Search Results for: Freelance

FREELANCE Interview on Newsarama

freelance-newsarama

Read on to discover what Andrew Wheeler, Vaneda Vireak, and I have planned for the new version of FREELANCE, one of Canada’s oldest original comic book heroes. The first issue arrives in January. Pre-order now!

FREELANCE Arrives in January!

freelance-1-cvr-a-perkins

In January Andrew Wheeler, Vaneda Vireak, and I are bringing back one of Canada’s oldest original comic heroes – Freelance!

Chapterhouse Comics is expanding their publishing line with the Chapterverse, a line of comics that work on their own as complete stories but also expand the shared setting from Captain Canuck.

Freelance is a globe-trotting action-packed adventure story set in the modern world but delivered with a pulpy flare. Andrew and I have been developing the characters and their story for several months now and we’re pumped for readers to see what we have in store. Below is a link to our first interview about the series and the order solicitation info:

firstcomicsinterview

FREELANCE #1
The CHAPTERVERSE launches with this brand new series!

Lance Valiant, John Cabot, and Tasha Kolchak are fearless explorers who delve into hidden secrets of our world and protect us from threats beyond imagination, but the greatest secret of all may be Lance’s own mysterious past…

Pulse-pounding action, wit, intrigue, and globe-trotting romance – One of Canada’s original heroes is reborn for the Chapterhouse era by writers Andrew Wheeler (Another Castle) and Jim Zub (Thunderbolts), and artist Vineda Vireak (51Hundred)!

Cover A – Alex Perkins | Cover B – Blank Sketch
Written by Jim Zub & Andrew Wheeler | Illustrated by Vaneda Vireak |
32 pages, 6.25/10.18 | Full Color | $3.99
Diamond Order# Cover A: NOV161365 | Cover B: NOV161365

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

14 years.

That’s how long I’ve been coordinating Seneca’s 3-Year Animation Advanced Diploma program.

I’ve been teaching at Seneca for the past 16 years, and 14 of those have included managing curriculum development, student issues, instructor schedules, budget projections, and evaluating portfolios.

Being Coordinator might be the longest and most consistent thing I’ve done in my life. I worked at UDON as an artist and project manager for 9 years. I’ve been freelance comic writing for 11 years. When Stacy and I started dating in 2007 I was already Animation Program Coordinator, so it’s been a constant through our entire relationship and marriage.

Until now.

Juggling both teaching and writing, two full-time careers running in tandem, has been a challenge at times. I’ve earned a few grey hairs thanks to it, but also wouldn’t trade it for anything. The friends I’ve made, projects I’ve been a part of, and places I’ve traveled to, it’s been such an incredible ride.

At the end of last year, we finished our 5-year program review. Animation broke records for applications and portfolios for the fourth year in a row. Our student body is enthusiastic and focused. Our instructors are top notch. Our graduates are working for some of the biggest animation, game, and special effect companies in the world. Seeing all that laid out in black and white in front of me, it felt like a good place to evaluate my own progress as well.

As I looked ahead to 2020 and beyond, I realized how much more would be required, both with the creative projects I have lined up and the expanding needs of one of the college’s most popular and successful programs. Something had to change, otherwise I’d burn out trying to keep doing it all at the same time.

So, I spoke to Mark Jones, a dear friend and Seneca’s Chair of Creative Arts, and requested a professional leave from the college. My professional leave starts late April 2020 and continues through to end of August 2021 – 16 months to focus on my writing and other creative development, working away on some stuff that’s already public along with a couple secret projects I’m excited to see come to life.

When I return after my leave, I won’t be picking back up the Coordinator mantle. After 14 years of building and running the Animation program, it’s time for someone else to take charge. Sean Craig, current Coordinator of our post-grad 3D Animation program and the 3rd year Digital Animation stream, is stepping up to take over. He and I have been discussing this changeover for many months and he has a rock-solid vision for where the program needs to be in the years ahead.

