The webcomics blog about webcomics

Hopes, Dreams, Etc.

Couple things going on in the world of webcomics. For starters, the Applegeeks crew are due in next month’s Dark Horse Presents on MySpace. The topic of Dark Horse in general came up at lunch with Rick Marshall yesterday, and we’re astonished by the string o’ webcomics talent that they’ve been trafficking in.

But the big story is undoutedbly the news from CBR that Platinum have entered into a deal to produce a Hero By Night TV show. You remember Hero By Night? Created by a guy named DJ Coffman who, as of this writing, hasn’t actually been contacted by Platinum regarding said deal? Since the partner mentioned by Platinum in their press release, IM Global, appears to have a track record in distribution and has a number of projects in the pipeline, this may be more than just a PR announcement where the project at issue never comes to fruition.

That leaves the obvious question, What about DJ? The contracts offered by Platinum for the 2006 Comic Book Challenge aren’t public (momentary pause here to offer some kudos to Zuda for their disclosure of the contracts; I don’t like a lot of the terms they contain, but at least they’re where we can all see them), so I asked DJ for some broad outlines about the agreement he has with Platinum. I didn’t ask for the particulars of rates or dollar figures, but did get some interesting details:

Fleen: You transferred the rights to certain original characters and situations to Platinum for immediate use in comic books. Does the licensing/exploitation of those characters and situations to other media obligate them to other payments?

Coffman: Yes. The TV stuff is covered and just about anything else under the sun is in there, even things that haven’t been invented yet. Even a spinoff based on characters from he universe I’d get royalties and bonuses from, but I can’t say how much, of course.

Fleen: Does your contract provide you with the right of independent auditing?

Coffman: Yes. If memory serves me, my CBC contract says I could have my own accountant go in and check their books and all that. If there was no further communication from them, I was planning on doing this anyways at some point regarding the online animations they put out (which are covered) and the downloads at Wowio.

Fleen: It’s my understanding that Scott Rosenberg (head of Platinum) has in the past started multiple companies in the area of comics and other media, including a new one called Vanguard Comics whose mission statement is eerily similar to that of Platinum Studios. Is the company that you are contracted with the same legal entity that made the announcement with IM Global?

Coffman: Yes. And it’s been my understanding from other legal eagles I’ve spoken with that if another company takes over Platinum, buys them out, changes names, the contracts still stand and are simply transfered over to the new entity, and I’d get a smaller contract to sign stating that I’m aware of the new owners of the property, and that contract continues under its term. I guess that’s common sense legal biz.

Fleen: Are there any questions that you have for Platinum Studios or IM Global at this time?

Coffman: Yes. Please tell me they have not and will not hire the special effects team for Stan Lee’s Harpies. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Judging from that clip, not too much to ask at all.

Finally, following up on Tuesday’s story about Help Desk’s financial woes, creator Christopher Wright is reporting that his readers have dug down into their pockets, and that the site will remain up for at least another month. Obviously, it’s not a long-term solution, but it’s at least a short-term happy ending.

The sad thing is, despite all the contracts in the world, DJ will more than likely never see dime one from anything that TV show generates.


like, ever.

I don’t think STAN LEE’S HARPIES had a special effects team.

Why would that be Scott? I really wish you wouldn’t opine about things like that. Don’t you have like, late orders to ship to your fans and stuff to worry about yourself instead of sitting around playing video games? God, you’re a giant asshole. Get over this.

I don’t see why he wouldn’t, I mean I like you both as creators but D.J.’s stuff seems to have made it closer to mainstream distribution an argument is really unnecessary. Either way, it would be something worth witnessing for all creators interested in trying to make a go at that type of media.

It’s a dumb statement because at the point a TV show were made, I’d be paid. Scott has this “fear” I wouldn’t or they’d just stiff me somehow, but then it would go to legal channels pretty easily at that point. But that will likely never happen. In Platinum’s defense, they paid me what they had owed me last summer, which wasn’t CHEAP. Hell, if they were gonna stiff me, they’d of done it then.

