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Comic copyright holder question

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  • Comic copyright holder question

    A simple question for those of you who have the comic. I am waiting for mine to be delivered by Amazon Japan.

    Who owns the copyright to the comic Elric: the Balance Lost published by Boom-Studios?

    I assume that Mr. Moorcock retains the ownership of the characters Elric and the other eternal champions that appear in the series, but what about the artwork and the story?

    Does the copyright belong to Francesco Biagini and Chris Roberson respectively or to Boom Studios?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have a wonderful week.


  • #2
    According to issue #1 of the series:

    Text and illustrations of ELRIC: THE BALANCE LOST™ © 2011 Michael Moorcock. Excluding the unique creations of Chris Roberson, which are ™ and © Monkeybrain, Inc., all characters, the distinctive likenesses thereof, and all related indicia are ™ and © Michael Moorcock. All other material, unless otherwise specified, ™ and © 2011 Boom Entertainment, Inc.
    No mention of the artist, though.
    Last edited by Governor of Rowe Island; 04-22-2012, 03:21 AM.
    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.


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    • #3
      I don't know the details of the artist's deal with BOOM.
      Linda handled my contract and also sorted out Chris's trademarks at the same time. She's very good at that stuff. There was no problem with BOOM, who have behaved like gents. Is there a reason you need to know who owns the artwork ?
      Bookplates, incidentally, Conrad are proving slightly
      difficult to find since I started getting my office into shape after years of not being able to use it. But I haven't forgotten and never mind being reminded!

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
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      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
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      • #4
        Thanks for the information Mr. Moorcock and Governor.
        It is greatly appreciated.

        About the bookplates, I am happy to receive them whenever you discover them wherever they have hidden themselves.

        Partially, I was curious about the copyright because of translation project I am working with between two comic book publishers.
        One company said something was "common practice" and it struck me as strange so I was just trying to get an idea of how things were done elsewhere.
        The reason I asked here was because this forum has the greatest response rate with reliable answers to questions that I know of.

        I have heard other artists say the same thing about Boom being great people to work with.

        Thanks for taking the time to read this and for answering my questions.

        Have a wonderful week.



        • #5
          The vast majority of American comic books are produced under what's known as 'Work-for-Hire' where the writer and artist are paid for their labour in producing the comic but they don't themselves retain any copyright in the material, which belongs (normally) to the comic publisher. Note: artists retain ownership of their art and while they may not be able to reproduce it they can sell or exhibit the pages as they see fit.

          The other side of the coin is 'Creator-Owned' comics, where the writer and artist will retain their own copyright on the material and can publish it away from the original publisher. Rates of pay for C-O work may be less than that for WfH in the short-term but longer-term could prove more financial rewarding if the material is a mega-success.

          The situation in other countries, such as Japan, might be different though.
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."


          • #6

            My understanding is that most comic/manga work is 'Creator-Owned' here and there is very little 'Work-for-Hire' done for publishers. It is very similar to the book trade I believe.

            There were cases that were 'Work-for-Hire' but later made a long journey through the courts for ownership of the IP. The decision landing in favor of the writer/artist, but only for the works created after the initial contract. The initial work usually remained with the publisher.

            The main of the IP copyright issues that make the news here are between artist and writer over who originated the concept and who contributed what.

            Sadly that has seen several promising and interesting manga become so mired in legal battles that fan interest wandered to other titles.

            Thanks for reading.