So, that’s the news. After April 22nd, I’ll be focused on writing and other creative endeavors along with expanding my travel schedule so Stacy and I can go places we’ve never been and spend more time in the places we enjoy. I get to see what it’s like to have one crazy creative career instead of two and a half. 

I got into this business (art, animation, comics, games, teaching, all of it) because I love storytelling. Getting to work with so many skilled people who love it as much as I do has been a dream.

What comes next? Keep watching and we’ll find out together as the future unfolds.

Wish me luck,
Jim

Zub Marvel Comics Arriving in November!

BLACK PANTHER AND THE AGENTS OF WAKANDA #3
JIM ZUB (W) • LAN MEDINA (A) • Cover by JORGE MOLINA
VARIANT COVER BY HUMBERTO RAMOS
Black Panther and his hand-picked team are our first line of defense on Earth, in space, or even in other realities. They’re operatives of the unimaginable – They’re Agents of Wakanda.
In this issue – a new mission begins! A disturbing galactic experiment has been waiting, growing…Can the Agents of Wakanda stop its encroaching danger before it’s too late?
Strap on your spacesuits, True Believers! This one’s shootin’ for the moon!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Arriving 11/13/19

CHAMPIONS BY JIM ZUB VOL. 2 TPB
Written by JIM ZUB
Penciled by STEVEN CUMMINGS
Cover by KIM JACINTO
The future of the Champions hangs in the balance! The War of the Realms is over — but its effect on the Champions has shaken the team to its very core! Meanwhile, Sam Alexander’s mission in space takes an unexpected turn. Will he find redemption — or is this the last ride for the human rocket? Fear, doubt and deception — the Champions’ ideals are about to be tested, and not everyone will make the grade. And as tensions rise, the Freelancers return! But who has betrayed the Champions, and who can they trust? Miles Morales returns — but will it be in time to save his friends? The next generation of heroes made a vow to do better. Now they have to live up to it. Collecting CHAMPIONS (2019) #7-10.
112 PGS./Rated T+ …$15.99
ISBN: 978-1-302-91672-5
Arriving 12/04/19

Champions #8 Reviews

Beyond the Panel: 8.5/10 “It was fun, chaotic, and enlightening for the direction that this team is now taking.”

Black Nerd Problems: 7.5/10 “Cummings does a solid job on the artwork this issue. With a book like Champions, the most important part is nailing everyone’s powers when the action goes down and Cummings excels at that.”

Caped-Joel: “Zub has a lot of fun writing the Freelancers, a group that he did not create, but one that is very synonymous as antagonists for the Champions.”

Chillmonger: “Locust and Power Man were written very well, drawn too.The illustrations by Steven Cummings on every issue he’s done so far are fire.”

Comic Book University: “This was fantastic.”

ComicBook.com: 8/10 “There’s a ton of intrigue surrounding the Champions team at this point, and it gives some of the other characters a great opportunity to shine.”

Monkeys Fighting Robots: 7.8/10 “Champions #8 was a fun issue that resolved and set up plots all in one. It’s always risky when an issue tries to handle both, but when done right it does pay off. And this is one of those times. There wasn’t a dull moment to be had, and fans are left looking forward to seeing what happens next.”

On Comics Ground: 8.6/10 “The art from Steve Cummings & Marcio Menyz remains absolutely slick and wonderfully vivid (with a special note made towards how wonderfully atmospheric the opening and closing pages of the issue are)!”

Weird Science Marvel Comics: 8.3/10 “Sam Alexander gets some hard-earned character development, and the final page alone provides a compelling reason to pick up the next issue. In short, this issue is well worth your time.”

Zub Marvel Comics in August!

MARVEL COMICS #1000
VARIOUS WRITERS • VARIOUS ARTISTS

THE GREATEST TALENT EVER ASSEMBLED FOR ONE STORY!

