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How DC contacts work... By Mark WaidIf you're working for a publisher and wondering how the payments work then this by Mark Waid is pretty good --> http://thrillbent.com/blog/how-dc-contracts-work/
Basically what it boils down to though is that things are paid pretty much as a work for hire which means you get paid a once off flat rate, and then whoever paid you can do whatever they like with the final picture and not owe you a cent extra. Only if you're very good at negotiating contracts, and remember you're up against some of the best in the business with Marvel etc, or have such clout and "cred" in the industry, that you can cut your own deal. Which probably also means your name is Stan Lee...
This sort of deal ranges from a private one off pinup you do for John Doe to the big leagues such as DC and Marvel. Personally I'm fine with it as I get the money and then get a personal kick about seeing the final product in print. I usually ask if I can ge
Premium Content PublishingSo DA has gone and launched a new feature called Premium Content Publishing.
Basically it allows you to sell your artwork and products such as brushes, stock photos.. well whatever, via DA using the points system to earn real money ... eventually. Along the way DA takes a 20% cut of the sales price. (Hey - gotta finance that private island somehow!! --> http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=§ion=&global=1&qA+island#/d1wlypl)
So, the way it goes is that you upload your high res art file via sta.sh and then offer it for download. A person who wants to buy it, pays you in DA points for which you can then get converted into paypal money (after 14 days) and eventually you can access via paypal into real money in your bank account.... sounds great huh?!!
Ok, now lets consider the fees and costs of this thing..
First off a 20% cut is VERY VERY high. I've done some looking around and other art sales sites take a 3 - 10% commission... not 20.
Secondly DA also makes more money by making people
The Mark of the Beast - Clients from HellFrom the "Clientsfromhell" website...
The best way to avoid a lot of complaints that come with freelancing is to screen clients. However, not every client from hell has a pair of horns sticking out of their forehead. Here are some signs that you may be making a deal with the devil:
Ambiguous expectations: A client is employing you because they lack the skillset or resources to complete a project themselves. However, the client should have a clear idea of what they're after. Failing that, they should be eager to help you help them figure it out. Clients who fail this test have project scopes balloon overnight, or they react with anger and confusion when their idea of what they wanted doesn't match the freelancer's blind attempts to give it to them.
Unappreciative: A client's expectations may not be explicitly tied to the project itself; they may expect behaviour, time, or discounts for no other reason other than they think they deserve it. Unfortunately,
Greed is goodAnyone who's worked freelance knows that one of the hardest things to do is decide on a suitable rate for your efforts and time. It doesn't help things when what you might consider a good rate would be regarded as a pittance in one country but enough to live like a king for a month in another.
The way I've always seen it is like this. If you can get more per hour flipping burgers at the local Macdonalds, then that's what you should be doing. That's your baseline. After this it depends on what you think your time is worth and add on accordingly. Of course, that's not what the client thinks you're worth, which is going to be peanuts, but then thats the fight that all of us face in order to convince them otherwise...! You're on your own in that one I'm afraid...!
I'll open up and state what I get paid from Zenescope for colouring covers for them. It's $US120.00 a shot regardless of the lineart complexity. They initially offered me $US80.00 a pop but I negotiated upwards to something
Hell to Pay...If you're a freelancer, there will come a day, that you get shafted by the client for the money. (and it *will* happen *cough* Dabel Brothers *cough*) so this article from the clientsfromhell website has a few worthwhile pointers to keep in mind.
Create a contract. Contracts should exist for every project and every client you work with. It should include a description of work, payment information, and the explicit (as possible) obligations of both client and freelancers. Make sure it's signed by both parties and that everyone's contact information is accurate.
Do down-payments. I don't know a single professional freelancers who doesn't insist on down-payments. Most suggest 25-50% of the final project cost, with the remainder paid out on delivery or as progress is made. Not only does this help with the feast-and-famine style of payment that comes with freelancing, it shows the client intends to pay (at least a portion of) the freelancer's
How to make a Professional PortfolioIf you're not reading this blog about art and more importantly the *business * of art by Jon Schindehette then you need to stop doing whatever is you're doing and start reading right now!
