UPDATED WITH CAVEAT: Alex De Campi has pointed out that show ever has put this together used her slide on page rates without crediting her, which is a little uncool for a page that purports to have creators rights at heart — OTOH maybe they didn’t want any specific names attached to the project?
There’s a new anonymous comics industry survey on the scene and it’s called Fair Page Rates. According to their “About” Page:
As the battle for a mandatory $15/hr minimum wage is fought in the service and retail industries, artists remain neglected. It is our belief that the creative teams of comic books deserve a living wage. Specifically, we feel Page Rates should be commensurate with the labor involved, ideally no less than $15 an hour for any position (writer, artist, colorist, letterer). It is the responsibility of the publisher and not the freelancer to provide this minimum wage and to structure their business model accordingly.
At this point in time, the comics industry does not have a guild or union to set fair rates and enforce them. We are now presenting this data in order to help artists not only be better informed about the standard rates of the industry but to also encourage them to not accept work that falls below the standard. Artists, although you may feel you must take what you can get, it only helps you, your artistic community, and the medium, to refuse any job which pays lower than the current page rates.
This website only covers work-for-hire agreements, and does not attack or defend any particular publisher, organization, or person. The information presented here has been gathered and researched by professionals from across the industry.
If you’re being offered lower than standard page rates from a publisher, contact us and we will make this information public, your identity will remain anonymous.
There is a survey attached, and although it asks for names, even if you’re a bit iffy about that I’d suggest going in and plugging in your information. I guess you all know this, but keeping rates secret DOES NOT HELP TALENT, it only helps companies. I understand the natural reticence and possible jealous stares over pages rates, but this kind of survey is badly needed. It’s no secret that some companies page page rates for art that are well below the industry minimum. These low paying jobs are not necessarily evil but young creators, especially, need to know that there is a RANGE of rates, not just low paying gigs. I don’t know who is behind this effort, and that no one has spoken up for it shows how perilous it is in this industry to even mention such things as fair wages. Hopefully the survey will be a real thing and we’ll get some insights into the comics pay scale c. 2015.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.