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Numbers

May 3, 2018

So I'm looking at some numbers behind comics. Look along with me.

 

A typical issue of comics has 22 pages of story, but is printed onto a saddle-stitched book of 32 pages.

 

If you go really cheap, you can get a page of comics produced for say, a hundred bucks a page.

 

That's $2200. Add a cover and miscellaneous expenses and say you're at $2500, plus whatever you do to fill those last ten pages (front and back covers included.)

 

Then you pay for printing or if you're being printed by Image, you're paying around $1400 a month for catalog placement/printing/marketing such as it is.

 

We're at $3900.

 

Many comics don't start making money until they get to the trade collection. That's typically six monthly issues worth of material ($23,400 in costs) plus cost of printing.

 

Now, sure, some books take off and are making money right out of the gate, sometimes even a lot of it. But based on these numbers, the break-even cutoff is safely around 3,000 issues sold, probably need to do a bit more. That's just paying for the production costs of the books, not really paying the bills for those folks actually making the comics.

 

Anyways, I'm thinking a lot about this as I try to put my arms around production of THE FUTURE AMERICA in comics form. Still have twelve issues plotted out. Three introductory stories (either in two parts apiece or as double-sized one shot issues, which is a dicy approach) and the first main story arc of six issues.

 

It's a daunting prospect. I'm not without resources, but all of those have associated costs.

 

So yeah, it's kind of saddening to talk about this with regards to money and sales and production costs. I'm supposed to be all about my precious and individual creative vision, right? Just follow my bliss. Everything will work out in the end. Live the creative life.

 

These are all wonderful lies. We can't run the machine on them. And the machine is what gets things produced.

 

Here's the cover of the first issue, art by Jok of Estudio Haus. Yes, it's synthwave comics.

 

 

 

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