Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Happy Experiences with Dynamite and Nick Barrucci

I wrote this the other day for Clifford Meth, who was writing a piece about the recent Don McGregor/Dynamite thing. Since Cliff only used part of my message, I thought I'd share the whole thing here:

My experience as a freelancer at Dynamite has been very positive. At a time when I was looking to move from inking for a living to becoming a full-time writer, Nick gave me a chance to make that happen. The rates at Dynamite, in my experience, are not the best in the industry, but I feel I'm getting a fair deal, considering the amount of freedom I'm given. I've done work as a writer for the Big Two. In my experience, the size of the resulting headaches was not worth the higher rate. I want to produce work I'm proud of, with minimal editorial interference. Dynamite has allowed me to do so. I find this especially remarkable given the fact that I'm working on licensed properties.

Not everything has always been perfect. Nick and I have had a few misunderstandings and/or miscommunications. These have been handled directly, on both sides of the equation. If I'm upset, I talk to Nick about it. If he agrees that he screwed up, he apologizes and we find a way to fix it that pleases both parties. If I screw up or fail to deliver, we handle it the same way. I've always felt that I can call Nick and hash things out. I think he feels the same.

I am very happy with Joe Rybandt, the editor on my books. Joe juggles a lot of books, but he's always been there when I need him. As I referenced above, he is hands off. He hires me to do a good job. I try to do so. I get left alone, aside from an occasional note from the folks who actually own these properties. Those instances have been few and far between, and Joe has gone to bat for me more than once.

In my experience, Nick is honest and straight-forward. He will tell you he's got to watch his bottom line to keep his company going. He'll tell you what he can afford to pay. He'll tell you if a book is selling well. He'll tell you if it's doing poorly. He'll tell you what he wants and listen if your needs don't coincide with his.

Of course, I say all this as someone who is still getting paid by Dynamite on a monthly basis (as an aside, their voucher-processing and check-cutting system is as smooth as any I've ever dealt with). If I no longer worked for Dynamite as of tomorrow, I would offer the same assessment, but people will have to take my word on that. I understand that some may think I'm biased or wanting to court favor. My answer would be that my integrity is not for sale.

One final caveat- I have never worked for Dynamite in a situation where I was involved with rights. Everything I've done as been work-for-hire and page rate only. I would consider doing something creator-owned with Nick. That situation just hasn't come up yet.