After yesterday’s bucket of cold water dumped over our heads by Jim Zub, we were toying with the idea of making a “resource page” with links to facts and figures on the industry but former Flash Gordon artist and current MCAD teacher Jim Keefe has done it for us! Keefe collects various pages and post on contracts, horror stories, rates and other things everyone should know. We recommend that young creators (and maybe some old ones as well) check out all the links.

One of the posts referenced is actually something posted here at the Beat a while ago, called “Keep them in the dark” which was about a flash game developer who explained how to lowball inexperienced creators. Kinda harsh, but it’s also how the world works. We wondered what has happened to the site in question and it’s still up, but untouched for going on two years. However the poster, actually has a lot of nuts and bolts info and figures on making flash games. It’s probably out of date by now but might be worth checking out if that’s your end of the business.


  1. Touching a little on that “Keep Them In the Dark” article…

    It’s hard for professionals to compete with cheap or free… even if the competition’s work is subpar. In many cases, the lay people don’t care. (Have you SEEN the graphics in many mobile games?)

    Sites like Fiverr, etc. have devalued professional art and design work even more, IMHO. As long as someone out there is willing to do something of “acceptable” quality for chump change, you’re going to have a hard time getting paid fairly for your time and expertise.

    Throw in TENS OF THOUSANDS of hungry artists from around the world — many who live in countries with a substantially lower cost of living — and, well, it’s looking even more bleak for an artist to command a “fair” price.

    (Thank YOU, internet, for bringing the world closer together and giving EVERYBODY the chance to work from ANYWHERE.)

    I think this intense competition breeds desperation for many amateur artists. I mean, when the employer is telling you s/he can get someone as good (or better) than you for something like $20/page vs. your $200?

    It’s an [art] buyer’s market. :-/

    (Disclaimer: I’m a marketing guy by day who moonlights in comics. Marketing pays more. And yes, I do hire creatives. And yes, price is always a factor. But don’t be evil.)

  2. Guess all those guys that were made fun of for saying DEY TOOK OUR JERBS are starting to make a lot of sense, huh?

  3. Well… it is what it is, I guess.

    Same reason many comics are published in China vs. the US or Canada.

    It all comes down to where you can get the labor the cheapest to keep costs down and maximize profits.

    But yeah… it’s tough out there for freelancers. Competing on a global level has made it all the tougher.

  4. An addendum: One of the things you have to learn as a freelancer is to have a working knowledge of the business side of things. I’m a Joe Kubert School alum (class of ’89) and it’s something Joe always drilled into us. One of the reasons Joe was such a great mentor was because of the wealth of his experience – not just as a comic artist, but also as someone who spent his lifetime navigating the business side of the comic field. There are many examples of great comic artists that have been trampled underfoot by this business (far too many) -but Joe wasn’t one of them.

    Get educated and learn the business so you can switch your “artist head” to your “business head” when needed – it’ll save you a world of headache.

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