Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tokyopop, a publisher of manga, has a new publishing initiative aimed at, it appears, new talent. The contract for this project, "Manga Pilot," is causing a bit of commotion on the Internets and with good reason: It stinks. Creative people (due to some genetic mishap I'm sure) want their creations to be seen/heard/felt. In the comic book world, those miserable early years of trying to get someone, anyone, to publish your work can be excruciating. And having your work finally, finally find a home with a publisher and getting your creativity presented for all to see is intoxicating. But for all of you who are at the cusp of that Big Moment and about to sign a contract with someone who is going to give you your Big Break...STOP. Take a deep breath and read this sharp smack down by Bryan Lee O'Malley of the kind of crap some weasels will throw down in your path. Never forget: You and your work have value. A publisher is NOT doing you a favor (though they may act that way). You are entering into a Business Arrangement, an exchange of mutually beneficial services. If it's a bad arrangement that's being offered, try to change it or walk away. Not all publishers are evil (as I know from personal experience -- I've been with SLG for over 20 years) but when a publisher like Tokyopop serves up such vile nonsense (slathered in dude-speak too, good grief) then it's a perfect time to remind us all that sometimes clichés are useful: look before you leap.