Simple fact is, most of the people who are looking for artists cannot afford to pay them because they are not even paying their own bills. They are writers looking to collaborate and in many cases, a back end deal is all that is possible.
If you are looking for someone to do sequential art for a comic book proposal, well, back end is it. That's all she wrote. End of story. That is how the industry works now. This isn't 1990.
But I see, time and time again, people getting slammed for offering such backend deals.
In my case I advertised here for a paying gig, out of my pocket (actually, out of my friend's pocket since I had to get a loan because I was flat broke), at rates absolutely lower than GAG, and was FLOODED with offers from artists, 99% of whom had no clue that their work was hopelessly terrible. Hours and hours of my time was spent wading through portfolios that were so bad my eyes started to bleed.
Thank God a few stood out. Those few artists were extremely talented. One was so talented that before we could agree on a rate he got an offer for a gig at a gaming studio and is now making huge money. And good for him! He deserves the money. Most of the guys who are GOOD don't go unpaid for long. They are seen, snatched up and that is that.
The gentleman I ended up going with did much more work than I paid him for because we became great friends and believed in each other. One project turned into two. We're talking to publishers now. Hard work is paying off.
Based on the work he did for me, which he posted (some of) on his Deviant website, he received a lot of concept work. A LOT! He made money based upon his giving his time for free to our project. That does happen, people, if the work you produce is good.
Also, I found one artist here who I am paying zero dollars based on a back end and it looks like we have found a publisher. We're working out the details now. The deal I offered gives the artist much more of the profits than I will get because he deserves more for taking a chance (and also because it will take him 1.5 days a page).
Moral of the story is, back ends deals sometimes work if the talent involved is high.
Don't beat up on people who are chasing a dream. Thank you for you attention.