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Conventions have become big business in the last few years. More shows keep popping up, attendance keeps rising, and there's more money than ever being passed around as comics continue to merge with pop culture/big media/corporate sponsorships into what I've been calling Supershows.

For the most part, I think this is a great thing for the creators and our industry. While a few might miff at the thought of comics being intruded upon by other industries, it means more chances for starving artists to make money, more money for commissions and prints, and chances to travel to exotic locations that were never previously on our agenda.

More and more frequently, creators are being lured to shows all over the world with travel costs (at least partially) comped. When they arrive, they'll be met by capable handlers, lines of cheering fans, and fancy parties while they're given the brief whiff of stardom that's usually reserved for Mick Jagger.

But not always.

While many of my pro friends are eternally grateful for their careers and for these generous invites, some of the shows are taking advantage of creators--ALL levels of creators--and not following through with what's promised. Believe me, I love traveling and I want to visit all my readers in every country I can, but there's nothing worse than getting to the "convention reserved" hotel room and finding out you wasted your money staying in some foreign ghetto.

So here's a list of Creator's Rights when it comes to comic conventions, compiled from many different conversations I've had with both amateur and professional level creators. Keep in mind this isn't a list of complaints by the elite--most of the shows I attend are still on my own dime, and with so many options of conventions these days, it can only be helpful to compile a list of things we're looking for when we choose a show.

This is also meant to help conventions: there's a lot of money at stake and if you're guests aren't happy, then creator word-of-mouth can sink you. We all gain from communication, so hopefully this will start the ball rolling.

*I'm also including bits about shows which are good examples of getting it right.


If you expect the creator to sketch for free, please check with them ahead of time and make it clear what you're expecting of them. They're taking days off from being paid by their publisher, so it's fair to let them know whether they can supplement their income. Can they charge for commissions? Can they sell prints? Books? Some creators have an attendance fee, which I think makes more sense for writers, because they're not making money sketching.

And I don't mind working for free. In fact, I'll likely be doing it this week with my great friends at Urban Comics to attend Angoulême. A few years back, they put my wife and I up for an extra week at a 5 star hotel while Hurricane Sandy delayed our flight, while also providing us with some of the best wine I've ever had. They took care of us, so I take care of them by helping in any way I can. They were clear about their tradition with sketching in France, so I'm happy to do it. And I recommend them to everyone creator I can, even providing them with contacts they don't have. Because that's how much I love their wine.


Before agreeing to a show, I ask to see a proposed schedule. And if I agree to go, then I'll print the schedule out and have it on me in case there's ever disagreement between me and the show about what's expected. But most shows don't have a schedule ahead of time, and this is something I'd like to see changed.

Here's what creators don't want to see: back-to-back signings with no breaks, events that force them to skip lunch, panel discussions that start after 9pm when they'd rather be at the bar, surprise extra signings at the local comic shop, parties where they've raffled off “hang out time” between you and total strangers, and late night duties followed by early morning duties to ensure that you only get 4 hours of sleep.  

I did a show in North Carolina with the great Tommy Lee Edwards. And because he's a friend and also an artist, I knew he'd take care of us: when I arrived with Fiona Staples, I knew my schedule, the walking distance to the free dinner, the time of my panel discussions (which I agreed to ahead of time), and we even had someone to grab us from our tables to make sure we weren't late for anything. I highly recommend that show.

3. TRAVEL ASSISTANCE/HAVING A GUIDE (mostly concerns international travel)

There's nothing worse than getting off a plane in a foreign country (where you don't speak the language) and not seeing a representative the show promised you. And reimbursing us with cab fare isn't good enough, because we usually have no idea where the cabbie is going, and having us chase after you for money isn't professional. Better to send a friend in a run down Honda then ask me to take a cab. Even if you're paying your own way, if you're a FEATURED GUEST of any kind that the show is using to sell more tickets, the least they can do is help you around.

I was recently in Brazil where I was scheduled to fly back home 24 hours after the show ended, which is 24 hours I could have spent drawing pages. Luckily they'd hired an event coordinator--when I found out that another creator had a flight back to NYC immediately following the show, I begging the coordinator to switch my flight. Which she did! I'm not saying every show needs a coordinator, but the Supershows definitely should.

As a side note, Brazil also paid each creator for giving a 2 hour talk. So even if we didn't make money selling prints, we were guaranteed at least some income for our time away.


A bad hotel can ruin a trip. I've walked into convention hotels with greasy windows, unmade beds, and dirty showers. Creators don't expect expensive 5-star accommodations, but being stuck in a bad hotel means you're going to bed and waking up in a bad mood. Even the rooms conventions reserve for guest who are paying their own way should pick hotels that are halfway decent, because most out-of-town guests have no idea where they are.

