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A Joint Task Force is Formed Because #DisneyMustPay

In November of 2020, a royalty dispute between Alan Dean Foster and Disney was publicized. Foster was originally contracted to write the Alien novelizations through Warner Books which were eventually licensed to Titan Books, and the Star Wars novelizations by Lucasfilms. Both Warner Books and Lucasfilms regularly paid his royalties. When Disney acquired the rights to the books, they no longer paid royalties for his work.

It has further been revealed that contract issues with Disney-owned/controlled companies continue to affect multiple authors across different writer organizations. To advocate for these writers, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) formed the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force with the Authors GuildHorror Writers AssociationNational Writers UnionNovelists, Inc.Romance Writers of Americaand Sisters in Crime. The group will help identify and guide authors who might be owed money. The task force includes members such as Neil GaimanTess GerritsenMary Robinette Kowal, and Chuck Wendig. The committee has identified the key areas to be addressed.

Disney needs to:

  1. Honor contracts now held by Disney and its subsidiaries.
  2. Provide royalty payments and statements to all affected authors.
  3. Update their licensing page with an FAQ for writers about how to handle missing royalties
  4. Create a clear, easy-to-find contact person or point for affected authors.
  5. Cooperate with author organizations that are providing support to authors and agents.

When the task force presented Disney with these steps and offered Disney to include a statement, the House of Mouse declined.

Authors may be missing royalty statements or checks across a wide range of properties in prose, comics, or graphic novels. Below is a list of properties that have verified reports of missing statements and royalties. The list is incomplete and there are likely more:

  • LucasFilm (Star WarsIndiana Jones, etc.)
  • Boom! Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
  • Dark Horse Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
  • 20th Century Fox (Buffy the Vampire SlayerAlien, etc.)
  • MGM (Stargate)
  • Marvel WorldWide (SpiderManPredator)
  • Disney Worldwide Publishing (BuffyAngel)

The task force is opening up help to anyone that is affected. Authors don’t need membership or an agent. For those missing royalty statements, they can fill out this form hosted by SFWAAnonymity is guaranteed.

Disney’s stance is they have purchased the rights to these properties and books but not to the obligations that come with it. If this is left to stand, it opens up a world of abuse where company A would be able to sell off properties to company B to get out of obligations.

The SFWA announced that Mr. Foster’s royalties issue has been resolved. But, about a dozen additional authors contacted SFWA with a request for assistance, including the authors of Empire Strikes BackReturn of the JediIndiana Jones, and multiple other properties. SFWA has provided Disney with the names of authors who are similarly missing royalty statements and payments going back years. 

Disney is being reactive concerning this. They have to be told there are missing royalties and to be contacted with a formal claim.

This isn’t an issue just with Disney. Fox had licensed the comics rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Dark Horse. After Disney purchased Fox, they withdrew those rights from Dark Horse and granted them to BOOM! Comics. When one Buffy author contacted Boom! about missing royalties, they were told that “royalties don’t transfer.” Disney gained a percent of BOOM! when they purchased 20th Century Fox.

Since Disney has declined to cooperate with the task force in identifying affected authors, the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force needs help to contact everyone who might be affected. The joint task members need writers, readers, and fans to alert authors who may be affected.

Other ways to support this effort have been outlined by the task force:

  • Do not boycott, as this will disproportionately affect those authors who are being paid.
  • Use #DisneyMustPay on social media. Help is needed to bring the task force’s five action items to the attention of Disney’s decision-makers.
  • Visit WritersMustBePaid.org, a new website set up by the new task force, and share it.
  • Do purchase the works of affected authors for which they are receiving royalties.

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force’s goal is to make sure writers’ working conditions are fair and safe, but individual negotiations are, rightly, between the authors, their agents, and the rights holder. Hence, the Disney Task Force is looking at structural and systemic concerns.

BOOM! Studios Heads to Wondercon

BOOM! Studios is heading to WonderCon in Anaheim, California, during this coming weekend of April 18-20, 2014. BOOM! can be found at booth #319.

  • Michael Alan Nelson (DAY MEN, 28 DAYS LATER, PROTOCOL: ORPHANS)
  • Mike Kunkel (HEROBEAR AND THE KID)

In addition, signings with the following creators are scheduled:

FRIDAY, April 18

2-3 p.m. R.J. Ryan (THE JOYNERS IN 3D)
5-6 p.m. Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert (TRANSLUCID, AMORY WARS, KEY OF Z, KILL AUDIO) – This is a ticketed signing. Tickets are only available at the BOOM! Studios booth whille supplies last on the day of the specified signing.

