Dynamite, Dabels And Marvel – Getting A Little More Complex

hedge-knight-2-6Recently we reported on news that Dynamite Publishing had signed a new publishing deal with the debt-ridden Dabel Brothers. And then that Dynamite had taken on debts from the publisher.

So exactly who have Dynamite been paying for debts incurred by the Dabel Bros? I understand that creators, many of whom had given up ever being paid, were given a choice of a payment programmes or immediate buyout sums, with deals arranged with (among others) Dave Dorman, Chuck Dixon, Keith Champaigne, Tim Seeley, Mark McNabb, Rich Young, Derek Ruiz, Mark Powers, Eric Williams, Joe Cooper, Chris DiBari, Jordan Gunderson, Kieran Oats and more, with Nick Barrucci taking a hands on role approaching most of them. But not everyone is happy.

Mike Crowell wrote on the Bleeding Cool forum;

sorry to burst anyone’s bubble about dynamite’s awesomeness, but after talking with dynamite president nick barrucci, i’ve discovered that they have no intention of doing what is stated in the above-mentioned quote.

despite the claim that they would “find a compromise payment that will settle all matters in full, or …make a downpayment on the debt and commit to paying the full debt off over time,” mr. barrucci informed me that they will only be handling debts incurred after the dabels parted company with marvel. in other words: 90% of the people owed money by the dabels will be left out in the cold. again.

this was a nice publicity stunt by dynamite, but nothing more than that. the VAST number of people owed money by the dabel brothers will get NOTHING from this deal.

As inker, colourist of The Hedge Knight, Mike claims he is still owed $25,000.

So I talked to Nick Barrucci. He told me;

Our agreement with the Dabels is for every creator since they went solo again. The Dabel’s stated that any money’s from any previous publisher would take care of from that respective publisher, and, again, that money from anyone else would be paid by those respective publishers for the comics they worked on.

Disappointingly, Mike’s comment on the conversation is not entirely true. I stated to him that we were working through all projects that we are moving forward with and that creators were owed, again, since the Dabel’s left all other publishers and go solo, that we do not have the titles and therefore the responsibility falls on the respective publisher, such as Hedge Knight and that is only if the respective publisher has taken on that obligation. I have no way of knowing if the publisher has or has not taken on the responsibility, and frankly, they would not tell me if I asked, and I do not blame them. That is up to the discretion of each publisher. Dynamite also does not know if creators have or have not been paid by other publishers, and this would make the process even harder to find out. It would be very difficult for any publisher to give us any information as it may be proprietary, and I do not blame them.

When I asked Les about this, he stated that the previous publishers that they worked with were responsible for the creators money’s owed. I explained this in detail to Mike and he stated he fully understood. I also stated that we would not see any money for a year since we would not be able to launch our first issue till April or May, and that trades would not be out till May or later, and that we would not start seeing any real money until the holidays of next year at the earliest, and I am sympathetic to his situation, but have to take care of all the people that I can and that he should approach the comics publishers who published the books. Simply put, today we do not have Hedge Knight, so he should speak with the publisher who does. And there is a but, and it’s a potentially positive but, in that I have spoken with Les in detail about this situation. We’re going to see what we can do later next year to help out anyone else in their situation if we actually make relatively ok money on this arrangement. While we cannot make any promises as we don’t know what the economy will be and where sales will be, we are going to try. It’s the best we can do considering the circumstances, and hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone involved.

The publisher landed with Hedge Knight right now is, of course, Marvel Comics. They took on the title after the Marvel/Dabel deal fell through, after a lack of creator payment made the contract null and void and granted Marvel full rights on those books. And of course Marvel work with Dynamite on a number of titles that involve Alex Ross in some fashion. So I went to Arune Singh at Marvel who told me they were giving an official “No Comment” on this situation.

Of course the people who are really to blame are Ernest, Les, David and Pascal Dabel for constantly getting in this situation again and again.

Get it sorted out guys. It’s going to be another cold hard Christmas for some.

It's Comic Con week! Comics, Film, TV, and much more... Check out complete coverage on the Bleeding Cool San Diego Comic Con Hub.