Hopeless Maine extras

Let’s start with some technical details. It takes about six months of Tom working full time to draw a Hopeless Maine graphic novel. On top of this, I do about 2 hours of work on each page, plus the writing time, so let’s call that 200 hours on each book at least. Now consider how much you think a person needs to earn in a six month period.

If a comic print run is 2000 books, at £10 a pop, the entire run is worth £20,000. Half of this will disappear into the hands of distributors, and bookshops. In the case of direct sales at events, those also have costs. So let’s say that half the money does indeed make it back to the publisher – that’s 10k. The publisher has to pay for the printing, the warehouse storage and the other costs of being a publisher. What remains, pays the wages of the publisher, the artist and the author. It doesn’t add up to a massive heap of beans. It is not possible, in small scale comics publishing, to earn enough to live on, simply. Not for the creators, and not for the publishers.

Some creators and publishers manage this by making comics alongside doing a job. This means the comics are much slower to create, and you’ve got the added pressure of working 2 jobs, or more.

So, that’s the gloomy bit. However, we do manage and we are committed to getting this series finished. One of the things that really helps is the small stream of income I get from Patreon. A bit of predictability goes a long way. I also work an assortment of day jobs as a freelance sort of person, and Tom also takes other paying work, but there just aren’t enough hours in a day for this to be easy. We are both a long way from being bright young things who can work forty and fifty hour weeks without massive consequences.

Right now on Patreon, there’s a new Mrs Beaten story for supporters. https://www.patreon.com/posts/tale-from-maine-29332415  I’ve also been serialising New England Gothic – a prose prequel to the graphic novels. Supporters get new videos before anyone else, and at the glass heron level, we post things out as well. It gives Hopeless Maine enthusiasts more to chew on, and it gives us more money to buy stuff to chew on, which we like. We’ve tried the hungry creator model, and it really doesn’t work for either of us.

If you are able and willing to get more involved, thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts and the hearts of our bottoms.


3 thoughts on “Hopeless Maine extras”

  1. Reblogged this on The Passing Place and commented:
    Art, be it literary, graphical or pillow box cosy’s doesn’t pay. The disposable society of shiny barbarism beats down the creative’s within it, under the premise that great art can only be produced by those who suffer and sustaining any kind of lifestyle on creative output is next to impossible for around 99% of writers and artists. Indeed, subsistence level, cheese on toast six days a week funded by art would be a major achievement for most artists of any kind.
    Which always makes me wonder, just how much really fabulous art/writing has never happened because the artist/writer needed to earn enough money to eat/ pay rent/ pay bills etc. first…
    Which is why I am a great supporter of Patreon as a concept (unfortunately as I need to eat etc. I can’t fund ever patreon I would like to. I can however do this and spread the word a little)
    It’s not all hopeless after all…

    1. thank you! I feel it keenly as a class issues as well – to be able to afford to create you need to be funded, so a wealthy background or partner who can pay your way is the easiest way in, and that excludes so many of us. Meh. thank you for your support.

  2. I reblogged this for you, (as a starving artist myself I can’t afford to patronise every patreon I would like to, but perhaps I may find your a few who can )

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