Monday, 27 October 2008

Jobs for Zombie Dave, or how to make money in comics.

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I wish I could write a long and informative blog to all of the aspiring comic book creators out there and teach them how to make money, but I simply don't know. Well, I know how to write blogs, just not long and informative ones. As for ones about making money? You got no chance.

Despite being in the game for over ten years and being published multiple times in both the UK and USA, I still consider myself a newbie to the game and only a few shades lighter a green than our stinky friend up there. What I have learnt so far is that a big part of getting a paying gig in the comics field is having a name - the catch being that you don't earn a name until you've had a paying gig.

So you "pay your dues", something which I did - do a lot of. I'll work for writer x and draw his 6 page story about a small boy that wears pants on his head and take no money for it, in hopes that the story will see print and writer y (who's hopefully not as cheap as writer x) will see it and want to track me down.

I've lost track of how many times I've done this for people, and frankly a lot of the time I don't mind if it benefits both parties. Writer x gets his story told and I get some work in print and one step closer to becoming that name. What has knarked me in the past is when I've given a writer 6 or 10 pages under promise of print, and he's just sat on them. Thus leaving my work in a file on his pc never to be seen by anyone.

Still, after a decade things are starting to get themselves in order. I'm still "paying my dues" here and there (though only to projects that I see fit - with experience comes the rights to pick and choose) but the odd paying gig is sneaking through. I'm not making money by a long shot, in fact when all is said and done, I'm probably not even breaking even. But comics isn't about money, there isn't any to be had (until you reach that level of working for the big two or become a star in your own right) but comics has never been about making money, it's been about love.

A love to create and a love to entertain.

So I can't teach you how to make money in comics as I haven't figured that one out myself yet. What I can tell you though is that Zombie Dave would be far better off as a Butcher or Baker.

Not for his own financial wellbeing though, for mine. There's far too much competition out there already!


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