Skip to main content

Platinum Studios and NBC's "COMIC BOOK CHALLENGE"

A little tight deadline here, but Platinum Studios and NBC are having a COMIC BOOK CHALLENGE wherein you submit a pitch for your comic along with a sample page. "GRAND PRIZE:The Winner's Idea will be Fully Produced and will debut to the public at one of the major comics conventions of 2007! NBC 7/39 TV will showcase the finalists on the air. "

[Xerexes: I got a press release on this which had a link to a commercial on it. I'll post the full press release as a comment to this post.]

thanks to everyone

Hey all: I’m happy to admit when we’ve messed up on something.Â

Your thread was incredibly helpful to us. Â

We’ve made the FAQ and Submission Release Form available on the front page at www.comicbookchallenge.com, with no personal information required. It’s now easy to see what the top person receives: an acquisition agreement (with creator participation) and a work-for-hire agreement for writing and/or art, along with the page rates. Â

The only people who need to sign a contract are the three finalists – and we will send the agreement at least a week before the event. Â

Also, we completely realize and intended that this event is not for everyone. It’s a local San Diego NBC affiliate that is orchestrating this, and we all wanted to do something fun.Â

(There’s also an interview with me over at Broken Frontier that answers a lot of questions in more detail. You can check it out at: http://www.brokenfrontier.com/lowdown/details.php?id=418.) Â

ThanksÂ

All the best,

Scott

a message from scott at platinum

Hi Folks: I not much of a poster, but in this case, I should be.  First of all, thanks for all of your comments and concerns, as they've pointed out some places where we should have been a lot clearer from the beginning. I’m going to look closely at everyone’s comments and post in much more detail later today. I’d very much appreciate your comments once I do.  We and our partners certainly have made some mistakes on this Challenge with NBC San Diego, our first activity of this type. I’m sure I’ll also make some mistakes in my post later on which will cause additional problems (at least that’s what our PR folks say), but everyone seems civil, so I’m hoping for the best. And, hey, at the very least maybe we’ll give you all even more reason to get along together! Laughing

Why do I just know that

Fabricari's picture

Why do I just know that there's gonna be a video podcast with Mr. Straub and friends singing Kumbaya posted somewheres out there by the end of the weekend?

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison
Fabricari,

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

I'd pay good money to see it.

The William G's picture

Are you kidding? I'd pay good money to see it.


Wow, I can't believe you

L_Jonte's picture

Wow, I can't believe you guys are all Pax now. It's nice to see. Just so long as you don't, you know, start huggung and singing kumbaya or anything. I don't think the community at large is quite ready for that. ;)

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

yeah. come by the booth.

PvP's picture

yeah. come by the booth. Just let me know who you are so we can chat.

 Hey uh,

PvP's picture

 Hey uh, Joey...William....DJ....guys?

Since this has been so nice, would you guys like to call a cease fire?

Seriously, because right now I feel like I can't even enjoy talking shop on some of these boards, comments and discussion groups for fear there's gonna be some bullshit rumble.

And it's really like, gotten me down. Like actually in my real life gotten me a little down.

What about a cease fire?Â

 

 

I decided to cease fire long

Chris Crosby's picture

I decided to cease fire long ago.

(By the by, I must say that I love Shecky.)

I've been feeling exactly

Joey Manley's picture

I've been feeling exactly the same way. See the TAC blog post I made right before this peace broke out. Yes. Let's call a truce for as long as we can.

Fair warning: the Comics Journal interviewed me on a day that I was very, very angry with you, a month or two or something ago. That interview is coming out soon. I think it is supposed to come out for San Diego Comic-Con. And, well, I said a thing or two about PvP and its qualities -- a thing or two that I ultimately only said in anger. Don't get me wrong: I've said much, much worse things to you/about you in messageboards and online columns -- this is no "dick and fart part two" -- but, you know, since we're calling a truce, and since I know that that's hanging out there ... I just wanted to let you know, so that it won't look like I was breaking the truce. It's just a couple of snarky sentences out of a very long interview.

not a problem

PvP's picture

That's cool. Thanks for the heads up. I'll manage it.

No more drunk blogs from me!

Fabricari's picture

No more drunk blogs from me! My sponsor will be so proud. Yeah, I hear ya. We're all stuck with each other for the next 50 years bumping into each other at cons - prolly not a bad idea. And it's a known fact that false-advertizing-robot-girl-banner-ads are more effective at bringing in the traffic than teh dramas.

Does this mean I can get another sketch of Scrath Fury from you at SDCC this year? :D (It's more fun playing the role of sychophant.)

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison
Fabricari, Sexy, Violent, Cyberpunk Comic

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Of course

The William G's picture

I'm always happy to let things lie when it's mutual.


