Shortly after the new year, MARCH co-creator Nate Powell posted a breakdown explaining just what a book advance means to a comics artist. His post broke down a $30,000 advance for a single graphic novel after taxes and agent fees into a monthly salary for working on that single book: $455 per month.
While the post was sobering for many who do not realize just how little creators make per book, even when they are as well known as Nate Powell, it missed a greater mark: self-publishers.
In a public post on Patreon, Robert took those figures from Powell, and expanded a bit on why it is that artists then rely on commissions and show sales for revenue. He then gave a small snapshot into the broader economics of creating, for what amounts to the majority of the folks you see at so many shows in Artist Alley. Not only are they trying to build a fanbase, but they are trying to recoup expenses with a hope of simply breaking even.
As Robert states in the article, “[t]he first thing you must do is take away that $450 and start at zero.”
The article continues, using the most recent release, THE BEAR FROM AUNT: CASE OF THE CATERPILLAR DRIVE as its financial example. In addition to revealing some of his expenses for the book, and the title’s break even and profit points, Robert also suggests ways to support artists that extend beyond financial obligations, especially in a tight economy. Patreon membership is not required to access the article, which can be read HERE.