PDA

View Full Version : Salary of an Manga Artist


Pencil Samurai
12-19-2006, 06:00 PM
I have always wondered about this. But does anyone know how much a manga artist makes?

DaiKamonohashi
12-19-2006, 06:20 PM
As in an actual Japanese Manga-ka working in Japan or just a sequential artist in general?

RetroTorque
12-19-2006, 06:46 PM
A comic book penciller usually makes $60-$100 per page though they may start out lower.

So that might answer your question.

RobotCat
12-19-2006, 06:54 PM
If you're aiming for the Japan market, chance are, you're not going to be successful. I haven't heard of any western artists able to make it big in Japan (or even moderately successful).

The closet you can get would be to get printed by a manga distributor like Tokyopop or Seven seas, although I hear that unless your stuff sells EXTREMELY well (like the next Naruto or something) the money you make isn't really anything spectacular. Of course, most people do it because they love to draw right?

sludger
12-19-2006, 06:55 PM
They MAY? What? Maybe if you're Jim Lee you make 100$ a page, for most people 10$ is acceptable.

Plus manga has a lot more pages, so that would be crazy and its harder to get into that field.

Alucard1515
12-19-2006, 07:02 PM
"They MAY? What? Maybe if you're Jim Lee you make 100$ a page, for most people 10$ is acceptable."
Are you kidding, $100 is extremely low, and I guarantee you that Jim Lee makes far more than that. That's pretty low even for someone starting out.

b1zz0b
12-19-2006, 07:07 PM
I would agree that $100/page or more should be the starting rate. That would come to $2200 a month, which you could also probably earn at McDonalds, so I would hope it is higher than that, and I guarantee the top artists are making way more than that.

Now I am curious to know what the average rate is.

(edit)

10 bucks a page would come to $220 a month...there would be no comic artists then.

Pencil Samurai
12-19-2006, 08:38 PM
I am talking about full time manga artist that lead very high in the industry. I do love to draw. But I would also need to know how much they make. This is just a question that I have had for a long time and wanted it answered.

RetroTorque
12-20-2006, 12:44 AM
They MAY? What? Maybe if you're Jim Lee you make 100$ a page, for most people 10$ is acceptable.

I'd rather work for free for fun (and I do pm me if you want a free commission, my schedule is open for March :) ) than bust my ass for $10 unless whoever is paying doesn't mind $10 worth of work, like something that took less than hour to draw. I mean really, drawing is a hard acquired skill, and a decent page takes at least 8-10 hours to pencil. That works out to $1.25 at most per hour. No one could afford to live at that rate in a first world country. Heck minimum wage is more than that and highschool dropouts who never learned a skill in their life are entitled that much.

If you think $100 is only top dog stuff I hear Bryan Hitch makes about $500-600 a page.

sludger
12-20-2006, 09:32 AM
So for a single comic you can make 3 grand starting out?

That's pro status, im sure we're in fairy tale land where you can go out and nab that kind of deal on your first go, but don't give the kid false hope.

RobotCat
12-20-2006, 09:46 AM
So for a single comic you can make 3 grand starting out?

That's pro status, im sure we're in fairy tale land where you can go out and nab that kind of deal on your first go, but don't give the kid false hope.

There are minimum wage laws, assuming 5 hours per page, at $10 that's only $2 dollar an hour, which is way less than minimum wage. If you're not making more than $8 per hour doing comics, you wouldn't be able to live off your salary. $20,000 per year will barely cover all your living expenses.

RetroTorque
12-20-2006, 10:34 AM
This is from the Graphic Artist's Guild book.

Comparative Page Rates for Comic Book Art*

Original Publication
Code:

Writers (plot and script) $75 - 120
Painted Art 150 - 350
Layouts/breakdowns 35 - 100
Pencil art† 55 - 200
Background art 10 - 25
Ink art† 45 - 150
Lettering 18 - 35
Lettering (on overlay) 20 - 35
Coloring art 20 - 35

* Rates range from those paid by small companies to those paid by large ones, and from those paid to "beginners" to those paid to seasoned professionals.

† Current data indicates that an additional 20% is added to the above fees for cover art use.

I have no idea where you are getting this $10 figure from.

