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Monthly Archives: June 2015
Last Judgement, 1853 Great Day of His Wrath, 1851-53 The Plains of Heaven, 1851 nigra-lux:
MARTIN, John (b. 1789, Haydon Bridge, d. 1854, Douglas, Isle of Man)The Last Judgement Triptych:- Last Judgement, 1853- Great Day of His Wrath, 1851-53- The … Continue reading
So you want to be a comic book artist..? Here’s some sobering information.
One year. 12 issues. 264 pages. 4 covers.
As a full-time comic artist this is the expected output, more or less. Not to say I haven’t done a TON of work on the side to make ends meet, but as an artist on an ongoing monthly title, this is generally what you are expected to produce every year. Some artists do much more than this. Some less. It all depends on your productivity and drive.
It’s taken a lot of work and a ton of luck, but I’ve managed to stay busy for the majority of my career. I’ve gotten married, bought a house and have two beautiful kids. All the while, I was working full time as a professional comic artist. This schedule has allowed me to stay home with the kids until they were ready for school. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and all of the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know and work with over the years.
I wanted to take this opportunity to give people a look at what it really means to be a professional comic artist; good and bad.
This was a strictly work-for-hire job on a licensed book. That usually means no royalties. The page rate on this project was $125. This is considered an okay page rate by today’s standards. Advances on creator-owned projects are a different matter and subject to different criteria, so are jobs at Marvel and DC. That being said, this is a middle-of-the-road page rate. Not great, not terrible.
Gross pay over the year in addition to those four covers was $33,625. After taxes? $24, 210. That’s $2,017.50 a month (again, I do a lot of work on the side to make ends meet).
Nearly all of that aforementioned salary goes to the mortgage, and so the majority of the financial responsibility falls on my wife.
Remember those kids i mentioned? Full-time daycare in Portland is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 -$1,500 per kid. Not to mention health insurance, utilities, car payments, school loans, credit card payments, et al.
Needless to say, you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot more work than those 264+ pages per year to keep your family afloat (should you choose to have one).
So. Here’s the schedule I keep:
7:00am – Wake up, feed the kids and get them ready for school.
8:30 – Take the kids to school
9:00-9:30am – Start work
12:30pm Pick up kid #1
3:30pm: Pick up kid #2
4:00-9:00pm – Family time.
Yep. That’s four hours of sleep per day, best-case scenario. Weekends too. Due to the sleep deprivation, I feel like absolute garbage all the time. Depression, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, weight gain, compromised cognitive abilities, even hallucinations – I suffer from all of these.
So, let’s imagine you have a quaint little nuclear family, a mortgage, etc. and you land a high-profile, non-DC/Marvel gig like #BigTroubleinLittleChina, and you command a decent salary (by today’s standards) from whatever value your name/talent/reputation derives.
You will still likely need to work 50-60 hours a week, nearly 365 days a year to just get by.
So you want to be a comic book artist..?
My best advice to you is to find another way to make your money. Make comics for fun, and at your leisure. Make creator-owned comics, as this is some of the most rewarding work you will ever do, hands down. My books, The Secret History of DB Cooper and Hellbreak have been the most rewarding experiences I’ve had professionally. I implore everyone to do their own thing and not expect comics to pay their bills, because it likely won’t.
Hellbreak and The Secret History of DB Cooper are available through your local comic shop, and are published by Oni Press.
It’s rare to see comic book artists speak publicly about the financial realities of drawing comics for a living, so I wanted to reblog this.
Original inked and final painted artwork by Jim Starlin from The Infinity Gauntlet promotional poster
Original inked and final painted artwork by Jim Starlin from The Infinity Gauntlet promotional poster, published by Marvel Comics, 1991.
African Canvas Margaret Courtney-Clarke
The Art of Africa is a casualty
of colonial exploitation, surviving
principally in the museums of
other countries. ~ Nadine Gordimer
”My objective in this work is to document an extraordinary art form – vernacular art and architecture in West Africa – that is not transportable and therefore not seen in museums around the world. It is an attempt to capture the unseen Africa, a glimpse into the homes and into the spirit of very proud and dignified peoples. In much the same way as I photographed the art of Ndebele women, I have drawn on my personal affinity for the art itself, for methods, design and form, rather than the socio-anthropological or political realities of a people or continent in dilemma. These images portray a unique tradition of Africa, a celebration of an indigenous rural culture in which the women are the artists and the home her canvas.”
coffee-iv:perissologist:THIS TURNED OUT SO MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTEDyou missed the best bit
What a great idea!
