So, it’s basically been almost 9 years since I started doing comics.
Here are a few facts.
In France, one basically takes 1 year to create a comic book.
Usually it’s between 46 to 54 pages when published with a major editor.
It’s not unusual to be a few month or a year late …
I’ve been offered rates as low as 76 euros for a full colored page all included ( turned down that shamelless offer by a publisher nor that small after a lecture on the freelance life )
I have once been paid 500 euros a page but it was only for a few pages unfortunatly.
Once a french comic book goes on sale you earn a small percentage of the selling price, something around 7 to 10 %. With it, you pay back what the publisher gave you upfront. Only when or if he has recovered your upfront paiment will you actually earn something.
There were 5560 french comic books published last year and 2000 translated comic book or mangas, that makes a lot of concurrence in the same time on the comic books shop and a very fast turnover. The obvious result is, you do not have a lot of time to sell enough books to hope to earn royalties.
in 2000, there were only 1000 new books each year. The yearly amount of books sold in the end stayed more or less the same.
In 9 years I have never touched any royalties.
I have only been teased twice because I was a woman. Once by an illustrator who asked me to “bend myself on the table” obviously because he thought I was a fan (I was visiting a friend at a convention) and he would have love a better view of my cleavage. I called him the most unrespectfull guy I had ever met, told him that I didn’t want to hear the sound of his voice anymore and left him dumbstruck. He tried to come to say good morning the day after but I offered a big smile with a don’t you dare and he didn’t dare .
The second time, was in a US convention where an old illustrator teased me with calling me his little assistant. Twice .. The second time I told him that I knew he wasn’t used seeing a lot of girls in this market but there were a lot of girls coming after me so guy, get used to it or you’ll feel very lonely.
At the beginning I was always the only woman on conventions. People always assumed I was a colorist or a girlfriend of a male author. It was annoying but I really was an exception so it was understandable.
Nowadays, there are more women on the market. Or at least more of them wishing to enter the market.
I think I attended more or less 50 to 60 signings and conventions.
My attitude is to always be the more professionnall I can.
It’s unfair but in this market, each woman is a significant percentage of all of us, I always keep that in mind.
I started comics because I wanted to create something that could enter the everyday life. Art for everybody, without limiting it to a certain part of population.
So far it’s been fun.