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Demo rights revert


Are you a publisher who would like to acquire an acclaimed book by two of the contemporary comics scene’s brightest stars? Well then, Brain Wood and Becky Cloonan have got an idea for you:

Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan announce the immediate and full reversion of publishing and other media rights for their critically-acclaimed comics series Demo.

First published in 2003 by AIT/Planet Lar, Demo challenged the format of the typical superhero book for a grounded and more realistic look at the personal lives of young people with unusual powers. The unconventional series was nominated for two Eisner Awards and has seen print in multiple languages. Wizard Magazine named it the “Indie Book of the Year”, Comic Book Resources said it’s “what the X-Men would be if they were created today”, and Variety proclaimed it “more human than mainstream comics dare to be.”

“Demo is one of the most important things I’ve done,” series writer Brian Wood said. “And it’s been my continuing mission for it to reach as many people as possible. We’re currently exploring options and offers from other publishers with that goal in mind.”

“Working on Demo was a real turning point for my career in comics and as also an artist;” artist Becky Cloonan said. “Now this opportunity marks a turning point for Demo itself.”

“We will update readers and retailers when future plans for Demo are finalized,” Wood said. “Should be soon, so stand by.”

Brian Wood is currently writing DMZ and Northlanders for DC/Vertigo, The New York Four for DC/Minx and Local for Oni Press. Becky Cloonan is currently illustrating American Virgin for DC/Vertigo and writing and illustrating East Coast Rising for Tokyopop.


  1. Can someone tell me what happened with Larry Young? Five years ago everyone sang his praises and he was everywhere, a popular guy and it seemed like everyone had good things to say about his books.

    Now it seems like even longtime AIT stalwarts want nothing to do with him and he’s persona non grata everywhere else where he used to be a regular fixture.

    What happened?

  2. > See LITG for why this just happened…

    Hey, I read the LITG blurb about this and I gotta say, respectfully, I’ve come to expect a better quality of gossip from LITG.

    I mean, all you say is that the material is likely to be republished by another publisher, but you don’t have any juicy details on why the creators are switching publishers (not that *that’s* necessarily newsworthy; it happens often enough) or why they’d take the unusual step of publicly announcing their rights reversion (that sort of thing is often handled more behind-the-scenes, unless there’s a reason to go public…)

    C’mon, Rich! Don’t we deserve a better class of muck racking, especially if you’re trying to divert attention to your muck racking?

    (Do know that the above is written with more facetiousness and affection than perhaps can be conveyed in a text-only blog comment… ;-) )

  3. I read this earlier today I couldn’t quite “get” what was news about this- who the hell issues a press release looking for a publisher or to advertise that they don’t have one (pretty much the same questions Tommy asks above)? When I saw the item in LITG I was hoping for some clarification and didn’t see it, and in fact it seemed to contradict Heidi and the press release’s assertion that the book was in need of a publisher because Rich states flatly that it will be going to Vertigo- why the discrepancy and why the press release (one would think you’d wait until the announcement of the next publisher to send out the PR, right?). But then I remembered that sometimes Rich is pretty vague and cheeky and allows readers to fill in the blanks so I looked again…

    Having checked out the press release at CBR, I have to assume that perhaps the key to whatever Rich might be hinting at would be found in Wood’s quote: “And it’s been my continuing mission for it to reach as many people as possible. We’re currently exploring options and offers from other publishers with that goal in mind.”

    Now, it seems like a while back there was some discussion, possibly at The Engine, where the problem of AIT’s alleged inability to get books in stock and into stores was mentioned. I only half remember it so I’m sure someone will holler at me if they think I’ve warped the nature of the discussion but I do seem to recall some general disgruntlement about the issue (The Engine is dead so no chance of finding it if that’s where the discussion took place).

    Today’s LITG mentions Vertigo several times so one would assume Demo is going to be published through Vertigo, though why this press release was issued still puzzles me. The wording is certainly something I’ve never read before in a PR statement: “Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan announce the immediate and full reversion of publishing and other media rights.” So, did the rights revert as a result of a lapse of a period of time from the initial printing, or perhaps the book being out of print for X period of time? Why would a publisher let a book go out of print when it seems like a something that could be a perennial which would really help a small publisher’s bottom line? Why would any of this warrant a press release to assert rights when this would seem like a standard behind the scenes event? I know this comes across as unfounded speculation and gossip but I admit to already having some questions and then Rich’s column led me to wonder if he wasn’t trying to hint at something more.

    By the way, Demo WAS awesome and I hope it gets as wide a circulation as is possible. Becky Cloonan’s art is incredible and I can see the stories really appealing to a mass audience in a way many comics don’t.

  4. It seems like this sort of press release shouldn’t be all that unusual in a world where more creators own the rights to their work, and where there are a variety of publishing opportunities.

  5. I hope if Vertigo publishes this, they do so in a larger format. I read a few scattered issues of DEMO and I wanted to pick up the trade, but I didn’t want the smaller format. It should at least be the size of the comic.

  6. It’s no secret that Brian Wood has been publishing through DC rather than AiT of late.

    Why? Well, personal relationships and politics aside, DC is a Premier Publisher and shops order more from Premier Publishers.

    Vertigo will sell more of the same book than AiT can because it is Vertigo.

    Not exactly rocket science.

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