Hammerstein – Clint langley
Perhaps the definitive version of the (mostly!) heroic war droids, and the most recent, is Clint Langley’s CG run, beginning with the Volgan War books [Vols. 1–4] from 2007.
It seems obvious now because we are so familiar with Langley’s art, but this new digital style was perfect for these iconic machines, and the artist had some pretty big boots to fill – with Mick McMahon, Dave Gibbons, Kev O’Neill, Simon Bisley, Brett Ewins, Carlos Ezquerra, Brendan McCarthy, Kev Walker & others adding to the pantheon of great artists on this fan-favourite series.
Anyway, with writer and creator Pat Mills, the Langley art droid has left his own indelible mark on this classic strip, and incredibly over recent years has made it his own..
From top – the original ‘Mek-nificent Seven’:
- Hammerstein [Mk. III] – Heroic war droid & leader of the Warriors, the ultimate soldier and his predecessors were the original robotic soldiers, built by the industrialist, and later cyborg, ‘Mr. Ten per-Cent’, Howard Quartz.
- (General) Blackblood – Treacherous coward & former head of enemy Volgan army shock troops, the ‘Straw Dogs’.
- Deadlock – Enigmatic, Grand Wizard of the mysterious Knights Martial, disciples of Khaos and practitioners of the Dark Arts!
- Happy Shrapnel – aka Tubal Cain, ‘The Mekanik’. Happy was thought to have been killed when the Warriors first went to Mars, instead he stayed on the Red Planet becoming a champion of the native Martians, and Medusa: the spirit of he planet itself.
- Joe Pineapples – The galaxy’s greatest assassin, elite sniper and effortlessly cool – although even he has skeletons in his closet!
- Mongrol – Huge, ape-like, formerly monosyllabic beast, Mongrol regained his voice after he shared a body with Morrigun – the only female Warrior, another disciple of Khaos
– who died on Mars, leaving her secrets with the giant droid..
- Steelhorn – Once known as the greatest war droid ever built, he was betrayed by his human creators after the end of the first Volgan war – tricked into entering a giant smelter, he was melted down into molten slag, however due to his force of will he retained his sentience, becoming ‘The Mess’! Left on Mars his liquid form was injected into the body of a giant robot guardian named George, and then after connecting with Medusa – Mars’ planetary consciousness – rebuilt his old magnificent body.
Reserve Warriors and Associates:
- Ro-Jaws – Foul-mouthed sewer droid, F.R.E.D. 2L, better known as Ro-Jaws, served in Ro-Busters, Howard Quartz’ robotic disaster relief squad alongside a decommissioned war droid called Hammer-Stein, so when Nemesis the Warlock was reforming the Warriors he gave this crude little droid a place!
- Mek-Quake – A particularly unpleasant mekanoid who originally inhabited the chassis of a huge bulldozer as part of Ro-Busters, responsible for disciplining unruly robots – a job he still fulfills for Tharg the Mighty when his droids step out of line, as yours truly can testify! – but joined the Warriors at the insistence of Nemesis the Warlock, in the classic “Black Hole” storyline.
- Zippo – aka ‘Agent Orange’ was formerly a flame-throwing special forces soldier who worked behind enemy lines in the Volgan war, but has aided most of the ABC Warriors at some point in their careers, often leaving them with an inscribed cigarette lighter.
Clint Langley ABC Warriors titles:
The Volgan War Vol.1 (Progs2007,1518–25,3Jan-21Feb’07).
The Volgan War Vol.2 (Progs1550–59,15Aug-17Oct’07).
The Volgan War Vol.3 (Progs1601–16,27Aug-10Dec’08).
The Volgan War Vol.4 (Progs1666–77,6Jan-24Mar’10).
Return To Earth (Progs1800–11,12Sep-28Nov’12).
Return To Mars (Progs1862–73,1Jan-19Mar’14).