DC Entertainment Revamps Comic Book Royalty System for Creators

DC Comics New Logo Superman - H 2012
<p>DC Comics New Logo Superman - H 2012</p>
In an email sent to writers and artists, co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee fold print and digital sales together and add colorists to the talent pool that can receive royalties.

DC Entertainment has revised its royalty structure for creators, with an email sent to its talent on Tuesday announcing that there will no longer be a division between print and digital sales for periodicals in terms of incentives, with colorists and creators of digital-first series also being added to those who will benefit from sales success.

The email from DC co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee explains the need for an overhaul of its current incentive plan by pointing out that the one in place “no longer reflects today’s business landscape where comics are sold in a variety of formats and through a myriad of sales channels,” noting that the new plan means that incentives will now “be calculated based upon DCE’s net revenue from a book’s sale rather than on the cover price,” with digital sales “added to print sales and the sum will count towards achieving the sales threshold, which triggers participation payments.”

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Additionally, sales thresholds have been standardized across sales channels—previously, they had been different for the comic book specialty market, digital market and newsstand market—and the bookstore/collected-editions market had been added as an additional threshold.

Colorists have also been added to the participation pool for incentives for the first time, with their names being added to cover copy for DC titles alongside writers, pencilers and inkers for the first time.

“DCE is committed to being the publisher of choice for top talent in the industry and to further strengthening our relationship with our talent, ensuring that together we continue to create the comics we can all be proud of,” the email concludes. The new incentive scheme takes effect on July 1.