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Outsourcing to an artist from another country

You've found your perfect artist to do your webcomic. However, s/he lives on the other side of the globe, like say Singapore. So, how would you handle outsourcing to this artist from another country?


Shishio's picture

I don't see what the problem is, either. Communicate via e-mail or telephone, send payments by Paypal or Western Union. Easy. The person who draws (See his site here - lives in Mexico City, while I am in Canada.

One-liners - New strips on Fridays.

If you're partners and

If you're partners and everyone takes care of their end of the partnership, I don't see the problem of 'location". GAAK artist Monique MacNaughton lives in Canada, I live in NYC. I email her GAAK script pages, she emails me roughs, we discuss possible changes, check to make sure all the dialogue and stuff is right, and she finishes the artwork, inks and letters the page. Now that we have a book out ("GAAK: Vol. One"), I do most of the promo leg work for the book, keep track of sales numbers, etc. I have the Lulu Press account, so the quarterly royalty checks are sent to me. When I get them, I send Monique her half. We're partner on GAAK--50/50 all the way. Whether your partner is on the next block, in the next state, across the country, or around the world, you have to communicate. Emails should be fine. And IM's as well. Monique and I have been working together 5 years come next month--And we've only spoken on the phone once. Dee

G.A.A.K: Groovy Ass Alien Kreatures It's like The Goonies meets The Invaders from Mars. Updates on Mondays.

Agreed, oolong. When I

Agreed, oolong. When I think of outsourcing, I think of doing some outside of "in-house". But many webcomic creators don't have that sort of office mentaility. Unless you are artistically inclined, you're going to need to find someone who can draw your stuff under reasonable conditions. Politically, I'm the biggest supporter of keeping work from going overseas, but I don't think that works on an artistic level. You're not worried about who can do it the cheapest necessarily, but who can do it the best. Its easy to judge economic benefits but its harder to judge artistic characteristics. The advent of the Internet has made "your neighbor" anyone from the guy at the corner to the girl in China. Keeping it "Stateside" only limits your options as far as collaborators. Â


Check out "Hector!" at!

Check out "Hector!" at!

i don't know if i would

oolong's picture

i don't know if i would think of that as outsourcing. in today's digital world, it's as easy to work with an artist from Singapore as it is your next door neighbor. plus there's no language barrier as there would be with working with someone from, say, China.



My artist Emiliano is

My artist Emiliano is essentially everything your hypothetical described, Altercator. We send out a sample script to several artists - Emiliano's was actually better than the artist we started with. And he's in ArgentinaÂ

The language issue is kind of helped by the fact that Emiliano speaks a little English to begin with. After I'm done with the script, I send it to my friend Luke, who serves as co-creator and producer of the webcomic. In addition the checking my spelling and grammar, he also makes sure I didn't get too wordy or complicated in my descriptions - that basically it could be translated eaiser via BabelFish.

Another way to buck the outsourcing question is to plainly make the artist feel like he or she is part of your team. Emiliano has his own bio page, and some of his friends have already stopped on the forums. Keeping in constant contact with Emiliano, even to just say "Good work!", is a necessity also.

Finally, I'll also mention that we're planning to maybe bring Emiliano Stateside for the Chicago Wizard World. Its still in the planning stages, but I think its another good way of building bridges with overseas artists instead of just viewing them as "outsourcing".Â

You can see the results and Emiliano's work at!

Check out "Hector!" at!

Re: Outsourcing to an artist from another country

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Altercator wrote:
You've found your perfect artist to do your webcomic. However, s/he lives on the other side of the globe, like say Singapore. So, how would you handle outsourcing to this artist from another country?
Is it a partnership or is this person you're employee? If they're going to be an employee you need to treat it like any other employer/business relationship and follow the applicable law for starters - taxes, etcs. A lawyer would help but if it's too much $ you might look for a self-help book (Nolo press does a lot of good do-it-yourself books for law). Doing the actual work should be simple via the Internet though right?

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

And if it's a partnership?

And if it's a partnership?

Marilith used to be drawn by

Marilith used to be drawn by Jos Fouts, a Filipino. There was no real challenge to it, I sent him payment via Western Union. He's an independent contractor, not an employee, so the tax situation is relatively simple. No Paypal to the Philippines, I guess that was the only challenge.

There shouldn't be too much

AbbyL's picture

There shouldn't be too much of a problem, beyond a possible language barrier. You have to make sure that the both of you know what the relationship entails, though, or it could be bad.

I just get my english

The William G's picture

I just get my english students to draw and write all my stuff now. I just sign my name to it. The power of Korean kimchi is why everything has gotten better.