Rob Granito is back (my first post is here). He wants money for an interview. Go read this at Bleeding Cool, in case you have any lingering doubt this dude is a con artist. A person who denies she’s his wife astonishes us by having the exact same name as his wife and has written a press release with grammatical skills only marginally better than her spouse. I mean, client.

She’s his agent! SMACK!

She’s his wife! SMACK!

She’s his agent! SMACK!

She’s his wife! SMACK!

She’s his agent AND his wife!

This is so lame, the bad taste is smothered in lame sauce.

I pray to God everyone who reads this sad, pathetic saga will now take the gossip of goofy people who have Big Terrible Stories About Awful Pros with a grain of salt from now on, even if these people have a few creds. Because no matter what problem I have ever had with a fan, they pale against any problem I have had with these avaricious bottom feeders.

I hope someone has contacted the police at this point, seriously.

BTW: the frauds claim that all the thousands of hits they’ve generated are worth the interview bucks.

No, they’re not.

For every thousand hits a website gets, a site earns about 50 cents. So, if the fraud thinks an interview with him is worth $150, an article would have to generate hundreds of thousands of hits just to pay for it. And that’s not going to happen.

Schmuck.

I need chocolate now. The best in the world is from Cocoabella.

Go read this at The Village Voice, a venue which does not pay its cartoonists. A sad article about how poorly cartoonists are paid. Some comic art luminaries pop in to the comments thread for a spin.

I had a candid conversation yesterday with a webcomics notable. I told him how much I was now making on my site, and he said that was REALLY good money for a webcomic. I consider the income modest, but respectable, and well within the income range I hoped would finance the rest of my series. Not good enough for full time support, but very good sideline money.

Not too long ago, a webcomics artist I never heard of whose principle activity seems to be trolling for fun, went on a public rampage, claiming A Distant Soil would never go anywhere online, had never been popular in the first place, and I’d never made any money on it. I took a look at his site. He gets about 5 page views a day. Clearly, he’s an unimpeachable source for how to be a pro. I suspect the motivation for his rampage was to get people to look at his work. Well, I looked. What was that I wrote about avaricious bottom feeders? Yeah, that.

A Distant Soil had $3,000,000 in lifetime retail sales. That’s solid money for an independent comic. Very solid money. In personal income, that averages out to $30,000 per year for ten years of full time work, after taxes and all expenses, including retailer and distributor cuts.

Income was uneven, and I worked on it part time for many years, but as a page rate average, it’s good. The problem is the long tail of income as the project waned, making it harder to justify the investment of time and effort to finish off my epic. I didn’t make $30,000 per year every year, I made more like $40,000 one year, $20,000 the next, $45,000 one year, and $5,000 for the next three! Try budgeting on that!

My webcomic guru associate confided that most webcomics make no money at all, or extremely modest money. Artists fudge their numbers to make themselves appear more popular than they are. A webcomicker who swears they bought a house and supports a family actually has a job at Starbucks. OK, whatever.

I’m noticing a change in the way lots of artists approach the thorny problem of the perception of the money we make. They’re tired of the illusory exposure canard. Tired of being thought of as rich when we’re not rich. Tired of the mixing of rich and famous. Many creators fear being sprinkled with loser dust that any admission of financial weakness is de facto failure. People who have absolutely no knowledge or qualifications to make any kind of statement about a pro’s life or professionalism will bring out their knives on a blog at the slightest hint a hated pro has a low bank balance.

For my part, even though I had a website since 1999, it wasn’t until August last year that I saw an increase in my income from the site, which used to make only about $2000 per year. I now make good money on my series, more than I made when I last worked full time on it in 1999 – that year I made about $19,000 in royalties from Image.

Of course, I don’t know if my income will continue at this rate, or continue to rise, but I am hopeful. I am still on to finish A Distant Soil in 2013.

For those hoping the web will just make all things sparkles and sprinkles for their art, well, it works for some and not for others, and I don’t recommend it for everyone. At all. I’ve had a website since 1999, and as I wrote before, only began to see decent money in August 2010. Almost all of that money has been from actual sales, not donations or ads.

I have other income from the graphic novels I do for other publishers, including Gone to Amerikay, Stealth Tribes, and my upcoming GN with Dark Horse. The last year has been good: the prior two? Not so much. But as I’ve mentioned before, the economy of scale is different for me, because I’m not a part time pro, and have not made less than $30,000 per year as an artist since, I think, about 1990. I don’t know how these artists pulling $1500 a month get by. I tend to think they don’t.

My minimum standard is not to get by, but to thrive.

c