Darkmatter
12-20-2006, 11:22 AM
I would agree that $100/page or more should be the starting rate. That would come to $2200 a month, which you could also probably earn at McDonalds, so I would hope it is higher than that, and I guarantee the top artists are making way more than that.

Now I am curious to know what the average rate is.

(edit)

10 bucks a page would come to $220 a month...there would be no comic artists then.

So im not sure but are you estimating the average pencilist dude penicls about 22 pages a month?

RetroTorque
12-20-2006, 11:39 AM
The average comic book is 22 pages.

Darkmatter
12-20-2006, 11:43 AM
oooh, so is a comic a month kind of a common quota?

b1zz0b
12-20-2006, 11:47 AM
So im not sure but are you estimating the average pencilist dude penicls about 22 pages a month?

Yes, the average pages of a comic is 22, and you are expected to produce a page a day to land a pro gig. Also, being a monthly publication, you would need to do so to keep the book moving along.

So yes I expect they do, this would give them a couple of days(8) off a month. Although a cover may take up to 2 of those days away, so you aren't even guaranteed to get all of your weekends off.

Professor Az
12-20-2006, 02:29 PM
Outstanding reference, Retro. :)

I agree, anyone who charges only $10 USD a sheet is not only selling themselves short, but also brings down the price customers will pay per sheet for everyone else. If you are trying to make a living at doing pencils, that $10 a sheet is less than minimum wage!

Typically, I charge upwards of $25 USD an hour for any pencilled pages I do for pro work, based on complexity and whther or not it's inked. If I'm just doing inking, it's $30 - $40 USD an hour, again depending on the complexity.

All that, and I still need my IT instructor job and art teaching job to pay all the bills.

:)

Pencil Samurai
12-20-2006, 02:57 PM
oh. So what about a manga artist? HOw many pages a month do they produce?

Meatloaf
12-20-2006, 03:06 PM
I think you're using "manga artist" in too general of a way. Like the references says, there are alot of artistic jobs involved in a manga/comics.

Toffeeliz
12-20-2006, 03:35 PM
oh. So what about a manga artist? HOw many pages a month do they produce?

Most Japanese manga is oublished in huge anthology volumes each month. These anthologies include around 8 stories from that many manga-ka. A manga-ka that is just starting wouldn;t usually have an assitant group and so would have to do pencils inking and screentone/colour all by their lonesome; not to mention the writing aspects :huh:
and yet I don't think they get much pay for it. The manga is sold as a whole and not page by page. Like Xion Valkirye (sorry for the spelling - but i can't toggle up and down as I am too lazy) said, only the buig names turn out big profits.

Of course that was only an educated guess put up from all the reading I do. None of it is accurate but an accurate fact of NOVELISTS and AUTHORS in the UK is that only 10% can live off of writing....and in the end it's all publishing

Faliat
12-20-2006, 05:26 PM
If you're aiming for the Japan market, chance are, you're not going to be successful. I haven't heard of any western artists able to make it big in Japan (or even moderately successful).

People could try the "Secret Identity" thing... Go everywhere with long hair over your face and gloves on or something... Lol.

Pencil Samurai
12-20-2006, 06:17 PM
wow!!

b1zz0b
12-20-2006, 08:19 PM
I don't know for sure, but it would be my guess that on average someone working in manga would make less than someone in comics.

Why? In Japan, people wipe their ass with manga, it's everywhere. The more people in a field, the less you will be paid as the competition is more desperate and more likely to work for less than they should. I also have never heard of a comic penciller who didn't also do their own backgrounds, comics tend to be the work of only 4 people (aside from editors and text, but text is no longer done by hand, so the cost and pay of text is a lot less). These are the writer, the penciller, the inker and the colorist; it stands to reason that the less people producing the product, the more money each will make off of it.

Manga is responsible for considerably more sales than comics, but as I said before, there is a lot more of it being assembly-lined out there and that should be enough to counter that point. Also, more sales would probably just mean that manga publishers make more money than comic publishers, and have no bearing on the wages of the creators themselves...that's just the harsh reality of the capitalist system.

