The webcomics blog about webcomics

If I Were A Writer Or Artist, I Know Whose Page Rates I’d Want

Pretty much everybody in comics is talking about the page rates survey that dropped over the weekend. Some few thoughts:

  • This is a very small sample size (60), but as far as I know, the largest published data set on such things so far. It’ll get better as more people share information, but at the moment it must be considered preliminary and not yet fully accurate.
  • The survey combines different kinds of pay (work-for-hire vs Image’s more creator-owned approach), which makes the small sample size even more subject to wobbles in the data.
  • That being said, holy crap BOOM! does not come off well. Their rates are crap and there are lots of comments indicating the degree to which they pay slowly and randomly. Since their numbers are based on work-for-hire, they may not apply to creator-owned work, but very possibly the (apparently pervasive) late payment issues apply to both sides of the publishing game.

I’ll note that the survey lists Smut Peddler (that is to say, Iron Circus Comics) as a Misc Publisher, at a page rate of US$50 (script + finished art) plus potential for artist bonuses (but not guaranteed). For reference, the four projects that ICC has run under that not-guaranteed bonus plan have paid an additional US$450, US$300, US$1700, and US$400¹ per page, making ICC’s page rate effectively US$350 to US$1750, meaning the least paid ICC rates are comparable to DC/Marvel, and her top rate blows everybody else away [Editor’s note: see below] (the only comparable rate is that of Cards Against Humanity — US$1000/page for art and script — presumably for their comics anthologies in their Holiday Bullshit packages).

[Editor’s note resumes: Okay, I had a bad misinterpretation of ICC’s bonus structure, which was kindly pointed out by Alert Reader N in the comments, and by ICC supremo Spike via email. ICC’s bonus is per-job, not per-page, which makes the effective page rate variable. However, that does raise the ICC rates into the triple-digit range for much of what they’ve published and certainly puts them above some established comic book companies in terms of effective rates, although not on par with The Big Two, as was originally stated.

Some numbers: if you did an 8 page story with a US$1700 bonus, you get 8 * 50 = 400 + 1700 = US$2100; a 20 page story would be 20 * 50 = 1000 +1700 = US$2700. BUT, that means the 8 page story has an effectively higher page rate than the 20 page story. From Spike’s email, she is working up a new structure that will pay bonuses per page to make things more equitable.

Fleen apologizes for the error and confusion.]

To date, that’s been limited to anthology work, but since ICC is in open-submission territory for book-length projects, I’ma guess that Spike is going to be writing checks with a crapload more zeros on them than any of the established publishers. Creators that have not bought into the myth that you need to suffer don’t-even-cover-rent jobs to establish your career, take note.

Oh, and those who like the work of creators that aren’t getting screwed on their rates? Iron Circus has a double-header² of Kickstarters coming³ up on 25 January. New smut!

On the off chance that you want to be one of those creators that has pride in their work and wants to be paid fairly for it, time to brush up on your skills! Danielle Corsetto is offering a light version of her illustration class via Patreon at the low, low price of US$20 per month. Folks, that is the greatest bargain in the history of illustration and I urge you to hop on that even if you’re pretty good. You can always learn a trick or two and up your own game by comparing notes and experiences.

Spam of the day:

View Photos of Senior Singles on Match

Okay, what the hell, you are identifying senior as over 45! Is this spam run by the same genius that’s decided to send me Medicare information nearly 20 years early? I’m sending all the prepaid envelopes back with YOU’RE TWO DECADES EARLY, FUCK OFF scrawled across the paperwork in Sharpie. It’s kinda fun, actually.

¹ For Smut Peddler 2012, The Sleep of Reason, Smut Peddler 2014, and the not yet released New World, respectively.

² You’ll see what I did there.

³ And there.

I’m afraid you’ve misinterpreted how ICC’s bonuses work– they’re not an additional bonus per page, they’re an additional bonus on top of your page rate.

A 10 page story for SP2014 ended up getting $230/p. A 10 page story for Sleep of Reason was $80/p, after bonuses. That’s pencils, inks, tones, letters. It’s not -bad-, but it’s very far from top tier.

[…] down to friggin’ dial-up speed¹. And on top of that I made a major mistake in logic in yesterday’s post so be sure to click back and read the correction. Is there any good news […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.