Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1
    More Donald than Charlie stealthwise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,137

    Default How much do fully-employed comic writers/artists make?

    Just curious, as the figures have never been released out there. If you're writing a handful of books for DC, Marvel, or Dark Horse, etc, what do you usually end up making?
    - Art is whatever makes you feel human.

    - "You are what you love, not what loves you." - Donald Kaufman

    - "Deserve's got nothing to do with it." - William Munny

    - "Acquiescence. It's not so hard, really. You. Just. Give. In." - Col. Ives

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    22

    Default

    I remember Kevin Smith saying that he'd gotten paid around $3000 per issue for his Marvel work. This was back when he was first doing that Bullseye mini he never finished, so the amount a top flight creator makes is probably even higher than that by now.

  3. #3
    Member Berserk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stealthwise View Post
    Just curious, as the figures have never been released out there. If you're writing a handful of books for DC, Marvel, or Dark Horse, etc, what do you usually end up making?

    Well, I don't know about Dark Horse, but for Marvel and DC it seems to be about $2,000-$4,000 per issue for writers depending on how good they are as well and how many copies the book sells. So, if a writer is doing 3 or 4 popular books at once, they can make well over $12,000 a month. Also, that doesn't include the royalties that they make once the book sells past a certain limit of copies such as for instance 50,000 copies or less or more, depending upon what was agreed to between the writer and editors. Pencilers tend to make more than writers because it takes longer to draw a page than to script one. However, because of this fact, artists don't tend to do very many books at one time whereas a writer can work on 3 or more books at once while still maintaining a deadline. On work that's owned by the creators, they can make more money on royalties. When they're doing non-creator owned work, then they get paid royalties for selling a certain number of copies but they don't get that much, and they won't have any rights to their work. But, keep in mind that this is the upper echelon we're talking about.
    Last edited by Berserk; 09-27-2008 at 12:27 AM.

  4. #4
    I'll stab you in the back SilverDagger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    137

    Default

    So doing the maths, a hard working writer who is at the top of their field and who's books are getting high sales would earn about $200,000 a year. A very nice wage, but not that much in the grand scheme of the entertainment business. It must be annoying to see a load of people turn up to do a film adaptation of a comic and earn a shed load more than you do for writing that character every month.

  5. #5
    Member Berserk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverDagger View Post
    So doing the maths, a hard working writer who is at the top of their field and who's books are getting high sales would earn about $200,000 a year. A very nice wage, but not that much in the grand scheme of the entertainment business. It must be annoying to see a load of people turn up to do a film adaptation of a comic and earn a shed load more than you do for writing that character every month.

    But, if they own the rights to their work that gets turned into a film, then they get paid for it's film adaptation such as Millar got paid for Sin City and 300.

  6. #6
    More Donald than Charlie stealthwise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverDagger View Post
    So doing the maths, a hard working writer who is at the top of their field and who's books are getting high sales would earn about $200,000 a year. A very nice wage, but not that much in the grand scheme of the entertainment business. It must be annoying to see a load of people turn up to do a film adaptation of a comic and earn a shed load more than you do for writing that character every month.
    Considering the most popular comics would likely reach no more than 500,000 people in a single month, while your standard "flop" tv show or film would reach probably twice as many (if not more), that sounds about right. I would think that writing for comics would be just as much, if not more, work though.
    - Art is whatever makes you feel human.

    - "You are what you love, not what loves you." - Donald Kaufman

    - "Deserve's got nothing to do with it." - William Munny

    - "Acquiescence. It's not so hard, really. You. Just. Give. In." - Col. Ives

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,915

    Default

    A few interesting tidbits to add...

    I read somewhere that during his peak of fame at Marvel, John Byrne had it written into his contract that he would always be paid a dollar more a page than the highest paid artist at the company. I'm not sure exactly at what point in his career it was (late 80s early 90s perhaps) but at one time JB was supposedly getting about $300.00 per page and he was averaging at least 3 pages a day doing several books a month.

    George Perez said when he started his run of Avengers with Kurt Busiek his lawyer got him a great page rate plus bonuses for turning in his work on time.

    Mark Millar has said that he makes much more off an issue his creator owned book KICK ASS than his work on CIVIL WAR even though CW sold considerably more each issue.

