Saturday, August 11, 2012

Big Project! Lousy Money!

Established Company Needs Artist!

My son has often told me about the preposterous job offers he finds on craigslist. His field is film. Craigslist is full of opportunities for highly-qualified film professionals who don't mind working for nothing. Typically the ads take one of two forms. The first is a hype-filled description of how you'll be getting the chance to work for real industry movers and shakers, with a hip crew and a sky's-the-limit future once the project is done. The other type offers an earnest description of how this is the finest project ever conceived, and it will make a fortune, but right now there's no money...but you can get in on the ground floor of the next Big Thing!!!

Of course all these jobs expect you, the applicant, to have a combination of skills and experience that would be the envy of many long-time professionals.

There are fewer comics-related projects on craigslist, but one surfaces occasionally. Some of them even pay! Like this one I found today:

Established company is seeking a sequential artist to illustrate a 70 page, black + white, graphic novel to be completed by January 15th, 2013.

This will debut at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con.

Compensation: $1400

The genre is a hybrid of steampunk/fantasy and adventure.
The character designs are already in place (though there is room for interpretation)

Please e-mail samples or link to portfolio.

I must admit that at first glance '$1400" looks least it's not copies and credit. Five seconds later you've done the math. $1400 divided by 70 pages is...twenty bucks a page!

Flash back thirty years...1972, San Jose, California. I drew my first paying comics job for an issue of Barbarian Comics, published by comics dealer and underground fan Bob Sidebottom. I was paid $20 a page. And let me tell you, twenty bucks went a lot further in 1972.

The sad part is, some kid hungry to break into the big time will take the job, and the "established company" sets a precedent for graphic novel illustrators.

Many times in my life I worked for much less than I was worth. I did it because I was stupid. Nowadays I read something like this and wonder, if you're an established company and your project is so damned great, why aren't you putting your money where your mouth is? If you're paying twenty bucks a page, your project is a twenty-buck-a-page project.

Hopefully these guys will get what they pay for.

No comments: