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The artist/writer division of labor

by  in Comic News Comment
The artist/writer division of labor

Jim Munroe, writer of the graphic novel Sword of My Mouth, kept track of the time he and artist Shannon Gerard put into the project. Not surprisingly, the scales don’t balance:

So here’s a breakdown of how much time we each spent working on the book.

Jim’s hours: 283.8 (writing: 23%, revisions and editing: 16%, publicity: 20%, publishing business: 38%)

Shannon’s hours: 1000+ (drawing)

So basically, Shannon put in 80% of the time even considering I took on publicity and publishing roles. (If I was just doing the writing, it would have been closer to a 90/10% split.)

We’re dividing the money we make 80/20%, but it still feels weird. I mean, I knew it took a long time to draw, but it really takes a long time to draw. This wonky division of labour is something to keep in mind when if you’re ever approaching someone to draw a comic. Even if you’re a slow writer and they’re a fast drawer, you’re still asking them to spend much more time realizing something than you spent creating it. What are you bringing to the project beyond amazing ideas and sparkling prose?

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