    Years ago when Marvel and DC started paying royalties to creators when the books sold over a certain number for awhile most of Marvel's books earned the book's creators a royalty (the more sold the bigger the royalty) but the only DC books that sold well enough to earn royalties was Marv Wolfman and George Perez's TEEN TITANS.

  8. #8
    I'll stab you in the back SilverDagger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    137

    Default

    I wish I could get a bonus at work for turning up on time!

  9. #9
    What the...?
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6,360

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stealthwise View Post
    Considering the most popular comics would likely reach no more than 500,000 people in a single month, while your standard "flop" tv show or film would reach probably twice as many (if not more), that sounds about right. I would think that writing for comics would be just as much, if not more, work though.
    Not to mention there's a higher financial risk with movies and tv shows. You can make more money but you can lose a whole lot more. Comics on the other hand are much cheaper to produce.

  10. #10
    More Donald than Charlie stealthwise's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    7,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRANT! View Post
    Not to mention there's a higher financial risk with movies and tv shows. You can make more money but you can lose a whole lot more. Comics on the other hand are much cheaper to produce.
    Risk-reward though, as the highest selling comic is going to produce far less (overall, not for the creative team specifically) than even a flop movie will. You put $8 million into an indie flick that produces $20 million at the box office... Also, with tv you have more potential revenue streams, particularly in terms of advertisting, product placements and multi-media venues (ipods, etc).

    Potential audience probably plays into that, although movies in general have been taking a huge hit the past few years, so we'll see if that makes it more advantageous to get into comics. I would guess that the main appeal of writing or drawing for comics is that the result is almost instantaneous, you put something down on the page and it comes out within months. Also, there's likely far less editorial interference than on most tv shows or movies.
    - Art is whatever makes you feel human.

    - "You are what you love, not what loves you." - Donald Kaufman

    - "Deserve's got nothing to do with it." - William Munny

    - "Acquiescence. It's not so hard, really. You. Just. Give. In." - Col. Ives

  11. #11
    Member Berserk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stealthwise View Post
    Risk-reward though, as the highest selling comic is going to produce far less (overall, not for the creative team specifically) than even a flop movie will. You put $8 million into an indie flick that produces $20 million at the box office... Also, with tv you have more potential revenue streams, particularly in terms of advertisting, product placements and multi-media venues (ipods, etc).

    Potential audience probably plays into that, although movies in general have been taking a huge hit the past few years, so we'll see if that makes it more advantageous to get into comics. I would guess that the main appeal of writing or drawing for comics is that the result is almost instantaneous, you put something down on the page and it comes out within months. Also, there's likely far less editorial interference than on most tv shows or movies.


    True. Comic book writers have a lot more leeway in terms of seeing their vision come to life; especially if they're a big name talent. But, when it comes to movies and television, scripts have to go through a ton of people and are changed a bunch of times before they're finally used; and even then the director can re-interpret the script whenever he wants. So, the scriptwriter for the Dark Knight can't say, "Man, I'm so great. Look at what I created!", because he wouldn't be giving adequate credit to the director and all the other people who were involved in producing the movie. With comics, you only have a writer and an artist involved, with some editorial feedback and scrutiny as well as of course a colorist and letterer.

  12. #12
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,895

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverDagger View Post
    I wish I could get a bonus at work for turning up on time!
    Look at it this way.....

    If the STANDARD in the industry seems to be that artists just turn work in whenever they feel like it, as opposed to actually meeting a deadline regularly, then "on time" is less a requirement from the publisher than a bonus for them (actually getting the book out on time).
    Therefore if Perez goes "above and beyond" the standards of the industry by actually turning the work in on time, then why should he not get a bonus?

    Look at how much Marvel made on any given issue of Peres's run on Avengers at that time. If he were one week late on every third issue, that is four weeks lost every year. That four weeks is a month, and that is a whole issue worth of revenue that Marvel would gain every year by making sure that he is NOT a week late on every third book.

  13. #13
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    663

    Default

    Does anyone know how much Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are making for their Batman run?

  14. #14

    Default

    This information should be out there. You can find information about pay on almost any job, Especially those in the entertainment industry. It is unreasonable to expect someone to want to work in an industry that has absolutely no information on what they could be paid.

    Why would it be a secret? Unless they are embarrassed.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Grant Morrison is living lagre from what I've read, homes on several continents,

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •