Framing Success: Navigating Graphic Novel Publishing

About the Program:

Dive into the dynamic world of graphic novel publishing with insights and advice from an expert panel of attorneys and a seasoned graphic novelist.

Join us for an illuminating discussion, moderated by attorney Jerry Glover, and featuring graphic novelist Mark Bouchard alongside attorney R.J. Inawat. We’ll cover essential topics such as navigating contracts between graphic novel writers and artists, understanding copyright intricacies, weighing the options between self-publishing and traditional publishing routes, and demystifying the decision-making process regarding literary agents versus independent submissions to publishers.

Don't miss this opportunity to glean insider knowledge and get your questions answered. Whether you're a budding graphic novelist or a seasoned creator looking to sharpen your publishing acumen, we hope you will join us at Challengers Comics on May 8th!


About the Panelists:

Jerry Glover, Moderator

A retired Partner at Leavens, Strand & Glover, LLC. His area of practice includes entertainment and intellectual property, including copyright, trademark, film, television, and theatre contracts. Among the many film, television, and theatre producers he has worked with are Harpo Productions, E! Entertainment, Warner Brothers Television, Warner Horizon, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, TMZ, and theatre producers of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatre. Jerry Glover also serves on the board of directors of Lawyers for the Creative Arts.

Mark Bouchard

Mark is a Chicago-based comic writer who began self-publishing comics in 2018. Their work includes the graphic novellas IT TOOK LUKE: Overworked & Underpaid (Oni Press, 2022) and LEAF PEEPERS (Coffee Breath Press, 2022). Additionally, they created and edited the anthology EVERYTHING IS GOING WRONG: Comics On Punk & Mental Illness. Mark also has experience writing for large IPs, including SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. Outside of comics, Mark earned a BA/MA in English/the Humanities from UChicago in 2017, thanks to the Odyssey Scholarship. They are currently pursuing a JD with a concentration in Intellectual Property Law at UIC Law. Mark lives in Logan Square with their partner, two cats, and 18 year old toy poodle named Juicebox.

R.J. Inawat

With a vibrant academic and professional career in the music, performing arts, and law arenas, R.J. Inawat is a skilled attorney with experience spanning many facets of the entertainment industry. In his independent legal practice, R.J. focuses on entertainment law, soft intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets), contract law, and business/entity formation.

R.J.’s legal practice manifested through his comprehensive career in various sectors of the entertainment industry, including venue management, artist booking, record label A&R, radio marketing, event production, talent management, music licensing, and comic book publishing.

R.J. currently lends his expertise to a myriad of individuals and companies across the entertainment industry, building and executing on legal activities, contract negotiation, intellectual property management and commercial agreement drafting and editing. Among those companies is Polarity, a media company with broad operations in comic book/graphic novel publishing, short and feature film animation and general media/content creation through its award-winning subsidiaries: Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group, LLC (formerly The Lion Forge, LLC and Oni Press, Inc. ), Magnetic Press, LLC and Lion Forge Entertainment, co-producers of the 2019 Academy Award winning animated short film "Hair Love," the 2021 Daytime Emmy Award winning program "The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special," and the 2023 NATAS Mid-America Emmy award winning short-form content “Drawn In: Brave Hero, Part 2.”

R.J. is a DePaul University alumnus, having earned his Bachelor of Music in Performing Arts Management with minors in Management and Business Administration in 2005 as well as his Juris Doctor in 2013, and he continues to perform throughout the Chicagoland area as a freelance classical pianist. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at DePaul University School of Music, teaching artist management and legal issues in the music industry to undergraduate students.