How Much Are Comic Book Writers And Artists Paid (2021)?

How Much are Comic Book Writers and Artists Paid (2021)?

Plenty of the different characters we love on television and in movies were first brought to life in comic books, which were made by excellent comic book writers and artists who designed these characters and their backstories. As popular as some of these characters may be today, you may be wondering if their writers and artists actually get their due. So, how much are comic book writers and artists paid?

The median salary of most comic book writers and artists is somewhere between $36,500 to $42,000. This rate can depend on the company you are writing for because popular companies like DC or Marvel pay more. And, depending on the success of their work, writers and artists also get royalties.

As you can see, the usual money that comic book writers make annually actually falls below the average annual salary in the US of $53,490. However, there are a lot of underlying factors that you need to look at especially when it comes to the royalties that these writers can make when their work becomes successful. As such, comic book writers and artists can potentially earn a lot of money.

How Much Are Comic Book Writers Paid?

How Much are Comic Book Writers and Artists Paid (2021)?

The world we live in today enjoys the success of amazing characters that have been brought to life by movies and television series that are able to showcase their larger-than-life personas and amazing superhuman abilities. Names such as Superman, Batman, Iron Man, and Spider-Man are some of the most amazing characters that we often see on the big screen or the television whenever we want our fill of entertainment.

But you should know that these characters were first brought to life by the amazing writers that illustrated them in comic books. These comic books were the first to truly bring us the stories and abilities of the superheroes we know and love in their many different movies and television shows. In many ways, these characters are simply comic book adaptations as their original forms will always be the ones that were written and illustrated by their writers.

While we do know that the movie and TV show writers responsible for these amazing characters make a lot of money when adapting comic books to the screen, you might be wondering if their original creators actually make as much money. So, how much are comic book writers paid?

It is actually quite difficult to truly put into numbers how much comic book writers make because they don’t earn the same kind of fixed hourly wage that most employees actually make. Instead, comic book writers are paid depending on the pages they are able to turn over to their editors on a weekly basis.

All that said, most comic book writers actually make an annual salary of somewhere between $36,500 and $42,000. However, the more popular ones can actually make a lot of money depending on how popular their works are.

It is also quite rare for comic book writers to actually receive a salaried position in a publishing company. In most cases, comic book writers are project-based as they are paid on the number of pages that they are able to deliver. 

How Much do Comic Book Writers Charge Per Page?

As mentioned, comic book writers usually get paid per page depending on the company they are working for. Some companies are more willing to pay higher rates while others give you low starting rates because their comic books aren’t really that popular.

In that regard, different publishing companies have different rates in relation to how much they are willing to pay per page. There are some that could potentially make $50 per page. But it still depends highly on the skill level, talent, and popularity of the comic book writer’s work.

So, the reason why comic book writers have a lower charge per page is due to how it is easier to write a script for a comic book than it is to actually illustrate the art. As such, comic book scriptwriters are more likely able to turn over more pages in a week in comparison to an artist.

How Much Are Comic Book Artists Paid?

How Much are Comic Book Writers and Artists Paid (2021)?

Comic book artists are actually getting paid at a level that is quite similar to the comic book writers because it can take a while for them to actually become quite popular and because of how comic book artists are actually paid depending on their talent level and experience. Nevertheless, they do actually usually make a median sum of about $41,000 a year depending on how talented or experienced they are. Naturally, the better ones can make a lot more than the ones who are still starting out.

In most cases, comic book artists are also paid by the number of pages they deliver on a weekly basis. Like comic book writers, the artists also don’t always get salaried positions because, most of the time, they work for companies on a per-project basis that will require them to turn over a certain number of completed pages per week in the hopes that they could actually finish an entire book in a month.

The ideal number of pages should be one page a day while the writer or artist works on it for at most 10 hours. However, in reality, most writers actually need an entire week to finish 3 or 4 pages while working a third of an entire day.

Keep in mind, however, that it is rare to actually see someone who is getting paid on a salary. That’s because most of the people who illustrate for comic book publishers are simply freelancers and are not actually paid with a fixed sum.

How Much do Comic Book Artists Charge Per Page?

Similar to writers, comic book artists are also getting paid per page. In that case, most artists get paid somewhere between $100 to $200 depending on the company but it won’t be rare for someone to command $300 a page.

However, the more accomplished comic book artists can actually get paid $600 a page if they secure a salaried position in the company they are writing for. But it will take a lot of time, effort, and marketing for a comic book artist to be able to command such a salary

How Much Does Marvel Pay Comic Book Writers?

Marvel is one of the companies that actually pay a lot for their comic book writers and artists. On average, Marvel can pay their comic book scriptwriters an average of $60 while $80 tends to be on the higher side. Meanwhile, comic book artists usually make somewhere between $160 to 180 per page.

How Much Does DC Pay Comic Book Writers?

DC Comics currently has the highest rates for both its comic book writers and artists. In most cases, their writers can make about $100 per page, give or take $10. On the other hand, DC is willing to pay its comic book artists $200 a page.

Do Comic Book Writers Get Royalties?

As you can see, comic book writers and artists don’t really make much. Even though the rates of writers are lower than artists, they actually end up making identical sums on a yearly basis considering that writers can turn over their work faster than artists can. But the fact of the matter here is that comic book writers and artists don’t usually make the kind of money that falls close to the average salary in the US.

But then, there are also royalties that you need to consider if your published work actually makes enough money. This applies to both comic book writers and artists because they both get royalties from their work.

Depending on how much a work sells on the market and how much it makes in terms of other profit-making ventures such as merchandise or possibly even movies or TV shows, a comic book writer or artist can make a lot more money than what he is making when writing or illustrating the pages of the comic book. Royalties can be somewhere between 10% to 80% of what merchandise and movies are making depending on the agreement between the writer or artist and the publishing company.

Do Webtoon Artists Get Paid?

How Much are Comic Book Writers and Artists Paid (2021)?

Webtoons, on the other hand, are different from comic books because they use a digital format instead of the print format that comic books are known for. These Webtoons are more popular in Asian countries like South Korea and Japan but are also making their way to the United States due to the popularity of some of the webtoon titles.

So, despite the fact that webtoons have a different format, they also rely on artists that use digital software to illustrate their work. Given that they also need to work hard to deliver the pages for their titles, Webtoon artists do actually get paid.

How Much Are Webtoon Artists Paid?

The money that Webtoon artists make is actually quite similar to the ones that comic book writers and artists make in the sense that there is a huge income disparity, which is a norm for the creative field. That’s because, again, the money that a Webtoon artist can make depends highly on the popularity of his work.

In that regard, there are Webtoon artists that are actually only making $10,000 a year. Meanwhile, most Webtoon artists make somewhere between $30,000 to $40,000 a year. However, the more popular ones can potentially make about $100,000 annually, but these are the rare ones who have become quite successful in the field.

Who is The Richest Comic Book Writer?

Right now, according to the latest report by Yahoo! Finance, the wealthiest comic book author is David Choe, who is worth around $300 to $500 million. However, even though David Choe does indeed have graphic novels such as Slow Jams, he made his money as a graffiti artist by painting murals in former Facebook president Sean Parker’s home. Choe accepted Facebook stocks as his payment and ended up becoming an instant millionaire due to that.Meanwhile, second in place is the more popular Tom McFarlane, who is worth around $300 million. McFarlane started out as a freelancer for Batman and Hulk but eventually became much more successful when he started working on The Amazing Spider-Man, which went on to sell 2.5 million copies.

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.