For those wondering about Money and Comics, this is a pretty good guide:
The gist of it:
(caveat: the rates I think can go up much higher for the really big names :p)
1. Mainstream comics (Marvel, DC, Darkhorse)
Pencil Page Rates: US$ 100-250
Inking Page Rates: US $ 75-200
Painted Art: US$300-400
Cover Art: +20%
eg: “A pencil artist would earn from $2,400 to $6,250 for a 24-page issue of a comic book.”
Note that the rates are cumulative, so if an artist both pencilled and inked a comic, he/she would recieve, say, US$200 (pencils) plus US$150 (inks) for a total of US$350 per page.
2. Independent Comics (Fantagraphics, Top Shelf Productions)
Book Publishing Model, Advance against royalites.
8 percent of the cover price up to 5,000 units sold
10 percent of the cover price paid for sales above 5,000.
eg: 24-page comic book retailing for $3 with sales of 10,000, the artist would earn $3,000.
3. Freelance Comics Illustration
Advertising and editorial comic illustration earn top project rates.
eg: “Comic book artists such as Robert Crumb and Bill Griffith earn from $1,000 to $1,700 to create a page of comics for the New Yorker magazine. Top comic strip artist Lloyd Dangle earned $4,000 for a two-page project advertising a shaving product.”
“Self-publishers shoulder the risks of publishing, but may do well if their book sells.”
From cover price, deduct printing costs. Distributor typically pays 40% of cover price. (Other sources indicate that 60% of Cover Price goes to Distributors and Book Stores (typically 20-25 % for Distributors, 35-40% for Bookstores)
eg: With a $10 cover price book that $2 per book to print “… With sales of 1,000 books, the artist would make $2,000.”
The Image Comics publishing model is close to the Self-Publishing one; Image stumps up the cash for printing and marketing/promotion, but the creators don’t recieve income till those costs are covered, along with a flat fee of about US$2500. An upside is leveraging on Image’s reputation and distribution network, and of course creators get to retain all the rights.
Closer to home, rates at Malaysia’s Gempak Starz are as follows:
“The page rate for new artists is RM70 per page. This may increase according to the level of skill involved and the comic’s popularity (we will pay more if a new contributor’s comic quality is really good) For color pages, new artists are paid RM120 per page.”
For more info on Gempak’s submission policy etc (provided by Saulim)
Another useful reference: