How to Become a

Comic Book Artist

The complete career guide to be a Comic Book Artist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $54,170
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

A comic book artist draws comic books in various forms or styles of art and design. He or she also works on new characters and design merchandise based on famous comic characters.


Recommended Schools

What is a Comic Book Artist?


Your duties as a comic book artist can include the following:

  • Engage in a combination of writing and drawing to convey different emotions, based on the story and characters involved.
  • Take courses in computer aided design and drawing to strengthen existing skills and develop new techniques for creating comic books.
  • Create comics for various publications besides books, such as news, graphic novels, online magazines and computer games.
  • Use computer applications or draw freehand to bring creations alive for the client.
  • Interact frequently with clients via telephone and email to keep them updated on the progress of your comic book creation.

Day In The Life

Comic book artists spend the majority of their time working on characters and scenes, putting their individual touches on the product. While some work with computerized drawing applications, most artists prefer to stay true to the original process of creating art and make illustrations by hand. You will use a wide range of mediums such as pens, pencils, markers and paint to develop new and different story lines for comic books. Before a comic book is complete, you will be compiling the ideas utilizing storyboards to connect rudimentary sketches of different scenes and present the whole to publishers and other clients. There is also miscellaneous work like emailing back and forth with your clients about ideas.

Work Schedule

There are no fixed work hours in this industry – depending on the workload, you could complete projects at all hours of the day. Many artists work up to twelve hours per day and six days a week, due to the additional aspects involved besides the drawing – writing storylines and planning multiple narratives for a comic. You will have to alternate between working on your independent projects and working on paid ones to alleviate boredom.

Growth Of The Job

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for fine artists such as comic book artists are projected to grow by 3% from 2014 through 2024. Most comic book artists work as freelancers as full-time positions at companies are hard to find. In order to advance in your career, networking and building good connections are essential, especially with authors or publishing houses that create and print comic books. To be a regular contractual hire at big publishing houses, you would have to send across your contact information and portfolios to recruiting publishers. Other avenues of work are advertising agencies, gaming companies, art direction for television and product design companies. Building a solid reputation in high quality comic book design will land you better paying work with opportunities for going on board full-time.

Typical Employers

Comic artists find job opportunities at book publishing, electronic magazines, online media and the video game industry. Aspiring candidates that create original character designs and can adapt to a range of comic styles such as traditional, anime, manga and chibi will find promising work along with more realistic figural art. Recruiters from the following organizations are on the lookout for seasoned comic book artists: Nickelodeon Animation, DC Entertainment, Streetside Stories, TryNFail media, The Third Cartel, Squat New York, Quantum Mechanix, etc.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Comic Book Artist

To be a comic book artist, you need to hone your drawing skills from an early age and have a creative talent. In this industry, you should be highly motivated and comfortable taking on new challenges under pressure. There are no specific educational qualifications for individuals embarking on a career in this field but a high school diploma is advised. Many artists also enrol in an art school to develop their techniques and add to their portfolios for better job prospects.

A strong art portfolio showcasing exceptional skills in various animation and comic styles is a great way to take on the competition in the market, so is expert knowledge of software like Adobe Photoshop and Animate CC. Coursework in studio art, computer animation, art and design, or fine art is particularly useful. Gaining professional experience while completing a formal program can boost your career immensely, e.g. starting your own comic for a growing audience, creating a comic strip for a local newspaper or working on illustrations for a company as a freelance artist.

Comic Book Artist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Comic Book Artist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Comic Book Artist's can make an average annual salary of $54,170, or $26 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $29,250 or $14 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #337 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Comic Book Artists

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 12%   Masters
  • 45%   Bachelors
  • 9%   Associates
  • 18.4%   College
  • 10.7%   High School
  • 3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Comic Book Artist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 800 jobs for a total of 27,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #519 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Comic Book Artists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 14,300 100 0%
Independent artists, writers, and performers 3,400 200 0%
Other miscellaneous store retailers 600 --- ---

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