Colorists Set to Get Royalties, Cover Credit in DC Entertainment’s New Creator Payment Plan

By | June 24th, 2014
Posted in News | % Comments

DC Entertainment is making widespread changes to how they’re going to be paying creators who work on their books, and amongst those changes, most importantly to me – and other creators I am sure – is that colorists are now going to get their fair share. Literally.

Colorists will now be part of the royalties pool that other creators are in for projects, while also gaining cover credits going forward on projects. This is a huge deal, especially given Yanick Paquette’s comments in regards to DC’s talent survey not too long ago. On top of that, I’ve heard anecdotally from several creators who outright passed on DC related jobs because of how the colorist they would like to use on the project would have been compensated. It’s a sea change move that makes DC as a publisher more attractive to these hugely important parts of the creative mix.

Beyond that, digital-first teams now will be a part of the royalty pool as well, instead of strictly earning a flat rate. The headliner changes that came out include that these participation royalties will now be coming from a title’s net revenue rather than their cover price – which makes a lot more sense and I am honestly shocked that they weren’t doing that before – and that physical and digital sales will now be combined to see if a title has reached the levels necessary to incur these royalty payments for the creators involved.

There’s a lot more there, but for the full write-up from Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, the co-publishers of DC, check it out below courtesy of CBR, and good job DC. This all was the right move to make.

Message from Jim Lee/Dan DiDio begins below:

We have news to share regarding a project we have been working on for some time. We will be rolling out a new, modernized participations payment plan effective July 1, 2014.

DCE’s current participation plan dates back over 30 years and was created for a simpler and very different marketplace. The current plan no longer reflects today’s business landscape where comics are sold in a variety of formats and through a myriad of sales channels. Ultimately we made the decision that the best path forward was to create an entirely new plan that covers new work going forward. Great care and consideration went into building this new participations structure and we feel that it provides both us and all of you with a fair, competitive, and versatile plan for the future.

There are a few significant differences between this new plan and what DCE has offered in the past. Perhaps the biggest difference is that all participations will now be calculated based upon DCE’s net revenue from a book’s sale rather than on the cover price. This change gives us more flexibility to sell our material in new distribution channels that have different pricing models.

In addition, physical and digital sales will no longer be treated separately. Digital sales will now be added to print sales and the sum will count towards achieving the sales threshold which triggers participation payments.

We’ve also standardized sales thresholds for all periodicals. There are no longer separate thresholds and percentages by channel (direct market vs. digital vs. newsstand). We’ve also added a threshold for collected editions. The new thresholds and percentages are designed to generously reward high sales performance.

We are pleased to announce the very welcome addition of Color Artists to the participations pool. Color Artists will receive moving forward cover credit for their work alongside Writers, Pencilers and Inkers. In addition, Digital First talent will now be eligible to receive additional compensation and share financially in the success of their books.

In addition, DCE is modernizing our systems for both reporting participations and making payments. Beginning July 1st, all reporting under the new structure will be sent electronically. Also, those of you who live in the United States will now be able to receive your payments via direct deposit. Information on how to sign up for direct deposit payments will be sent to you shortly from the Talent Relations department. International talent will continue to receive payment via wire. We’re very happy to offer these upgrades, which will result in getting paid faster.

Continued below

And last, beginning on July 1st, DCE will begin transitioning to the use of electronic serviceagreements. The work-for-hire service agreements that historically have been transacted on paper will now be handled electronically and sent to and from your editor via email. We are confident this will make the process quicker and more efficient for everyone.

We recognize this is a lot of information to take in, and we anticipate you may have questions. The DCE Talent Relations team is well-informed in the new participations plan and looks forward to discussing with you any inquiry you may have. Feel free to reach out to the team at

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. Thank you and we look forward to working with you throughout the year.


Dan & Jim

DC Entertainment Co-Publishers

David Harper

David Harper mainly focuses on original content, interviews, co-hosting our 4 Color News and Brews video podcast, and being half of the Mignolaversity and Valiant (Re)visions team. He runs Multiversity's Twitter and Facebook pages, and personally tweets (rarely) @slicedfriedgold. By day, he works in an ad agency in Anchorage, Alaska, and he loves his wife, traveling and biscuits & gravy (ordered most to least, which is still a lot).