Dec 17 2008

How much do comic book writers make?

Published by at 4:23 am under Comic Books,The Publishing Industry

This source gives the figure $80-150 per page.  That’s $2000-4000 for a comic book script.

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “How much do comic book writers make?”

  1. Ragged Boyon 17 Dec 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Sounds good for a sixteen year old!

  2. Raggedon 17 Dec 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I’ll have to learn to draw realism and anatomy, if I want to be an artist ,too. I can do it, but that will take time.

  3. Raggedon 17 Dec 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Well, maybe not realism, but maybe something similar, advanced cartoon realism sounds right.

  4. Ragged Boyon 17 Dec 2008 at 7:33 pm

    I don’t mean to keep posting my art, but I really want you to see these few.

    Now imagine this, but inked.

    This is an older picture, thusly, the outfit and bone thin frame of Mz. Corpse.

    And this is a little scene I drew. I think it’s cute, but the heads are big.

    I’m going to try to develop a style more like the first for myself.

    Suggestions? Opinions?

  5. B. Macon 17 Dec 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I think #1 has noticeably better shading on the face. I think it’s a lot more typical to color/shade comic-books digitally than use pencils, but if you were going to shade with pencil that strikes me as pretty good. If I were buying this for myself, my main concern would be that the hair is kind of jagged. Her left eye (on the reader’s right) strikes me as a bit large compared to the other one, but I suspect that would be pretty easy to resolve. I think this headshot would benefit from the addition of a neck. Because the face is already very frail, I’d recommend making the neck thicker proportionally than you’d do on a rounder face. I think that a thick neck will give an impression of robustness and attractiveness.

    Here, I’ve made a few alterations. I smoothed out the hair a bit at the top, did 5 minutes worth of digital coloration on the skin, and spent another 5 minutes playing around with different ways to proportion the face. What do you think?

    #2 is a harder sell, I think, because there’s very little depth and Mz. Corpse is less attractive in a traditional sense. (She looks anorexic, her neck is extremely thin, the stitches, etc.) Akwary is interesting, but I don’t know what the intended impression is supposed to be. For example, in the first picture, I feel that the character is clearly meant to be attractive in a classical, refined way. And I think that succeeds. On Akwary, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to think about the character. Also, I’d recommend broadening the arms and waist and legs and expanding the neck by 50%-100%. It’s hard to tell exactly from his orientation relative to the reader, but he seems kind of like a tall and lanky 10-12 year old.

    #3. I’m not really sold on the emo look, but there are probably comics somewhere that would go for it. (I couldn’t name any, but I’m not well-exposed to that market sector). The proportions here make the guy look very young, but if that’s what you were going for it worked very solidly. His waist is OK here, but I’m not sure why his chest gets thinner as it moves from the waist to the bellybutton. His arms and legs are a bit thin. His right elbow joint looks a bit off but I think his left-elbow is pretty smooth. The main issue on this one, I think, is the neck. I’d recommend making it shorter and probably a bit wider. On a collared shirt, I don’t think you’d be able to see very much of the neck.

    In conclusion, I think your art is getting a lot better. When I was looking at #1, I could kind of envision that it could be good enough to sell to a low-end contractor if colored and polished. Maybe $10-20 before tip? I didn’t quite get that vibe on Mz. Corpse and I like the character style for Akwary but I feel like more detail and polishing would help him. I agree that inking would help, and I’d recommend including a few straight-up (unstylized) pictures of human anatomy in your portfolio if you get that far. That will help tell a contractor (and maybe even a publisher, eventually) that, although your characters tend to have stylized limbs, you are capable of a more realistic style if that’s what the buyer would prefer. That will broaden your appeal, I think.

  6. Ragged Boyon 18 Dec 2008 at 6:59 am

    I really like the bottom right one. I did notice that the eye was a little big, and I like what you did with the hair and lips. I really liked that etching feature for the coloration.

    The reason I didn’t add a neck was because the picture was at the very bottom of a page I was doodling on. I could have added on a neck, but all you’d see is the color and not the structure.

    I love the emo look, but I try to back off from it. What Guy Emo is wearing would be more classified as “scene” an off-branch of emo. “Scene” kids are generally happier than emo’s, they’re like the popular, superficial ones. Also, they like to mix colors and patterns.

  7. B. Macon 18 Dec 2008 at 7:32 am

    Hmm. I made the skin look etched by putting it through a Photoshop filter called “Angled Strokes.” Since the piece was done with pencils, I thought it was a good fit.

    Compressing the eye took a few minutes with the Pinch feature. If you have Photoshop, I think it’d be really easy to learn how to do minor tweaks like that.

