200 Words with Paul Dini #43 – True Story, Swear To God

December 12, 2008


(With apologies to Tom Beland, for pinching your title)

The following scenario happens at least three times a year:

“So Dean-man, bro, we ready to rock this Jingle Belle shit?”

“After reading the contract, I’m going to have to pass.”

“What the fuck, pass?!? We had a deal!”

“No, your network/studio offered to produce one 30 minute animated TV special, for which I would be paid a one-time minimum purchase fee. No royalties, no bonuses, and of course, no share of the merchandise profits.”

“Standard animation deal, dude.”

“Also, I would surrender all rights in perpetuity to the Jingle Belle character, as well as the rights to any other original creations that ever made cameo appearances in her book, such as Polly Green, Rashy, Ida Red…”

“Standard deal.”

“In addition, I would not be allowed to write the special, nor would I have any say in where or how it would be produced, and, oh, I love this one, any monies I’ve made thus far from licensing must be deducted by you from your original purchase price.”

“Final offer — take it or leave it!”


And that, in answer to the many questions I receive each December, is why there will not be a Jingle Belle TV special.


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.



  1. Assholes!

  2. Man, that sucks balls.  Really, that is just turd-riffic.  That is the epitome of every bad thing you ever hear about Hollywood suit types.

    The really sad thing is for the guy out there trying to break in, and he gets forced to sign some BS deal like this to pay the bills. 

  3. shitsux.

  4. That is major bullshit what that guy was trying to sell you

    Why cant people just release a cartoon or tv show without any problems?

  5. That sucks.

    I’m also disappointed that this wasn’t an article about how Beland had recovered and could draw again.

  6. Unbelieveable.  The standard deal is bullshit.  Based on the amount of money you have made from licensing you could concieveably make nothing on the deal and give up all rights in perpetuity for a one time deal.  Bullshit.  How did you resist the urge to punch that jag-off out?

  7. Unbe-fucking-lievable.

    Surrender all rights and no fucking merchandising!? "Standard deal" my ass! THAT’S BULLSHIT. 

  8. Sounds like someone from those "two assholes…" skits on SNL.  You mean those are based on real people???

  9. Did you say to them:

    ‘I help create possibly the best superhero cartoon in the history of cartoons. Children across the globe will remember my cartoon forever…and that is what your offering me?’

  10. This is why all aspiring creative types should take the "do-it-yourself" route.  Thankfully, the internet makes that easier than ever.  

    Seriously, the balls on those people.  "Hey, this thing you created is great.  We want it now.  MINE!  MINE!  GIMME!  GIMME!"

  11. At least you get to smoke a cigarette after. Independent creators just get the cancer…