THIS IS THE BIG ONE! In celebration of Marvel’s 80th Anniversary, we have gathered together the greatest array of talent ever to be assembled between the covers of a single comic book! Names from the past, from the present, and even the future! Every page is filled with all-new work from this cavalcade of comic book luminaries!

There is a mystery that threads throughout the Marvel Universe — one that has its origins in MARVEL COMICS #1 and which unites a disparate array of heroes and villains throughout the decades! What is the Eternity Mask, and who is responsible for the conspiracy to keep it hidden? And what new player will make their startling debut as these secrets are peeled away?
Featuring the entirety of the Marvel Universe of characters!
96 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T …$9.99
PERFECTBOUND FORMAT

CHAMPIONS #8
JIM ZUB (W) • STEVEN CUMMINGS (A)
Cover by KIM JACINTO

• Fear, doubt, and deception…The Champions’ ideals are about to be tested, and not everyone will make the grade.
• Plus, the return of the Freelancers and the fate of Sam Alexander!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

TONY STARK: IRON MAN #15
DAN SLOTT & JIM ZUB (W) • VALERIO SCHITI (A) • Cover by Rod Reis
Bring On The Bad Guys Variant Cover by Mark Brooks

Reality is in the eye of the beholder, as Tony Stark questions his humanity… while Jocasta is making the choice to leave her robotic body behind and upgrade to biological parts. A turning point is coming to the Marvel Universe as robotic and A.I. rights are being threatened in America. Guest starring the Vision. And featuring the return of one of the Avengers greatest threats!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #8
JIM ZUB (W) • PATCH ZIRCHER (A)
Cover by MARCO CHECCHETTO
Variant Cover by LEONARDO MANCO

NEVER DWELL ON THE HAND YOU’RE DEALT – EVEN IF IT’S DEATH!

“CONAN THE GAMBLER” PART 2!
• CONAN’s job as a bodyguard in Shadizar lands him in a deadly game of SERPENT’S BLUFF!
• But if the cards are in Conan’s favor, will this absolve his debt or land him in further danger?
• It’ll take more than luck to win the prize this time!
• PLUS: The next chapter in the all-new CONAN novella “THE SHADOW OF VENGEANCE”!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

The D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides Launch July 16, 2019!

When I was at the Wizards of the Coast office in late 2017 consulting on a new Dungeons & Dragons adventure (a wonderful book that will be announced later this year), we talked a lot about 8-year old Zub and the elements of D&D and role-playing that ignited my imagination at that crucial age. That discussion would come up again a few months later when they introduced me to Aaron Wehner, an editor from Ten Speed Press (an imprint at Random House), and plans started to slowly develop around the kind of book that could engage new players without overwhelming them with game terminologies or rules.

That “D&D Guide” concept struck a chord with all of us who helped brainstorm material on it. We wanted to focus the key elements of what D&D is and show young readers (or new players of any age) the amazing ingredients they could use to create their own characters and heroic stories.

It’s just over a year later and I’m thrilled to announce the first two D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides, MONSTERS & CREATURES and WARRIORS & WEAPONS, arriving from Ten Speed Press! They’re available for pre-order now and will be in bookstores everywhere starting July 16th, 2019!

I’m the architect of the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides, building the overall structure, writing core sections, and helping art direct the hundreds of brand-new D&D illustrations inside these potent little hardcovers. Working with me to make this series a reality is Stacy King (Manga Classics) and Andrew Wheeler (Freelance, Another Castle), both of whom have been burning the midnight oil researching, writing, and editing the text and art descriptions to make sure each volume is as exciting and engaging as possible. The teams at Ten Speed and Wizards of the Coast have been incredibly supportive, giving us fantastic feedback and advice along the way, and I can’t wait for you to see all this hard work we’ve brought to the page!

I’ve started a Frequently Asked Questions section posted up HERE to give you more information on how the series works and our intended audience.

Expect a lot more details and art teasers as we get closer to launch. Until then, help us spread the word and earmark these books as gifts for friends or family members you’ve been thinking about bringing into the hobby!


