January 12th, 2011

[Contemplation] Deep silent complete
  • jesskat

Requesting advice about commissioned sequential art

Hi everyone,

This is not a beware but a general request for advice. I was recently contacted by someone on DeviantArt who wanted to know my prices for sequential art. While I have some experience making comics for my own enjoyment, I've never taken comic commissions before. I asked them how much work would be involved; the level of detail, whether they were expecting pencil/ink/color art, three-to-four panel comics or full-page illustrations etc.

They didn't reply for nearly a week, so I figured they may have already found somebody or forgotten the note. Today I got their reply, in which they replied with this: "Here's an answer to your questions: it's 42 pages, inked, full page illustrations, and simplistic style for characters, with backgrounds."

Having never done comic commissions before, I must admit the thought of 42 pages right off the bat sounds pretty daunting. It seems like a project that would keep me busy for quite a while, quite likely keeping me from taking on any other commissions for the duration. (I'm not sure yet if there is a deadline involved, but I plan on asking.) I would have to price it it such a way that it would be worth declining any other possible commissions.

I've looked around online for advice on pricing. I found a few discussions about sequential art even on this comm, but they tended to talk about covering the costs of physical materials like paper, pencils, etc. Google mostly brings up prices charged by professionals who work for big companies like Marvel and DC. I'm a digital artist, I do art for a hobby and I live outside the US. I don't know if this person plans on pitching this comic to a publishing company at a later date. In case they do, I'm assuming copyright issues should raise the prices somewhat, but I'm not sure how much.

Any advice, artists? How much should I charge per page when the art is digital (hence no material costs as such), the project is 42 full-page inked* illustrations and I'm not sure if the commissioner has plans to try and get the comic published eventually? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

* I'm assuming that by "inked" this person means I would be the one doing both the pencilling and the inking, not that he has two separate artists for the different tasks.