Only if you give me a reach

djcoffman's picture

Only if you give me a reach around. :p

I know what you mean though, I've been steering clear of teh drama for awhile, not only does it get you down, it's boring.

OK, I exaggerated a bit.

Fabricari's picture

OK, I exaggerated a bit. Honestly, I was just happy when they took the old books up for consideration. And they left me with a lot of good practical advice. And an anectdote to tell my friends at work. But from the sound of things, it was probably better that it didn't work out.

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Yeah, honestly, I've been

djcoffman's picture

Yeah, honestly, I've been informed of what their contracts offer and it's not very much at all for the creator--- in fact, I'm questioning one friend's sanity for even signing with them. a 95 to them 5 to you split is beyond ridiculous!

Don't be bitter, dude.

PvP's picture

Don't be bitter, dude. Honestly, I see Platinum pop up everywhere man. I think that guy made bank on Men In Black and he's been trying to get lighting to strike twice ever since.

I'm not sure what you would have gotten out of a partnership with them.Â

Alright, who invented the

djcoffman's picture

Alright, who invented the fucking time machine and went back and altered the webcomic drama department?? Waitaminute...only one person has been seemingly absent and....

 ERIC BURRNNNNNNNNNS!!!! (**shakes fist**)

dot dot dot

Fabricari's picture

I don't have anything to contribute except for that fact that I've had the honor of being rejected by Platinum personally. Yay, I'm bitter!

I'm just here for the group hug.Â

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison
Fabricari, Sexy, Violent, Cyberpunk Comic

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

You know, I've been really

Joey Manley's picture

You know, I've been really sad and depressed about the state of the "webcomics community" lately -- not the individual communities surrounding individual comics or publishers, which are always happy and happening, but the larger cross-section community type sites, represented by Comixpedia -- so sad and depressed that I had promised myself I was going to leave these kinds of sites alone, and just focus on me and mine. It seemed like there was no point in trying to communicate across the vast gaps that separate our points of view.

This thread shows the real value of these kinds of a larger community sites, though. Sure, we all have our differences and our fights and our vendettas -- like one big dysfunctional extended family (even when we hate each other, we, at the very least, know each other, mostly understand each other, and most of us really don't want to see anybody else in the community get seriously screwed). There are some times when it's very important that we can all find each other, and talk to each other about things that affect us as a community, and find common ground. Maybe those times are pretty rare. But when they come around, they're vital.

Like you said on PvP about this thread, Scott, it's been a very refreshing change of pace -- and right on time, for me, anyway. There was this science fiction story I read as a kid -- it was old when I read it, something from the 50's, I think -- about a guy who discovers a time machine, and uses it to go back into history and make all of humanity into pacifists somehow. Then he gets back to the present just in time to see the hostile aliens land and take over the world from the helpless, happy humans. War was serving the purpose of keeping the human race in fit fighting form for that day. Maybe all our fighting (not just mine and yours -- but everybody's, all the time) over the years has served the same purpose.

Speaking of Hollywood, and

PvP's picture

Speaking of Hollywood, and since Chris is here.

What progress has been made on the YDK movie. I haven't heard any Keenspot news for almost a year now.

What's the haps?Â

Phase Two and 20th Century

Chris Crosby's picture

Phase Two and 20th Century Fox Television are still actively developing the "You Damn Kid!" animated series. They're currently continuing to interview potential showrunners. Matching YDK up with a talented TV writer who has a clear vision for the series that's true to the source material is key. Once Phase Two has found that, if they do, there will be major progress.

(I wish I could say more, but I'm not allowed to. However, I can say that the caliber of writer/producers who have thus far applied for the showrunner position have been incredible, at least from my point of view.)

There'll be lots of Keenspot news announced at Comic-Con. Friday, July 21st, 6-7pm, Room 9.

Hey, I like Hollywood.

chuckwheel's picture

Hey, I like Hollywood. Swimmin' with the sharks, kids, that's what it's all about.Â

 

Chuck

http://www.pewfell.com

Down with Hollywood!

djcoffman's picture

Down with Hollywood!

Holy Shit, Chris. Where have

PvP's picture

Holy Shit, Chris. Where have you been?

Cresbard, South Dakota!

Chris Crosby's picture

Cresbard, South Dakota!

I love your avatar.

I love your avatar. <3

Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com

Kristofer Straub www.starslip.com

I also love my avatar. :>

Chris Crosby's picture

I also love my avatar. :>

Not that it matters, but...

Chris Crosby's picture

I also agree with Mr. Kurtz and Mr. Manley on this.

oh wow

Holy crap, Kurtz, Crosby and Manley are ALL in agreement about something? I'm not sure if this is a sign of the Apocalypse or the dawn of some new webcomic Age of Aquarius thing.