D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide 1
Monsters & Creatures

In this illustrated guide, you’re transported to the legendary and magical worlds of Dungeons & Dragons and presented with one-of-a-kind entries for some of its most sinister, foul, and memorable monsters. Featuring amazing illustrations and expert insights on some of D&D’s most dangerous monsters, the guide shines a spotlight on the beasts that scare, excite, and cause trouble for adventurers, from creatures that live underground, to those that dwell in the wilderness and boneyards or soar in the sky.
PRE-ORDER
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Chapters-Indigo
Hudson Books
Indiebound
Powell’s
Target
Walmart

D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide 2
Warriors & Weapons

In this illustrated guide, you’re transported to the legendary and magical worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, where you are presented with one-of-a-kind entries for different types of warriors, as well as the weaponry these fighters need for D&D adventuring. This guide includes detailed illustrations of the weapons, armor, clothing, and other equipment that fighters use, and offers the tools young, aspiring adventurers need for learning how to build their own characters.
PRE-ORDER
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Chapters-Indigo
Hudson Books
Indiebound
Powell’s
Target
Walmart

This Weekend: Zub at ICON in Johannesburg

This weekend is the 26th anniversary of the ICON – Comics and Gaming Convention in Johannesburg, South Africa and I will be there! Sean Izaakse (the amazing artist I’ve collaborated with on Pathfinder, Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers, and Champions) and I will be at the show signing and sketching for fans.

In addition, I’ll be on several panels throughout the weekend:

Friday, June 29th
Noon-1pm JIM ZUB – LESSONS IN SELF PUBLISHING

Over the past 17 years, Jim Zub has worked on a diverse array of publishing, movie and video game clients. He also juggles his time between being a freelance writer and being a program coordinator for an award-winning animation program for a college in his home town of Toronto.

In this informative and entertaining panel, Jim will take us on his journey from getting his first work in the comic book industry, the lessons in self-publishing game, through to present day where, partnered with Sean Izaakse, Jim is hitting it out of the park with Marvel’s Champions. And, if we’re lucky, Jim may talk about the insane Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons cross-over!

Saturday, June 30th
10am-11am CHAMPIONS – WITH JIM ZUB & SEAN IZAAKSE

In the aftermath of Civil War II, six adolescent heroes; Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan), Viv Vision, the Totally Awesome Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Nova (Sam Alexander), Spider-Man (Miles Morales), and the time-traveling teen incarnation of Cyclops sought to change the face of superheroics in the Marvel Universe. They did so by forming the Champions, a team dedicated to not just fighting super criminals, but making the world a better place.

Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse took over the creative duties of the Champions title with issue #19, and ushered in a new era that welcomed new members and brought new challenges. Join us as we discuss how the dynamic creative duo brought their own energy and ideas to this hit Marvel series!

2pm-3pm CHARACTER CREATION – FROM AN IDEA TO REALITY
Sean Izaakse and Jim Zub have been credited with taking Marvel’s Champions comic to another level with their fantastic stories and artwork. The two have also worked on creating new characters within the title – and we want to know how they did it!

In this panel, Sean and Jim will take suggestions from the audience and, by the end of the session, come up with a new super hero concept – one that ICON has big plans for over the next year! Come join us for what promises to be an amazing and fun session!

Sunday July 1st
10am-11am JIM ZUB & RAYMOND E. FEIST – VILLAINS!

Often, a story is only as good as the antagonist – a great villain can make or break a story. So what is it that makes a ‘great’ villain? What do writers think about when it comes to avoid key bad guy tropes? How do you make a villain truly special?

Comic book creator Jim Zub and fantasy legend Raymond E. Feist take the stage to discuss what it takes to make a villain truly epic – and answer your questions!

Creative Freelancing and Taxes: The Basics

It’s tax time so I’m seeing a lot of stressful messages on social media from freelancer friends. No one gets into freelance art-writing-animation to crunch numbers, but managing that income is part of the job. You need to make money and also understand how to properly work with it throughout the year.

