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Quick Question: Graphic Novels, Contracts & Collaborating

Bang2writer David asks:

“Hi – I’ve got a short story that could really suit a ‘Graphic Novel’ type approach. 1. How do i go about approaching an Agent or Publisher to get the ball rolling on that; and 2. As it will be a collaborative project with a graphic artist, is there a Contract thats in existence that they could sign so as not to pinch my idea?”

Scriptwriting is a collaborative medium, so recognising *what* your script is and which audience it would be suited to (ie. graphic novels) from the offset is really advantageous. An agent or publisher is unlikely to take you up on your own, you’d be best off finding an illustrator and getting the graphic novel either written in its entirety (or at least a good portion of it as a sample). I have no experience of writing graphic novels myself, but in terms of finding an artist I would imagine posting on the likes of Talent Circle or Shooting People would be a good start. 

There are contracts available online to download I’m told, but rather than worrying about contracts, I would recommend agreeing who-does-what and what that person gets before starting any work. Basically, start from the same page so everyone knows what they’re doing and why. Being upfront about what you can and can’t offer (ie. money, exposure, etc) is the key here – be overt, rather than covert.

And finally, never worry about people nicking your idea – REALLY! Here’s why.

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