Eric Bogosian On Publishers And Pitching Your Graphic Novel: ‘They Will Screw You’

It’s not easy getting a movie made. And sometimes, it’s even harder to get a graphic novel made. Just ask actor and author Eric Bogosian, who has had an idea for the past ten years for a “futuristic fantasy story” that he first pitched to movie companies, and when that didn’t pan out, turned to comic book publishers such as Vertigo (home of one of his comic book heroes, Neil Gaiman).

Bogosian even got pretty far with it – “we had an artist, a guy out of Argentina who was pretty awesome, set up and everything” – before it fizzled out.

“The problem is,” Bogosian explained when we caught up with him at the Directors Guild Honors in New York on Thursday (October 16), “what they want to do is make a deal to do the graphic novel, which would be great, and there’s no money there, which is fine — obviously you’re doing it for the fun of it — but if a movie comes out of it, then they guarantee that they will not pay you for it, that they will screw you.”

Because of Vertigo/DC’s ties to Warner Bros.?

“I’m not saying those guys specifically,” Bogosian said, “but it’s very hard to make a deal where you can make it all work.”

It’s because of the trend among movie companies and comic book publishers to look at comics and graphic novels as blueprints as future films – already storyboarded.

“There’s an idea that it’s all moving towards movies,” Bogosian said. “I’m not saying that you have to have a movie deal or not, and this one did start as a movie, so it certainly had that potential, but it gets complicated.”

Bogosian hasn’t given up hope yet, however. “There’s only so many hours in the day to do all the fun things I want to do,” he said, “but I would still love to do it.”

Would you like to see Bogosian’s graphic novel on the shelf? Are you worried that this type of scenario might get in the way of other writers making the jump to comics? Let us know in the comments!