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Author Topic: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties  (Read 2475 times)

Frank

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #15 on: 09 May, 2019, 01:03:24 pm »
Is this the first money Pat has ever received from his work on the Horned God then, or is he just unhappy with the latest paycheck

It's money the creators are contractually entitled to. If Hachette reckon they shift more units by publishing the first book as a loss leader, let them put their money where their mouth is, rather than expecting Rebellion or the creators to take a hit on their behalf.

I was happy to pick up Hachette editions of America and The Apocalypse War for a couple of quid when I thought they were a freebie from one of the largest publishers on Earth. If I'd known I was actually picking the pockets of Carlos Ezquerra, Colin MacNeil, Alan Grant & John Wagner, I'd have told them to stuff their books* up their collective arse.


* Squarebound hardbacks, with nasty pointy edges.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #16 on: 09 May, 2019, 01:06:04 pm »
It's money the creators are contractually entitled to. If Hachette reckon they shift more units by publishing the first book as a loss leader, let them put their money where their mouth is, rather than expecting Rebellion or the creators to take a hit on their behalf.

Remarkably, I agree with this.
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athorist

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #17 on: 09 May, 2019, 02:00:59 pm »
I don't think this would have much of an impact on sales of the back catalogue (from what I've heard here, the back half of Slaine will probably be getting a lot more sales from the ultimate collection than it ever would've on its own).

If you're really interested in a series, you're not going to wait nearly 3 years for the complete set. Even Nemesis took a year and a half, so did Shakara for just two books, and Kingdom isn't going to be complete unless there's an extension (and probably enough time to run the next book, if there is one).

And all the issues are still in print, at full price
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #18 on: 09 May, 2019, 02:16:48 pm »
I trust everyone getting angry at Rebellion here regarding issues relating to royalties:

• Never buys books from Amazon
• Also doesn’t buy from The Book Depository
Also doesn’t buy from Wordery
• Doesn’t use streaming media, and only buys albums when consuming music
• Pays full newsstand price for all magazines, rather than getting cheaper subscriptions
• Never buys books/media second-hand

Etc etc

As for Hachette, I just had a very curt response via DM, stating that my subscription is NOT running behind, because dispatches are every 28 days. Gnh. (This’d be like Rebellion continuing to issue 2000 AD two days after the shops get it, due to the Easter delay, rather than, you know, getting the schedule back to normal immediately.)

TordelBack

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #19 on: 09 May, 2019, 03:23:20 pm »
I trust everyone getting angry at Rebellion here regarding issues relating to royalties:

• Never buys books from Amazon
• Also doesn’t buy from The Book Depository
Also doesn’t buy from Wordery
• Doesn’t use streaming media, and only buys albums when consuming music
• Pays full newsstand price for all magazines, rather than getting cheaper subscriptions
• Never buys books/media second-hand

Dammit,  I remained almost without blemish to the last line, whereupon I imploded into a superdense singularity of hypocrisy...  :D

also surely he'll be creaming off a healthy slice from those tempted in to subbing as a _lot_ of the collection contains his work

Indeed it does.  Further,  I'd argue it wouldn't exist at all without him.  Or any of Rebellion's comics IP.

Most of us put up with this kind of ballache in our jobs - I couldn't guess how many million words I've written and technical drawings I've done, many subsequently published or reused by others and at least 50% now available on a government website,  for which didn't get  paid one cent more than my wage that week (if at all).  There's a competitor's print advert that I get to see every quarter for the past 25 years which is exclusively made up of my photos, taken with my camera on my film, from a job I never got fully paid for.

Such is life. I understood this was a likely outcome going in, and I imagine so did a wily editorial goat like Pat. And I do acknowledge, no,  depend upon, Rebellion's good works. And as I was arguing, Pat's admittedly uncheckable figures look decidedly marginal for them too.

But when you look at what comics creators have done, and had to put up with,  it's hard to feel that's fair. With tragic cases like Bill Mantlo,  creator of one of the draws of two of the highest grossing films of all time unable to pay his medical bills,  you think there has to be a better way. £129 for The Horned God as a newsstand hardback?  Ugh.


IndigoPrime

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #20 on: 09 May, 2019, 03:48:59 pm »
Most of us put up with this kind of ballache in our jobs
Yep. I’ll admit it pisses me off a bit when I nip into WHSmith and see a massive bookazine largely comprising work I created, and I don’t even get sent a copy. But tough shit on my part, because I signed a contract, and I knew what that meant. Mills did the same. Should things be fairer? Sure. Does that mean you should go online, cut in correspondence from third parties, and cherry pick context? For me, no. (Obviously, for others: yes.)

Quote
With tragic cases like Bill Mantlo,  creator of one of the draws of two of the highest grossing films of all time unable to pay his medical bills,  you think there has to be a better way.
Mantlo’s case is horrible, although his brother did note that Marvel at least continues to compensate Mantlo for whatever he’s entitled to: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152335520344623&set=gm.10152059877936245&type=1&theater

My reading is that creators get screwed when it comes to movie rights, and also that Mantlo as much as anything is a victim of the US healthcare system.

Quote
£129 for The Horned God as a newsstand hardback?  Ugh.
Again: context. How does this compare with the industry as a whole? What would a typical creator expect from a niche partwork? Also, from what I’ve heard elsewhere, creators get nothing from equivalent Marvel newsstand items.

