Peter's Comic Book Ramblings

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

DEVIL'S DUE VS ARCHAIA STUDIO PRESS CREATORS UPDATED

While there's debate on whether or not creators are able to keep their properties under the proposed DDP/ASP deal (thanks to Heidi MacDonald's the Beat where the discussion is occurring), I have yet to see specifics being talked about and I have yet to see any talk about the rights for properties. Until now. I followed-up with the person who provided this comment:

"
This part of your first quote in my own personal experience does not seem to be true: 'refusal to allow creators to take their books elsewhere'. At no point have I been led to believe that I can't take the book somewhere else if I do not wish to sign up with DDP. My negotiations with Archaia have been friendly."

...
and asked if they wanted to comment on if there was any change to the rights of their project. This is what I received:

At this point in time the contract calls for a full transfer of rights in exchange for a percentage split. There is a term limit in the current contract. If the company fails to take advantage of the rights they do revert back to the creator.

It is a big difference from the original contract to be sure.

From what I understand, that term limit isn't counted in weeks or months but rather in years. The above comment concludes with:

...
but as far as I know no one is being forced to sign on. I believe that the idea that Archaia would not let someone dissolve their initial contract comes from a miscommunication between Archaia and the creator who suggested the idea.

This notion is echoed by long-time ASP writer A. David Lewis -
the only ASP contributor so far to use their actual name - over in the comments section of the Beat. But I've since received a comment from yet another creator that has been affected by all this, that goes against what Lewis and others are stating:

Amongst the Archaia talent there has been a lot of talk about DDP’s purchase of the company, and the contract they want all of us to sign. The bit about the grant of rights is indeed true, although DDP seems to have a list of titles they want, and a list of titles they can take or leave. As of yet, no one in the take-or-leave category that I’ve talked to have expressed much in the way of feeling strong-armed or bullied by Archaia’s new owners. On the other hand, those of us who are in the “want” category have had an entirely different experience. When I suggested possibly taking my title elsewhere, Archaia did mention possibly holding our book hostage by way of technicalities in the old contract they no longer want to honor. I also know for a fact that I am not the only creator to have been told this.

Really, what depresses me the most about the whole situation is that Archaia *was* a great company, and under the reign of Mark Smylie, a wonderful venture to be a part of. I still have a great deal of respect for Mark as an artist and a person, but the publishing house he built appear to have been swallowed up by the very forces it was meant to counter.

Still no word from ASP or DDP.

3 Comments:

  • I hope you stay on top of this story because I am really appreciative of the work you have done on it so far.

    By Blogger kafraco, At October 8, 2008 at 11:27 AM  

  • This is Brian Warmoth, Marketing Manager of DDP.

    Normally, Devil’s Due Publishing would not comment on unattributed rumors. But, due to the amount of queries we have received about this, we want to set the record straight.

    While DDP and Archaia Studios Press had some initial exploratory conversations, DDP is not acquiring ASP. We are continuing to have conversations with Archaia about the possibilities of working together in some capacity, as we are with many other publishers both big and small.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 8, 2008 at 1:45 PM  

  • I believe ASP should have an official comment by the end of the day.

    By Blogger Dave Lewis, At October 8, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

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