Comics Law: An Interview with Dirk Vanover

Contrary to what some websites might have you think, more people work on comics than just the writer and artist. One thing we try to do at Comic Book Yeti is understand these roles and responsibilities and how they affect comics and creators.

This week, we talk with comic book lawyer, Dirk Vanover, about how comics law works and why it's something creators should pay attention to – especially when signing contracts.

COMIC BOOK YETI: How did you become a comics lawyer? Was it what you chose to specialize in when you were still in law school?

DIRK VANOVER: I went to law school with an interest in practicing entertainment law, intellectual property law, or something similar. After law school, I worked for an online retailer of Halloween costumes and party supplies for a few years as the associate general counsel. When I started my solo practice, I noticed I was receiving a lot of interest and questions from comic book creators I had met over the years at conventions. Since I've been an avid fan of comics for decades, it made sense to make it a key part of my solo practice. 

"In the world of independent, creator-owned comics, an attorney should be involved in drafting or reviewing the agreements being used between co-creators – and co-creators should have agreements in place."