Also, is there anything to do in the hotel? Do they have a store to buy the toothbrush I forgot? Are their restaurants within walking distance? Are the streets outside safe, or is all the German razor wire just for decoration?

One of my favorite con experiences was at a small show in Pennsylvania. The promoters didn't have much to work with, but I appreciated their honesty from the start: it's in a small farm town with nothing much to do, the hotel is the local Howard Johnson which wasn't amazing but it was guaranteed to be clean, and the town had been hit badly by the economy so they hinted that I likely wouldn't be selling many $500 commissions. But they'd pay for gas, buy a few meals, and told me how they tried to invite other guests I was friends with. I went, I partied, and I loved it.


Here's a convention insurance policy I can't stress enough: invite a group of creators that you know get along, and give them amazing food.

Sometimes even the best shows have problems: higher attendance than expected, a few fans that lack convention etiquette, or broken bathrooms and air conditioners. Some of this stuff gets to me even when I know it's not the promoter's fault, but it's less of a problem if I know there's good food and great friends waiting for me. Inviting a clique of friends will always increase the experience, and the promoters will have a better time as well as they witness stuff no one should ever tweet.

Promoters: if there's one takeaway from this list, then it's this one. DO NOT skip on the food and drink.


Can you think of anything to add? Please comment. Some of these concerns apply more to professionals, but I think it's worth posting just so artists ON THEIR WAY UP will know how to handle the landscape. I'd also love to see a similar list on the side of conventions: what can we do as creators to help? And how can we better understand what our duties are? Please help spread the word by retweeting, linking, and favoriting.

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While I used to see "art sales" simply as bonus money coming in on the side, over the past few years it's become enough of an asset that it justifies an art dealer, record keeping, insurance, and taxes at the end of each year. It's currently 25% of my total income, and that has a lot of impact over my work. And just like storytelling, design and page flow--abstract principles that keep my career afloat daily--art sales also deserve to be studied, theorized, and understood.

These are guidelines, not rules. And while most of them usually work for me, they might not all work for you, so keep in mind that my market might be different than yours. Because not only do we not draw the same, we probably have different sorts of buyers.

1. Don't stay on a book for too long

I find that doing mini series of 4-12 issues is optimal for selling art. If you spend a year doing one-shots or 2-3 issue minis, you'll be hard for buyers to keep track of because it's too infrequent. And it's hard to make an impact on a title or a character with such a brief window. However, if you spend years on something like the Punisher, eventually you'll saturate your own market--people who already have your Punisher pages are less likely to buy your new Punisher pages. But if you do 5 issues of Punisher and 5 of Spider Man, the same buyer will likely want a page from both titles. A career is more stable with long-term projects, but it's not optimal for art sales.

2. 5 second panels

I remember in college hearing my professors say, "don't spend too much time on one panel. People are only going to look at it for 5 seconds." People who say things like that probably never sold a lot of art. In other words, hard work usually pays off in pages. Sure, I've seen Batman pages by name artists who can design their way around not having to draw backgrounds. And some sell for very high. But I think that pages that show patience, hard work and lots of elbow grease usually look better framed on a wall--thus they sell faster and for a higher price. The more you hand letter your street signs and avoid using Photoshop for things like copying-and-pasting panels, the better your chances of selling pages.

3. 6 month window

According to my art dealer, the general guideline is that artists will get their best prices in the first 6 months of the work being released. Within 6 months the art is still fresh, the Punisher storyline the pages portray is still a current event in the series, and buyers have a bit of time before deciding on which pages they'll pull the trigger on. After 6 month, the pages might feel stale, the Punisher storyline has moved on, and the market is saturated with hundreds of other comic pages which have stolen your buyers' attention. After the 6 month period, you'll usually end up dropping your prices. But not always.

4. Stand out

If you have a popular, unique style that's getting a lot of buzz (or a book with a lot of buzz), don't be afraid to charge more. Standing out with a unique style can make it hard to get mainstream monthly superhero titles, but it's great for selling art. Mike Mignola is a perfect example: if you want Mignola styled art, there's only one place to get it, and that's Mike. He even breaks the 6 month guideline--I'm pretty sure Hellboy prices have gone up over the years, as well as anything else he's drawn. He's the kind of artist who's so renowned that when he draws Batman pages, people are likely buying them firstly because of Mike, and secondly because of Batman. It's usually the other way around, of course. Very few artists are bigger than the characters.

