View Full Version : The comic book industry....
12-26-2006, 02:26 AM
Anybody know the average salary of a person in the comic book industry, like pencillers or writers and stuff? it's an professional though somewhat difficult career goal of mine, and I wanted to know how it fares, no pun intended.
Shade the Mystic
12-26-2006, 07:39 PM
I think for someone just starting out, it can go anywhere from nothing to $50 for a full page. Most publishers don't pay an actual salary (CrossGen did, but they're long gone by now.), instead paying a commission of sorts for each complete page of artwork you hand in. Of coarse, the more high-profile your work becomes, which is totally hingent on your talent anyways, the price of your work goes up. But that goes without saying.
12-29-2006, 01:22 PM
Well, I'm in my forth year of breaking in as a writer. I've written for Marvel as wells as several smaller publishers.
Shade is correct. Starting out you can expect a low page rate. You might certainly expect to work for free.
You can expect to spend a lot of time hustling at conventions, online, and wherever else you can, so that you'll be able to make the connections that will land you gigs working for little money.
Depending on how good your hustle is, you may find these low-paying gigs few and far between. You may work your ass off and not make enough money to pay the bills during these early years. You might need to be working several jobs to support your effort working in comics.
However, if you're good and you work hard and you make those connections and you establish yourself as a credible professional you may be lucky enough to be a sought after by one of the big publishers.
You will then see higher page rates and, perhaps, a steady stream of freelance assignments. You will spend less time hustling and more time drawing. Depending on how many pages you can physically produce in a year, you can expect to make a very healthy mid-to-high five figure income. You can make more depending on your popularity and ability.
If you're good enough, hard working enough, lucky enough, you might find yourself under exclusive contract at Marvel or DC. Then you could have years where you're making a nice low-six-figure salary
And, if you're truly fortunate, you'll create and own (or share ownership in) some intellectual property that keeps giving back to you: a Hellboy or a TMNT or even a Sandman that continues to yield royalties long after you've stopped working on them.
It can be long and difficult process, but if you enjoy creating then you know that it is worth the effort.
I've been writing steadily for almost 10 years now. For much of that time I've had to do it for little or no money. I've been focused on breaking into comics for four of those years. I'm still up there at the third paragraph, hustling, doing the work...even if I can't get paid...enjoying the satisfaction of seeing the work realized, enjoying the people I'm meeting along the way, and crossing my fingers that if I keep at it I'll break wide at some point.
Oh the plight of a comic book creator. A touching story, indeed. :cry:
12-30-2006, 04:28 PM
I forgot to mention that you'll have to deal with people like Zac along the way too :cry:
12-31-2006, 03:03 AM
thanks for the info guys. comic book/storyboard illustration is my intended focus at AAU, so thanks for the info on how breaking into the biz may happen. i hope somewhere in my college career i catch a break that'll help me along or get my foot in the right door.
12-31-2006, 10:01 AM
You're off to a good start then. College is (obviously) a great place to get grounding in the skill set you need, but it's also a great place to start building that network. Your fellow art students and professors will be resources in helping you get work.
I was being serious! I would love to work on comics, both writing and drawing, but given how hard a field it is to break into, I think only the most passionate of people are the ones who make it, and I've seen how passionate about it a lot of people are and I just don't think I am up to par with that. It truly is a rough adventure and a heartwarming story when someone makes it far.
But yeah, you still do have to deal with people like me.
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