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"Generally, the good graphic novels fetch $100 - $300 per page, although professionals who have been in the industry for a long time can command as much as three times that amount. In fact, one elite illustrator commanded as much as $1,000 a page (on a 22-page comic book)! Most of the popular titles that artists, like David Cassaday, work on are monthly issues, which end up providing him with a six-figure salary. The back-end royalties on merchandise, trade paperbacks and movie royalties are also generous."

www.freelancewriting.com/artic…

"In 2008, Sean Jordan, founder of Army Ant Publishing, claimed established freelance comic book artists were paid anywhere from $220 to $4,400 per book project, which breaks down to $10 to $200 per page. Pencil and inker artists can ask for $75 to $200 a page. Colorists often fall in the range of $35 to $125, and writers and letterers make $10 to $50 a page. A lucky few dozen famous artists working for top companies bring in $1,000 per page."

smallbusiness.chron.com/much-c…

"While, I'm at it, there's a big matzo ball sitting out there. Sean gives us a pretty good idea of his page rate, which works out to about $450 a page, inking included. We're not talking about a big name star in comics (yet), but that's a lot of cost for talent, especially, when you're talking about a guy whose known work was on moderate selling Vertigo books."

ifanboy.com/articles/sean-murp…

"I highly encourage artists to NEVER charge less than minimum wage for their hourly rate when they are figuring out their prices. If you are going off the hourly as a way to figure out base prices. For the US, $7.25 is a very common minimum wage, so I suggest you round it up to $8 at least. Even at $8 an hour, your page rate should be $40 a page, assuming you spend 5 hours total on it. This method of figuring out your base really depends on tracking and making good use of your time. If your time is highly variable, you might need to use another method.

Another pricing strategy some amateurs/aspiring professionals take the base professional rate and half it as a way of figuring out their base price to break in and slowly raise their prices as they fall into more demand.

You may be tempted as an artist to under charge, and under value your skill. The fear of being denied a job because of charging a decent rate is a huge reason why artists don't get paid well. DO NOT UNDERCHARGE for your skill level. It devalues your work, and devalues every other artist's work too. Try to stay in line with other artists of your skill and resume level, and what you need to charge to cover your bills and make a living."

www.shadowsden.org/comic-artis…

"Figure $100 for the writer, $150 for the penciller, $130 for the inker, $90 for the colorist, and $30 for the letterer. Those numbers go up and down depending on talent and publishers, but that's a nice round number for us to work with."

www.comicmix.com/news/2010/09/…


"Top comic book artists reportedly make around $500 per page; that figure varies depending on the artist's popularity and the publisher he is working for. The best comic book artists may make around $80,000 a year."


"The first rule of freelancing is that paying work comes first. Love don't pay the rent."


"Though he won't reveal what he makes, his page rate—the amount an artist charges per page drawn—is among the highest in the business. Given that an elite illustrator can command up to $1,000 a page for a 22-page comic book and that most popular titles are monthlies, a top talent like Cassaday can comfortably clear six figures annually. And that's not counting potential back-end royalties for merchandise, trade paperbacks, and spin-offs, which are negotiated separately."


"I know a lot of people say this, BUT persistence truly is key. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Never give up. What one editor doesn't like, the next might think is gold. Also, never let yourself be taken advantage of. Never work for free. Always require pay, never work on the promise of pay if profits are met.

Not to sound pompous or conceited, just be confident in your work. Remain humble at the same time. You never know who you'll meet in the industry and who will be working for which company down the line. Don't burn bridges."

When I first started, I would keep my price lower than maybe I should, but if you're going to make a living, you have to stand up for yourself and be a great agent for your work. Be proud and confident in what you do. They need your services, and you just need to decide who is lucky enough to receive those services.

www.payscale.com/career-news/2…

"Even if you are lucky enough to get an extended run on something, you're still not making $6,000 a month. Remember those extended production times? Yeah... these days, most comic book artists need more than a month to pencil a book, much less pencil AND ink a book. Some creators can, of course, but again, they're the exception. And to come in even CLOSE to the deadlines you have to work under in comics means a lot of long hours at the art table, 8-12 hours a day, depending on how fast you can draw."

matthewdowsmith.blogspot.com/2…

"For creator-owned books – which, again, do not always generate page rates – that amount ranged from $17 to $100 per page, while for-hire naturally was much higher. On the low end, publishers like Boom! and IDW paid between $50 and $150, with the higher end found publishers like Marvel, DC and Dark Horse paying upwards of $300 per page, topping out at nearly $500."

multiversitycomics.com/longfor…


twitter.com/forexposure_txt
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:icongreater-wolf:
Greater-Wolf Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Question:
Say someone commissions someone for a comic, they charge say... $100 per page... the person then decides they will publish the book, should there be more payments after per book that is sold?
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2016  Professional General Artist
There should always be a contract for any significant amount of work.