5. Know your readers

I drew a Punk Rock Jesus page that included panels of Carl Sagan, Lincoln, and Galileo. It didn't have anything obvious that usually sells a PRJ page: Thomas riding his motorcycle, a sci fi background, or a polar bear. But I knew it would sell because I know my readers from meeting them at conventions, and I know a lot of them are science/history buffs like I am. So I told my dealer to charge $600 for a page he would normally asked $300 for. I think he thought I was being silly, but the page sold in a few days (I probably should have asked for more). Most people tend to think of buyers looking for 2 thing when it comes to comic art: splashes of Batman and girls with big breasts. And while those things might be true, there are many other buyers out there that will purchase "nothing really happening" pages if you know what to include (even if it's not in the script). I have buyers who are nuts for certain cars, insane backgrounds of cities, musical icons, animals, locations close to where they live, plants, you name it. If you've got a talking heads pages, I suggest drawing the characters talking in a 1960s Mustang--you'll easily get twice the money for it.

Other tips:
1. Using higher quality ink and paper is a positive. Markers fade over time.
2. Drawing at the 10x15 size of normal comic paper (or whatever it is) is a positive. Buyer usually don't like small pages, and HUGE pages can also be a problem.
3. Be nice to people at your table at conventions. Sounds obvious, but remember these people aren't just buying your work, they're buying you. Spend time showing them through your work but try not to pressure them too much. If you're an awesome artist (and I know you are), the pages will also sell themselves.
4. Messy pages don't always detract from the value. Mine can be pretty gross, but my buyers like them that way because they can see faded linework that didn't make it to print.
5. If you've got a ton of old stuff that hasn't sold, give it to your high-end buyers next time they make a purchase. They'll love the gift and usually come back for more.
6. Keep the contacts of your high-end buyers. If you've got something that's up their alley, they might be interested in buying some art before the book has even come out (just ask they they don't post them for a few months).
7. Having too many pages for sale on your table is bad--people get overwhelmed and can't make a decision. Better to have your choice pages out and organized in a single book, then keep the rest of it behind the table. If people want something that's not in the book, you can get it for them or invite them to cruise through the pile if they like. Having the bulk of the pages off the table keeps order.
8. Convince as many artists as possible to go digital. The less original art there is, the more money artists like us will make (if Fiona Staples had hand-drawn Saga, I would have sold a lot less PRJ pages, guaranteed).
9. Printing blueline onto the board and then inking it will usually mean lower sales. Better to use pencils (or blue pencil), and then erase completely.
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"Generally, the good graphic novels fetch $100 - $300 per page, although professionals who have been in the industry for a long time can command as much as three times that amount. In fact, one elite illustrator commanded as much as $1,000 a page (on a 22-page comic book)! Most of the popular titles that artists, like David Cassaday, work on are monthly issues, which end up providing him with a six-figure salary. The back-end royalties on merchandise, trade paperbacks and movie royalties are also generous."…

"In 2008, Sean Jordan, founder of Army Ant Publishing, claimed established freelance comic book artists were paid anywhere from $220 to $4,400 per book project, which breaks down to $10 to $200 per page. Pencil and inker artists can ask for $75 to $200 a page. Colorists often fall in the range of $35 to $125, and writers and letterers make $10 to $50 a page. A lucky few dozen famous artists working for top companies bring in $1,000 per page."…

"While, I'm at it, there's a big matzo ball sitting out there. Sean gives us a pretty good idea of his page rate, which works out to about $450 a page, inking included. We're not talking about a big name star in comics (yet), but that's a lot of cost for talent, especially, when you're talking about a guy whose known work was on moderate selling Vertigo books."…

"I highly encourage artists to NEVER charge less than minimum wage for their hourly rate when they are figuring out their prices. If you are going off the hourly as a way to figure out base prices. For the US, $7.25 is a very common minimum wage, so I suggest you round it up to $8 at least. Even at $8 an hour, your page rate should be $40 a page, assuming you spend 5 hours total on it. This method of figuring out your base really depends on tracking and making good use of your time. If your time is highly variable, you might need to use another method.

Another pricing strategy some amateurs/aspiring professionals take the base professional rate and half it as a way of figuring out their base price to break in and slowly raise their prices as they fall into more demand.

You may be tempted as an artist to under charge, and under value your skill. The fear of being denied a job because of charging a decent rate is a huge reason why artists don't get paid well. DO NOT UNDERCHARGE for your skill level. It devalues your work, and devalues every other artist's work too. Try to stay in line with other artists of your skill and resume level, and what you need to charge to cover your bills and make a living."…

"Figure $100 for the writer, $150 for the penciller, $130 for the inker, $90 for the colorist, and $30 for the letterer. Those numbers go up and down depending on talent and publishers, but that's a nice round number for us to work with."…

"Top comic book artists reportedly make around $500 per page; that figure varies depending on the artist's popularity and the publisher he is working for. The best comic book artists may make around $80,000 a year."