Honestly, knowing the way these things go anyway, even if I was in good graces with Platinum, I wouldn’t be running around glowing about this news, the reality is a press release is a long way from getting things actually made.

that’s a dumb statement, scott.

That’s because Scott’s a dumb douche James. ‘Course you probably already knew that.

Couple of things:

1) I don’t understand why everyone else is allowed to comment on a story that’s obviously of interest, but if I comment then suddenly it’s an indication that I’m behind on my duties as a businessman.

DJ, You don’t get to tell me that it’s inappropriate to comment on what your life is really like, then comment on mine. You have no idea what kind of status my orders or work is in. Trust me. Everything is running fine. Everything is in order. At least I have order to BE late, you jackass.

2) It’s not unreasonable to assume that Platinum will never willingly hand over any monies to DJ. Clearly their current track record shows they have no issue at all not sending out payments, even when it’s completely cut and dry as to what’s owed. Look at Wowio. That contract is not very dense. There are no figures that can be fudged. They’re not even paying THAT out.

If you take into consideration that Platinum not only brokered a deal, but probably agreed to terms, option money and all of that, and never even NOTIFIED DJ about it, what makes you think they’ll try to keep in in any kind of loop, let alone financial?

Look this is news and everyone is commenting on it. If you want this to be some private matter for your Platinum club to talk about then keep it in your homes. But when you do a fucking interview for fleen, Newarama and the Fuck-hole Tribune and whomever else gives a shit, you can’t then criticize me for commenting.

Don’t you have a dungeon raid or something you should be doing about now on a Friday evening? Fine, you comment all you want, because frankly the more you run around commenting on these things EVERY time Platinum comes up, the doucheier you end up making yourself out to be.

And I want to add, I can remember a time not so long ago where you were bloviating that after the 4 issue deal, Platinum would be done with me. We did 7 issues and a hardcover and about 300 pages of webcomics. So yeah, your opinion has been pretty off in this regard. I get that you haven’t cared from Platinum for day one, and as much as I was their “cheerleader”, you’ve run all over bloviating about it as well, so shut it.

DJ Coffman is criticizing someone else for popping up every time Platinum is mentioned?

No Brad, I’m pointing out the irony of Scott doing that after he criticized me for it.

I think that my predictions about your life with Platinum was pretty dead on, DJ.

The fact is that said opinion was NOT exclusively mine. It’s not like I’m the only person who looked at your deal and went “EESH.* You can try to paint that opinion as exclusive to me but it’s not true.

“You said I would do four issues and we did seven. So nah-nah-boo-boo.”

Yeah, you got me DJ. Go make some more Zazzle shirts with my face on them. That’ll get you somewhere super-fast.

ANYway. The only comment I gave a shit about making was that yeah…in my OPINION, I don’t think that DJ will ever see dime one from this TV show.

The fact that DJ is everywhere talking about it like he’s involved somehow…like this has ANYTHING to do with him whatsoever, is laughable.

Sigh… The reality is DJ will agree later that he should ignore Kurtz like some troll in any message thread. But, Scott does like to push buttons. Part of his success is due to truth that is in part of his message. Problem is that this is the same message he says over and over again. Ok, we get it, IP farming companies bad… we get it. So does DJ, but unlike Scott, we also realize that some good companies look just like the bad ones. Sometimes you just have to get out there and promote your idea and take risks to win.

I think DJ could take one of his good ideas and run with it, without help from marketing corporation. I hope that he stops web designing long enough to do this, SOON.

Scott Kurtz:
“The sad thing is, despite all the contracts in the world, DJ will more than likely never see dime one from anything that TV show generates.”

This is the part that repeats your premise over and over.

Scott Kurtz:
“Ever. like, ever.”

This is the TROLL part of Scott, push buttons, another pattern I have noted only in regards to DJ. But then, I don’t follow every word written by Scott.

