Heidi MacDonald on the story of a cartoonist who signed away her creation to Platinum Studios in 2006:
Don’t take a bad deal and tell yourself it’s better than no deal at all. There are so many other avenues.
I see fewer and fewer young cartoonists in any mood to sign with ANYONE really, and one of the reasons that the comics industry is in better shape than it has been in a while is that the publishers who are getting into it now are doing it for love and idealism, not making a buck off naive young artists.
There certainly are many more avenues available to an artist starting out today, and hopefully more awareness of the rights a creator should be able to expect. However, there are also a lot of wrong-headed ideas circulating about working for exposure or entering contests that are really just strategies for using gamification to avoid giving someone a job, and surely the success of TV/film adaptations from comics is drawing new predators into the ecosystem.
In other words, be careful out there.