And who could forget the fact that comics are made in America, and we like to be paid well for our troubles, often demanding higher wages than other countries. Unless someone comes up with some hard data comparisons to prove my guess wrong, I'm sticking to my guns on this one. ;)

(edit)

Az: I much prefer the method of charging an hourly wage to a flat rate...do you know if that is common in the industry or not? It would definately ensure better quality work on average. Of course you would still have deadlines to meet, so it's not like it could be horribly abused.

RobotCat
12-20-2006, 08:34 PM
I think in general most manga artists barely are barely able to live off their salary. They mostly do it for the love and the hope that one day they might make the next "hit" series. The competition is extremely fierce and even if you make it, chances are, you'll make a lot more doing something else.

sludger
12-20-2006, 08:45 PM
Okie, my point still remains you have to be good, and you have to start somewhere. Doubt your first rates will be 100$ a page, but heck who knows.

Professor Az
12-21-2006, 07:13 AM
Az: I much prefer the method of charging an hourly wage to a flat rate...do you know if that is common in the industry or not? It would definately ensure better quality work on average. Of course you would still have deadlines to meet, so it's not like it could be horribly abused.

That would depend on the area you live in. Here in sunny Southern AZ, the local band of fine artists charge their works by the hour for commision work. There is one caveat... they are FAST. The whole thing still boils down to $100 - $200 a sheet, more for oil paintings, of course.

I would argue about charging by the hour making for better work. In fact, this makes for some projects that get done at the last minute, even more so than standard negotiated commision work. How many times have you given a crit at an art website, and have heard these sorts of replies (or at least have been given the impression that this is what the person was thinking)...

How dare you not pay me for my art? It's the best in the whole world! Don't give me crits, either, it's my style! My opinion is the only one that matters, because I went to art school brand-X!

Feh. The only way that charging by the hour will work is if you are fast, and consistent. You also have to be able to deal with customers, especially the kind that don't know what the hell they want, and keep a smiling face when they ask for yet another redraw. Did I mention that you need to be able to be flexible, and can be able to switch styles in a heartbeat?

For example, I just pulled in $500 for a company logo for a local construction firm here in the land of AZ. I sold all my rights to the image, so no more influx of money there. Best things about it, I only took about four to five hours to make the whole thing... four five minute sketches, two rough drafts that took about 10 minutes each, and about three to four hours doing the CG final product. That's about $100 an hour if you stop and think about it.

Before anyone gets all excited over ol' Az making $100 an hour, keep in mind that this was over a month ago. I can't live on $500 a month, can you? I work on art projects as they are presented to me, I get paid, so I guess I'm a "pro", but I don't make a living doing art, so therefore I'm by no means a professional artist. There's a great big difference, and that's something a lot of young folks don't realize.

If I was starting over again, I would stick with the tried and true method of pre-negotiated art contracts with set deadlines. Once I got into the swing of things and got my name known, and a reputation for being able to produce art in a timely manner, only then would I start to offer my customers an hourly rate that is competitive with negotiated art contracts.

No wait, I did that part already, back in my 30's... :laugh:

Hope this helps. :)

Pencil Samurai
12-21-2006, 02:39 PM
true so true

Alucard1515
12-21-2006, 07:24 PM
That's pro status, im sure we're in fairy tale land where you can go out and nab that kind of deal on your first go, but don't give the kid false hope.
You can be as condescending as you want, but it's not unbelievable. $2,200 a month is NOT that much money. Not so much that you'd consider it an outrageous starting fee. Maybe for some independent book or self published work it's less, but for a major publisher, it seems reasonable.

sludger
12-21-2006, 07:34 PM
Yeah, for a major publisher. I guess im just trying to be realistic, that not everyone can go out and find a publisher or someone to pay them 2,200 a month. You have to have a good set of skills for that.