Everyone’s situation is different, but here are some broad tax suggestions to help you out in the future:


Separate taxes from your income immediately.

Start a separate bank account just for tax money. When you deposit money earned or receive automatic deposits from freelance work, make it a habit to move over at least 30% of that income to the tax account and DON’T TOUCH IT. It’s not your money (yet). Leave it alone if at all possible.

You probably won’t need to pay out that full 30% amount, but having it separate will mean you’re not in a bad spot when tax time comes around, whether that’s a bulk single payment or paying via installments.


Keep track of your business expenses.

Tracking business-related expenses can be a pain, but it’s crucial to saving money: You want to record your business-related equipment purchases, software, reference material, meals, travel – all of it. If you’re not tracking business expenses you’re paying way more than you should in taxes.

Super simple math:
If you make $10,000 in freelance income, but spent $2500 in equipment, travel, and reference in order to make that money, you don’t get taxed on $10,000, you get taxed on $7500.

A 30% tax rate on $10,000 = $3000
A 30% tax rate on $7500 = $2250 (You just saved $750!)

See that? It’s worth it.

One easy way to track those expenses? Get a separate credit card and only use it for business stuff. That way each month you have a simple list of business-related expenses already tallied up and good to go.

In addition, keep paper receipts somewhere easy to access. Have a pen handy so when you put them away you can quickly write down any extra details not on the receipt (who you had dinner with, what the ref is for, etc.).

Do the same with digital receipts. Set up an email folder/tag just for expenses and file those away for later: software purchases, digital ref material, business travel bookings you’re not being reimbursed for, etc.


Reference material can also be the stuff you love.

If you work as a freelance creator, it’s your passion and hobby, but that doesn’t mean those things you buy aren’t business expenses.

• Comic freelancers write off comic purchases.
• Independent game designers write off game purchases.
• Freelance animators write off animated movies and art books.

Fill in the blank for a dozen other creative fields. It’s not cheating, it’s part of your job: reference and research is how you keep current and improve your work.

There is a limit, of course. You can write down a loss if you spent more than you made while getting your business up and rolling, but the tax man won’t accept that year after year without growth. You can’t claim to be a freelancer to tax shelter your actually hobby.

When Skullkickers (my first creator-owned series at Image) started, I spent more on art/promotion than I made so I wrote off expenses that added up to more than my freelance income, but it was only for two years.


Income is income.

Paypal is income.
Patreon is income.

Both sites are required to hand over records to tax offices if requested. I know it can feel like ‘free’ digital money, but don’t look at it that way as it can really bite you later.

Same goes for Ebay auctions you run, Etsy crafts you sell, and items/commissions you make money from using Square or any other digital currency transfer.

Don’t think that just because it’s digital it doesn’t count. We live in a digital world. It all counts.


Know where your money is coming from.

Keep track of your freelance income. Seeing where your money is coming from (specific clients, projects, conventions) makes it way easier to plan and budget for the future. Over longer periods you’ll see patterns as your career develops.

Also, if you’re being paid in foreign currency, keep track of the conversion amount for your records. You need to know how much the money you deposited turned into with conversion to your local currency. Write it down as soon as you get that bank receipt or digital confirmation so your records are accurate. At the time of this article, I get approximately $1.26 in Canadian dollars for every US dollar I deposit. That’s 26% more money I use to pay my taxes, but also 26% more income I have to accurately keep track of.


Oh God, the Tax Man is coming!

If you get an audit request from the IRS (US) or CRA (Canada), they won’t throw you in jail. It also doesn’t mean they assume you’re a crook. In most cases they just mail you a letter asking for receipts that match a category total you claimed. That’s it.

As long as you claimed the things you have receipts for, you are A-OK. Don’t stress it. Photocopy/scan those receipts for your records and send them to the tax office. They’ll confirm and you should be fine.

