Australian Comics Creators “Who Do You Think You Are?”: Survey 2015 Summary – PART 2

Cartoon PeopleA research project was initiated in early 2015 to determine how the Australian comics community had changed during the six years since a similar survey was conducted by the Australian Society of Authors Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio.

Part 1 revealed the typical Australian comics creator as being:

A 30-39 year old male who lives in Sydney, NSW, with a university degree. He is an established professional and indie creator. He is invariably a writer, but if he takes on art duties then he would be doubling up on pencilling and inking. He also collaborates with other talent. He mostly creates science fiction short stories for comic books targeted at men and women readers, aged 16+. His published works are available both in print and digitally. He mostly self-publishes, and his books are predominantly available in Australia only.

From Part 2, we can add that:

He owns and controls the copyright in his comics works, as well as his subsidiary rights. He works 5 to 10 hours a week on his creative practice, and under 5 hours a week on associated business activities. He earns on average of $1 and $1000 annual income from his comics, and that income has increased during the last five years. It predominantly comes from sales in the Australian market. He also earns some other arts-related income, which averages $1001 to $5000 annually. In addition, he earns over $50,000 annually from non-arts-related income.

Copyright

  • 92% of respondents own and control their comics properties (and hold either a share of or own copyright outright)
  • 32% are hired on work-for-hire (commissioned works) assignments where they do not own the copyright
  • 12% are hired on work-for-hire (commissioned works) assignments where they do own the copyright
  • 3% work in other categories (no comments provided), and
  • 2% work in none of the above.

Furthermore,

  • 71% of respondents think it is important to retain copyright in their work
  • 24% think it is sometimes important
  • 3% think it is unimportant
  • 2% do not know.

Subsidiary Rights

  • 73% of respondents think it is important to retain the subsidiary rights to their works
  • 15% think it is sometimes important
  • 8% don’t know
  • 4% think it is unimportant.

Work Practice

  • 27% of respondents work 5 to 10 hours per week on their comics creative practice
  • 25% work 11 to 20 hours per week on their comics creative practice
  • 19% work under 5 hours per week on their comics creative practice
  • 13% work over 40 hours per week on their comics creative practice
  • 8% work 21 to 30 hours per week on their comics creative practice
  • 8% work 31 to 40 hour per week on their comics creative practice.

In terms of business activities (eg. marketing and administration) to support creative practice:

  • 56% of respondents worked under 5 hours per week on their business activities
  • 27% worked 5 to 10 hours per week on their business activities
  • 8% worked 11 to 20 hours per week on their business activities
  • 5% worked 21 to 30 hours per week on their business activities
  • 2% worked 31 to 40 hours per week on their business activities
  • 2% worked over 40 hours per week on their business activities.

Income from Comics

  • 64% of respondents earn an income from their comics
  • 36% do not earn an income from their comics.

Furthermore,

  • 30% of respondents earn between $1 and $1000 in annual income from their comics
  • 22% earned $0 in annual income from their comics
  • 22% earned $1001 to $5000 in annual income from their comics
  • 12% earned $5001 to $10,000 in annual income from their comics
  • 4% earned $10,001 to $20,000 in annual income from their comics
  • 4% earned $20,001 to $30,000 in annual income from their comics
  • 4% earned over $50,000 in annual income from their comics
  • 2% earned from $30,001 to $40,000 in annual income from their comics
  • 0% earned $40,001 to $50,000 in annual income from their comics

For those comics creators earning an income from their comics:

  • 58% of respondents have increased their comics income during the last five years
  • 35% have had no change during the last five years
  • 7% have decreased their comics income during the last five years.

In terms of proportion of comics income compared to other income streams:

  • 50% of respondents define the proportion of comics income they receive as “Some”
  • 38% define the proportion of comics income they receive as “None”
  • 8% define the proportion of comics income they receive as “Most”
  • 2% define the proportion of comics income they receive as “All”
  • 2% define the proportion of comics income they receive as “Half”.

In terms of where paid comics work predominantly comes from:

  • 77% Australia
  • 31% USA or Canada
  • 9% Europe
  • 1% Asia.

Income from other Arts-Related Sources

  • 55% of respondents do receive other forms of arts-related income
  • 45% do not receive other forms of arts-related income.

Furthermore:

  • 27% of respondents received $0 from other art-related income
  • 19% received $1001 to $5000 from other arts-related income
  • 15% received $1 to $1000 from other arts-related income
  • 14% received $10,001 to $20,000 from other arts-related income
  • 8% received $40,001 to $50,000 from other arts-related income
  • 6% received $5001 to $10,000 from other arts-related income
  • 5% received over $50,000 from other arts-related income
  • 3% received $20,001 to $30,000 from other arts-related income
  • 3% received from $30,001 to $40,000 from other arts-related income

Income from Non-Arts-Related Sources

  • 63% of respondents do receive income from non-arts-related sources
  • 37% do not receive income from non-arts-related sources.

Furthermore,

  • 28% of respondents earn over $50,000 from non-arts-related sources
  • 26% earn $0 from non-arts-related sources
  • 13% earn $20,001 to $30,000 from non-arts-related sources
  • 12% earn $40,001 to $50,000 from non-arts-related sources
  • 8% earn $10,001 to $20,000 from non-arts-related sources
  • 8% earn $30,001 to $40,000 from non-arts-related sources
  • 3% earn $5001 to $10,001 from non-arts-related sources
  • 2% earn $1001 to $5000 from non-arts-related sources
  • 0% earn from $1 to $1000 from non-arts-related sources.

Part 3 of the Survey Summary will be published next month.

 

© Julie Ditrich, 2016

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