Believe it or not, we still haven’t had time to read the Zuda contracts.But lots of other people have! Johanna has an excellent summary of opinion so far, she catches Chris Butcher’s dire warnings
It’s nice to be paid a page-rate for your work and all, but that $14,000 salary cap ($1000 purchase price plus 52 weeks @ $250/strip) seems to be pretty limiting, in terms of the potential revenue that could be generated off of a successful webcomic. It’s not bad money I guess, but here’s the thing… It’s less than the money you would make doing a half-page of comics art at DC or Veritgo even, and it also involves selling off the intellectual property for your work for an unlimited amount of time (seriously, at $500 a year, Time Warner could quite easily afford to pay you that fuck-off money forever). The idea that you should fully own what you fully create? It’s a good one, and one that I feel should be taken seriously. I also personally feel that every time someone takes a very bad deal like this, it makes it that much easier for publishers to OFFER very bad deals.
Is it a bad deal? We can’t say, not having read it yet, although the analyses we’re reading so far sound pretty in line with what Marvel and DC usually offer. From what we’re hearing, some Zuda creators are getting a different contract, however, so that should be kept in mind.
While the reversion clause sounds pretty onerous, DC does let some properties revert — we can think of BREATHTAKER by Mark Hempel and OUTLAW NATION off the top of our head. Of course, these properties are not exactly V FOR VENDETTA and ROAD TO PERDITION. Suffice to say that if you have something that you really think is the next Ctl+Alt+Del or Pearls Before Swine, Zuda probably isn’t your best bet.