Comics Creators Network

A professional support network for all types of comics creators

Now that comics are an established artform and graphic novels an acceptable addition to any shelf, the number of creators working in the field has quite rightly multiplied and, naturally, they have questions. What are our rights? What terms can you ask for? What should you accept? What is 'industry standard' when the 'industry' only exists in air quotes?

Woodrow Phoenix and Hannah Berry, network founders Tweet

The Comics Creators Network is a member-led online community that offers professional support for all types of comics creators and graphic novelists in the UK.

What can the Network do for me?

The Comics Creators Network was set up in 2020 to address challenges facing comics creators and advocate for better industry standards. It is run by a Steering Committee made up of six comics creators and specialists and three SoA administrators.

The Network is run entirely online and members can connect with each other using a private Discord channel. Network members will also receive unlimited professional advice from our team of experts and free contract vetting as part of SoA membership – as well as member discounts, access to a free tax helpline from HW fisher, offers on specialist insurance and more.

We aim to:

  • Empower comics creators with practical advice on all professional areas
  • Develop professional practice with free events and webinars
  • Negotiate fairer terms and agreements with publishers
  • Advocate for better industry standards

What you can do for the Network

The Comics Creators Network is an active community of professional writers and illustrators working in the UK comics scene. To that end, we encourage you to take part in discussions and events with fellow Network members to share experiences and ideas that will help inform our lobbying and advocacy work. Join us on Discord to connect with Network members.

If you are a comics creator and not yet a member, you can join the Society of Authors using the code COMICS20 to receive 20% off membership. If you are already an SoA member and want to get involved, email comics@societyofauthors.org.

Background image © deberarr

Brush Up! event series

Throughout 2021, the Comics Creators Network is running an online series of events – Brush Up! – in collaboration with The Cartoon Museum, that aim to demystify the publishing process and offer advice and transparency around promoting your work, getting paid and where to find support.

Missed any of our online events so far? Catch up on our Vimeo channel below.

  • Brush Up! #1 – Staying in Character: How to Protect Your Comics Characters – Watch here
  • Brush Up! #2 – Funding for Comics Creators – Watch here
  • Brush Up! #3 – What’s the Deal? Contracts, Negotiation and Publishing Deals – Watch here
  • Brush Up! #4 – Getting the Word Out – Watch here
  • SoA @ Home: Industry Insider – Comics Creators and the Global Pandemic – Watch here
  • SoA @ Home: Afternoon Tea with Kieron Gillen – Watch here

Our aims

Making comics requires a unique set of skills, and the comics medium itself is unlike any other. Historically, there has been little to no negotiation of creators' fees and rights, especially when working on licensed properties or material originated by the publisher. However, some things are the same no matter which area of publishing you are in: you deserve to be paid fairly, to own what you invent and to control what happens to it. The Society of Authors and the Comics Creators Network is here to help its members and to advocate for better industry standards. Industry standards, without the air quotes.

Woodrow Phoenix and Hannah Berry, network founders Tweet

According to the UK Comics Creators Survey, which surveyed more than 600 comics creators in April/May 2020, more than half of comics creators earn nothing – or less than £100 a year from comics – and 36% have been asked to sign away their intellectual rights as part of a contract. Only 18% of creators made money through work for hire – but it is the most valuable income source.

Below you’ll find a set of useful links and resources for comics creators. If you have suggestions, email comics@societyofauthors.org.

  • The Association of Comics Creators (AoCC)
    The AoCC is dedicated to fostering a comics culture that supports and uplifts comics creators. It provides a central point of contract for comics professionals and non-professionals alike to connect.
  • Let’s Fix Comics (Nov 2020)
    A write-up and breakdown of the UK Comics Creators Survey 2020 follow-up discussion of events, written by Katriona Chapman. Download and read here
  • Working Well: Good Mental Health and Creative Freelancers
    A free resource developed by the Society of Authors, the Association of Illustrators and the Association of Photographers with practical strategies to help improve your wellbeing. Download and read here
  • The Illustrated Freelancer’s Guide
    A practical resource developed by Creative Scotland to fill an information gap for creative freelancers to understand their rights and best practices in avoiding and addressing difficult situations. Download and read here