  8. Bretton 20 Dec 2008 at 10:00 pm

    My opinion: well done. The eye was a bit big, and so was the chin, but the bottom right edit solved that beautifully. I’m not sure what vibe I’m supposed to get. She looks sad mostly. Maybe wistful. The bow throws me off though. It’s a fairly juvenile article on an otherwise pretty mature face. At first glance I’d say this woman is in her 20’s. How old is the character supposed to look? If 20’s then OK, but I’d recommend losing the bow. If younger, like say a teen, then you could get away with the bow, depending on what teen she is. (13 OK, 19 ur pushing it. Alot.) Also, If she’s younger, a rounder face and less square chin would help. Overall, great!

  9. Ragged Boyon 20 Dec 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I love the bow. I was going for older teen, like the ones on TV that grow up inexplicably fast, but if she looks older I’ll have to work on that. Yeah, eye and chin, I know. The expression is one of sadness, thus, the upward bending eyelid. Not extreme sadness, but general I-feel-bad. I think a bow is a matter of style not age, unless she was like 50, then she’d look retarded. It can always be removed though (I think a 19 year old could get away with it)

    All in all, this being my first attempt in this field of drawing, I’d say I did damn good. I’m proud of me, and after all, aren’t I all I care about. HAHAHAHAHAHA

  10. Bretton 20 Dec 2008 at 10:18 pm

    You know, insane people typically use the word “I” a lot more than sane people. Food 4 thought.

  11. Ragged Boyon 20 Dec 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I don’t say I alot, in fact, I can’t recall on instance where I used I in abundance. I don’t understand how people can just jump to conclusion. I’ll let you know if I start to use I like I think I’m going crazy. I don’t fell different, I feel great.

    There’s nothing wrong with I, but if you find something be sure to tell I.

    Besides, I’m not insane, I have Supersanity.

  12. Ragged Boyon 20 Dec 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I posted some comments on your DA pictures.

  13. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 21 Dec 2008 at 3:32 am

    Whoa, that picture is incredibly good. I wish I could draw that well. I drew a picture of Kamari the other day. While it was better than most things I’ve drawn, I thought she looked a little like Barbara Streisand. I can’t really put my finger on it. I’m going to redraw it anyway, but it was okay. I have a huge problem with drawing hands. I’m reasonably good at faces and bodies, but hands have always been difficult.

    I don’t plan on having pictures of the characters in the actual book, but when I eventually get published I may ask my publisher to consider adding a page at the back with a few “photos” of Isaac and his friends. I don’t watch anime and I haven’t read a manga (yet), but I adore the style. That’s the kind of thing I want on the cover.

    I like emo style, and I’ve made Tristram a bit of one. His hair is odd with his fringe is dyed dodger blue but the rest of it dyed black. He has a darker sense of humour, making death threats which frighten but are intended to be funny. His taste in clothing is a bit different; he has a black denim jacket with small badges all down the arms and he has several slogan tees. My favourite saying I’ve seen on a t-shirt is “Stay out of my face and I won’t break yours”. He isn’t all broody and dark however, just a bit different. He is silent a lot of the time but can be found laughing with Atalya and bragging about his personal hacking record. “I once broke into the CIA firewall and spammed the director’s email account with ads for pencils! They tried to track me but I had mixed the signal so it seemed to come from the middle of a lake!”

  14. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 21 Dec 2008 at 3:46 am

    I drew a picture of Tristram too, but his legs are quite long in comparison to the rest of his body. He’s really slim, but I’m fine with that because my physical description of him details that he isn’t very muscled.

  15. Ragged Boyon 21 Dec 2008 at 6:32 am

    Tristam sounds like my kinda friend haha, he’s got style. I’ve been drawing for a while and I’m still not that great, in my own eyes. Then again, I gauge my level of skill to that of professional comic book artists, who are insanely talented. I’ll get there one day.

    I think I’m really good in my style, but I have to learn a more realisti style if I ever what to be an artist. People are picky and everyone’s a harsh critic (not you guys, because I invite your harsh critiques). Her breasts are too big (they’re supposed to be), why do they dress like that (it’s called style, ever heard of it), is that manga (NO! it’s not manga).

    It’s okay, though, I’m new to this field so I don’t really feel bad when I get a bad critique, I just move on and learn.

  16. B. Macon 21 Dec 2008 at 9:08 am

    R.W., I like the idea of having photos at the end. It’d be a neat way to handle an epilogue, for example. It would give the impression of “happily ever after” without forcing you to spell out precisely what happens. However, printing illustrations in the book itself can be costly for publishers, so a publisher may wish to try keeping costs low (particularly in an economy that has been very rough on most publishers).

    R.B., I’m not that familiar with free art resources. However, you might find this stage-by-stage coloring useful. If you have Quicktime, you might like this inking video. Although this digital coloring tutorial uses a dog as the example, I think it gives solid and specific Photoshop advice. Here’s another another coloring guide.

