Jason Aaron Breaks It Down

Writer Jason Aaron got noticed through his gritty crime drama Scalped, published from DC/Vertigo and has since done work for Marvel, writing Ghost Rider, Punisher and Wolverine stories. He recently started a regular column at CBR in which he speaks, or rather writes, candidly about the realities of the comic book biz. It’s necessary reading for curious fans and wannabe professionals.

In his latest column, he talks about income, taxes and other stuff that may seem boring to anyone except those who want to also be a comic book pro one day. Here’s a taste:

But anyway, how do you know that the page rate this company is offering you is a fair one? You don’t. Unless you ask other creators and find out what they’re getting paid. That’s sometimes an awkward thing to do, even among friends. Sometimes especially among friends. But it’s good business. I’m all for creators being open with their peers about what they’re getting paid. Otherwise, you’d never have any idea if you’re getting screwed or not. I don’t remember my first page rate for Marvel, from back in 2002 when I did an 8 page Wolverine story as a contest winner, but in 2004 when I first started writing for Vertigo, I got $90 a page. Now I know guys who get page rates that are much less than that. Depends on the company you’re working for. But as I understand it, if you’re doing a book for Marvel or DC, that’s probably a pretty typical starting page rate. For a writer at least. If you’re an artist, it should be much more. If you’re a letterer, probably a good bit less. Again, ask around to other creators who are in the same boat as you and are comfortable talking about what they make in order to find out where you really stand.

You can read all 9 columns right here.

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