Yesterday Batman artist Cameron Stewart tweeted about a particularly awful “job” offer; we put job in scare quotes because “job” usually implies something you get paid for.
I just got offered a job drawing a comic for a national TV show, promoting the Avengers, for the princely sum of ZERO DOLLARS #wowsignmeup
“We can promote your work though!” Said the producer.
After refusing the job and being asked to recommend someone else, I wrote a polite-but-firm reply explaining why it’s an insulting offer.
@Ivan_Marcondes Having my name flashed onscreen for 2 seconds at the end of a celebrity interview for the Avengers won’t do anything for me
@Ivan_Marcondes The way to honour someone’s work is to PAY THEM FOR IT
The joke is, in order for seconds of TV “exposure” to be useful, I’d have to make something REALLY exceptional, which would take time
If I just hacked it out because it was a free job, then it would look like a cheap hack job and so tv exposure is useless.
Exposure! The best payment of all.
We all know this kind of thing is rampant, but when artists of Stewart’s calibre are being asked to draw for free, a feeling of gloom sets in.
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.