Not to brag — maybe a little bit — but the biggest surprise is how much fucking money there is in truly owning your own work. I know I tried to sound all altruistic when you were asking about the price of our trade, but I’m exactly as mercenary as every other freelancer out there. Good story and art are two of the most valuable commodities on the planet, and I think comic creators deserve to make great livings, and still have a little time left over for friends, family and multiple rounds of Slayer pinball.I loved working for my friends at Marvel and DC, and I was always compensated with a very generous upfront page rate, but by betting on myself (and Fiona [Staples, artist of Saga]!) and waiting for money on the back end with Saga, I’m already making way, way, WAY more than what I made on comparably selling books that I wrote for other companies. And that’s after splitting everything 50/50 with my richly deserving co-creator.
The usual “BKV’s experience is not the experience of every creator-owned creator” provisos are necessary, of course, but nonetheless; isn’t it kind of wonderful to see this kind of thing, every now and then? And even better, Fiona Staples gets 50% of the property, lessening the chance of any Walking Dead-style lawsuits in the future. Isn’t this the future of comics…?