If you agreed to the job under the stipulation that it would never see print then... it's kind of shady for the guy to then publish it without your consent or permission. It might be illegal. I'm no expert so I don't know. I mean, it seems like it would be fraud for someone to hire you for a personal commission under false pretenses, totally intending to publish the material all along. And, it seems like someone experiencing unexpected success would want to share the wealth with his collaborator.

I'm not the one to ask about this sort of thing. I'd speak to a lawyer.
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Edited May 23, 2016  Professional General Artist
Mark Millar offers $10,000/issue to work on one of his side projects:

"Instead of messing around emailing people privately
 I thought I’d just do a big shout out right now to the comic-book community. We’re looking for someone truly great for this, someone who can really handle a monthly deadline (we’ll be publishing around 8 issues a year, two four issue arcs) and I’d like to get them started around four weeks from now as all the scripts are being readied. Payment is $10,000 dollars an issue for black and white art and a generous royalty package for monthly books and trades."

www.bleedingcool.com/2016/05/2…

That's roughly $500/page (a page a day, five days a week, four weeks a month) for a page of pencils and inks. Plus royalties.
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Edited May 22, 2016  Professional General Artist
The Death Of Freelance Illustration, Passion Projects & Why We Quit Our Dream Jobs by Chris Oatley and Noah Bradley.

youtu.be/mJQiVSrihXU

The relevant conversation doesn't crank up till about 44:25, really. Before that, it's background and financial precautions.
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:iconindieexec:
IndieExec Featured By Owner May 20, 2016
Indie publishers simply can't and don't pay Marvel & DC rates. If you are publishing an indie book, you will find that most artists that have been slogging to build their craft will gladly accept work at a reasonable lower rate that is somewhat ongoing. 

Letters: $10 and up per page
Colours: $25 and up PP
Pencils: $40 and up PP
Inks: $30 and up PP
Writing: $25 and up PP

We tend to pay more than this if they have some published experience, but if you are starting out or have no real credits to your name, you shouldn't balk at those lower rates. You build a portfolio and work your way up to $150 per page in your chosen field. You pay your dues, you build your body of work and you simply get better by working. 
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Professional General Artist
"Do you think the one who had gotten out of the cave would still envy those within the cave and would want to compete with them who are esteemed and who have power?" ~ Socrates (Plato's Allegory of the Cave)
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Edited May 21, 2016  Professional General Artist
Maybe try starting new artists and writers on side stories that you include in the back of your established comics. That way, you can pay them a decent hourly wage (or a decent page rate) but only for a few pages. It'd be like they're working part-time. They could do it as a second job. That might be a better way to go than taking advantage of them by expecting them to complete entire issues for super cheap wages -- something that will take them forty hours a week and preclude any sort of demanding day job. Drop the number of pages rather than the rate of pay by having them produce short stories to include in existing comics. I've seen independent companies do it. It seems like a decent way to test the waters with a new employee. Quit making their "dues" so expensive and you might have more luck getting people to "pay" them. Just a thought.
Reply
:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Edited May 21, 2016  Professional General Artist
IndieExec, 

You want new guys to pay their dues? Like it's a fraternity.

Bottom line: I can't afford to work for you because my basic living expenses are higher than what you pay -- in spite of my rent being super cheap. I'm not sure who could afford to work for you full-time outside of someone living rent-free in his mom's basement or someone living in a third world country. You only want to hire college kids on summer break?

I really think you need to reconsider your business model. 
You're never going to make much money selling your comics if they suck. You're never going to produce great comics hiring artists at those page rates. You can't pay someone $40/day (less than "high school kid mowing your lawn on a Saturday" wages) for a page of pencils (for a full day of artwork) and expect to get anything back on any kind of reasonable time frame that's going to be worth publishing.

I mean, I hear what you're saying. "Running a business is tough. Everything is so expensive. Taxes. The government. Those crazy artists don't know how expensive it is these days. They don't pay for things too. They aren't paying taxes too. They aren't real people. It's like they expect to eat and clothe themselves and pay their rent on time just for working full-time. From day one! They expect to not be homeless from day one! Like it's a real job or something. It's so horrible."