He also has a series on the business of building a professional portfolio which I now regard as essential reading. Check the entries below:
1. Introduction --> http://www.theartorder.com/blog/artorder-portfolio-building-class
2. What is a Portfolio --> http://www.theartorder.com/blog/what-is-a-portfolio
3. Self Assessment --> http://www.theartorder.com/blog/portfolio-building-class-2-the-self-assessment
4. Setting a Strategy --> http://www.theartorder.com/blog/artorder-portfolio-building-class-3-setting-a-strategy
5. Making a Plan --> http://www.theartorder.com/blog/artorder-portfolio-building-class-4-making-a-plan
6. The Insanity Loop --> http://www.theartorder.com/blog/artorder-portfolio-building-class-4a-the-insanity-loop
Breaking into Comics the Marvel way**Reproduced from Bleeding Cool -->http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/03/29/the-magic-formula-for-breaking-into-comics-the-marvel-way-at-eccc/
Erik Grove writes for Bleeding Cool from ECCC in Seattle,
Every comic convention I’ve ever been to has had a “breaking into comics” panel. It’s a no-brainer. When you ask creators what question they are usually asked most, most say it’s “how did you break in?”I’ve been to several of these panels. It’s how I first met Rich Johnston actually (though I’m sure he doesn’t remember it) at NYCC when he was on a panel with C.B. Cebulski back before Bleeding Cool was a glimmer in his eye. [I have tried to block all such events from my mind - Rich] The truth is that a lot of fans(and some journalists) look at comics and think “I want to do that!” and search for a magic formula to accomplish it. We
The Detrimental AweThanks for the ideas everyone! Here's the post many of you requested...
Here's a sample of responses I've heard from some editors over the years when I've raised practical business concerns regarding comic book publishing:
"No, we don't know exactly what books you'll be doing, but we're (insert name of big publisher) Comics, so sign exclusive with us and not (insert name of competing publisher who has titles ready for you)!"
"This is a (insert name of big writer) book! I know he's late, but just think of how many people would love to be in your shoes!"
"The page rate isn't good, but at least you'll be getting to work with (name of big superhero whom you're supposed to be a fan of)!"
"We won't fly you out or put you into a hotel, but you should come so you can sign at the booth for us! Who doesn't love signing autographs?"
What do these statements have in common? They're emotional arguments made to sidestep yo
Tools of the TradeHey guys. I figured I'd go ahead and do a FAQ journal entry. Just a basic list of the tools I'm currently using for my marker work. I have a new tutorial for my markers that I'll post when I'm able to share the art I used for the progress shots. Feel free to fire away with any questions and hopefully, this can be a go to guide for basic info on my tools. I'm not going to talk about oil painting materials as I'm still figuring all that out and I doubt an answer I give today will hold up in the future.
Ok Here goes...
Markers: Prismacolor Cool and French grey markers. I think "Copic" has become another word for "marker" these days, so it's assumed that I'm using Copics for all of my work, but I actually use Prismacolor for all of my figures and detail work and only use Copic markers for backgrounds. I use to use "Warm" greys but I like the sepia look of French more now. I also occasionally use Copic color markers when I'm doing a full color marker piece. Why do I like Prismacolor markers
MotivationMotivation to achieve your goals in life comes in many forms. I decided to take a look at some of mine throughout my life. Keep reading if you care to learn my deep dark secrets [ ultimately you can use them against me later in life when I'm weak and defenseless. ]
When I was a kid I wanted to be just like my father. He passed away when I was 28 but man he left a mark! By the time I was a teenager I was a lot to handle - so we hardly ever saw eye to eye. He was a tough and talented man. To me he was like a super hero. He had a very black and white philosophy about life. He defined right and wrong very distinctly - there was no grey in his world. As a kid, a philosophy like that makes complete sense even if it isn't very realistic. He was a former pro boxer turned commercial artist. Eventually he ran his own ad agency. He could play guitar and piano by ear and played baseball as often as he could. He also loved comi
5 Ways to Avoid Being DiminishedThere's a discussion brewing in comics about artists being more diminished as of late--that readers, reviewers, and publishers are focusing too much on writers rather than the artists who draw the book. I agree it's happening, but I'm not sure it's worth sounding an alarm over. I never felt diminished, but maybe I'm part of the exception. Maybe it's because I'm an artist and a writer.
Either way, I do have a few thoughts on what artists can do to pull themselves out from under the rug.
1. DON'T DRAW LIKE A COG.
If you conform to a "house style", then you're at higher risk of being treated like an interchangeable cog in the comics machine. Yes, you're more likely to get consistent work, but you won't stand out as much. Therefor you'll be sought after less by big name writers, you're less likely to make a lasting impression on reviewers and readers, and you'll have a harder time getting raises (12 others draw like you and for less money).
I also suggests inking yourself if it helps. Penc
TAD: Making It RightHere's an update about the royalties situation:
John English over at TAD stepped up and did the right thing by sending me a check for my royalties, which I have already received and banked.
He also gave me his word that he would be taking care of the other artists royalties who were wronged as well.
Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but he called me not long after I made my post wanting to know what he could do.
