The following guest post is by Comics Experience alum Devon Wong. The Comic Book Law for Creators course – cited in the New York Times and by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – begins its upcoming session on October 5, 2015! Course details are available here.
It’s been a few months since I took Joe‘s “Law for Comic Book Creators” class, and I really can’t shake it. Actually, it’s kind of like I have Joe’s voice lodged in the back of my mind, like he’s become a part of my creator super-ego or something. He’s always nattering on about stuff like, “Devon, why didn’t you write a schedule into that contract!?” I know, Voice-of-Joe. I know. I should have.
Kidding aside, I feel like this course is a must for us aspiring comic book industry types. I hope that it returns and that more people take it this time, because it really changed the way I look at working in comics, and the creative industry in general, really. It’s about more than just a set of tools, though you do get that. The free drafts of various types of contracts are alone worth the price of admission. What I found of greater value, however, was the sense of perspective. I didn’t realize before just how much I didn’t know about the legal dimensions of comic book creation. For that I am truly grateful.
Joe is extremely well-versed in law for comic book creators, from its history to the myriad practical aspects that you can apply to your own projects. There are so many legal dimensions to comic book creation, from contracts with collaborators to registering copyright and trademark to what’s really in those work-for-hire agreements that you sign when you go to work for a publisher, and creators need to become familiar with all of it so that we don’t get blindsided later on. Ignorance, sadly, is a sorry defense.
I know it’s not an exciting topic, and it’s not the kind of class most people want to take, but Joe’s breadth of knowledge is incomparable, his humor keeps it light and interesting, and the lessons you learn could prevent you from becoming a key player in one of the courtroom dramas that Joe recounts to one of his classes years from now. For these reasons, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to enrol if it comes around. I’m glad that I did.
Our thanks to Devon for the guest post!
Enrollment is open for Comic Book Law for Creators, starting October 5, 2015.
If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!