August 25, 2014

While discussing independent comics...

(Because otherwise, there would be NO comics.)

12 comments:

  1. I believe this is the flip side of the "comic book writers and artists shouldn't charge for their work. It should just be done for the love of the genre" argument. I wonder: if you put this guy in a room with one of those people, would they interact destructively?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate that argument so much because how do you expect the writers and artists to be able to live and eat without a profit of some kind. It's like asking a cashier to do their job for free after hours just because they do it all the time anyway.

      Delete
  2. I imagine he begins every thought with "I don't understand".

    ReplyDelete
  3. To make a shitload of money off the movie rights. Duh.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been spending the last few months wasting my time then.

    ReplyDelete
  5. NOBODY ever made a shitload of money from comics.

    Even Stan Lee made more money from movie/TV deals than he ever made from comics.

    ReplyDelete
  6. NOBODY... well, except for the Image Comic guys and Robert Kirkman (even before the show)... just sayin'. ;p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While Kirkman made a comfortable living doing comics for a year or two before the show was announced, he was in no way making a shitload of money from it. He made more per page on Marvel Zombies.

      The only Image founders to make a shitload of money were Todd McFarlane- due to his toy company and Spawn licensing- and MAYBE Rob Liefeld due to his jeans endorsement deal.

      The economics of comics publishing don't allow for ANY part of the chain to make a shitload of money. Even if a writer or artist has comics that consistently sell in the 70,000 copy range (The Walking Dead #128 for example sold 74,326) would need to have a second series or another job to live above what we'd think of as "lower middle class." Prior to TWD becoming a show, issues sold roughly 20-30,000 copies per issue. Kirkman didn't get his shitload until the show.

      Delete
    2. All the Image founders pretty much became millionaires out of the gate... Larsen, McFarlane, Liefeld, Lee, Silvestri... all their first few issues sold in the millions, and they got nearly all the profits from that... you do the math.
      In your example of Kirkman and The Walking Dead #128... that's monthly income, that's his... he owns the property... he doesn't pay any money to Image other than printing costs... so 74,000 issues a month at say $1 profit on each issue... that's $74,000 per month... at 12 issues a year that's $888,000 a year. Say that gets split even with the artist...(which I doubt it's a 50/50 split at all) that's $444,000 a year from the comic alone... that's a bit above lower middle class I'd say.
      Now working for Marvel or DC, they take most of the $ and pay the artist/writer a certain fee per page... they wouldn't make that much monthly cause they don't own the rights to the comics, they are hired talent.

      Delete
    3. Except Kirkman gets closer to 35-65 cents per issue sold*, and again, that's all post-TV show. Pre TV-show he was selling 20-30,000 copies per, so the math (using the high end of my estimates) works out like this:

      30,000 x .65=$19,500 x12/year**=$234,000 per year.

      Nothing to sneeze at for sure, but then he has to pay Charlie Adlard, and anyone else involved in the production of the comics. Even if the $234,000 was all his, I wouldn't call that a "shitload" of money.

      Now try and do that math with the Image Founders, who admittedly sold a lot more comics (in the beginning), but at $1.95 instead, and with a LOT more money going into promoting their line and titles than is done by, well, anybody, today. They certainly pulled down 6 figures for the first year or three, but that number crashed really hard.

      I do want to add Jim Lee to the "actually got a shitload of money" group due to his snagging LoEG and a few other properties, and then selling his whole Wildstorm line to DC later on.

      And finally, this link is more for me than anyone else: http://xkcd.com/386/

      * Most comic shops get TWD at 50-55% off of cover. Diamond also gets a percentage of the cover price, say 15-20%, and Image gets only the exact costs of producing the comics, say .30 per comic. So a $2,99 Image comic provides it's owner with $2.99- 70%= $.90 -.30=.60 per copy sold. The numbers for Diamond and Image's cuts are estimates based on experience, but are probably off a little, since diamond and Image don't release that kind of information. The cost per issue printed also goes down when more copies are printed, so Kirkman makes more on each issue of TWD at 70,000+ a month than he did on TWD at 20-30,000 a month.

      ** He actually only got out an average of 10.5 issues a year for a while before the show. "Walking Dead is late?" was said in the same tone as "Water is wet?" for a few years there.

      Delete
  7. Yeah, seriously: A comic book about a guy who's actually a heroic strongman but pretends to be a dweeb in his daily life, and he's also actually an alien. That is the dumbest idea ever and nothing like it has ever made money before and we're not doing it.

    Or bringing back this "Flash" guy when the kids stopped buying super hero comics last decade. That is the dumbest idea ever and we've already lost too much money and we're not doing it.

    Or making a comic centered around a selfish nerd who becomes a total jerk as soon as he gets a taste of power and his emblem is a bug. It's the last issue of a dying anthology book that we're contractually obligated to do one more issue, and that's the only reason I'm saying yes.

    Grimdark Anthropomorphic Turtle Ninjas based on Daredevil in-jokes that no one will understand once the current Daredevil writer moves on. Go away and bring me a serious proposal.

    Making a twelve issue limited series set in an alternate universe version of characters whose comics don't exist anymore, and the heroes fail in the end. What kid is going to want to buy that?

    A SUPER EXPENSIVE MOVIE based on the Guardians of the Galaxy comic instead of a popular series!?!?! GET OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, luckily some brave publishers dare to print superhero comics despite the odds of that working.

      Delete

.

.