Paying Gig for Daily Webcomic ($500/month)

I’m looking for someone to develop and create a daily comic strip for a corporate website targeted at IT managers. Preferably a separate writer and artist (at the client’s request). The comic strip should be humorous in and of itself, and will not be an advertorial for the client’s product — but at the same time, it will serve as a draw to the client’s website. It’s not necessary to have an understanding of the client’s product in order to craft the strip (and, in fact, the last time I went through this process, it seemed that people were paying TOO MUCH attention to what the client’s product was, and too little attention to simply creating a good comic strip for the target audience).

This is the gig that Shaenon Garrity, of Narbonic, was originally set to do. That deal fell apart. Let me be up front about how it fell apart: Shaenon wanted her work to be credited whenever it is used. I know that that’s an important point for her, and I respect it. But the client is not willing to provide any guarantee that the work will always be credited (though he is willing to provide credit on the work for now, without making a guarantee that said credit will always be provided). It’s a sticky and difficult negotiating point that, ultimately, killed this deal. I don’t have a side on the matter: I respect the position of both parties, without feeling the need to go into detail about their positions and why they held them.

However, as a potential new cartoonist going into this, just be aware that if you get the gig, that’s the terms: you’re creating work-for-hire, any characters you create will be owned completely by the client, who may or may not choose to credit you, at his discretion. If those terms aren’t good
enough for you, that’s cool, too — you don’t want the gig.

The pay is $500/month.

We’re especially looking for a writer/artist team, as I mentioned. So, if you’re a writer, send me a half-page pitch for the strip, plus at least one months’ worth of scripts, to be considered. Solo cartoonists are not completely out of the picture, so feel free to pitch as well. Send pitches to joey (at)

Joey Manley

Joey Manley (b.1965–d.2013) was the author of the novel The Death of Donna-May Dean (1992), entrepreneur, and founder of Modern Tales and WebcomicsNation.


  1. Heh.

    I’m surprised you wouldn’t have asked T already — this seems right up his alley.

    Of course, maybe you already have?

    Heh. I’d *love* to be a fly on the wall when you go through all the various pitches you’ll be receiving. ^_^

  2. Quoth Joey:

    any characters you create will be owned completely by the client

    So perhaps you should use something utterly generic, like the elves in the IT department of Santa’s toy factory…

  3. Amen.

    With doors closing to us more and more with regards to getting our work published by anyone but us nowadays, the rights to what we create and the potential to profit from it is all a creator really has in the comic industry as it exists today.

    This is a bad deal, Joey. Very bad.

  4. Here’s a suggestion though, since it’s work for hire. Maybe IT should create it’s own characters and hire writers/artists to create stories/strips around the “companies characters” for $500/month. That way IT owns the characters and the writers/artists are being paid to bring them to life without getting screwed out of their creator rights. I don’t think anyone would object to that.

    Otherwise your expecting people to do ALL OF THE WORK for VERY LITTLE in the way of payment for which they gain ABSOLUTELY N-O-T-H-I-N-G. No even their name by the title.

  5. I agree that it’s not the best deal in the world. I’m only the conduit, not the originator, of the deal. The client is a consulting client of mine who, inspired by my webcomics background, came up with this idea and asked me to see if I could find somebody.

    More details and conversation about the good points and the bad points of the deal here:

    I never ask for work-for-hire for my own business, of course, for the very reasons you guys are bringing up.



  6. So, do you want the team of artist and writer to be set up when the pitch is made, or do you prefer someone to submit simply as a writer? Or is there no preference either way?

    And what kind of time limit are you expecting on this?

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