Make me a bad guy for being realistic, thats ok.

malignant
12-21-2006, 09:44 PM
Sorry slugger, I'm not trying to attack you, but this is a dose of cold hard reallity.
The following assumes the person working as an artist lives in an area with high enough popullation density to afford having a comic studio that functions.
All figures are per month
$900-1200 Rent for your home
$55-75 This is your phone bill, we'll say you only have a cell phone
$100-200 Utilities
$275-325 Food
$200-350 General Expenses (shaving cream, toilet paper, gas, etc...)
$300-600 Car Payment
________________________
$1,830 - $3,050 / month
In reallity, you will have many more bills than these.
Comic artists, on average in the U.S. make between 35 and 40k per year to start. And they get those jobs because they are good. If you made much less than $100 per page, you would die of starvation or be arrested for vagrancy when the police found you sleeping on the street.
~malignant
PS: If you're in college, check your campus carreer services center, where you will undoubtedly be able to verify what I've said here is true.

Chastain
12-21-2006, 10:04 PM
I don't think breaking into the japanese market is as hard as people think. The problem is, most western "manga artists" don't draw anything that even looks like manga. I think I can count on one hand the really good western manga artists who draw something that could pass for manga.
On top of that, there's the language barrier.

However, I think it's perfectly possible to make a decent living out of it. The thing is, you gotta know your market. If you have a good style and can draw attractive chicks, there's nothing stopping you from selling doujins at Comiket. In fact, you'd probably get extra attention for being western. Furthermore, I think it'd be possible to get stuff into one of the larger hentai anthologies.
So, basically I don't think it's hard to get into the Japanese market, if you're willing to draw adult stuff for a few years.

I have no idea how much money they make, though.

sludger
12-22-2006, 08:23 AM
Yeah, that's why I would never draw comics for a living. I like to do it as a stress free hobby. :]

hanzozuken
12-22-2006, 08:54 AM
i actually wouldnt mind doing comics for a living since i love drawing, and i wouldnt do it for less than 150 bucks a page. what most people tend to overlook is that it is a commissioned job and that the faster you draw, the more monthly income you will get. john romita jr is a premium example, he draws sometimes 2 monthly books and the art is always top notch. thats 44 pages or more(covers and variant covers)in a month. deadlines are always gonna be looming over head and thats why certain people attain success in the industry and thats because they can produce quality art in a timely manner. or there storytelling is great so that takes forefront vs so called pretty art. because i want to make it in the industry ive dedicated a lot of my training to working faster and consistent. hopefully that helps you decide whether you can set goals for yourself or not.

Alucard1515
12-22-2006, 09:12 AM
Make me a bad guy for being realistic, thats ok.
What are you talking about? No one is making you into a bad guy. Don't take shit so personal.

b1zz0b
12-22-2006, 09:40 AM
Comic artists, on average in the U.S. make between 35 and 40k per year to start.

Where did you find this info? Not that I think it's wrong, but rather I hope it to be correct. That's about what makes sense if you ask me.

With a college degree, this is the wage you should be earning unless you become a school teacher in the US. :squint: Sure some comic artists don't go to art school, but if they weren't good enough without the art education, they wouldn't land the job in the first place. If it is accurate, that would place the page rate well over $100 a page to start. (as that comes to a little over 26 grand a year)

RobotCat
12-22-2006, 11:43 AM
See, this is why you should go into Business/Law, make a fortune, retire in your 40's, and spend the rest of your life drawing for fun^^

malignant
12-22-2006, 03:25 PM
That figure was from an statistical overview of skilled employment fields from about ten to twelve years ago. I always wanted to make comic books when I was a kid, so I started looking into it when I was about 13. I believe that's a gross income though, and if it works like most contract situations, you have to file 1040 at the end of the year, so you can whack about 20% off of that figure. I just ran a search... which was a bitch, and found that the national average for the payscale of an illustrator is between $22,856 and $57,757 for 80% of people in that field. If you work for a larger scale firm, such as dark horse or the like, you should be making in the upper 60% of those figures (you can't keep people that make good art around by paying them like a kid in a chinese sweatshop) The national avrage figures came from
www.Salary.com
~malignant

Goldenavatar
12-22-2006, 09:36 PM
All the research I did on careers in illustration just made me glad that I had a day job, did the art thing part-time, and I'm finishing up my degree.

Pencil Samurai
12-23-2006, 06:52 AM
Guess I might be screwd. Drawing is like the only thing I am good at. This is my natural talent. Maybe I can find a job in character design for games or maybe I could design cars for a living. I don't know I will just sit back and let my story unfold.

