So you want to be a comic book artist..? Here’s some sobering information.

One year. 12 issues. 264 pages. 4 covers.

As a full-time comic artist this is the expected output, more or less. Not to say I haven’t done a TON of work on the side to make ends meet, but as an artist on an ongoing monthly title, this is generally what you are expected to produce every year. Some artists do much more than this. Some less. It all depends on your productivity and drive.

It’s taken a lot of work and a ton of luck, but I’ve managed to stay busy for the majority of my career. I’ve gotten married, bought a house and have two beautiful kids. All the while, I was working full time as a professional comic artist. This schedule has allowed me to stay home with the kids until they were ready for school. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and all of the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know and work with over the years.

I wanted to take this opportunity to give people a look at what it really means to be a professional comic artist; good and bad.

This was a strictly work-for-hire job on a licensed book. That usually means no royalties. The page rate on this project was $125. This is considered an okay page rate by today’s standards. Advances on creator-owned projects are a different matter and subject to different criteria, so are jobs at Marvel and DC. That being said, this is a middle-of-the-road page rate. Not great, not terrible.

Gross pay over the year in addition to those four covers was $33,625. After taxes? $24, 210. That’s $2,017.50 a month (again, I do a lot of work on the side to make ends meet).

Nearly all of that aforementioned salary goes to the mortgage, and so the majority of the financial responsibility falls on my wife.

Remember those kids i mentioned? Full-time daycare in Portland is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 -$1,500 per kid. Not to mention health insurance, utilities, car payments, school loans, credit card payments, et al.

Needless to say, you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot more work than those 264+ pages per year to keep your family afloat (should you choose to have one).

So. Here’s the schedule I keep:

7:00am - Wake up, feed the kids and get them ready for school.

8:30 - Take the kids to school

9:00-9:30am - Start work

12:30pm Pick up kid #1

3:30pm: Pick up kid #2

4:00-9:00pm - Family time.

9:00pm-3:00am Work

3:00am Sleep.

Yep. That’s four hours of sleep per day, best-case scenario. Weekends too. Due to the sleep deprivation, I feel like absolute garbage all the time. Depression, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, weight gain, compromised cognitive abilities, even hallucinations - I suffer from all of these.

So, let’s imagine you have a quaint little nuclear family, a mortgage, etc. and you land a high-profile, non-DC/Marvel gig like #BigTroubleinLittleChina, and you command a decent salary (by today’s standards) from whatever value your name/talent/reputation derives.

You will still likely need to work 50-60 hours a week, nearly 365 days a year to just get by.

So you want to be a comic book artist..?

My best advice to you is to find another way to make your money. Make comics for fun, and at your leisure. Make creator-owned comics, as this is some of the most rewarding work you will ever do, hands down. My books, The Secret History of DB Cooper and Hellbreak have been the most rewarding experiences I’ve had professionally. I implore everyone to do their own thing and not expect comics to pay their bills, because it likely won’t.


Hellbreak and The Secret History of DB Cooper are available through your local comic shop, and are published by Oni Press.


Hey folks!

GOOD NEWS! I’m finally selling the brushes I use to make my art (and then a few extras for fun).  Yay!  For only $6, you get 14 professional-grade Photoshop brushes (tested for CS4 and above; may work in older versions, however), Many of which I use on a daily basis to create my own artwork for personal and professional projects, as seen on my tumblr.


You can see the brushes being sampled HERE

And you can see the brushes really in action HERE

(You can hear my weird voice in both videos, yay!)




It’s an inking tutorial!  All about the materials, tools and techniques for using india ink! 

anonymous asked:

do you have any advice on how to make (anthropomorphised) horse faces more expressive? Something about their shape throws me off and it's much harder to make them look like a character than when I draw other animlas, like a dog or a cat. Your horse anatomy post was really helpful so i was just wondering if you had any tips.

cartoons tend to solve this problem by giving all the horses eyebrows along their brow ridges, as well as human pupils, and eyesockets that are forward a bit more than they should be but which lets the horses make more humanlike eyecontact.

 also the mouths pretty much always grimace and frown and snarl in human ways rather than like

real life horses are significantly more nuts looking than pretty anthro cartoon horses. cartoons and comics though have to balance ‘how horses actually look and behave’ with ‘humans who don’t know shit about horses need to understand what’s going on’. so there’s a lot of approaches.



Super Rockers 

(by Andrés Moncayo

I made this project because nothing inspire more as a child than superheros and music when I was a teenager.
so here it is. the two of them together. I hope you like it :)

DESIGN STORY:  | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ |

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Chris Ware New Yorker covers

If you’ve been paying attention, Ware has been sort of writing a mini parenting memoir with his New Yorker covers, many of the best ones focusing on screens:

Sometimes, I’ve noticed with horror that the memories I have of things like my daughter’s birthday parties or the trips we’ve taken together are actually memories of the photographs I took, not of the events themselves, and together, the two somehow become ever more worn and overwrought, like lines gone over too many times in a drawing. The more we give over of ourselves to these devices, the less of our own minds it appears we exercise, and worse, perhaps even concomitantly, the more we coddle and covet the devices themselves. The gestures necessary to operate our new touch-sensitive generation of technology are disturbingly similar to caresses.

Filed under: Chris Ware