This week, we have been made aware of two different situations involving artists who have contributed to our projects not being adequately compensated for their work. The first situation involved artists who contributed work to the galleries in the back on The Adventure Zone graphic novels. The second involved an artist who designed one of our earliest pieces of TAZ merch.
The thread tying these situations together is our lack of oversight on how companies we work with treat the artists who have contributed to our projects. It’s unacceptable, and we apologize wholeheartedly.
In regard to the graphic novels, the artists who contributed to the galleries in the graphic novels were contracted directly by the publisher. Those contracts did not adequately pay the artists, and included excessively long exclusivity clauses. We have asked the publisher to lift the exclusivity terms, effective immediately, and to significantly increase the payments to artists featured in future books. The publisher has committed to modifying the existing contracts, as well as those for future books. We will also be compensating artists from past books an additional $500 each, out of pocket.
In regard to the artist who designed the merch item, they were given a contract that did not adequately compensate them and did not offer them royalties. We are working with the artist in question to rectify the situation in a manner that works best for them, and we are in the process of reviewing all of our pre-DFTBA merch collaborations in an effort to ensure the artists were compensated fairly. Before our partnership with DFTBA, we were not involved in merch term negotiations and logistics. Our current arrangement affords us more control over the process, and we are committed to being more involved in these processes across the board in the future, with the goal of ensuring that artists are compensated fairly for their work, and that every artist we partner with is treated equitably.