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Thread: Comics Cultures, Part 2

  1. LeeNordling Guest

    Thanks, Storme.

    Let's look at the variables.

    Is "money" just a variable or is it what you need to DO with the money?

    For example, here's the most obvious variable: "Needs to cover all living expenses while creator is working on the project."

    Or: "Needs to supplement creator's primary income."

    Or: "Needs to show Marvel or DC (or whomever) that creator can work on their books." Isn't THIS why some creators work on books and why the amount they're paid doesn't really matter?

    Or: "Token payment, because creator wants to build body of work."

    There are a MILLION reasons creators will take the pay they take.

    And if creators KNOW the reasons, then page rate shouldn't matter with "Token payment, because creator wants to build body of work," but SOMETIMES it does. The payment ISN'T an industry standard page rate, and suddenly the deal goes south.

    That doesn't make sense, in that situation.

    Frank Miller reportedly got a SEVEN-FIGURE advance for Dark Knight Strikes Back. Does anybody believe he checked out the page rate before taking that gig? (Other factors may have come into the decision, but probably not THAT one.)

    So, what are the variables here?

    We need to know what they are, so we can determine how, if at all, page-rate is necessary.

    Here's another hint: "Need to get pay for work as soon as each increment is done."

    See?

    LOOK in broad strokes for what's important about payment, and you'll be able to discern what IS and ISN'T necessary.

    Let's get back to work and start listing some of these variables.

    Thanks for voicing the difficulty here, Storme. Questions are as good as answers.

    --Lee



  2. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    Brainstorming:

    1. Payments are fair in that they reflect an agreed-upon market value
    2. Payments are tied to a measurable, agreed-upon amount of work
    3. Payment intervals are agreed on by all parties and adhered to by the payer
    4. Payments are timely
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 04:48 PM.



  3. LeeNordling Guest

    Thanks, Ronald.

    So, as you and I have demonstrated, there are a ton of potential options.

    Can anybody come up with a list of questions that EACH creator should ask him/herself, when it comes to "payment"?

    For instance:

    What do I need the payment for?

    With that question posed, each creator will have his/her specific need addressed.

    For instance, if the answer is "Living day to day, as I complete each page," then a page rate makes some sense.

    But if it's "sign of good faith by publisher," then does a page rate still make sense?

    So, what are the BASIC questions a creator needs to ask about PAYMENT?

    Thanks, Ronald, for helping to keep this going.

    So let's keep this going.

    --Lee



  4. Rain Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post
    So, what are the BASIC questions a creator needs to ask about PAYMENT?
    BASIC questions:

    Is the payment fair when weighed against the amount of time and effort I'll be putting into the project?

    In the event the project is nixed for any reason, at anytime, have we established a kill-fee so I'm not left high and dry?

    Rain



  5. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    What I would ask myself:

    1. Opportunity costs -- How do my options compare?
    2. Non-pay benefits -- exposure, future opportunities
    3. Time value of money -- The value of money now versus money in the future
    4. Does payment follow standard practices in this sandbox?
    5. What about options when work is reprinted, adapted to other mediums, etc.?
    Last edited by RonaldMontgomery; Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 06:21 PM.



  6. LeeNordling Guest

    Are those your only questions, Rain?

    What would be good is developing a set of them, ALL the questions that are a potential concern for you...and others.

    From this set, somebody can come to THESE questions, rather than knee-jerk into, "What's the page rate?"

    So, let's list the important broad-strokes questions regarding payment.

    "What's the point?" asks a guy in the back.

    "The point is," I reply, "that these questions allow creators to deal with any comics-related project that comes from any source, and can deal with its viability AND not alienate a potential client or publisher."

    "Okay, that would be good. Thanks," says the guy in back.

    You're welcome.

    Now, back to work.

    --Lee
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 06:24 PM.



  7. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery View Post
    What I would ask myself:

    1. Opportunity costs -- How do my options compare?
    2. Non-pay benefits -- exposure, future opportunities
    3. Time value of money -- The value of money now versus money in the future
    4. Does payment follow standard practices in this sandbox?
    5. What about options when work is reprinted, adapted to other mediums, etc.?
    Nice list, Ronald.

    But do you not care WHAT you need to do with money you make?

    If you do, think about adding to that list (and repeat the entire list, just to make sure it covers all your bases, whatever they are).

    Oh, and since this is potentially a list for everybody, think about that, too.

    In theory, one set of questions COULD apply to everybody; it's the answers that will determine your response to a given set of circumstances.

    Still, a nice start.

    --Lee



  8. RonaldMontgomery Guest

    1. Opportunity costs -- How do my options compare?
    2. Non-pay benefits -- exposure, future opportunities
    3. Time value of money -- The value of money now versus money in the future
    4. Does payment follow standard practices in this sandbox?
    5. What about options when work is reprinted, adapted to other mediums, etc.?
    6. Money allocation
    a. taxes (halve your payments right here)
    b. living expenses
    c. business expenses (materials, office, legal, etc.)
    d. retirement, healthcare, assorted "benefits"
    7. If foreign, currency exchange rate used for payment.
    8. How payment is made -- check, direct deposit, Western Union MoneyGram (TM)



  9. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery View Post
    1. Opportunity costs -- How do my options compare?
    2. Non-pay benefits -- exposure, future opportunities
    3. Time value of money -- The value of money now versus money in the future
    4. Does payment follow standard practices in this sandbox?
    5. What about options when work is reprinted, adapted to other mediums, etc.?
    6. Money allocation
    a. taxes (halve your payments right here)
    b. living expenses
    c. business expenses (materials, office, legal, etc.)
    d. retirement, healthcare, assorted "benefits"
    7. If foreign, currency exchange rate used for payment.
    8. How payment is made -- check, direct deposit, Western Union MoneyGram (TM)
    Let's turn this to questions, rather than subjects.

    Living expenses. What does that mean? Is that a subset of a broader question?

    Should THAT question be: Why do I need the money?

    There are going to be a thousand personal answers to that, so that seems like a good "allocation" question.

    Try it again.

    And glad to see you sticking with this.

    Thanks.

    --Lee



  10. Rain Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post

    So, what are the BASIC questions a creator needs to ask about PAYMENT?
    OK, my (as of now) complete list (until Lee prods for more, or someone else jogs additions)

    1) Is the payment fair when weighed against the amount of time and effort I'll be putting into the project?

    2) Do I trust this employer to actually pay me my money, and in a timely manner? Do they have a good track record?

    3) Have I explored other publication options for this project (if I created it), ensuring I can't get more compensation elsewhere?

    4) If the pay isn't great, will that be offset by the exposure the project will bring me? Can this project bring more paid gigs?

    5) In the event the project is nixed for any reason, at anytime, have we established a kill-fee so I'm not left high and dry?

    6) I've got bills to pay, and a home down payment I want to add to, so: Is this comics project the most productive use of my time away from my "day job," or can I expend my efforts elsewhere to better supplement my regular income?

    7) What about options when work is reprinted, adapted to other mediums, etc.? (Blatant rip-off from Ronald's list)

    8) How payment is made -- check, direct deposit, Western Union MoneyGram (Again, ripped from Ronald.)

    Rain



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