What is mainstream/indie?
For the purposes of this website, there may be some dispute, we are referring to mainstream as Marvel & DC, whereas indie would refer to Dark Horse, IDW, Boom! Studios, Oni Press, and other various publishers.
What is the source of this information?
The page rates cited on FairPageRates.com, the table used, were all sourced from publicly available information, such as panels at comic conventions, blog posts, and twitter. See news/resources for more info.
How does $15 per hour work for a freelance cartoonist? Don’t some artists work slower or faster?
Although we are paid in page rates, we can calculate our hourly wages by taking the total payment for a page and dividing that by total time spent working on that page. The $15 per hour minimum is a living wage guideline that helps assess whether you are being paid a fair page rate. For instance, if an artist can finish 5 pages a week, at $150 a page, the artist makes $750 a week. For a 40 hour work week, that breaks down to $18.75 per hour. Making sure that an artist is paid a fair page rate ensures that they are paid a living wage.
Shouldn’t there be a separation between creator owned and work-for-hire material?
At Fair Page Rates, we are aware of many different scenarios for how professionals are paid. Just because a book is creator-owned does not automatically imply that a page rate is not offered, on top of whatever ownership/royalties deal is contracted.
We believe that regardless of whether of what revenue split is determined, a page rate should be offered when possible. We’ve seen too often where one half of a creative team is compensated above and beyond what is a fair split, while the other member has to settle for ‘back-end’.
If you can afford to pay a popular creative twice or three times the standard page rate for their name, you can afford to pay whoever on that creative team actually brings it to life.
Some of these rates look as if they have been mistakenly submitted, and are probably advances against royalties
When deciding whether someone who posted their rate misidentified an advance against royalties is a tricky balancing act. For many, this ‘advance’ is the only money they will ever see for their work. We also cannot identify for someone without further information that they have made a mistake submitting their rates.
For those books which are written, drawn, colored and lettered by one person, we also have to consider how fair it is that the comics industry is stacked like an upside down pyramid: those who make the product supporting an infrastructure of those who sell the product. Many times, comped issues are not even sent to the artists themselves, or only one copy is sent.
When your bosses can pay their mortgage on your work, what are you getting out of selling your labor for pennies on the dollar? These inequities come to light when you see exactly how low a page rate can go.
Refer to the resources page for lengthier discussions on these topics
More questions/answers as they come in.