As I work on issue #1 of The Happy Samurais, I start to consider the scope of the series.  I plan on it being a series of mini-series (aka, the Hellboy business plan) and currently have ideas for 6 volumes.  But then I start to wonder just HOW LONG will it take me to draw all those issues and minis?  How many pages do I need to draw per year?  Per month?  Per week? What kind of schedule can I realistically release it on?

So I started looking around at other creators to see what kind of productivity they had and how many comic pages they drew in a year.  I’d keep track of whatever numbers I came across.  I’ve got a fair number of these stats to share, but instead of releasing them in one big chunk — where you start to get overwhelmed by all the numbers and they lose their significance — I’ll release them one by one over a period of time.

A disclaimer.  These numbers are just approximations based on whatever info I could find on the internet.  They don’t take into account other projects the creators were working on concurrently, or covers drawn etc.  Plus, it’s entirely possible my math is off.  So don’t quote anything as fact!  It’s just ballpark numbers.  First up is Bryan Hitch.

For those of you unsure of  how many pages the standard American comic is, currently most Marvel and DC comics are 32 pages long, with 20 pages of story and 12 pages of ads. From the mid’s 80’s on, most Marvel and DC comics were 32 pages long, with 22 pages of story. Only within the last couple of years (probably 2010) have they trimmed back to 20 story pages an issue. For quite a while in the 70’s, both companies were running 17 page stories.

6 Issues a Year Artist
– Probably 75% of comic artists currently fall into this category
– 6 issues at 20 pages per issue
= 120 pages per year
= 10 pages per month
= 3 pages per week

12 Issues a Year Artist
– Probably 3% of comic artists currently fall into this category
– 12 issues at 20 pages per issue
= 240 pages per year
= 20 pages per month
= 4.6 pages per week

Bryan Hitch
– 1999
– 12 issues of Authority (= 264 pages roughly)
– 1 issue of Wildcats (22 pages roughly)
– 3 short 12 page stories (36 pages)

= 322 total pages in 365 days
= 27 pages a month
= 6 pages a week 

– these stats for 1999 were according to Bryan. I can’t remember where he mentioned them exactly, but I think it was twitter.

– The Ultimates
– 13 issues all penciled by Bryan
– March 2002 – April 2004
– That’s 762 days or 108 weeks

= 360 pages of pencils
= 180 pages a year
= 15 pages a month
= 3.75 pages a week

– The Ultimates 2
– 13 issues all penciled by Bryan
– December 2004 – May 2007
– That’s 880 days or 125 weeks

= 380 pages of pencils
= 158 pages a year
= 13 pages a month
= 3.25 pages a week

Note: Bryan Hitch responded on twitter after I posted this, that yes, my stats were a little off and that “it’s also worth noting that since 2006, with exception of 2010 when I did 6 issues and new baby, annual average is 230+ pages”

 

 

 

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