WonderCon, and the 'mercenary' life of the free-lancer

This profile of longtime collaborators Landry Walker and Eric Jones in California's East Bay Express is worth reading, not for its solid local angle on this weekend's WonderCon but for a glimpse into the realities of free-lance comics work.

After making a splash with Little Gloomy and Kid Gravity, last year they were hired by DC Comics to tackle Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade for the publisher's all-ages line. Now they're waiting to find out whether the series, and their contract, will continue.

For the past ten years the two have worked on comics full-time, each earning a modest income of about $2,000 a month. They rose from the Berkeley collective Puppy Toss to major league gigs with up to 1.2 million distribution. Now they're back in survival mode, hoping to sustain a two-man cottage industry in an increasingly cutthroat market. Walker will pimp his résumé at this weekend's WonderCon Convention, a huge networking event that takes place annually at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Last year he and Jones met with a rep from DC Comics at WonderCon, and landed a six-issue contract with the company. He hopes the stars will align again this weekend.

"It's kinda mercenary," Walker said. "I was able to go fifteen years in the comics industry without being that way."

Hopefully one of the announcements coming out of WonderCon this weekend will be more adventures of Supergirl in the eighth grade.

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