To the Studio! Comic Book Artists: The Next Generation and the Occupational Imaginary of Comics Work

  • Benjamin Woo
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels book series (PSCGN)


Everyone knows that comics—or, at least, properties based on them—are big business today. But, like creative labor in general, the work behind this success is often misunderstood by the general public and even by many dedicated comics readers. The average fan of North American comics, for instance, probably knows that Siegel and Shuster, Jack Kirby and other writers and artists were denied—or signed away for significantly less than their value—ownership of characters that have since generated billions of dollars for media conglomerates. They may know that some creators have ended up in penury, since the freelance model of work does not provide health insurance or pensions. But, then again, they may also know that some creators (John Byrne or the Image founders, say) made millions in royalties, and that others successfully licensed their creations for television, film and merchandising. Similarly, many fans probably have ideas about what the day-to-day working life of a comics creator is like, but the accuracy of these ideas varies widely. Do they imagine spending hours with pencil and brush at a drawing table, or working on a Wacom tablet with Photoshop or Manga Studio? Do they think of attending editorial summits and postconvention parties, or of frantically photocopying, folding and stapling minicomics late into the night?


Comic Book Comic Creator Comic Work Comic Artist Provide Health Insurance 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Woo
    • 1
  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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