Nobody gets hired to work at OfficeMax for $2/hr and told they'll start making min. wage when they get a little experience or pay their dues, man. If you work full-time, you make enough to support yourself from day one, you make enough to be independent i.e. live like an adult. Maybe not enough to buy a house and raise a family (maybe not a living wage) but enough for an individual to live indoors and pay his bills. That's the starting point for full-time work. Incentives go up from there.

That's what it means to run a legitimate business. You pay your employees a reasonable wage for their time and effort regardless of what they end up producing. If you don't think they can produce then you don't hire them. If they don't meet your standards then you fire them. 

This is why I won't take freelance work. It's just not worth it. I'd much rather take my chances producing my own stories.

I mean, $40/page is $800/mo minus 30% for taxes so $560/mo for working eight hours a day five days a week. Man, get out of here.

An employee makes more than that working at McDonald's. He can draw his own stories on the weekends. Stories he owns. Stories he cares about. Stories people might actually want to read. Maybe he'll get them published at a real independent company. Maybe he'll publish them online for free (getting experience and exposure without you). Any guidance you could give him, he can find books or online or get by talking to industry professionals at conventions. He can get a table and market himself. Whatever. It's better than starving so he can make your dream come true when you don't even respect his efforts enough to pay min. wage.

Keep your $40, man. Keep it.
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:iconnucicoms:
NuciComs Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
I needed to read this. Thank you. I wish you could have slapped me in the face with this when I was making my selling pricelist. 
I fall into the category of someone who is desperate and not confident enough to charge minimum wage. I'm hoping to fix that...
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:iconletadarnell:
LetaDarnell Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2016
Should I take out a loan to pay for a good artist?
Reply
:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Edited Apr 11, 2016  Professional General Artist
I wouldn't. Most people don't make a profit their first time out. You can save up, start a Kickstarter, have a bake sale, work and pay by the month in installments, rob a bank -- you can do something. Don't go into debt.
Reply
:iconletadarnell:
LetaDarnell Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2016
Thank you. 
Reply
:iconlb-lee:
LB-Lee Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thanks for this post!  I've made comics and also done art for hire, but was a little concerned as to how to sell my rate for a comic I'm commissioned for.  This gives me a good base to start off, while still being able to work with my commissioner's monetary level.

Very helpful. :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconwinddrawn:
Winddrawn Featured By Owner Edited Feb 3, 2016  Professional General Artist
It's interesting reading this.  I'm working with a writer on a comic book.   It's his first and my first comic book.   I'm doing the sketching, inking, color (it's grayscale) and print ready setup.  This also is more of a book rather than a magazine at 1/2 size (8.5 x 5.5).  He's self publishing so he can do that.  I'm sure I'm undercharging but since it's my first I'm okay with it.  Just taking longer than I would want being that it's 80 pages.
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:iconmichaelaw1:
michaelaw1 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2015  Professional Writer
This has been invaluable! I now know what to set my kickstarter goal at.
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:iconsharknob:
sharknob Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Interesting, thanks for sharring :iconmonkeythumbplz:
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:iconnuthingoodatfour:
nuthingoodatfour Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks for the info..do you know the etiquette around selling a book that one has done artwork for? say if I want to sell a comic or a book that my artwork was used in at comic con in my personal booth?
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:iconmichaelaw1:
michaelaw1 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2015  Professional Writer
Depending on the terms of your contract, you just need creator/publisher permission for the book itself, for your artwork, as long as it does not violate the terms of your contract, you should have no issues. It's your work after all.
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:iconmickmurillo:
MickMurillo Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2015  Professional General Artist
This post contains interesting information.
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:iconjorgevasconcelos:
JorgeVasconcelos Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much, John.
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:icontamaekurogane:
TamaeKurogane Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
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:iconkrnj:
Krnj Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Professional General Artist
wow!
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:iconzven-berserk:
Zven-Berserk Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for this information! It is in fact really helpful for the ones who wish to work as comic book artists 
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2015  Professional General Artist
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2015  Professional General Artist
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:iconsarakpn:
SaraKpn Featured By Owner Edited May 22, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This is a great guideline! Thanks! Would you happen to know page rates for artists who do fully colored painted pages. Technically, they are the penciller, the inker and the colorist all in one.
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:iconshushia:
shushia Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Add all the prices together o:
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:iconprisoneronearth:
PrisonerOnEarth Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This is great, thanks for compiling this.
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:iconwasiqharis:
Wasiqharis Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
great info!
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:iconcowboy2001:
cowboy2001 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2015   Digital Artist
It's 2015 folks, designers get $100 and hour, art director's telling the designer what to do get $150 an hour. The GAG has a handbook please take a look to get a good idea. If you want a professional to do your project expect to pay between $1000 to $1500 a page which will include pencils, ink, color and lettering. There's always room for negotiation but never under sell yourself. Things that effect final cost are if the project is complete buy out or if there will be royalties. Also remember, the artist gets 50% of the royalties the other 50% goes to the writer. There are a lot of bandits out there so be careful.
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:iconxxtheartdreamerxx:
xxtheartdreamerxx Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015
This was a great read!
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:iconturvytops:
TurvyTops Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
do you have any idea what an average pay is for a flatter per page?
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:iconarchsider:
Archsider Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional General Artist
$10-20 with +-$5 tolerance as far as I have seen 
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:iconwarukun:
Warukun Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
Thanks for all these informations. I'm still a 19 year old aspiring comic book artist who hopes to make a living out of my artworks but with these numbers I can at least try to reassure my family that it'll be possible if i manage to make a name/get published. Thanks again!
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:iconsikamurti:
sikamurti Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014
Nice journal. For me it's always difficult to make fixed a page rate. In your opinion how much I should charge for my art?