Mike Wytrykus www.grimstone.net

I have to admit, it's been

PvP's picture

I have to admit, it's been nice.

Remember the end of Watchmen? Maybe we all just needed a common enemy like Hollywood to unify us.Â

I call dibs on Nite Owl 2!

The William G's picture

heh

Dibs on being Nite Owl 2 cuz he was the only one who got laid, AND not killed.


It has been nice.Â

Joey Manley's picture

It has been nice.Â

This is cool

The William G's picture

This is cool... All of us people who are usually at each others throats getting on the same page: Don't trust Hollywood.Â


It seems like Platinum

PvP's picture

It seems like Platinum trolling for more properties by hosting a contenst.

You know, Platinum was

djcoffman's picture

You know, Platinum was started by the guy who brokered the deal that started Image Comics as a label through Malibu until they could launch their own print run. Marc Silvestri, one of the founding Image creators is actually a judge on this thing as well.Â

Either way-- true, everyone should be careful with contracts and the like-- , but don't outright demonize something that you don't entirely know the details of.

Nobody is demonizing

L_Jonte's picture

Nobody is demonizing anything, we're just saying that the contest looks like a front for property trawling.Â

Lots of companies do it, that's reality.  And it's something that all, "new and unpublished comic book creators" should be very wary of.

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

Ok sure. But that's what

djcoffman's picture

Ok sure. But that's what Platinum does professionally. It sounds more to me like a local San Diego thing to hold during the comicon. But still--Â

I just want to say again, I'd never link this if I ever heard a bad word about Platinum, I've only heard good things about them and people who work there.Â

"I just want to say again,

L_Jonte's picture

"I just want to say again, I'd never link this if I ever heard a bad word about Platinum..."

Well, sure. I don't think anybody suspects you of skullduggery here. It's just that certain business practices justifiably set off our collective alarms. More so because there are always fresh faces that don't know what to watch out for. It's hard to know who's savvy and who isn't, so you just warn everybody when this sort of thing comes up. Ya'know?

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

What do you win again?

EricMillikin's picture
All the warnings about not getting screwed out of your characters/concepts/stories/whatever are well-founded. What I don't understand is exactly what the winner gets that would even make this remotely worthwhile -- they'll get ten seconds on an evening news cast, a book printed, and their idea shopped around to see if somebody else can make some money of it? At least when artists and writers work for Marvel the have a pretty good idea they they're going to get a paycheck out of it ...
Â

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

 Everything Scott Kurtz

Shaenon Garrity's picture
 Everything Scott Kurtz has said here is right on the money. Listen to him.

I find it telling that you

L_Jonte's picture

I find it telling that you have to supply personal info about yourself before you can even get the basic contest agreement. I was unable to find anything that indicates what kind of contract the "winner" will be required to sign for the publication of their work or what happens to the rights to it.

I began (but did not finish) the submission process in order to get the initial agreement. Anyone who wants to see that agreement, without giving them personal information, just let me know.

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

Specifically, by way of

Joey Manley's picture

Specifically, by way of being careful: make sure you read the "terms" language, which shows up in a tiny scrollbox on the second page of the form (after you've given them your contact info) very, very, very carefully. It would be best to have an attorney look at that language before you even submit, since, by submitting, you are entering into a binding legal arrangement with Platinum (according to the "terms"), and you should never enter into binding legal arrangements with anybody over something as important as this -- not even with your best friend -- without seeking out legal advice.

Let me give you another

PvP's picture

Let me give you another example.

Robert Kirkman suggested to me that I contact John Glynn over at United Media about getting PvP syndicated into newspapers.

I talked to John and let him know that what I was looking for was newspaper distribution only. I already had my book deal and merchandise deals squared away. I was open to any new merchandising or licencing opportunities that they could offer and of course we could negotiate a proper split of profits on that. But as far as PvP was concerned. I already had an established property and all I was looking for was newspaper distribution.

I also told them that PvP strips could be edited to be family friendly and that I would not see that as some slight against my art or my vision. I could certainly work with them to make the content acceptable to the discerning newspaper editor.

Six weeks later, United Media passed on PvP. John mentioned in his email that United Media considered itself in partnership with it's creators and they were not a distribution service. So that a strip without ancellary rights really held no interest for them.

Now I could probably talk to John again and work out a deal. I've had some syndicated cartoonists tell me that I could negotiate a deal that would satisfy both parties.

So I have options. By not trying to negotiate further, I can safely keep what I have. But by NOT trying, I could be missing out on some real opportunities. Certainly self-syndicating did NOT work out for me.

 

Now, compare that sitation to a kid who doesn't have an established property and just desperately wants to get his foot in the door. I've heard of people who were afraid to hire a lawyer or object to any points of a sydication contract for fear the opportunity will be pulled from them.

