Industry Standards

| September 17, 2014

Daily Dose-peach


In comics, this is a myth that somehow keeps being perpetuated.

There are no such thing as an industry standard. Not for anything.

Not paper size, rates, timeframes for work, how payments are given or received, how the work is done, given or received…nothing.

There is no such thing as an industry standard. Once you understand that, then you can get down to the real business of doing the work.

Instead of standards, we have guidelines. Everything I just listed? It’s a guideline. Depending on the project and who’s working on it, those guidelines go out the window.

Every project is different. Treat them as such.

Now, just because there aren’t standards doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be. There should be. Just not for the projects.

For the people.

There should be a standard as to how we treat each other. We should treat others the way we want to be treated. Some may think me an asshole for treating writers badly and wonder how I can do such things, but they don’t take the time to understand what’s been sent or posted, and just how much bad writing I see. If I were to post something that was truly bad, I’d want to be told about it.

But it doesn’t stop there. That’s just person to person, and personality conflicts can happen. Different ideas of how the story should be depicted can occur. That’s life, and that’s not what I’m talking about.

There should be a standard of care that creators should be given.

The Creator’s Bill Of Rights is something that should be looked at, at the very least. Some may think that a lot of it should be taken care of in the contract stage, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, the contract is very much against the creators.

We’ve gotten better. We’ve seen what the music industry has done. Our most influential and beloved artists died as paupers (or are still working in order to maintain a standard of living), while the executives who aren’t musically inclined except as listeners, but who have “produced” the music and own the master recordings are rich beyond belief.

Understand, though, what a change in this standard would do to the comic book industry:

It would kill it. Dead.

If all of the characters at both Marvel and DC were to revert back to their creators, then those two universes would cease to be, unless those creators were magnanimous.

Bill Finger. We all know that it was he who basically created the mythos around Batman, but because of a contract negotiated by Bob Kane, Finger cannot be credited as a co-creator. Only Bob.

If we had an industry standard of care for one another, that would never have happened.

And that’s what the industry standard should be. A standard of care.

However, as I said at the top, there is no such thing as an industry standard.

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at for rate inquiries.

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