Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Day In The Life

Managed to get a decent amount of sleep, if not a decent amount of decent sleep, thanks to the judicious use of chemical consciousness suppressants. Woke up to find an e-mail from Big Publishing Company Editor saying they'd be happy to look at D2D and Parting Ways and asking me to send copies.

Another e-mail from my lawyer led to a phone call in which he described my desire to include reversion clauses if certain conditions aren't meant in a WFH contract for Small Press Publisher 1 isn't a good idea. Said the lawyer, "You're trying to turn a car into a boat. It's going to take a lot of effort and it's more than likely to sink anyway." (This would've been the Quote of the Day if I hadn't come across something better--see below.) Bottom line: get as much creative stuff nailed down prior to signing the contract so I know SPP1 and I are on the same page, but come to terms with the fact that it is work for hire and I will not be considered an author or creator of something I wrote and created, or walk away. My lawyer would walk away. But then, my lawyer's written for Marvel and DC and walked away from an offer at Vertigo. If I as a writer had my lawyer's options, I'd walk away, too. But if I had those options, I wouldn't even be talking to SPP1 in the first place.

I really want to write ERSATZ, but after talking to a couple people who've worked with SPP1, I'm extremely leery of going into a WFH arrangement with the company, at least not on a story that originated with me. On the other hand, without SPP1 supplying an artist and creative team support, there's just no way the comic is going to come into existence any time in the near future. I'm over-committed to artists as it is--just ask Nick Johnson, who's still waiting for script pages of HOLIDAY MEN beyond the first two. (In my defence, I'm still waiting for character designs for HM beyond the first two, too.)

What to do, what to do. If only there was someone who could help me make this decision, who could give me an honest appraisal of my options. If only I had a manager...

...Oh, wait. I do have a manager. Wrote Carina an e-mail with the ERSATZ pitch and outline and asked if she thought it would have legs as a spec screenplay with no comic to support the property. She's thinking it over and will get back to me in a couple days.

At some point, the decision comes down to what I'm willing to give up to write something I want to write. I'm in the throes of inspiration for ERSATZ right now--I could probably write the entire script by the end of the month even with my other obligations. But to get it out there, I'd have to lose not just control, but legal recognition of my work for what it is.

This shouldn't be a hard decision, it really shouldn't. But for someone on my current rung of the industry ladder, losing IP rights in order to get a book published is par for the course.

I hate this rung of the industry ladder. I've got to get off this rung of the industry ladder.

After sending the copies of D2D and Ways to Big Publisher Editor, I realized I may have made a bit of a boo-boo and breached standard Big Publishing submission etiquette. Had an e-mail exchange with a possible candidate for an agent who'd handle the publishing end of things to make sure I wasn't, and am still a little uncomfortable that I might be, in spite of some assurances. This would be easier if he actually was my agent, or if I had another publishing-oriented agent. If we don't decide to work together, I'll have to put some elbow grease into getting that end of things handled. God knows I'm doing a piss-poor job of it myself...

After getting that out of the way, I got an e-mail from George Singley showing some concept sketches from the artist for TITUS: HEROIC FAILURE. That book is going to be bad, dirty fun. Had a lengthy phone conversation about George during which I regaled him with my theories about creating grassroots support for a small press comic. "That's a good idea," said George. "See, stuff like this is why I don't believe what all the other people say about you."

"Pshaw," says I. "The only thing anyone says about me is a I'm a bitch to work with, and you already know that."

3:00's bearing down and I haven't gotten ahead of e-mails and phone calls. Finally manage to get some work done, revising the outline for the 40-pager for UP1, before getting into an e-mail discussion with a couple of colleagues regarding the relative merits of the e-comic, the ongoing series, series of miniseries, and original graphic novel formats. I personally strongly favour OGNs, just because there's no question of issues running late or a story getting cancelled before completion. Frankly, if I were Diamond, I'd refuse to sell anything but original graphic novels from any small press company that fell more than a month behind schedule or cancelled a miniseries mid-storyline. Probably just as well I'm not Diamond...

Talked to Jay at the Harbor and find out a local filmmaker wants to set up a meeting to discuss optioning Parting Ways. The idea of "doing a meeting" with someone tickles me.

Revised the first five pages of script for SIX SHOTS, retyping the dialogue in the Dreaded Lower Case to make life easier for the letterer.

Made supper, ate it, took several painkillers, tried to write stuff that needed to be written (still does, come to think of it), ended up writing blog and LiveJournal entries.

Today is now officially over. Tomorrow: INCURSION and a shift at the Best Canadian Comic Retailer. Or possibly just the shift. In which case, Friday: INCURSION. I swear it.



"I didn't cry this much at my wedding." Happy Harbor's Jay Bardyla, accepting the 2007 Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Retailer.

A video of Jay Crying Like a Little Girl can be found here:



My buddy Scott O. Brown dropped me a line to say that his company at Cyberosia had, at long last, acquired the left-over stock of the Speakeasy Comics run of Jamie Delano's epic 20/20 VISIONS hardcover. Art by Frank Quitely, Steve Pugh, and a couple other notables whose names currently escape me.

This is good news. I shall have to dig out and reread my copy of 2020V now.


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