Anyte
12-23-2006, 12:15 PM
I know quite a number of people working in different aspects of the comic industries and none of them are paid a "salary" nor do any of the ones starting out get a position that provides them with steady work and a reliable income. Many of them start out doing a page here and a page there, or a book here and a book there, all with independents that can't pay a lot because they haven't made a name for themselves yet.

From what I have seen and heard you have to either get lucky with someone who is willing to take a chance on you, or you have to spend some time proving that you can and will get the work done and more often than not in a pinch because someone else down the line is behind schedule.

Not every job has a pay that amounts to a "hourly" pay, nor are these jobs required to ensure that a worker gets at least the equivalent of minimum wage. Many of the artists that I know of are paid by the page and they aren't pumping out so many pages that they can quit their day jobs. Many of them struggle with taking on enough work to pay their bills and quit their day jobs and that doesn't happen over night.

It can take a year or two years, three years, or much longer to get your foot in the door and earn the kind of reputation needed to secure enough work so that you can quit your day job and work in the field fulltime.

No, it's not like that for everyone, but it is that way for a majority. There's a lot of competition and writers and publishers are all looking for different things. Being a good artist isn't enough to ensure you have work. You have to have a style that someone wants to incorporate in their book or publish.

Japan is a different culture, how things work over there is beyond me.

Pencil Samurai
12-24-2006, 12:48 PM
I was told the same thing about a guy who came in my resturaunt to eat. He said he would help me to get people to see my work. But he also has a comic company but I can't catch up to the guy to show him my portfolio and skecthes.

Snowfox
12-24-2006, 02:47 PM
No idea about comics. But just for concept character work I'll charge at least $20 for a pencil and upwards of 50-100 for a full colored. I can't imagine comic work pays less if you're skilled.

Pencil Samurai
01-04-2007, 06:57 PM
I hope not.

AnonComicsPro
03-20-2007, 11:48 AM
As an "anonymous comics pro" (hence the name) I can confirm that yes, comics pays more. Companies don't readily disclose their page rates, however. And it often varies from artist to artist.

A pretty good rundown of what your Marvel/DC page expectations should be can be found here...

http://www.scottmcdaniel.net/drawing/employment/employment.html

Manga, however... is a different beast entirely. And Tokyopop's page rates are notoriously low compared to Marvel/DC despite relatively high circulation.

I've heard, on average, that your average OEL TP artist can expect around $75/page. Sounds good? Well, that's for pencils, inks, tones, lettering and script! Marvel starts you at over $100/page just for PENCILS.

aido179
03-20-2007, 12:26 PM
depends what country you are in. we're (ireland) screaming out for good comic or collum artists (the type for newspapers) in the main papers here, theres maybe, 5 artists and they all get the jobs here, you can find the same artists in both the papers and the monthly magazines such as "pheonix" their art isnt even great.

Professor Az
03-20-2007, 02:31 PM
See, this is why you should go into Business/Law, make a fortune, retire in your 40's, and spend the rest of your life drawing for fun^^

Does having an IT degree count as almost the same thing? If so, I'm living the dream, baby!

:laugh:

Jagoss
02-12-2009, 01:00 AM
The way they do things is much different in Japan. You are only going to make 10% of what the books cost. And they sale anywhere from 150 yen children's books to the 500yen manga.

A Manga artist, as the OP had asked..(not how much a comic book artist makes and equate that to japanese, is just downright idiotic. Basically people who hadn't a clue but wanted to rattle on about....nothing...

When a Manga/Manwah artist spin thier work in mags, they are usually given a flat out fee about 2000y. Definatly not a lot. Volume books range around 200 + pages...funny thing is you do not get paid per page. You get a flat 10% of the cover price of 250-350y

thats not alot. so many manga writers spend time creating Doujinshis, and hentai books to help bring in the cash, till thier work grows a good fan base.

Of course the more famous you are the more money you will make doing the newer stuff

Cruiser18
02-12-2009, 01:44 AM
Ooooold thread. Almost 2 years!

*_*flashies*_*
02-12-2009, 02:07 AM
http://truluvrabbitry.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/celery.jpg

darkreaver
02-12-2009, 05:55 AM
lol posts from 2006