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The Creator's Bill of Rights:
A Letter from Dave Sim 11

Below is a letter from Dave Sim with links to Dave's draft of his "The Creative Manifesto", Dave's "Fables" contract with DC Comics, and his concerns of said contract. -Al Nickerson

6 October 05

Hi, Al:

Thanks for your letter of September 29. I’m going to keep going with it for a little while anyway—as long as your archiving the whole thing that means it will be available however long it takes people to either decide to participate or at least read all of the stuff. But I do think that I’m going to be reconfiguring my approach by getting Gerhard to scan in the original Manifesto (see attached fax from Mirage Studios 18 July 1988 "The Creative Manifesto" on which I jotted "Creative Self-Publishing Manifesto"—this was when Alan Moore was starting Mad Love and Frank Miller was also talking about self-publishing) and starting from there on my own since, obviously, the attempt at a dialogue format hasn’t worked. I’ll get started on building on it when Ger brings the copies back next week and get him to e-mail you as soon as I have anything worthwhile.

I’m also going to get him to scan in the contract that DC sent me and to include my response to it since it doesn’t say anywhere that it’s supposed to be kept confidential.

Feel free to send me any responses to ‘our story thus far’ as you receive them.


Dave Sim's original Creative Manifesto "The first draft of the Creative Manifesto was a communal effort on the part of Kevin Eastman, Pete Laird, Steve Bissette, John Totelben, Michael Zulli and Stephen Murphy and myself—with supplemental input from Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Steven Grant and others—in response to Diamond raising the possibility of not carrying the Puma Blues because I was selling the High Society trade direct to Cerebus readers and not offering it through the direct market. Essentially the Manifesto was an attempt to determine what rights and obligations each level of the direct market "food chain" had in dealing with each other."- Dave Sim

Dave Sim's FABLES contract with Dave's notes and a follow up letter to DC Comics. "At that time and this, negotiations with DC involve hearing how "excited and thrilled" they are to possibly be working with you. What you find is that they are "excited and thrilled" because it costs them nothing to be "excited and thrilled". Then I got two copies of the contract and was told to return them signed to the addressee coordinator who indicated that if I had any further concerns I could address them to [name] in the legal department. Which I did. I had eight minor changes I wanted made and indicated that I was open to negotiation on the eight minor changes. At which point I was informed that the eight minor changes were impossible and that they very much regretted that we wouldn’t be working together. Well, that was my same experience from the 1980s with Paul Levitz whose idea of negotiation was: Here’s the deal. You can sign it or not sign it. Your choice. That is, we’re "thrilled and excited" that you’re willing to capitulate to us without question. If you’re not willing to capitulate to us without question then we’re no longer "thrilled and excited" and, in fact, we’re not even "less thrilled and less excited". What we are now is "completely disinterested"." -Dave Sim

Next: A Letter from Dave Sim 12 Dave addresses comments from the forum.

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