The Law And Practice Of Representing Comic Book Creators - 2018

Do you want to earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits while attending New York Comic Con?

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In the past year, the comic book industry and its ancillary markets has continued to flourish, bolstered in part by new trends in digital publishing and derivative market licensing. Why not learn the fundamentals of this growing practice area? This CLE provides attendees a chance to learn from legal practitioners, comic book creators, and former comic book publishing executives.

This year New York Comic Con, in association with Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., and the National Academy of Continuing Legal Education have teamed up to provide a two-part CLE workshop designed to provide attorneys with hands-on experience in comic book publishing legal practice.

Each workshop may be taken individually, but the organizers recommend both be taken for maximum exposure to the subject matter. Course attendees must have a NYCC badge valid for the day of the workshop they purchase. Industry badges may be obtained for either Thursday (free) or all four days of the show ($60 on top of the course fees listed below.)

From Panel To Publisher - Representing Comic Book Creator Clients In 2018

From Panel To Publisher - Representing Comic Book Creator Clients In 2018

October 4, 2018
11:00 AM ET
3 hours
$160 course fee

This seminar has been approved for 3.5 CLE * credits in areas of professional practice for NY.

This first workshop tracks recent trends in comic book business and legal practice as it introduces lawyers to the fundamentals of representing comic book industry clients.
The workshop tracks the stages of representing a client from the initial comic book concept through to the negotiation of the publishing agreement.

Some of the issues explored in this first CLE:

  • Intellectual property issues in the comic book industry
  • Service agreements and collaboration agreements
  • What publishers look for in a comic book property
  • An overview of comic book publishing agreements
  • An overview of licensing comic properties into film, television, and other media
  • Legal issues in self-publishing of comic book properties
  • Q&A

Comic Book Contract Negotiation And Drafting Practicum

Comic Book Contract Negotiation And Drafting Practicum

October 7, 2018
10:45 AM ET
2 hours, 5 minutes
$115 course fee

This seminar has been approved for 2.5 CLE * credits in areas of professional practice for NY.

This second CLE workshop teaches practice skills in comic book legal practice. The information taught the previous day is incorporated into a hands-on negotiation and drafting practicum, featuring breakout groups and in-class short drafting assignments.

This two-hour intensive will do a deep-dive into the three agreements every lawyer must know when representing a comic book creator: the artist services agreement, the comic book publishing agreement, and the motion picture option/purchase agreement. Facilitated by seasoned comic book publishing attorneys, attendees will get a chance to issue-spot, draft, and engage in mock negotiations.

Those attending Sunday’s workshop will have a short assignment to complete prior to the start of the class.

Some of the Issues explored in this second CLE:

  • Negotiation and drafting of the artist services agreement
  • Negotiation and drafting of the “creator controlled” publishing agreement
  • Negotiation and drafting of the motion picture option/purchase agreement
  • Special issues:
    • Negotiating page rates, royalties, and financial incentives
    • Approval provisions and deliverables
    • Intellectual property “red flags” and drafting techniques
  • Q&A


Thomas A. Crowell,  EsqThomas A. Crowell, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of LaneCrowell, LLP, in the firm's New York office. He is also the Director from Practice, emeritus, of The Indie Film Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Thomas counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues, in practice areas that range from film and television to comic book publishing, music, and the graphic arts. His comic book creator clients have created some of the most recognizable superheroes in the world.

Thomas is the series editor of the Focal Press "Pocket Lawyer for ... " series and author of both "The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers" (Focal Press, 2ed. 2011), and the first dedicated legal guide for the comic book industry: " The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators" (Focal Press 2014). Thomas received his JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he graduated cum laude, Order of the Coif. He is admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Additional speakers to be announced.

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*This course has been approved for all NY attorneys including those who are newly admitted (Transitional and Non-Transitional)

CLE Credit

Accreditation provided by National Academy of Continuing Legal Education.

The October 4th 2018 seminar has been approved for 3.5 NY CLE credits (areas of professional practice) and 3.5 NJ CLE credits. The October 7, 2018 seminar is approved for 2.5 NY CLE credits (areas of professional practice) and 2.5 NJ CLE credits. NACLE will try to accommodate requests for CLE credit in your state. If you need credit in other states you must contact NACLE prior to the event. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states.

For more information about CLE accreditation please contact

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