CLE: The Law And Practice Of Representing Comic Book Creators – 2019

Thursday- Friday, March 14-15 at Emerald City Comic Con

Thursday Course Price: $159
Includes complimentary Thursday Pro Badge

Friday Course Price: $154
$129 Course Fee + $25 4-day Pro Badge

Bundle includes both courses with a 10% discount + $25 4-day Pro Badge

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2018 was a tumultuous year for the comic book industry: sales of comics declined while revenues from movies and television shows soared. One thing has remained consistent: more and more creators are gravitating to the comic book and graphic novel market as their medium of choice.

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.

Even if you’ve taken last year’s courses, this year’s will bring you something new, including state of the industry updates, new practice tips and tricks, an in depth look on how to negotiate television and motion picture deals from comic book source material, and more!

This year Emerald City ComicCon, in association with Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., and the Washington State Bar Association 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.



2.75 Law and Legal Procedure and 0.25 Other CLE Credits (3.0 CLE Credits Total)

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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:

  • An overview of the current legal and business trends in the comic book industry
  • Comic book publishing Intellectual property issues
  • Service agreements and collaboration agreements
  • Morality clauses and online libel accountability
  • What agents and publishers look for in a comic book property
  • An overview of comic book publishing agreements
  • Legal issues in film and television licensing of comic book properties
  • Q&A



2.00 Law and Legal Procedure Credits and 0.50 Other CLE Credits (2.50 CLE Credits, including optional homework assignment)

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Due to the overwhelming response to last year’s practicum, we’re bringing it back for a second year with new exercises and new hypotheticals!

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 Saturday’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:

  • Issue spotting for the comic book creator client
  • Writer artist collaboration agreements
  • Negotiating a publishing agreement
  • Negotiation and drafting of the motion picture option/purchase agreement
  • 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.

Katie Lane, EsqKatie Lane, Esq. Katie Lane, Esq. is a comic book and entertainment attorney based in Portland, OR, and the founder of Her clients include comics creators, filmmakers, designers, podcasters, and small creative companies. In addition to her legal practice, Katie works to improve creators' legal literacy through articles, workshops, and DIY tools. She is the legal columnist for Professional Artist Magazine and a regular speaker at creative conferences such as HOW Design Live and AIGA's Eye on Design. Katie received her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and is admitted to the Oregon bar. She tweets about law, negotiation, and Star Trek from @_katie_lane and you can email her at

Norm Harper. Norm Harper is a writer and the owner of all-ages comic studio Karate Petshop. His debut graphic novel Rikki – an adaptation of “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling - was nominated for a 2017 Eisner award.

David Gallaher: Author David Gallaher has received multiple Harvey Award nominations and won The Best Online Comic Award for his work on High Moon. David was an early pioneer of digital comics developing projects for Marvel as well as Box 13 - the first comic designed specifically for the i-Phone for ComiXology. He has served as a consulting editor for Attack on Titan, Sailor Moon, Phoenix Wright, and other manga projects for Kodansha. He has written for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, IDW, Boom! Studios and is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult series THE ONLY LIVING BOY.

Other instructors and panelists T.B.D.

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