What Makes A Good Partner

Okay so you’ve sent out your ad and now the requests are flocking in by the millions. How do you pick the right team?

For each of your applications ask the following questions:

Do they fit within your budget?

First off, if you haven’t figured out your budget for your project, now is the time to do it.

I’m sure you’d love to have a celebrity artist ink your comic but you probably don’t have the budget for that to happen. It’s important to be realistic and evaluate whether or not you can afford the total cost of hiring someone on.

Find out the page rate of the person and multiply that by the number of pages of your comic. If you don’t know the length of your comic yet, just (over) estimate it. The average single issue floppy is 22-28 pages though they can vary even more if you self publish (More Than Men issue one is 32 pages).

For example, if the artist charges $40 per page and your comic is 28 pages, you’re looking at $1120 (40*28).

If you’re going to be paying your team through PayPal, don’t forget to account for their service fees.

Also, make sure you know what currency their page rate is in! This got confusing for me when I was looking at both Canadian and US artists.

Depending on the person, page rate can be negotiable but remember that you get what you pay for. Don’t set high expectations if you only plan on paying someone $20 a page to ink and colour your comic.

As a side note, remember that artists are people too! It takes many, many hours to complete a single page. Artists have bills to pay and mouths to feed just like everyone else so make sure they’re getting a fair wage.

Do they have any samples or published work?

The easiest way to see if someone is a good fit for your project is to check out their previous work. This pretty much goes without saying but never hire someone without first asking for samples of their work. If they don’t have anything to show, they probably aren’t the best choice.

When checking out a creator’s work, ask yourself: Does their style fit with the style you want for your comic?

If you’re having trouble figuring out the exact style you want for your story, try browsing through some of your favourite comics (you DO read comics don’t you?) and ask yourself what about the style of these pages makes them look cool? As a bonus, you can gather a portfolio of these pages and send them to your applicants. How do they respond?

Are they skilled at what they do?

You put a lot of effort into your comic and so I’m sure you want it looking the best it can be.

Don’t know how to analyse the quality of a piece of work? Check out the chapters on drawing, coloring and lettering and see if it follows those tips.

Of course if you’re paying your team a below average rate you should expect applications from less experienced creators. Quality work doesn’t come cheap so it’s up to you to decide what’s worth paying for.

Do they respond to you in a timely manner?

Timeliness may not seem like an important factor to you right now, but when you have a colourist getting mad at you because he needed page 10 inked a week ago and your artist is MIA… yeah it’s kind of a problem.