Once again, just an opinion by someone who reads comics and has watched this soap opera for a while.

Scott, I didn’t seek anyone out, they came to me and asked questions and I answered that this was news to me. I’m not pretending to be involved at all. I’m involved though because my name was mentioned and people wanted to know what I think about it, they can make what they will about noone telling me. I reckon it’s because they didn’t want me to ruin the deal before it was done. And just like your opinion wasn’t your own, there’s a whole other side that agrees with me as well, so we’ll have to leave it at that. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

Well, I’m sure Platinum appreciates all the free press you gave them today.

It sucks you were forced at gunpoint to conduct all these interviews today. Hope you have enough time left to fry them fish!

Scott, I did TWO fucking interviews. One with my friend Jen from PULSE, and one here with Gary. Wow, you really are the Bill Oreilly of webcomics.

I did two fucking interviews today, Scott. One with my friend Jen from the Pulse, and one here with Gary. Wow, you really are the Bill Oreilly of webcomics.

Now your just being silly, of course Platinum got press for this. I suspect that it is the only thing that this news item will ever be. A lame attempt to renew interest by investors in a failing company.

Forget Couture-Lesnar, THIS is the fight of the year. More entertaining than MMA, too.

Gentleman, perhaps we could take the disagreement/anger and make something positive out of it? I’m thinking a friendly charity boxing/sparring match at SDCC, with the proceeds going to Child’s Play.

Jesus. I can’t fight anyone. Why not just let him hit me over the head with a shovel for charity? It would be as sporting.

I have no desire to see DJ in person.

A physical fight is dumb, but I’d totally take you up on the hitting you with a shovel option for charity.

Well, it can’t make me any stupider, and it IS for a good cause.

I could probably use a good shovel to the head. You just would need to get in line.

I think I need to pass a rule that all comment threads here eventually end up at The Shovelling In San Diego. Do it for the children!

Wow, those last two comments by DJ and SK are almost civil. See, no trolling, no “strong” reaction.

If our Platinum contracts were even remotely similar, then yes, DJ should be getting something out of this deal.

I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed, though, just in case.

[…] Kurtz (webcomicdom’s greatest douchebag) decided he HAD to chime in with his bloviated opinion over on Fleen.: The sad thing is, despite all the contracts in the world, DJ will more than likely never see dime […]

This is just sad. That two successful webcomic creators are so easily reduced to such a public catfight, and one that is in such poor taste, depresses me. Scott’s comment was perhaps unnecessary, but Coffman’s reaction was also extreme. As far as I had known, they were both adults, but this is behavior not even tolerable in children.

Well there’s always the possibility that the dispute is a ‘work,’ just meant to stir things up. I’ve seen more extreme versions, in fact, every Monday, Thursday and Friday night. XD

I’m embarrassed for both of you, you create equally as awesome comics yet you let each other draw each other into a petty fight.

Just put the handbags down and get back to making some comics, jeez.

Yeah, guys. Just a bit of professional advice: stuff like this makes people not terribly excited to work with you. I think you’re both very talented creators and hope this sort of public behaviour doesn’t hurt you both in the long run.

[…] covers Platinum’s possible creation of a Hero By Night television series. Heidi MacDonald has […]

[…] impressed with many recent story arcs (and while I had been disappointed to once again see Kurtz acting like a child on the interwebs), I found the strip itself still holding my attention quite well, and the […]

Gods, whenever a good ole interwebs argument like this one pops up it makes me miss the good old days of the wild west of webcomics. That’s what today’s webcomics creators are missing out on Interweb Drama! Forums in flames, blogs full of vitriol and readers eating it up providing page hits to both creators’ websites. Man I miss them days when a career could be made from making an insult to a major cartoonist, and within days their legions of fans would descend upon your site bumping up your numbers for days and days, giving you an artificial sense of success.

[…] Not all is good in the world of digital comics. Website Fleen notes the news from Comic Book Resources that Platinum Studios, owmers of the Druk Duck webcomics […]

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