There has been a lot of talk recently (again) about the lack of income in having a career in comics. The problem is that many creators think of making comics as a business, when it’s really an art form. Yes, art can be a business but I’m not talking so much about the monetizing of it as much as I’m talking about the reasons for doing it.
I’d like to suggest that we treat comics, not as a for-profit business but as a non-profit business. When you’ve stopped laughing, let me explain the difference.
In for-profit businesses, you offer products and services that turn a profit. If they don’t make money, you stop offering it. Simple.
But in the non-profit model, you offer products and services that you feel are needed (or want) and offer other products and services that do make money and use those to fund the non-profitable ones.
So basically, you find another source of revenue to pay for producing comics which may not necessarily be generating profit. Example? side jobs, sell other products at your table, online stores that drop ship, other kinds of books, whatever it takes.
Now I know that’s what many of us are having to do already, but the difference is our attitude towards what we do. The key is to perceive our comics as an art that we love to create rather than a commodity that we have a job selling. And like actors, musicians, indy filmmakers and other artists, shed the feelings of entitlement that we are owed something because we do this. We’re not.
I read somewhere that frustration comes from not being able to accept a situation. So let’s accept that there’s not a lot of money in comics, embrace it as a passion and have gratitude that we get to work in this art form.