Now I just need a comic-book artist...
May 11, 2016 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I wrote a film script. I think it would be a fantastic graphic novel. How do I find an artist to collaborate with?

It's sci-fi, influenced by The Matrix, Orphan Black, the "mirror universe" concept from Star Trek ... and many, many others.

Everyone that's read it tells me it's really good. I've had some nibbles from Hollywood, but nothing of note. So, it got me wondering about the graphic novel route. I kinda just want to hand it off to an artist and say, "Here. Run wild with it."

Is there a place I can go online to find an artist to work with?

And, memail me if you'd like to read it, even just for fun.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It depends on what you can pay. If you can pay a decent page rate- 200ish per page- you can just approach artists you like and make an offer.

If you can't, then you are probably going to want to draw it yourself.

This is not a sassy answer, I was a professional comic book artist exclusively for five years, working in comics for near a decade.
posted by Blisterlips at 5:14 PM on May 11, 2016 [10 favorites]

I feel like MeFi Jobs wouldn't be the worst place in the world for this, assuming you're looking more for a creative collaborator and less work-for-hire.

If you were hoping to hire someone to do this, with the assumption that you will own it going forward, and this is "your" thing they are drawing up for you, yeah, you're going to have to pay someone, and it's not going to be cheap.

In my experience artists are not really keen to do stuff like this for free unless they have some kind of creative ownership of the finished product. Not just creative involvement in a "go nuts" kind of way, but some level of control or a real stake in it. I mean, what happens if you get more than nibbles from Hollywood after having your thus-far unsuccessful screenplay adapted as a graphic novel? Are you going to bring the artist around with you to meetings? Give them half the option money? Or is it going to be like "OK thanks see you around I guess..." while you reap the rewards?
posted by Sara C. at 5:22 PM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to be clear, I would be willing to pay or contract a rev share. What I'm asking is, where do I find a person that might be interested in this?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:35 PM on May 11, 2016

To find artists, you can browse DeviantArt, Behance, Youtube artist channels (try searching for graphic novel drawing how-tos, art challenges, daily drawing, things like that), and Instagram. Once you find an artist whose style you think would fit, send them a message about your project and see if they are willing / have the time to accept work from you.

Be very clear with them exactly what is involved: do you have the story broken out into a graphic novel format and sketched and just need someone to draw, ink, and color it? Will they be responsible for storyboarding, character design, etc? Will they do the lettering or will you? The more services you require, the more you will have to pay them. Maybe Blisterlips can help you with figuring out what a fair payment for this kind of thing is (I'm not sure if $200 a page includes the rest of it). Also think about whether you want a different artist to do the cover, or if you're serializing it, if you want a different artist for each issue, or for some of them.

Then draw up a contract detailing the scope of work, number of pages, timeframes, and payment details, including who holds copyright on the images / characters, if the artist will receive royalties, and how much / if they will be compensated for future earnings like movie deals and so on. Get it looked over by a lawyer ( can help with this) and you're all set :)
posted by ananci at 5:39 PM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]

You might have luck going to conventions and talking with artists if they have a showcase area like SDCC's artist alley.

I used to write for Image Comics in the late 90s and the going rate back then was $300 per page - this was for pencils alone. It's a little depressing that the rate hasn't gone up in over 15 years but I suppose that might work in your favor.
posted by cazoo at 5:44 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I found my dude through his DeviantART page. We did a B&W (pencils and inks) two-pager that was good and got published (just in a local Australian comic anthology, but still), and got along well and bounced around a ton of ideas afterwards, but I still paid him in the first instance. We kind of got sidetracked by our own projects and haven't touched base in a while, but he was a good guy and did good work. So yeah, DeviantART might be one approach.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:57 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

In town, your go-to referral guy would be David Lasky, if you want to try keeping it local. David knows everybody and is as sweet as pie. I doubt he'd charge for the service, though possibly he should.
posted by mwhybark at 9:02 PM on May 11, 2016

I sent you a memail recommending a MeFite, but when I took a class from Scott McCloud a couple years back, his advice was to draw it yourself even if you're no good at art, because it's easier to pitch to publishers and the publishers will be able to help you find an artist to redraw it if it's necessary.
posted by klangklangston at 9:03 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

.... available for freelance work ....
posted by yqxnflld at 9:09 PM on May 11, 2016

As a data point, my page rate coloring Stan Lee's memoir was $100/page — just for color.
posted by culfinglin at 10:11 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

You might want to make a point of attending Short Run, your local small press comics show, to get familiar with the medium and meet artists in person. Be aware that "I've got a great idea for a graphic novel" is a common and usually unwelcome pitch. Buy comics from a few of your favorite artists there, take advantage of that opportunity to strike up a conversation with them, politely gauge their interest, make it clear that your script is finished and you plan to pay your artist up front. Later, follow up online (you've got their info from the books you bought) with the artists who seem like the most likely matches.
posted by milk white peacock at 10:40 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

DeviantArt has a forum where you can post art commissions, if you'd prefer to have interested parties contact you, rather than the other way around. I would strongly recommend having a budgetary range in mind and a few samples of work you like first, so that you can mostly get tailored submissions. There's also the Penciljack and Digital Webbing forums, which are nothing but sequential artists.

You are likely to have more success finding a professional if you're planning to pay upfront rather than predominately using revenue share, just as a piece of advice.
posted by tautological at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2016

« Older Looking for Muzaky instrumentals   |   Challenges For Two Or More People Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.