You've got your foot in the door and have a good idea of what to do in order to being the process of publishing your first comic book from our previous tutorials. Now you want the meat of the matter, what are average publishing costs as well as ballpark figures on what to pay artists, inkers and everyone else.
First and foremost, you must ask yourself the following questions in order to tailor your expenses prediction as well as to know who to hire and what talents you'll need and/or want. After you answer these questions your literally directly on the path of publishing your first comic book and producing a new comic company in the furocious comic book industry.
- How much can I afford?
- Is this a black & white book, or color?
- Is this an on-going series, mini-series, or a one-shot graphic novel?
- How many pages will it take to tell my story?
- If I am a writer/creator where will I get the artists?
- Will it be a straight freelance deal, or a partnership?
- What is the style/look of the artwork I want?
- Who is the penciler?
- Who is the inker?
- Who will letter the book?
- How much will these people cost me?
- How much will advertising and printing costs be?
- Can I afford this?
Believe me when I say that the last question, while it is very important, shouldn't not be a main focus. If it is, then you should start looking for sponsors, advertisers, promotion opportunities where you can get someone to help foot the growing bill of the comic while at the same time not going in debt over it.
A lot of the questions should look familiar from previous comic creating tutorials...but now we're getting into the meat of it. Most questions should already be answered or you should have a good idea of what you're going to do in each subject of the matter. If not, take a few steps back and slow down. This isn't a race, its about you producing a comic and coming out on top...maybe not with a thousand bucks in the pocket, but with the opportunity to start your own comic or be recognized. The most thrilling aspect of publishing a comic is to see readers enjoy it though. Don't get into this business for the money, it won't work out.
While some of these figures max out at professional level salary, the lowest prices include any independent comic companies out there. While you may make any rate you like, remember that your artists and other talents will have to agree with it. Ok, don't lose all hope yet; here it goes:
- Pencilers $50 - $200
- Inkers $50 - $175
- Colorists $75 - $175
- Letterers $25 - $75
Per Issue ( based on average of 30 pages )
- Pencilers $1500 - $6000
- Inkers $1500 - $5250
- Colorists $2250 - $5250
- Letterers $750 - $2250
With all of the options and paths you can take, just for talent one comic may cost as little as $6000 and as much as $24000. And that doesn't even include publishing costs. If you're on a very limited budget, consider this: colored prints cost more, as do costs for colorists compared to printing black and white. Also remember that your first comic may not include everything you had hoped. More pages, clearer prints, variant covers etc. For now drop those and pick them back up in the future.
Your talent finances have been planned, but now what for getting your product out to the people? Here are two of the best places to post ads along with their rates.
- full-page black and white ad in Diamond's catalog, Previews, costs $800
- full-page black and white ad in Wizard, costs $500
Do the math, these numbers are big, and so is the competition, so don't plan on beating any systems or finding a shortcut. But at the end of every hard day of work keep faith, because it was one comic that began each company whose names are as large as Marvel, DC, Darkhorse and Image. Never lose hope, because Blazedent believes in you. Till next time, don't freak out over the costs, just be prepared for them.
- Joseph Lookabaugh