SATURDAY, April 19

1-2 p.m. Steven Grant (2 GUNS, 3 GUNS, ROBOCOP, DECEIVERS)
3-4 p.m. Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert (TRANSLUCID, AMORY WARS, KEY OF Z, KILL AUDIO) – This is a ticketed signing. Tickets are only available at the BOOM! Studios booth whille supplies last on the day of the specified signing.
5-6 p.m. R.J. Ryan (THE JOYNERS IN 3D)

SUNDAY, April 20

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. R.J. Ryan (THE JOYNERS IN 3D)
1-2 p.m. Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert (TRANSLUCID, AMORY WARS, KEY OF Z, KILL AUDIO) – This is a ticketed signing. Tickets are only available at the BOOM! Studios booth whille supplies last on the day of the specified signing.)
3:30-4:30 p.m. Natasha Allegri (ADVENTURE TIME: FIONNA & CAKE, BEE AND PUPPYCAT)

In addition, the BOOM! Studios booth will host sketch artists all weekend, including:

  • Hannah Nance Partlow (ADVENTURE TIME: CANDY CAPERS)
  • Kassandra Heller (ADVENTURE TIME)

For $20, fans can request and purchase custom sketches to be drawn on blank ADVENTURE TIME Get-A-Sketch covers.

Special WonderCon exclusive variants will be available for purchase for:
  • BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 ANNUAL #1 (cover by Sam Lavagnino, the voice of CatBug on the “Bravest Warriors” show!)
  • HEROBEAR AND THE KID: SAVING TIME #1 (cover by Mike Kunkel)
  • LUMBERJANES #1 (cover by Jess Fink)
  • TRANSLUCID #1 (cover by Dan Duncan)

BOOM! will present the following panels at WonderCon:

We Are BOOM!
Sat., April 19, 3:30 p.m., Room 208
Last year was a banner year for BOOM! highlighted by the release of our first feature 2 GUNS (starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) and new first-look deal with 20th Century Fox. Archaia joined us as a new imprint, we expanded the all-ages KaBOOM! lineup, and launched our newest imprint, BOOM! Box. Join BOOM! Studios VP of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik and Editor-In-Chief Matt Gagnon as we share our mission to create the future of comics…now. We are BOOM! Come Innovate With Us.

Redefining All-Ages Comics
Sun., April 20, 11:30 a.m., Room 203
Join KaBOOM! Editor Shannon Watters as she moderates a lively discussion about the importance of all-ages comics in today’s market and teases what’s in store from the BOOM! Studios imprint in 2014. We’re not just talking about “kids” comics, we’re talking about amazing comics that can be enjoyed by young, old, and everyone in between! Adding to the discussion are all-ages creators Mike Kunkel (HEROBEAR AND THE KID), Natasha Allegri (ADVENTURE TIME: FIONNA AND CAKE), and Noelle Stevenson (ADVENTURE TIME)! Bring the whole family and discover comics to share!

For aspiring artists, BOOM! will participate in the following portfolio reviews at WonderCon:

Sat., April 19, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 206 B
With Assistant Editor Whitney Leopard and Editor Rebecca Taylor.

Sun., April 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 206 B
With Editor Shannon Watters.

BRAVEST WARRIORS 2014 ANNUAL #1 WonderCon Exclusive Cover by Sam Lavagnino HEROBEAR AND THE KID SAVING TIME #1 WonderCon Exclusive Cover by Mike Kunkel LUMBERJANES #1 WonderCon Exclusive Cover by Jess Fink TRANSLUCID #1 WonderCon Exclusive Cover by Dan Duncan

Preview: Revelations #3

Revelations #3

Writer(s): Paul Jenkins
Artist(s): Humberto Ramos

Detective Charlie Northern’s investigation into the Vatican murder has led him on the path of secrets long buried. While the testimonies are stacking up, nothing is making sense. Northern has found himself in the middle of a real-life conspiracy theory and, for the first time in years, he will have to put himself in the mind-set of a man-of-faith to solve the case.


BOOM! Studios’ Booth, Talent, Panel, and Variants for Long Beach Comic Con

Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios announced today it will exhibit at the 5th Annual Long Beach Comic & Horror Con, to be held during the weekend of Nov. 23-24 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif.

BOOM! can be found at booth #201 and will host creators Caleb Monroe and Eric M. Esquivel, plus sketch artists Hannah Nance Partlow and Travis Hill. In addition, a special LBCHC variant cover for newly launched series Protocol: Orphans (created by Peter Facinelli and Rob DeFranco, written by Michael Alan Nelson, and illustrated by Mariano Navarro) will be available for purchase.

BOOM! will also put on the following panel on Saturday:

BOOM! Studios Presents: We Are BOOM!, Sat., Nov. 23, 1 p.m., Room 102C
You will not want to miss this jam-packed, inspiring hour as BOOM! Studios VP of Marketing and Publishing Filip Sablik reintroduces BOOM! to the world of comics. This won’t be your average publisher panel droning on and on through a series of press releases and stale cover images. Find out what makes BOOM! Studios different than every other comic publisher in the market and why 2013 has been a transformative year for us. We are BOOM! Come Innovate With Us.

At the booth, BOOM! will have a selection of titles for sale, including books from its imprints, KaBOOM! and Archaia.


Preview: Supurbia #9

Supurbia #9

Written by Grace Randolph
Drawn by Russell Dauterman
SC, 32pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99

The Galactic Protection Systems Expo has ended in tragedy, leaving the Meta Legion in tatters. Helen and Gio have been captured by evil forces as the shapeshifter “Ruth’s” ultimate plans start to come to fruition…