My friends got a great publishing contract that lets them have their cake and eat it too.
Have you heard about the forthcoming graphic novel THEREFORE, REPENT? It’s from Canadians Jim Munroe (a noted author ’round these parts) and Salgood Sam (he was in the firstÂ COMICS FESTIVAL!Â book, amongst other places). If you haven’t heard of it, here’s a quick 45-page preview of the first book: http://www.comicspace.com/salgood_sam/comics.php?action=gallery&comic_id=1612.
Well Jim Munroe is an interesting guy. See, his first novel (that’s a words-only novel)got picked up by one of those great big publishing houses, and he decided that the whole thing? It wasn’t for him. He started self-publishing his novels, doing as well (or better) than he ever did with the big publisher, and even started helping other folks learn to do it for themselves. His publishing banner? No Media Kings.
So when it came time to create an original graphic novel (based on a section from his most recent novel, An Opening Act Of Unspeakable Evil) was he just supposed to ignore all that and sign withÂ a major publisher? Throw his indie cred out the window or risk not having his work seen? Just Zuda the whole thing and call it a day? Hells no! He and Sam negotiated a contract that worked for all parties, meaning that No Media Kings will print and distribute THEREFORE, REPENT! inside Canada, and the international edition will be printed and distributed by… IDW PUBLISHING.
IDW is no stranger to negotiating potentially-sticky contracts; just recently they figured out a way to do comic book adaptations of sixÂ Cory Doctorow’s short stories, which are currently available for free under a creative commons license. It looks like they worked out a good deal too, because both Jim and Sam are really excited about it. I took a lunch or two with Mr. Munroe in the lead-up to his contract negotiations to help him try and navigate the minefield that is ‘independent’ comc book publishing right now. Aside from the fact that I hold them single-handedly responsible for an industry-wide price increase to $3.99 for 22 pages of comics (hiss), I couldn’t think of anything bad to say about IDW, and in fact,Â most of the creators I know who work with them are really happy with the experience. And now they’ve got Alan Payne (ex-Tokyopop) handling their marketting, so the books might even get placement in bookstores too, who knows! :)
Anyway, I’m really happy for all involved. The international edition of THEREFORE, REPENT! launches in January from IDW (tentatively), whereas the Canadian edition will be debuting… oh, look! At the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, August 18-19 in Toronto, Canada! How about THAT for a coincidence? Hope we see you there!