Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Artist are authors too!



A while back I created an author page at Amazon.com. An author page is meant to facilitate fans of your work find other things that you have created.
Recently, I had written to Amazon to have a series of books where I was listed as illustrator added to my page. Upon review, they decided not only were these (totally unrelated) books not worthy of being added, but in addition they removed my new graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer and two other books that were already up on my page. The criteria for deletion they listed to me were: my name must be featured on cover (my name was on the cover of all the books in question) and I must have contributed a significant portion to the final book. Essentially, Amazon has decided, that as a cartoonist, I merely contribute a few pictures to the final work. We're only illustrators, it's the author who gets all the credit. I wrote them a very polite, yet angry letter (copied below), and also told the good folks at Roaring Brook and First Second. Let's see where this goes. A terrible precedent for graphic novelists.

"Author Central and Author Pages only support contributors who have
authored or co-authored a major portion of a work and whose name is
also featured on the title's cover"

My name is featured on the cover of all the titles that you have
flagged for rejection/deletion on my Amazon Author page, and I am
surprised that you would endeavor to make assumptions about the level
to which I contributed to the works in question without an individual
examination of the creative process behind each book.

On the graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer, currently featured on my page
but now flagged for deletion (in response to my unrelated inquiry), I
find it borderline offensive to be under-credited in this way. Comics
are a synthesis of word and pictures, both sides working together
equally to tell a story. If this is currently Amazon's standard
practice to judge graphic novels by, I recommend a reexamination of
those practices.

I hope to hear back soon. I've also contacted my publishers on the
matter.

2 comments:

John A. Walsh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John A. Walsh said...

That's a very idiotic and condescending move on Amazon's part! Here's hoping that they fix this soon.