Happy Friday afternoon, everybody. Here’s what’s giving me hope today.
- Indpendent Creator Meets Corporation 1: Jonathan Coulton noticed that the makers of Glee decided to appropriate his arrangement (including a unique melody and lyric swaps) — and possibly the audio itself — of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back. Coulton, being a classy guy, got a license to release his cover, but the Glee producers haven’t contacted him or sought permission.
A few hours later, the hive mind that is the internet had confirmed that this was indeed produced by the Glee people (as evidenced by an official release in advance of the broadcast through at least the Swedish version of iTunes), and it appears that Glee/FOX are presently depublishing while saying nothing. At this point, I suppose thing to do is wait to see if the song actually shows up when the series next airs, but I find it encouraging that a major entertainment property would have to backpedal so quickly. Not as encouraging as if they didn’t pull this shit in the first place, but baby steps.
- Indpendent Creator Meets Corporation 2: And when those corporations are good enough to not pull that shit in the first place, to actually come to creators and treat them to offers, I find it encouraging when creators don’t sell themselves short. Case in point: the slightly bizarre (but terribly nice) lads behind Cyanide & Happiness have again turned down Hollywood money because it would mean giving up ownership of their work.
Kris Wilson, Dave McElfatrick, Rob DenBleyker, and Matt Melvin aren’t the only creators that I know to have made that decision — I know of creators who have been offered some fairly large checks if only they would be willing to sell their creations outright. Maybe they would be hired to write or draw for this thing they created, maybe not. Certainly, a one-time check with multiple zeros on it is enticing, but creators are getting too smart to agree to deals where they don’t own what they thought up. Good for them.
- As noted in Wilson’s forum posting, the C&H crew will be doing their show on their own, raising money through Kickstarter, which has been fertile ground for creators with talent and a habit of making good on their promises. Case in point: a day after launch, the Spring 2013 B9 collection is already past its first stretch goal and well on its way crushing the remaining stretches. I find that encouraging because this is the first B9 collection not to be centered on creators with serialized webcomics, and I note that it’s the first to be categorized not as Comics, but as an Art Book.
In seeking support from people trawling the Kicktarter categories, that means maybe having to win over a new audience, one that doesn’t know the B9 brand to the same degree; then again, Kickstarter knows that B9 is worth looking at, having made the Spring 2013 collection a Staff Pick at launch. Come to think of it, George never said that being “part of the Kingdom” required that you do comics; if this imprint eventually reaches out to other niches of publishing, I won’t be surprised in the least.
- And sometimes you’re just encouraged because people want to help other people and are willing to put their talents and money towards that end. See also: Howard Tayler contributing art and spirit-raising towards a campaign to help science fiction writer Jay Lake kick cancer square in the ass. As a side note, one of the people depicted in Tayler’s artwork is famed genre writer Patrick Rothfuss, whose work on behalf of Heifer International (with the assistance of many webcomickers) has been noted in the past. Not content to merely organize an enormous undertaking, Rothfuss has decided to put some more skin in the game:
This year we’re trying out the stretch goal thing, and one of our big ones happens when we hit [US]$400,000.
Specifically, if we hit 400,000 dollars before January 21st at midnight, I’ll donate [US]$100,000 to Heifer, bringing our yearly total to over half a million.
If not, I will keep that money and do something stupid with it. I swear I will blow it on catgirls, methadone, and multiple pairs of the same kind of shoes.
And that’s before he commissioned three gold rings engraved with his name, which permit the bearer to redeem for any favor they want from him. You do my faith in humanity good, Mr Rothfuss, and as of this writing the 2012 Worldbuilders campaign is sitting at US$368,609.42, so you’d better warm up your checkbook¹.
¹ Sorry about the methadone and catgirls.