The most asked question I get at conventions is, “Dude, is that a meatball sub from Subway!? Where is that?” which has zero relevance to this article, it just irks me. However, the second most asked is, “I have an idea for a comic, how do I do it?” To which I retort, “You have to fuck up a lot and learn to mend your wafer thin constitution daily… oh yea, and bring lots of money.”
One of the first things I screwed up was trying to escape the money-clause by not paying an artist.
Pay your artist!
I don’t know anyone that writes comics that hasn’t tried to do this. I know it’s incredibly tempting, the lure of, "When we get picked up by image I’ll give you 50%." I’m certain that works in certain circumstances, but C’mon! You’re not going to get the quality you want from someone working for free. Plus inevitably when you don’t get picked up, that artist is going to grow resentful and bitter and assume everyone’s out to screw him/her. I sincerely wish I still had my initial sketch from the artist I wasn’t going to pay.
Let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t have it anymore.
I’m not just going to pick on writers here. Artists! Lower your page rates! Us starving indie writers cannot afford $75 a page. I know Marvel pays more than that but you’re not there yet. You don’t go to Marvel, Marvel comes to you, and they can’t find you if you’re at home chewing on graphite waiting for someone to pay your insane page rate.
More work equals more exposure equals more money.
So what do I think is fair? For black/white, around 22pgs w/ lettering, I say $500 (That’s like 3 months of iphone bills). Yes I know your broke writer-ass sees this as a lot of money in this harsh economic climate, but let’s break this down. If said artist does 2 pages a day, each day being around 6 hrs that’s 66hrs of work, that’s roughly $7.57 an hour. Now if you think about it $500 isn’t a lot of money to spend to see your vision come to life.
Next week I’ll talk about how to lure a decent artist into your creepy writer van.