art vs $$$

(a continuation from the last few posts & comments, mainly Jed's)

You'll go crazy(er) if you keep trying to make sense of it all. More on that in a minute, but first, I think I can make a LITTLE sense of the high page rate $ vs low original art $ conundrum. It's just pure economics. National magazines are fairly flush with money from advertisers, so they pay a nice page rate to get quality artwork. Comic book fans are typically NOT flush with money, so they pay what they can for artwork. In both cases, artist and buyer find a happy meeting place.

As for the stuff that will never make sense - even in THAT tiny little sanity zone that I just described, there is insanity. A couple of years ago I heard a story about DC having to pay Charles Burns $8,000 for a cover, even though he did something different than what they were expecting. DC has never paid ME $8,000 for a cover they did not like, and probably never will.

On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Landman does amazing gorgeous time-consuming work on Runaway Comic for the meager promise of a pro-rated portion of my profits, IF they ever materialize.

Some nut paid $2,500 for one page of The Biologic Show artwork. I'm selling old pages for $60. Other artists who are just as good as me or better can't sell a thing.

It will never seem "fair". But in fact, it is fair. Everybody is finding their happy meeting place.

Speaking of happy meeting places, here's a Gnatrat drawing that Gnatrat fan Angson bought from DC artist Cameron Stewart at last weekend's Paradise Comicon in Toronto. What do you suppose Angson paid for that thing? I probably would have done it for less, and I would have put the wings on his gnat logo! But Angson is happy, and I am happy he's happy! Thanks for sharing, Ang!

8 comments:

Mark Landman said...

"On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Landman does amazing gorgeous time-consuming work on Runaway Comic for the meager promise of a pro-rated portion of my profits, IF they ever materialize."

Oh YEAH baby, wait and see, I'll be sitting on my Yacht smoking Cuban cee-gars and drinking Cristal champagne, while Burns and Columbia are drinking Sanka and saving their food stamps to buy Oscar Meyer products. This Runaway Comic stuff is gonna make both the Marks rich and famous some day!

Seriously, foolin' around with Mark has been another one of those "magic specialness" things. There's nothing like working with another artist to take you outside of your comfort zone and deliver you to some fun different places, I highly recommend it, even if no one will pay you $8000 a page when you're done...

eeTeeD said...

mark martin said, "...DC has never paid ME $8,000 for a cover they did not like, and probably never will..."

tell us a bit about your experience working for dc

kevthemev said...

Actually, the Paradise Comicon is in June (June 8-10). www.torontocomicon.com

March 25's show was called the Toronto Comic Book Fan SuperShow, but it is also a Paradise show.

Thanks,
Kevin

Benny said...

Have I been wrong all these years?
I thought Gnatrat and all the others were your creations. Aren't they your characters?

Why is this guy drawing and selling your characters?

Oh, but am I bemused.

Marky Mark said...

Calm down, Benny.
Hell yes, I created Gnatrat. But anybody can draw him and sell the art at a convention. Just like I draw other characters that other people own. It's okay and technically legal to draw and sell - just can't PUBLISH multiple copies and sell. That's a no-no.

Benny said...

Wow! That's CRAZY!
But it's very flattering as well, kind of.

SRBissette said...

Hey, Ben, Swamp Thing, baby, Swamp Thing.

Been drawing him for years -- but not for DC! Con sketch rules apply as Mark de-scribes.

HemlockMan said...

I used to collect original comic art. I'd buy pages haphazardly whenever I'd stumble across something I liked. Unfortunately, when my wife had several tens of thousands of dollars in uninsured medicals bills, I had to sell it all off for far less than what the stuff is worth today. For instance, I owned the cover to TALES OF ASGARD #1 by Kirby. When I had to sell it, I got $700. What's it worth now? Who knows? I had to sell Kubert Shining Knight pages, Kirby Hulk pages (from Hulk #4, I think), Jim Starlin pages, etc. and etc.

I still feel a pain thinking about it. Alas.