The Cover to Nonplayer #2 and how to make money as an artist

nonplayer_2_cover_web

Some rambling thoughts on various aspects of making comics and making money.

I alluded earlier to the sudden announcement that Nonplayer #2 by Nate Simpson was finished and would be presumably be coming out later this year. Simpson has written a much longer piece complete with a FAQ confirming that the issue will be in the May solicitations from Image; he’s contacted Image about reprinting issue #1 but no response yet, and Warners—which had optioned the comic—has let their rights lapse, so it’s there for the taking. And then he gets to why it took 3 1/2 years to draw the comic. It’s a long answer but I’ll lift a graph:

Ben Towle on the webcomic to print process

01.jpg

Web serialization of a comic intended for print is one of the standard models of comics production now (Although it still isn';t profitable but that’s a whole other post) and here’s avery insightful post by Ben Towle on the conclusion of his webcomic, Oyster War. I’ve been enjoying his account of local skirmishes between 19th century Chesapeake Bay oyster farmers since he started it in 2008, and much has changed in how he put the comics out in that period, including the rise of Tumblr and yet more social media. Towle offers some VERY practical advice including how running it on GoComics affected the comics, mistakes in character design and URLS (get a separate URL for your comic) and also preparing for print:

Thurber: The internet is “pay to play” for young cartoonists

201411071234.jpg

Cartoonist/multi media artist Matthew Thurber has a provocative piece called Letter to a Young Cartoonist about the use of the internet as a career approach, and he offers an idea that I had never really engaged with before but now that I’ve heard it, I can’t forget it. The internet is “pay to play” for so many of us, even given the free tools available.

Jason Shiga’s Patreon for Demon reaches $1000 a month

4024339-01.jpg

A lot of cartoonists—and many blogs, ahem—have taken to PAtreon as a means to finance the creation of comics. There are quite a few (a round up post is called for, maybe later this week) and Patreon doesn’t make it clear who makes the most, the way Kickstarter does, but Jason Shiga recently hit $1000 a month for his Ignatz winning webcomic Demon. Given his analytic background, there’s much of that in the post, but here’s an excerpt:

demon #1 cover.jpg

Are shifting demographics killing sales of veteran artists at cons?

LordVader

Last week Denise Dorman, wife of veteran artist Dave Dorman, who is best known for his excellent painted covers, wrote a post on her blogm which is called Comic Book Wife. The post was titled: The Hidden TRUTH About Comic Book Convention Earnings: For Creators, Have Comic Book Conventions JUMPED THE SHARK? in which she pointed out that sales for her husband were off at several shows this year, and given the costs of exhibiting—hotels booths, food, travel—it made more sense to stay at home and do actual money making work.

Brian K. Vaughan’s PRIVATE EYE announces a new issue, six-figures sales

privateeye8

privateeye8The good news is that a new issue of THE PRIVATE EYE is available. This webcomic by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente posits a world where an eruption in the cloud has made privacy the most valued social element.

Oh did you say “torn from today’s headlines”? When this started running last year it seemed a little far fetched but after the burst cloud has spilled all of our secrets, BKV looks prescient again.

CCS offers the The Applied Cartooning Manifesto at SPX

001_Manifesto

I just arrived at SPX and the thrill of excitement over comics is a palpable thing, as the young and the young at heart (Saw Jules Feiffer walking around) gather to talk about what they love. but making a living at what you love remains a blithely ignored question mark (at best) or a looming storm cloud […]

Thought for the day: Choose your own adventure

adventures-into-the-unknown-1-1.jpg

I totally stole this from the blog of Marie Javins, a long time editor (most recently at DC) and colorist and adventurer:

Must read: Mike Dawson on being a mid-career cartoonist

60-Mike-Dawson-Angie-page01.jpg

Mike Dawson is talented cartoonist, a witty raconteur and a fine podcaster— you can hear his work with Alex Robinson here at Ink Panthers. And as of yesterday he was a Tumblr king with a post calledAdvice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience. It’s honest and in some parts brutal.

Media Royalties: Not so fast, Alan Brennert

201407101301.jpg

On Tuesday we posted writer Alan Brennert’s pique over not getting equity participation for the character Barbara Kent Gordon, who will appear as Jim Gordon’s wife on the Gotham TV show. Although we’re all sympathetic to creators getting their due, former DC editor Janelle Asselin pointed out that the character comes under the “derivative” heading, […]

Trouble in GOTHAM: Writer Alan Brennert says WB is stiffing him over $45 an episode

detective_500_brennert.jpg

Alan Brennert is a well-established DC Bronze age writer who was one of the first to cross over between comics and TV in the 70s and 80s. And he’s made several contributions to DC’s permanent continuity. But in a Facebook post reproduced below, he says that he’s being denied his equity in a character he […]

DC resets royalty system; colorists and digital now eligible

201406241556.jpg

I’ve been hearing a lot of conspiracy theories of late about DC, and some of them involve their participation/royalties system. In addition for quite a while, people have been complaining about the fact that colorists aren’t eligible for royalties—and neither are digital-first comics.

But that is changing. I understand a letter has just gone out to DC creative folks announcing a complete overhaul of the DC royalty system. For the first time colorists will be eligible for royalties and will get cover credit. And digital first will also be eligible for royalties. Little things like direct deposit and electronic vouchering will also be available.

Throwback Thursday: Revisiting the debate of our times Kirkman v. Bendis

beat-default

When thinking about the crazy world we live in today, where The Walking Dead is the most successful thing on TV and Marvel is the most successful thin in movies, I often think back to a seminal moment in the debate between creator-owned and company-driven: the 2008 debate between Robert Kirkman and Brian Bendis which took place at that year’s Baltimore Comicon. The think kicked off when a pre-Talking Dead sharpened Kirkman posted a video editorial calling for more creators to band together to make creator owned comics more of a thing, He even had an agenda for the process (emphasis mine.):

When creators complain: Jim Starlin and Joe Keatinge

201405010421.jpg

A couple of incidents this week of creators who spoke out, and editors who took offense at the speaking out.

First off, we’ve noted many times that Jim Starlin and Marvel seemed to have reached a happy place in terms of Starlin created characters Gamora and Thanos getting the big screen treatment in Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Starlin, whose various cosmic works such as The Infinity Gauntlet have been hugely influential in that end of the Marvel Universe, created a new Thanos graphic novel for Marvel and all seemed to be well. But then….things weren’t. Newsarama has a full rundown of the matter but The Beat first noticed something might be up when Starlin posted this on his FB page:

End Quotes: Jillian Tamaki on today’s illustrators

tumblr_n1bf3nuqGA1s8wym8o1_1280.jpg

After spending a year chairing the Society of Illustrators’ annual illustration show, Jillian Tamaki pens a rah rah intro for the annual, but I think she’s right: Young illustrators, seemingly unfazed by the fact illustration was declared dead 60 years ago, are getting on with the business of making stuff. Not only individual images, but […]

Must read: David Harper on the diminishing role of the comics artist at the Big Two

201402120249.jpg

It’s hard to believe in the era of Tumblr and Imgur and gifs and all that, but in comics artists seem to be getting the short end of the stick, at least in some places. David Harper takes a look at Comics and the Diminishing Role of Artists in a Visual Medium for Multiversity in […]