John said he didn't think people should get credit for doing the right thing and I agreed. But I still want to take the time to flesh this out a little because I want to keep my side of the street clean and because there's a lot of confused, angry, hurt, people.
Justified or not; dropping this nuke hurt TAD and TAD isn't only populated by the people who wronged me; it's comprised of people *just like me* trying to make a living in art.
I was wronged, but TAD isn't some cartoon villain plotting to suck the life-force from hapless artists; no one goes into business
5 Comic Book Truths (that I don't think are true)There are lots of tips, chestnuts, and other pieces of advice that I've heard over the years--tidbits of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next, from professional to professor to prospective student. Some of them are drawing tips, some of them are tricks to dealing with publishers, and some are general guidelines on how to survive in comics. Most of them are useful and true and will stand the test of time, but a few of them have become hackneyed platitudes and have gone unquestioned for too long. Here are 5 that I'm questioning...
1. READERS WILL ONLY LOOK AT A PANEL FOR 5 SECONDS, SO DON'T SWEAT IT TOO MUCH.
I understand the intention of this bit of wisdom, and I mostly agree with it: drawing great interiors is important, but at the same time, you don't want to get bogged down with small details that most readers won't even notice.
But here's my concern with this: if you treat every panel like it's disposable, then you're less likely to make an impact with reader
Why it's so important to unite as artists.We are with many though yet we are with few. We're all divided over little subgroups such as, fantasy illustrators, concept artists, comic book pencilers, photomanipers, techartists, anime drawers, realism sketchers etc. You might even find your place at multiple sections.
I found that the biggest united groups on Deviant Art are mostly evolved around fan art, such as Sonic, or My little pony.
Observations aside, I think the good thing about those groups is that they serve for companionship. Being an artist all by yourself with no one to share/talk about/discuss your work with can feel rather lonely. And that lonely feeling is not encouraging at all. Most of us keep a lot of things taboo as well, like techniques or rates. If we were more openly with these the changes of being underpaid or missing out on a job because someone else does it for hardly any money at all will grow slimmer. People should know what they are worth and not be afraid to ask for it.
When I joined Devia
5%If you're reading this now, it means you're roughly in the 5%. Most people who go online to read about comics will end up reading previews and "top 10" lists--subjects we all, or course, enjoy. But the articles/blogs that critically analyze our industry are usually only read by two types: people in the biz whom are affected by this stuff, and the few readers who are interested in reading more than word balloons when it comes to comics.
And I'm not knocking people who don't care to read these articles. All readers are contributing to the industry with their buying power, and I'm thankful for them, even if they're not in the 5%. I admit, if I had a normal 9-5 job and a boss that was kicking my ass 5 days a week, I might not have the tolerance for these sorts of articles either.
That being said, I think we need more of these articles/blogs written from different points of view--more from creators especially. The 2010s will likely be r
Top 5 Mistakes (I've made over the years)To many people in comics, I only arrived a few years ago with Joe the Barbarian. Then came Hellblazer (completed in 2008 before I began working on Joe), American Vampire: SOTF, and finally Punk Rock Jesus. Once in a while someone will mention Off Road (an OGN I did with Oni back in 2004), but for the most part it seems like I've been published only these last few years when in fact I've been published professionally for a decade now.
This isn't a plea to have everyone go back through my previous work--in fact, I'm glad that a lot of the books I've done over the years aren't on readers' radars. I'm proud of it all, but the books above are a nice, tight group of titles to be associated with. They're all in a similar brand, they're all recent, they all have good creators/publishers associated with them, and the artwork is mostly consistent. Go back further than that, and you'll see artwork that looks nothing like the stuff I'm doing these days. (Although Off Road still holds up to some de
Give me a break (into comics...)Pro comic writer :iconzubby: Jim Zub has a blog where he's written a few entries on how to break into the comics industry. Well worth a read IMO!
The links -->
Part 1 - How do I break in? --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1725
Part 2 - Find an artist --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1767
Part 3 - Comic Writing --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1068
Part 4 - The Pitch --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1511
Part 5 - Pitch Critique --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1882
Part 6 - Comic Q&A --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1813
Part 7 - The Realities of Creator-owned Comics --> http://www.jimzub.com/?p=1953
In addition he links to Charles Soule's blog articles about Freelance work and Contracts called "Agree to Agree"
Here's the links -->
Part 1 --> http://charlessoule.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/agree-to-agree-part-one/
Part 2 --> http://charlessoule.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/agree-to-agree-part-2/
Part 3 --> http://charlessoule.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/agree-to-agree-part-three/
Part 4 --> http://charlessoule.word
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