This is the problem with these kinds of figures: they are basically meaningless. We feel that X deserves Y, but we don’t have any actual data to back that up.

TordelBack

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #21 on: 09 May, 2019, 04:17:51 pm »
Quote
£129 for The Horned God as a newsstand hardback?  Ugh.

Again: context. How does this compare with the industry as a whole? What would a typical creator expect from a niche partwork? Also, from what I’ve heard elsewhere, creators get nothing from equivalent Marvel newsstand items.
serves Y, but we don’t have any actual data to back that up.

I'm not for a second denying the importance of context,  of course the relevant comparative figures elude us, and of course that's the wider world that defines the specifics of all this. 

However the cherry-picked figure we do have, £129, in your gut, does this seem right on any level?  What's that work out as, 50p a page for Bisley for a hardback reprint of his redefining the boundaries of British comics art? 

If the numbers had been different and Pat had come out and said "just one measly grand for a reprint of me bleedin' single-handed revival and reinvention of Celtic myth" would we be having this discussion?  I doubt it.

We all sign contracts,  we all happily cash the cheques and thank Danu we have money for the rent that month: but for the breakout successes like Rocket Raccoon and The Horned God,  shouldn't creators expect more?  As Dredd replies to a judge commiserating with him ("can't win 'em all") on the nuking of an entire citiblock: "maybe,  but I like to win the big ones".

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #22 on: 09 May, 2019, 04:31:47 pm »
However the cherry-picked figure we do have, £129, in your gut, does this seem right on any level?  What's that work out as, 50p a page for Bisley for a hardback reprint of his redefining the boundaries of British comics art?

In isolation, ie: without context, it does sound like a miserly number. But it comes in the later stages of a three decade series of royalty payments, the details of which we have no knowledge.

Perhaps royalties have been pretty miserly for years and Pat was expecting a jump upwards income from a new, hardcover edition targeting a different market and it's this failure that has him riled. We simply have no way of knowing.
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IndigoPrime

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #23 on: 09 May, 2019, 04:37:15 pm »
Quite. My most recent royalty cheques for a book I wrote a decade ago are entertainingly tiny – about enough for a (solo) Nando’s. Back in the day, they were in three or, sometimes, four figures. Context is everything. I also suspect the sales numbers for a lot of stuff on the newsstands would surprise people used to seeing figures in the hundreds of thousands, too. (A lot of magazines at least work on incredibly small numbers. One I used to write for only got canned when sales dipped below 3,000 – and that was a decade back. I suspect some you see on the newsstand aren’t even doing those numbers. I don’t know about comics/partworks, but I suspect even the more prominent stuff from 2000 AD doesn’t shift in the quantities of say, Big Marvel Thing®™. And even said BMT likely won’t do the numbers people would think.)

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #24 on: 09 May, 2019, 05:35:20 pm »
Can the replies about creator's rights be hived off into a separate thread by a mod, maybe?

Highly entertaining and informative stuff, of course, but this thread has been properly derailed now.

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #25 on: 09 May, 2019, 08:19:41 pm »
I'm going to come out fully behind Pat on this one. The royalty payment was an insult and he's entitled to bite back. Not that it will do him any good, but I bet it made him feel better.

Long ago I came to agree with Alan Moore on the subject of creator rights. All comics should be creator-owned.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #26 on: 09 May, 2019, 08:33:42 pm »
All comics should be creator-owned.
At which point, why will publishers be willing to take a risk on, well, basically anything?

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #27 on: 09 May, 2019, 08:41:19 pm »
Long ago I came to agree with Alan Moore on the subject of creator rights. All comics should be creator-owned.

I'm going to mention again the number of creator-owned books I know of that were well-reviewed, mid-sellers, and lost the creators money. There is a substantial outlay, infrastructure and risk attached to publishing anything, including comic books. Whilst I have also said that it shouldn't be beyond the wit of Man to devise a more equitable WFH contract, I don't think it's a sustainable business model for publishers to shoulder the financial risk of failure whilst the creators get the rewards of success.

2000AD has for decades been a solid platform for creators to launch wider careers, but the success of subsequent creator-owned books often depend on the name recognition derived from WFH gigs earlier in their careers. Would the 2000AD brand have the weight it does if it had been entirely creator-owned from day one? That was the dream behind Toxic and that crashed and burned in short order.

WFH, as I've said before, is a guaranteed pay cheque and the price of that guarantee is surrendering your rights to the material. I absolutely think WFH contracts should include a decent royalty, and a percentage of merchandise, film, TV and game revenue. I think they should be better but I don't agree that they're wrong.
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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #28 on: 09 May, 2019, 08:54:25 pm »
At which point, why will publishers be willing to take a risk on, well, basically anything?

Because they would make loads of money if it was popular, same as ever.

Obviously I understand that comics is a bastion of publisher rights, and nothing's likely to change anytime soon, but it doesn't have to be this way.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Pat Mills and 2000 AD royalties
« Reply #29 on: 09 May, 2019, 09:01:06 pm »
Because they would make loads of money if it was popular, same as ever.

The idea that there is "loads of money" anywhere in the comic industry is somewhat dubious. I'm not sure what model you're proposing — Image's business model makes no more money from a book that sells 5,000 copies a month than it does from one that sells 50K or 100K.
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