Chris and Matt are chatting about the brand-new Daredevil #1 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, Superman Unchained #6 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, and Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals #5.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
While October's trailer for Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment's upcoming Justice League: War animated movie seemed to show that the adaptation of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's debut New 52 Justice League arc may take some liberties with the original story, the just-released first clip of the movie appears to indicate it will stick pretty close to it.
See that clip, which features Green Lantern meeting with Batman for the first time after fighting a Parademon, after the jump.
Thumb through DC Comics' new releases this week and you'll find the above image -- a teaser for the upcoming Batman: Eternal weekly series -- in the back pages of a good many of them (all the books I saw, in fact).
I had to look up the artist who drew it. It's Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok, but it could just as easily be Tony Daniel, David Finch, Guillem March, Ivan Reis, Adrian Syaf, or a handful of other current DC artists. Like it or not, this is, with a few exceptions, just how DC Comics look now.
Fans found out about the panel when DC Comics announced a contest seeking an artist to draw one page of the issue. DC Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said they would personally select the artist based on submissions of a single page, and included a description of the page's four panels.
Before he became Co-Publisher of DC Comics -- before WildStorm, Batman: Hush, Image Comics, and an immensely successful run on the X-Men -- Jim Lee was a kid from St. Louis who wanted to draw comics. He worked hard to break into the industry and, all things considered, you could say his efforts worked out okay for him. But like nearly any other aspiring young artist, Lee had his share of hurdles to climb, as evidenced by the old rejection letters from Marvel and DC that he recently posted on Instagram.
When the DC Universe relaunched in 2011 with The New 52, the idea was to put a current-day spin on superheroes: lots of seams in the costumes, more aggressive attitudes, rockier relationships.
If the trailer for Justice League: War, the new animated film that adapts the first storyline from The New 52, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's initial six-issue arc from Justice League, is any indication, it has all been set to a dubstep soundtrack, too. Check out the trailer after the jump.
But then people took notice of one of the panels, which depicts Quinn naked in a bathtub, readying herself to pull a string that would dump plugged-in toasters, blow dryers and other electronics in the water. Anti-suicide groups including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness felt DC was making light of suicide. Others called it exploitative. Now, DC is officially addressing those criticisms.
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