If there are severe discrepancies, they may choose to do a full audit. Oh $%&#, a full audit? Yeah, that’s a pain, but you did it to yourself if you claimed stuff you don’t have records for.

Again, no one is going to jail. They’re just going to ask for ALL your records for specific years to confirm your totals claimed. They will recalculate your taxes based on any missing information and will charge you back taxes (along with a penalty). I’ve seen people go through it. It sucks, but you will survive. Expect that you’ll get frequent audit requests moving forward for several years until they know your numbers are all properly logged.

I’ve been contacted about my taxes multiple times. It’s not a big deal. The Canadian Revenue Service was quite confused by a large amount of freelance income where I wasn’t charging my clients HST (tax) on it until I proved that was all from US-based/US dollar income (which don’t require an HST charge), then I was fine.


An accountant is worth it.

Even with good record keeping, I’d recommend getting an accountant if you make substantial freelance income. They know extra options to write off things and ways to legally balance the numbers better than you do. That’s their job. Just make sure you keep good records and you’ll save them time, hassle, and hours spent trying to figure out what all your numbers mean.

Oh yeah, and here’s the other kick, whatever you pay the accountant for doing your numbers is also a business write-off! If they save you a decent amount (and they probably will) it actually does pay for itself.

I don’t want to go into specifics because tax law and write-offs vary wildly from country to country, sometimes even state to state. A good accountant will know exactly what will work best in your region: expenses, home office write-offs, travel, retraining, all of it.


Start now.

For new freelancers, you’re trying to avoid the Tax Whirlpool, that awful situation where you use current income to pay last year’s higher-than-expected tax bill, which drains your account so you don’t put aside the tax money you should now…Rinse and repeat.

For current freelancers who may be struggling with this stuff, use the frustration of dealing with this year’s tax burden as the impetus to break those bad habits. Start tracking expenses today. Start putting aside the tax amount as best you can moving forward now. Some is always better than none.

You got into this business because you want to create, but it is a business. The more care you take setting up your tax/expense tracking, the less stress you’ll deal with and the more time you’ll have to concentrate on what matters: the work.

If you found this post helpful, feel free to let me know here (or on Twitter), share the post with your friends and consider buying some of my comics or donating to my Patreon to show your support for me writing this instead of doing paying work I can pay taxes on. 😛

Creator-Owned Economics: The Long, Long Game

It’s been more than two and a half years since I wrote anything about Skullkickers sales numbers. I didn’t avoid talking about it on purpose, I just felt that with the series wrapped up and Wayward still underway it should be the focal point for my financial analysis. Poring over the numbers takes time and so Wayward was the natural choice for that attention. Last week’s article about trade sales seemed to cover everything I needed to say about the current market.

Boy, was I wrong. I received my Skullkickers accrual statement late last week and the data in there kind of blew my mind. I had to put together a new financial article here to go over it.

Some back story for those of you catching up: Skullkickers was my action-comedy sword & sorcery comic released by Image Comics from 2010 to 2015. Co-created with Chris Stevens and illustrated by Edwin Huang and Misty Coats with lettering by Marshall Dillon, it was my “break-out” book, but mostly on a critical level. Fantasy can be a tough sell. Humor even more so. Put those two elements together with creators who weren’t known (at the time) and it was a challenge to make our mark. We had a wonderful and loyal core readership and good word of mouth, but never lit sales charts on fire.

Skullkickers wasn’t really profitable during its run, but it did get my name out to a much wider audience and opened the door for some of my early work-for-hire comic writing projects: 19 issues of Pathfinder at Dynamite, a Shadowman fill-in issue for Valiant, and a 2-part Legends of the Dark Knight story for DC. It was a way to show people what our team was capable of and build a body of consistent work.

When sales flagged, I ran contests, put together a ridiculous reboot parody promotion, and even started serializing the comic online for FREE to expand our readership. Each of those PR stunts helped us inch along and, in the end, we eked out 34 issues (six story arcs) and finished the story the way I intended. Skullkickers is now handsomely collected in 6 trade paperbacks or 3 deluxe hardcovers.