"The first rule of freelancing is that paying work comes first. Love don't pay the rent."

"Though he won't reveal what he makes, his page rate—the amount an artist charges per page drawn—is among the highest in the business. Given that an elite illustrator can command up to $1,000 a page for a 22-page comic book and that most popular titles are monthlies, a top talent like Cassaday can comfortably clear six figures annually. And that's not counting potential back-end royalties for merchandise, trade paperbacks, and spin-offs, which are negotiated separately."

"I know a lot of people say this, BUT persistence truly is key. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Never give up. What one editor doesn't like, the next might think is gold. Also, never let yourself be taken advantage of. Never work for free. Always require pay, never work on the promise of pay if profits are met.

Not to sound pompous or conceited, just be confident in your work. Remain humble at the same time. You never know who you'll meet in the industry and who will be working for which company down the line. Don't burn bridges."

When I first started, I would keep my price lower than maybe I should, but if you're going to make a living, you have to stand up for yourself and be a great agent for your work. Be proud and confident in what you do. They need your services, and you just need to decide who is lucky enough to receive those services.…

"Even if you are lucky enough to get an extended run on something, you're still not making $6,000 a month. Remember those extended production times? Yeah... these days, most comic book artists need more than a month to pencil a book, much less pencil AND ink a book. Some creators can, of course, but again, they're the exception. And to come in even CLOSE to the deadlines you have to work under in comics means a lot of long hours at the art table, 8-12 hours a day, depending on how fast you can draw."…

"For creator-owned books – which, again, do not always generate page rates – that amount ranged from $17 to $100 per page, while for-hire naturally was much higher. On the low end, publishers like Boom! and IDW paid between $50 and $150, with the higher end found publishers like Marvel, DC and Dark Horse paying upwards of $300 per page, topping out at nearly $500."…
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I just watched V/H/S and well......the title speaks for itself. Seriously this has got to be one of the most freakiest movies out there. I am a huge fan of found footage films. But this one really scared me. Now I am going to be stuck watching Adult Swims Toonami cartoons. Like I know what the heck is going on in that cartoon called Bleach. When I first read that the title was called Bleach I really thought that there was going to be a bunch of Clorox bottles fighting crime or whatnot. But instead, all I got was a bunch of demons and monsters and swords and ...things......and people talking about who knows what. I guess if it gets bad I will go watch Food Network and learn how to make crème fraîche.
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New Video on You Tube if you haven't checked out my channel yet: BRAND NEW VIDEO ON HOW TO DRAW COMICS!  

How to focus, create, develop, and master techniques to develop your own style. Understand the comics you LOVE and how to bring that element into your work...and build your OWN new arsenal through super powerful composition of pages.

Make sure to subscribe!

Hey I wanted to start adding some new tools to my tool box...although I want to work my finals mainly traditionally, I wanted to really get into digital color and also concept art paintings as well...I think it will add some really neat things to my work....specifically atmosphere and depth/

so anything to do with digital coloring, matte painting, 3D concept art, and also digital painting. Not sure if there's a solid community to learn from and ask questions etc....been looking on youtube and there are a lot of tutorials...but I'd love to interact with other artists working in the mediums and programs.

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  • Listening to: Zomboy, Kill The Noise, Nero

Long time no talk! Well, after a long road of issues, and a quick sell out of the first run, LMS is finally ready for print again!

Yup, you heard me right. You can now buy the book that nearly half my gallery is about! So please, spread this news around to anyone you know interested. They won't be available forever!

READ CAREFULLY. Also, order before a certain time and get goodies!



First off: thanks for your continued interest in LMS and with tons of emails pouring in over the past year urging us to reprint the book (which many of you reported to have found for $ 500 and more on amazon & eBay), your pleads have finally been heard. So: straight to the good news; we just  selected our printing partner for a re-print and now it's time to get the party started for exactly that.

We are producing LMS in Hardcover Edition (223 pages; Size: 17" x 14" x 1") at the price of US-$ 49.00!

So, if you're still intent on picking up a (or several) copy/copies, as you indicated in your RSVP emails, please follow the procedure as outlined below:

1. Calculate your total $-amount, based on the number of copies you are ordering, plus shipping, as outlined at the bottom of the email. PLEASE INCLUDE SHIPPING FOR EACH PRODUCT, NOT TOGETHER. IF YOU DO NOT INCLUDE SHIPPING, YOUR ORDER WILL BE SENT BACK.