A lot of these production companies and syndicates deal with what I call "deer in headlights" creators. Kids who just want someone to come whisk them away from their day jobs and make them cartoonists. When they talk to someone who's got some confidence in their work and know the score, their attitude changes drastically. "Oh, you actually know what you're talking about." Okay. Well, then...

So I think that all Joey and I are trying to do is remind you that with ANY opportunity such as this, don't be afraid to slow down, ask questions, hire a lawyer, get advice and examine your options. Don't sign into anything blindly. Have some confidence in yourself and don't be afraid to say no to something that makes you uncomfortable. And seek advice from others in the industry who might be able to help you make informed decisions. I've cold called a couple professionals when faced with a decision and found them to be more than eager and willing to impart what advice they had.

There is no one coming into town who's going magically transform you into a famous cartoonist and share all the wealth with you. That's not going to happen, no matter how a press release is phrased.

Just, stay smart about things is all.Â

Platinum...

djcoffman's picture

And I would have never linked this if I thought it was a scam. Platinum is a pretty reputable agency-- And I haven't heard any horror stories about them, only good things.

That said, I wouldnt give them "your baby" of an idea. This is probably good for just jamming out an idea and submitting it in with a one page sample-- if they pick you, it could mean some money and big exposure for you-- and you could always change your mind and not sign an actual contract.

Platinum

[quote=djcoffman] And I would have never linked this if I thought it was a scam. Platinum is a pretty reputable agency-- [/quote]

I don't think anyone was implying it was a scam. But like a contract with DC or Marvel (also reputable companies, I'm told!) you need to be aware that you are signing with a publisher who will reap far more benefit from any success than you will.

It's important for creators to be aware of that so that, if they do sign, they don't become bitter and spend the rest of their careers re-writing Alan Moore's diatribes against DC.

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

P.S. I've met lowell

PvP's picture

P.S. I've met lowell Cunningham at a convention one year (The guy who created the Men In Black comic). He was a broken, bitter man who bitched constantly about how he was fucked out of a lot of money.

If that's any indication.Â

IN all fairness, that's

djcoffman's picture

IN all fairness, that's about half of creators at comic shows! Everyone has a "bitter and broken" story. The comic business side of things can be a very harsh mistress.

 

DJ Coffman yirmumah.net

There's bitching, and then

Joey Manley's picture

There's bitching, and then there's bitching. Very few creators have seen their work turned into a multibillion-dollar Hollywood franchise without reaping significant rewards personally. There are some. Cunningham may or may not be one of them.

Seriously: I know some of you will be determined to do this, no matter what Scott Kurtz says, no matter what I say, no matter what anybody says. There was a similar conversation over on Warren Ellis' The Engine over TokyoPop contracts, and it boils down to young, relatively unknown creators looking for any break whatever, vs. older, relatively well-off people whose positions were earned by avoiding bad deals. There's potential for misunderstanding on all sides. I don't think anybody wants this to turn into that kind of conversation (it got pretty rough and flamewarlike over there on The Engine -- I don't have time to find the thread right now; maybe somebody else could find and link it).

Just please be aware of what you're doing before you do it.

And take into account that Scott Kurtz and I so rarely fall on the same side of something that, you know, the fact that we are doing so here could, maybe, just maybe, just possibly, be a sign.

I can't recommend strongly

PvP's picture

I can't recommend strongly enough that any creator with a great comic book idea stay as far away from this as possible.

Self-publishing your comic book is an engaging, challenging and educational process. It's fairly low risk and not as expensive as you might think.

If your idea is good enough to be chosen for this show, it's good enough to submit to Dark Horse, Image, Top Shelf, Slave Labor Graphics, or Oni.

I just see this idea and my first instinct is to run away as fast as possible.Â

I'm not sure it's so

I'm not sure it's so different.

I suspect the TV Challenge contract will not be dissimilar to the standard Platinum contract.  Platinum look to publish comics which have characters/story-lines etc which are suitable for movies/tv etc. Nothing wrong with that except, if I remember rightly, their contract says that 90% of the proceeds of the successful exploitation of the tv/movie rights will go to Platinum and only 10% to the creators.

Obviously, that can be a great deal for the few who strike it big (I think they handled Men in Black but I'm happy to be corrected!) After all, 10% of a multi-million dollar contract is still a lot of money. For the majority who won't be seeing that sort of success, however, giving up 90% is an awful lot and - for those who believe in the quality of their own work - the thought of surrendering 90% of its worth is a huge psychological barrier to overcome.

In defence of the Platinum contract, if the alternative is to submit your work to DC or Marvel and lose 100% of the rights then perhaps it's not such a bad deal!Â

There are pluses and minuses as in all things but the Platinum contract is one to be read very carefully and only entered into once you know exactly what you're getting and - more importantly - exactly what you're surrendering.

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids