Sláine by Angela Kincaid ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT © REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
THE NON-ROYAL ROYALTIES
There’s been an incredible response to my post about the far from royal royalties on ‘The Crown Jewels’ – the Slaine Horned God series that launched the 2000AD Hachette Ultimate editions (see www.millsverse.com/crownjewels).
7,000 reads is an astonishing figure! It compares with several hundred reads that I normally receive on my posts.
I really value your support. Thank you all so much. What it also emphasises is the very real concern that 2000AD readers have about the pitiful royalties paid to creators on a comic they loved and which is still very important to them.
They appreciate that significantly better royalties would encourage creators to go that extra artistic mile as they once used to and produce their best work. And this would attract new Bisleys, Bollands, Fabrys, Gibbons, and writers like myself who currently, and often reluctantly, have to work elsewhere where they are treated better.
7,000 readers’ concerns will doubtless be ignored, but all the spin in the world won’t make the truth go away.
To put things right, it needs a significantly better royalty percentage and deal on stories past and present. This will bring back the magic and lead to a happier ship, new characters to finally rival the old, revived classics, amazing work, and better profits for everyone.
Or continue with the current system of focussing on just short term profits. So the publisher thrives on 2000AD’s past glories as he pays peanuts royalties to the creators responsible. Based on how I’ve seen other comics die when that magic goes away, this policy will result, inevitably, in long term loss with the probable long, drawn out, slow death of a great comic.
The damage caused by this shortsightedness is evident, and has been for the last 25-odd years in 2000ad – as well as the whole UK (former) comics industry, of course.
Even in modern 2000ad (on the odd occasion I sample it), any Dredd not written by John Wagner is, 80% of the time, not worth a page turn. The difference in quality of the work by a lesser writer is stark, and it’s not just me being old and cranky, I’m sure: Dredd in particular changed in the years before and, then, during Day of Chaos, under Wagner’s pen, into a character who actually solves crimes (or attempts to) instead of someone who simply shoots people when he sees it happening. It was the freshest thing to happen to 2000ad since the earliest days. It’s frustrating to see the character devolve since then.
It makes me wonder how the creators being published each week (Abnett, Edginton etc) are managing financially. All creators do it for the love of it but it would be nice to see them properly paid. For example, only DC knows how much they’ve paid Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and Brian Michael Bendis to get them back on board and after the horror stories about how DC treat their creators I sincerely hope Rebellion don’t follow suit.
It would seem that the future of comics in particular may well be self publication.