Marvel Comics Paying Late? A Look At The Comic Book Market

A discussion about the comic book market
There are reports Marvel Comics is paying freelancers late.

Warning: Marvel Comics is paying freelancers late and that could be because the comic book market is not doing well, Clownfish TV reported.

I think some of these publishers are starting to run out of money, including possibly Marvel Comics, said Kneon, the voice behind the Clownfish TV video.

The allegation about Marvel Comics’ payment problems stemmed from this tweet:


So, as you can see, a freelancer named Cory Hamscher claimed he didn’t get 15 Marvel paychecks last year over a 5-month period.

And he said that the excuse provided was that Disney had taken over making the Marvel payments.

Robert Liefeld is the author/creator of comics, such as Deadpool, Cable, X-Force, Major X and the list goes on. I tell you that to underscore the fact that the comic book world is something this guy knows well.

And he reposted Hamscher’s claim with the message, “Seen way too much of this online. Seems like the situation is getting worse.”

That means this isn’t an isolated claim.

In the replies to the post,@CrossleyColor wrote:

Not sure what the issue is. Every time a chack was late for me with Marvel this last year they resent me one right away. Yes, Disney taking over payroll has had some hiccups.

And @HarryBergeron said:

Disney is well known for putting small vendors out of business by paying them late.

But Kneon is skeptical that Disney is the problem. He said he worked with Disney for several years and it’s very good about paying bills. “So something else, I think, is going on here,” he added.

And that “something else,” is that companies like Marvel and DC Comics are trying to save face but the comic books that they are shipping to stores aren’t selling, he said.

When your products don’t sell that, of course, could mean serious money problems.

Usually, when you stop getting paid, that’s a precursor to the publisher folding or some type of financial problem, Kneon warned.

See: What To Do About An Unpaid Invoice

Comic Book Freelancing Is Already Tough

“The reason I don’t work in comics anymore is that money is crap, non-existent, hard to get– even from established publishers,” Kneon continued.

He described the industry as “very dodgy” and “a very hard way to make a living because you’re not making enough in the first place.”

Trying to wring payments out of publishers just makes life worse, he explained, offering examples, such as his experience working for Gemstone.

That company paid like clockwork– at first.

Then the checks just stopped coming. The unpaid freelance payments stacked up to thousands upon thousands of dollars. Kneon said that included about $4,000 – $5,000 owed to him.

Eventually, he found out Steve Geppi, the president and CEO of Gemstone’s parent company, had opened a museum, funneled all of the money into that, and not long after, Gemstone lost its Disney license.

When he worked for IDW Publishing,  Kneon said it took him three or four months to get paid so he stopped working with them.

And BOOM! Studios, they have a bad reputation for paying freelancers late too, he said.

So, if you’re freelancing in the comic book market, or thinking about it, be careful.

Don’t take for granted that a popular name means your money is going to be right.

Stay on top of your payments. And if the cash flow stops, then your work for that client should too.

Don’t forget: 20 Reasons Freelancers Have Financial Problems