    I’m not aware of a superhero art site that’s analogous to SN. However, I was once asked to review a children’s guide to drawing superheroes, so I know there are books available. How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is available used for $4.50 before shipping. Hi-Fi Color for Comics: Digital Techniques for Professional Results is available used for about $3 before shipping. Drawing Cutting-Edge Anatomy: The Ultimate Reference for Comic Book Artists is available used for $9 before shipping. I’m not sure whether these books are actually useful, but they’re cheap enough that you wouldn’t be risking much by buying them. (In contrast, art books for college courses are probably more expensive. For introductory drawing, I had to buy one for $50).

    By the way, if any artists are interested in blogging as a professional opportunity, I think it would be pretty easy to make the leap from writing a how-to-do-superhero-art blog to writing an art guide. Nonfiction books pay well, particularly when the subject material is so specific that only a few people (like talented artists) are qualified to write the book.

  17. B. Macon 21 Dec 2008 at 9:13 am

    By the way, if anyone is interested in getting me a Christmas present… Comic Books: How the Industry Works includes Stan Lee as one of the writers. Heh heh. For $32 used, it had damn well better be written by Stan Lee.

  18. Ragged Boyon 21 Dec 2008 at 9:28 am

    That stuff looks complicated, where do I even get Photoshop? Do I already have it?

  19. B. Macon 21 Dec 2008 at 11:48 am

    If you haven’t specifically purchased Photoshop, you probably don’t have it. It costs several hundred dollars, which probably explains why so many people download pirated copies on file-sharing sites. However, you may have legal access to it at a computer lab near you (such as at a high-end public library, school, etc). Ideally, you’d be looking for Photoshop CS2 or CS3. It’s a very professional-grade program, widely known among fulltime artists and art companies.

    If you do not have access to Photoshop and would prefer to download a legal program, Paint.NET offers a free alternative to Photoshop here. It’s not as good, but it is legal.

    Anyway, Photoshop is hard to get used to at first, but experienced PS users can do astonishing things with it. I think I spent 15 hours figuring out the basic commands.

    But it was very worthwhile for me. It’s definitely saved me hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars. Otherwise, I’d have to pay an artist to do everything for me in my header, in my storyboards, my book covers, my comic book art, etc. Right now, I only have to pay an artist to create original images and then I can arrange and tweak them myself. For example, if you had submitted the Egyptian woman as an image for a comic book of mine, I could have tweaked the face’s proportions on my own time. If I had had to ask you to do it, I probably would have had to wait a day or two for you to get back to me.

    So, to make a long story short, I think that Photoshop (or something similar) is pretty much a prerequisite to going professional as a comic book artist. Digital coloration is fairly standard nowadays. And Photoshop can even help inkists. However, I don’t mean to understate the amount of work that will probably be involved. It’s a tricky program and not very easy to get used to.

  20. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 7:19 am

    I don’t like DeviantArt. Everytime I go to submit new art it forces me to make a whole new deviation category (whatever that means). I just want to submit art to my existing deviation.

    And, when I made a deviation and put a bunch of art in it only one piece showed up. What the heck?

    How do you work this stupid site?

  21. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 7:39 am

    Got a new piece. I know his head is big and his clothes are crazy. But what do you think of the style of drawing. This is my yo-yo. My excuse for his clothes are on the page.

  22. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 7:40 am

    Oh, ok, I get it now. Forget my DeviantArt rant. I finally understand submissions.

  23. B. Macon 26 Dec 2008 at 8:05 am

    Guy Raggz by ~Puzzeler on deviantART

    He looks kind of like a foppish dandy… kind of aristocratic from the waist up. I’m not sure what to make of the belt and the pants. They kind of stick out. I’d recommend using pants and a belt that fit in more with the well-heeled look of his shirt and hair. Then you can use the gloves to show that he’s just not a prep-schooler for life.

  24. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 8:52 am

    That makes sense, but the clashing styles was, kind of, the look. You’ve seen the rock star that have that boarding school look, but with a rockstar twist, that’s what I was going for.

    Maybe, I’ll make the top look a little less well groomed.

  25. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 8:53 am

    What’s a foppish dandy? hahah.

  26. B. Macon 26 Dec 2008 at 9:01 am

    I think AC/DC did their concerts dressed up like British schoolboys.

  27. Ragged Boyon 26 Dec 2008 at 10:44 am

    I actually thought that the legs were too short. So when you said shorten them, I was confused.

  28. B. Macon 26 Dec 2008 at 11:03 am

    Hmm. I’m looking at some anatomical references and I think that typically a torso should be as tall as the legs. Right now, I’d say that his legs are about 50% taller than his torso. I’d recommend shrinking them by between 10% and 20%.

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