Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jim Keefe: Pricing Your Comic and Cartoon Work

FLASH GORDON by Jim Keefe and copyright King Features Syndicate.

Comic books, comic strips, illustration -- you name it and my friend, cartoonist Jim Keefe, has done it.

Jim has a good blog and he's offering some hands-on advice on what to charge for a comic book in his entry this week: Pricing Your Work. 

Jim cites the Graphic Artists Guild for these comic book page rates:

Writing (Plot & Script) $75-120
Painted Art $200-750
Pencil Art $100-400
Ink Art $75-300
Lettering $40-50
Coloring $100-150

He goes into detail -- giving more resources for contract negotiation and generally citing the fact that small companies tend to pay less than the big companies. 

I agree with Jim that if you initially set your price low (or just decide to give it away for, you know, "the exposure"), then you may be saddled with that for a long time. That precedent may ruin your career.

For example, you decide to give a client a break and draw finished pages for the ridiculous amount of $25 each. It's a free country. You can set up a crazy deal like that. Anyway, so the deal penciling, inking, coloring -- the whole visual thing, from blank page to finish. 

And you do all the work, on time and it looks great.

Then another client comes around with another request ... and word has got around that you do great work for $25 a page; that this is "your rate." 

It's just not a livable, viable deal.

Anyway, bookmark Jim Keefe's invaluable blog. There's more about Work For Hire, Back End Deals and, generally, how to handle making a living by drawing. Jim's blog is a great place for real world information. 

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