All posts in the ‘ Making Sense of Contracts ’ Category

Ghost Rider and the No Good, Very Bad Contract

I get a lot of questions about what a “good” contract looks like. It’s a tough question because “good” depends on what you need the contract to do. A contract that works really well in one instance might be a flaming pile of trash in another.

What I can do is show you what unhelpful contracts look like — contracts that everyone thought were going … Read More

A Good Publishing Contract

This last weekend I joined the fabulous Caitlin DiMotta at Emerald City Comicon to talk about publishing contracts.

And then the internet exploded talking about…publishing contracts!

A coincidence? I think not.

Obviously the internet is really bummed it missed our panel at Emerald City.

So for the benefit of all, here’s a short recap of what we talked about.… Read More

The Anatomy of a Contract

Contracts are things that are supposed to make sense. Seriously!

There is a method to the madness and once you figure it out, reading contracts and understanding them gets a whole lot easier.  Here is an introductory overview of the anatomy of a contract.… Read More

Four Secrets to Succeed in Publishing

I had a great time at Stumptown Comics Fest this year!  There were tons of cool people, a bunch of great comics and I tricked George Rohac into doing a panel with me.

On the off chance you aren’t familiar with Mr. Rohac, George is the Operations Director at Oni Press & one of the hardest working men in comics.  George has the comics … Read More

Terms & Conditions

You're having a great conversation with a potential client: the deadline is doable, the work is actually interesting and the pay will be in real dollars, not "exposure." And then she starts speaking another language. "Now before we begin, you'll need to sign our standard NDA and MPSA and we should probably have some sort of SOW in place, you know to better define the deliverables. Once that's done Procurement can issue the PO; our terms are net 45, is that going to be a problem?"


It’s all nice and good to be able to negotiate when there is a contract, a fancy piece of paper that an attorney’s been paid to stick “wheretofors” and “hereafters” all over.  But what happens when you don’t have a written contract?  What happens when it’s a conversation over coffee and a handshake?

Is there a contract even if it’s not written? Maybe.  A contract… Read More

Honor! Valor! Indemnity!

Congratulations!  You just got a good paying gig that’s going to get you through the next couple months.  It’s a company that pays on time and work that’s creatively interesting.  A badly needed signing bonus is yours as soon as you return the contract.… Read More

How to Read a Contract, Part the Second

Yesterday we started to dig into this humdinger of a contract.

It is, in a word, bad.

But bad things are often great teaching devices! They help us see very clearly why to do things in a particular manner or how to better approach a situation.… Read More

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5 Things to Know Before You Sign Your Publishing Contract

The following is the first of five emails from a free e-course about understanding publishing contracts. You can sign up for the rest of the course here. In any publishing deal, you're in charge. That's because a publishing contract is you giving the publisher permission to use your work. They need permission and


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