Apparently,illegal downloads of my Eros book Two Hot Girls have reached over 200,000. For Maeve it’s said to be similar -far higher than I’d previously thought.
Well,even 50p for each illegal download would make me happy. Apparently the three French editions [THREE??!] and Spanish collection are all above board and legal contracts signed between the companies and Fantagraphics [the Eros publisher] -two French editions published in France and one in Canada. The contract between myself andFantagraphics clearly reads they have first English language edition rights but no foreign language rights as I’d stipulated. Anyforeign language editions I was not consulted about or paid for.
Let me make it very clear,my series were reprinted several times against the terms of my contract -I was never told. The collected books were without my knowledge.
I was told in writing and by phone [before the internet became common usage] that copies of the books had been seized and destroyed in Canada,Australia,New Zealand and the UK so were a financial loss to the company.
Incorrect. I’ve been checking with customs authorities in those countries on seizure issues and mentioned the series involved. Some checked back as far as 1989 [?] but all say that no such comic title or book was ever seized and destroyed. Asking comic industry experts in those countries I learn that the Two Girls series sold “very well” and there was never a shortage of copies.
Myself and Art Wetherell never got royalties for those sales. Fantagraphics said they weren’t sold there.
Someone asked me whether it was worth publishing your own comics or trying to get a publisher? My response:publish yourself.
It is so annoying that so many individuals make money from a creator while the creator makes a pittance. Is the comic industry more above board these days? No.
Think very seriously before going into a comic creating career and get everything in writing [even though I did it hasn’t helped!].
I’ve found no fewer than six fax copies, four letters and notes on phone conversations to/with Eros Comics re. ‘pirating’ of the books I wrote for then. When I complained that Eros/Fantagraphics were letting these people get away I was told “Fantagraphics is too small to mount a legal pursuit of these people”. When I got responses from two of the companies stating the books were published under license Gary Groth responded with “More Hooper hyberbole!!”
Every single ‘illegal’ printed version of the Eros Comix series/graphic novel Two Hot Girls I have come across have all got indeces stating that the books were published under license from Fantagraphic Books (Eros being an imprint).
Quite by accident I have tonight learned that Fantagraphics took money for other foreign editions but never gave Art Wetherell or myself a single cent -they never even told us.
Now, the contracts we had stated that Fantagraphics only had first edition English language rights. That didn’t stop them from printing second, third or, later, the collected book without telling us or renegotiating.
The contract says, very clearly, that Fantagraphics has NO FOREIGN LANGUAGE RIGHTS. Had their been enquiries we should have been told as the creators.
Apparently Two Hot Girls was published in parts in Kiss Comic. I’d have loved a copy for the archives. There was a Spanish language collection that missed out the vital link in the story!!
You see, prior to the internet publishers, even if you had a legal contract, got away with a lot and probably hoped never to be caught out.
Every time I found ‘pirate’ editions I told Fantagraphics who told me there was nothing they could do legally. Right. I’d certainly like to track down other foreign editions…if anyone knows of them (I know about the French editions but there was also a French Canadian edition) let me know please.
below #9 with Two Hot Girls
Now Maeve was published in 1997 and Kim Thomson informed me by email in 2005, when I suggested re-promoting the books, that it, like 2HGs “has had its day”….but Fantagraphic Books, as Eros Comix has continued to sell it and it is STILL listed in Previews catalogue.
Totally without the permission of David Gordon or myself and certainly with no contract and no monies having come from Fantagraphics for years. Now I learn there was a French edition of Maeve and one in Spanish -possibly under another title but using the original cover image (below).
PLEASE if you know of any non-English versions of these books get in touch -if you know the publisher or have a cover scan that would be great.
Please help support the stopping of creators being ripped off by publishers.