2. Submit payment of total via PayPal to the following Paypal account:

It is important you list all pertinent information, i.e. number of copies orders, your address (both email and shipping), plus, selected shipping method.


Based on the incoming orders, we will immediately place our print-order with our printer and ship to you upon arrival in Los Angeles.

Please note that we are a bit against the wall, time-wise (certainly not your fault, since you all reacted very fast upon announcement; simply a case of researching and identifying the right printer), so we will need to figure out the quantity for the print run as soon as possible, as we are aiming to have them here in time for Comic-Con. So, if you could place your order at your earliest convenience, it would help tremendously in our efforts to decide the size of the print run and to make sure no one gets left out. Many thanks for your understanding & sorry for the sudden rush, but that's the business we find ourselves in: "Hurry up & wait" (and then hurry!) :)


1. All  orders placed by 5/1/2012 will also receive a free LMS print, not available elsewhere, signed by LMS artist, Dan LuVisi.

2. All  orders placed by 5/8/2012 will also receive a free LMS print, not available elsewhere (unsigned).

Thanks & best,

Your Section 9 Team


$ 49.00



Regular: $ 12.95 (for each additional book, please add $ 7.00)
Express: approx. $ 50 (depending on exact shipping location / ZIP Code)


In order to provide you with a FedEx quote, we will require your full address & number of copies ordered. Alternatively, you may also visit…;
where you can find respective rates online. Please note that you will need to provide the shipping information, listed at the bottom of this email under 3. ("SELF")

You will have several options with varying rates (and delivery speeds), i.e.  FedEx Ground, Second Day and Overnight.


International customers: please send us a separate email to  
with the following info:

Your Email address:
ZIP Code:
No. of LMS copies ordered:

Sorry for the inconvenience of the additional step, but we found shipping rates to vary significantly from country to country, so we can unfortunately not provide a "one-for-all" rate.


To research your own shipping rates, you will need the following information:

a. Shipping from: Santa Monica, CA 90401 - USA

b. Packaging Dimensions: 17" x 14" x 1.5"

c. Weight: 5.5 pounds

please visit:

please visit:…


Thank you so much! Also, to all purchases before we send them off to print, I will add your name to the THANK YOUS section in the back of the book!
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So after consulting with a few of my friends and random ponies on Pony squared. My OC's shall now be known as Desert Winds.

It will work out well for what I got plan for him and the other oc's I've created. More on that later.

Until next time, Peace.
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Sorry everypony for the long wait.

This chapter turn out to be much longer then I had anticipated. Plus it getting near final and I have senior projects and paper due soon. I hoping to get the next Chapter out soon, just has to go through the final edit phases.

Thanks for sticking around.
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Spy's sapping my internet. Internet down.

Just borrowing a friend's internet connection for the moment. But they leaving on a week long vacation.

So see you when they get back or my telecommunication company fixes the problem.
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This is for you DashieFan1(from and the rest of the people reading my little story.

So yeah the next chapter in "All that is Fair Part 1" has been taking some time to complete. I am going to tell you why, it has been taking so frakkin long.

I last updated the story back in December during my last winter break from college. By last I mean that as the last winter break of my undergraduate career. After that I focused on completing my senior thesis. That included completing my experiments and writing up the results,write a grant, and I also prepared three different presentations of my work. This took me to Graduation at the end of May.

I know I should have put my story on Hiatus but I was scared that I would lose some you. I didn't complete drop the story I would work on it here and there. Then I had a little bit of time before my family, friends and fiancee showed up so I reviewed what i had done in those five months. To make it short I didn't like what I had written for the next Chapter. So I spent the last month rewriting it all.

As it stands right now I have complete all rewrite for what I had done and it in a form I can agree with. It only leaves two final since until it is complete and then it is off to my editor so you all can read it easily.

Also my style of writing is a bit different. I don't just sit an type it all out on a computer in the first go. I write down the rough draft in a note book. Then I type it up make adjustments as I go. It take a bit longer for me to produce the works. It allows me to revisit my work so it can be the best it possible can be.

Also I worked on a few pieces of art work (as you can see her on DA) and I also got a bunch of ideas for stories, a tumblr, and something big (More on that later. Check my Deviantart for those updates).

One other thing. Life has been slapping me about. My family has been keeping me busy and so has the hunt for a job for last month.

Thanks for patients and readership. I hope to get it to my editor soon. It should be out to you by the turn of the month.

Thanks for reading my long winded rant. Now time to get back to work.
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