Every six months, I’d receive an accrual statement from Image that outlined how deep the financial hole was. They could see we were slowly digging ourselves out with digital and collection sales, but the numbers didn’t seem to be in our favor. When the series wrapped up mid-2015, I’d resigned myself to the fact that Skullkickers as a whole would probably never do better than break-even, even if it did propel me forward in terms of my writing career.

Cut to 2017. Check this out:

(Update: Image’s Accountant dropped me a line to let me know I that the way digital was shown on the latest accrual was being misinterpreted so I’ve made corrections. We are selling solidly on digital, but it’s a more reasonable percentage of our overall sales, not the gonzo spike in sales I thought it was. I’ve corrected the text and chart to reflect that change.)

Image has been smart about including Skullkickers in a lot of their digital sales, as well as putting the first 18 issues (3 story arcs) on comiXology Unlimited, a flat fee all-you-can-read service on the leading digital comics platform. Tens of thousands of new readers have discovered the series through Unlimited, and that led to more digital collection sales. The whole series is still available for FREE on our webcomic site, and yet we keep selling Skullkickers on digital platforms, month after month.

What does this mean? Well, here’s the accumulated debt versus sales chart, the one I feared would never balance out:

Thanks to slow but steady collection and digital sales, we are truly ‘in the black’. As of mid-2017, I can no longer say that Skullkickers is my lovable-yet-financially-forlorn creator-owned comic. It has finally climbed out of the pit and is holding the bloody detached head of its captor while letting out a triumphant roar.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be smoking hundred dollar bills or paying off my house with these profits. It’s quite slim right now, but it’s also open-ended; We still have print collections in stock (and our only expenditures on those right now are storage since they’re already printed and shipped to Diamond Distribution) and the digital platform never closes or runs out of copies. In six months we should make a bit more, and then a bit more, and then a bit more, hopefully ever onward into the future until every single person who reads the work I do over at Marvel realizes that the action-packed mirth they enjoy in Thunderbolts and Avengers was there right from the beginning with Skullkickers.

Image Comics (especially Publisher Eric Stephenson) deserves a ridiculous amount of credit for letting me make Skullkickers my own way, start to finish. 25 years ago, the company started with a desire to put creators first and they still do that every single day. I feel incredibly fortunate to have launched the series there and can’t think of another publisher that would have taken this on and let the long tail run its course this way.

Is Skullkickers a success? It really depends on how you measure it. This will sound dorkishly earnest, but for me it’s always been a success. We built a story I’m incredibly proud of, my love letter to Conan, D&D, and the fantasy genre as a whole, and got it out to a wider audience. It was a life-changing milestone in my creative development that led to a dozen other comic projects and where I am today. The dollars and cents are a crucial metric, of course, but not the sole reason for heading into a creative project.

Some words of warning: Please don’t use these charts as some kind of battle plan for your own comic-making dreams. Creative careers vary wildly and I’ve spoken to dozens of creators who have thrown inordinate amounts of good money after bad paying for art, coloring, lettering, printing, convention tables, and stomach pills for financial ulcers brought on by creator-owned comics. I was able to dig deep with Skullkickers because I had (and still have) a stable day job and solid freelance work paying the bills. I never put myself in a position where my day-to-day financial commitments were in doubt and if the series had never made a dime I still would have been okay.

The sales history of Skullkickers is very different from Wayward and Glitterbomb, my other two Image creator-owned series. Each series has its own unique sales history and, while this stuff is really interesting to analyze, it isn’t any kind of formula you could reproduce (and, with a 7-year bloody trek to financial sanity for SK, you probably wouldn’t want to anyway).

If you found this post interesting, feel free to let me know here (or on Twitter), share the post with your friends and consider buying some of my comics, donating to my Patreon, or buying comics from me in person if you see me at a convention.