Thanks
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  Professional General Artist
Charge what it's worth to you. There's no easy answer.

Make sure you profit from your work whether that means money, experience, publication or making friends and allies but never draw something you could care less about just to get those things. I mean, you've got to have fun -- otherwise you may as well be installing furniture or bagging groceries. Production doesn't always denote progress. Get something out of it that's worth it to you -- don't let yourself end up right where you started when the money is gone. If you're still struggling to pay the rent five years from now then you're not making progress, right?

If your goal is to freelance then your page rate is more of a concern; if your goal is to create then profits are more of a concern. Either way, continually improving the quality of your work should always be the main thing you think about because that will increase your overall worth. That's what will set you apart. That's progress.

Don't reach a certain level and let that satisfy you -- keep struggling to improve. 

Your work is looking pretty decent and it's always exciting to produce but don't get so caught up in producing that you don't continually study, experiment and grow as an artist. A lot of guys get busy producing and just get stuck at a certain level -- producing the same level of work for years and years -- not because they aren't capable of improving but because experience isn't always the best teacher. Turning out one level of work can't really help you turn out better work no matter how many times you do it. Making the same mistakes a thousand times actually hurts you because you develop bad habits. In the long run, what will benefit you most is not producing the same level of artwork over and over again but continually improving the quality of your work with each and every project. Challenging yourself.


Your pay won't increase because you log in more hours or produce more work -- nobody is going to give you a raise simply for being prolific. There's no gold watch at the end of twenty years. Not in art. In art, you are rewarded for excellence. You make your mark as you break away from the pack. Your pay increases proportionately to the increases in your skill level.


Keep trying to level up in terms of skill. Worry more about that than how much you charge and your pay rate will take care of itself.
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:iconthedodus:
thedodus Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016
Not only is this a fantastic post, but your responses in the comments are also incredibly enlightening.  Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your knowledge and attitudes.  You've helped so many people with this!
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:iconsikamurti:
sikamurti Featured By Owner Edited Jan 7, 2015
Thanks for the replay John...very inspirative.......Nod 
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:iconneedartnow:
NeedArtNow Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice info here. I did inking in the late 80's and early 90's for a few independent comic companies and some of the larger well known ones, I would get about $80 a page average back then. Even at that time it wasn't enough to make a living on, so my career in comics was short and I moved onto other things.  I still wish I was in the comic industry, but I can't complain too much about it because I really enjoy the art I do now and am happy I made the switch.
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Professional General Artist
I did graphics foe a while too. It can be fun. This is my old graphic art portfolio: jchalos.deviantart.com/
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
"For creator-owned books – which, again, do not always generate page rates – that amount ranged from $17 to $100 per page, while for-hire naturally was much higher. On the low end, publishers like Boom! and IDW paid between $50 and $150, with the higher end found publishers like Marvel, DC and Dark Horse paying upwards of $300 per page, topping out at nearly $500."

multiversitycomics.com/longfor…
Reply
:iconbigshotartist:
bigshotartist Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Student General Artist
thanks for all the info, really helps figuring out a price range.
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
Glad to help. Thanks. 
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
Reply
:iconmooskinet:
MooskiNet Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014   Digital Artist
Thanks for this.  Currently a programmer, and I'm willing to do the work for this dream, but it's good to see what the ballpark is as far as money is concerned.
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:iconjohnchalos:
johnchalos Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014  Professional General Artist
Glad I could help. Thanks. :)
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