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ShaddowFish Comics
Haack Gallery Of the Cobra

Professional Quotables: M-S


Josh Neufeld

"I've been drawing comics since I was six-years old. I became pretty serious about it in high school and I haven't stopped since (that was almost 20 years ago!). I have been fortunate to always be around other cartoonists, with plenty of opportunity for collaboration and criticism.

"I gravitated to alternative comics as I became older and my tastes became more discerning. Works like AMERICAN SPLENDOR, TINTIN, MAUS, ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY, COMIX TRIPS, CITY OF GLASS, EIGHTBALL and HATE inspired me to do KEYHOLE.

"Although my partner Dean Haspiel and I do practically all the creative and production work for KEYHOLE, we've always had a publisher. The publisher handles the printing of the book and we split all profits 50-50, after costs.

"When I have done work-for-hire, I've been paid anywhere from $40 a page (pencils, inks & letters) from Fantagraphics, to $75 a page (pencils, inks & letters) from Dark Horse, to $200 a page (pencils & inks) from ParadoxPress/DC. For other freelance projects, I've made even more. The further you get AWAY from independent/alternative comix, the more money you make. Ironic, ain't it?"

Mark Oakley

"When dealing in independent comics, there is no pay scale. It all depends on how many comics you sell. It's rather like holding all the stocks in a corporation; the more profit the company makes, the more return there is for the share get the idea. Comics have made some of us millionaires while others can afford to live comfortably. Most lose money, however. That's the pay scale for indies.

"When it comes to the various pay scales for professional pencilers and inkers and what-not, ask a Marvel guy. I've only heard rumors, but for a starting artist, I believe you can make about a hundred dollars U.S.D. per page. After that, it all comes down to how you spell your name, and how often it appears in Wizard."



Don JA Redick

As a child, I was attracted to Neal Adams and Jack Kirby art...I grew up collecting DC Comics and Charlton Comics. I spend many an hour freehand copying/swipping pages from those comics. I'm an illustrator by trade (pencilling and inking) and a consultant digital press person. I also have a BA, MA, and Doctor of Arts.

"Always remember that your budding talents are worth something...Any money you make will make you push your talents farther. If you work for "free", you are going to feel used. As a non-professional artist entering the independent comic field. Well, the money is tight. You might have to start out with a fly-by-night company charging $10 per page. Real cheap, but at 24 pages it's $240 bucks. My first gig was like that. It never got published but I got paid for it..."

Walter Simonson

"I originally got into comics the way most guys did back then, by bringing a portfolio to the companies and making the rounds of editors. There weren't so many conventions (almost none actually) and the business resembled magazine publishing more than it does now.

"I think the top rate for pencilling must be up around a couple hundred bucks or more. I believe that Image pays the top rates in the industry in general although there have been some very lucrative contracts held by freelancers at Marvel."

Don Simpson

"I will say this: the market is very, very tough right now for making money off of marketing/selling comics. With a property you've completely created, I would avoid entering into contracts of any sort with ANY publisher, unless you are accepting work-for-hire assignments to draw their characters, and understand that you'll have few or no rights--take the money and run.

"As far as creator-owned properties, there is simply no way to negotiate a fair deal with publishers--contracts are too complex and legal expertise about the comics field or even general publishing is just too hard to come by. My experience with even the so-called 'enlightened' independent publishers has been bad--just one clause can make a contract a nightmare.

"As a rule I would say publish it yourself, however, I would only advise this of a cartoonist who really has the skills down (see above)."

Mark Stegbauer

"I became involved in the comic book industry when I worked as an assistant to a lot of inkers here in the Milwaukee and Chicago area, and eventually I got work at the small companies. Then after a few years, I graduated up to the ranks of the big companies.

"When I started, I was getting $35 a page from the smaller companies. If you are working for a small company, most of them will only pay on the back end, or a royalty basis. If you're self publishing, it's about the same."

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