I asked several industry professionals for a rough estimate of page rates typical of mainstream comics today. One artist, who has been out of the business for some time now, told me he was recently offered an assignment at $300 a page, pencils and inks. He told me, "That's about what the rate was in 1980."
"When I was working in comics," he continued, "it was a decent living. With royalties you could expect to do fairly well on a monthly book. Just about everything else I've worked on as an artist has paid better- animation, storyboards, advertising...probably even signpainting if I had tried that."
Other artists confirmed this number, although noting that there are some working for less. However, said one pro with more than a decade of experience, "As long as you can be consistent and get things done (mostly) on time, it's more than possible [to make a living in comics]. There's also additional income from royalties (if you're on a book that sells well enough), trade paperbacks, and original art sales. I also do commission work through my art dealer. I'm not rich, by any measure, but I manage to pay all my bills on time and I haven't had to skip any meals yet."
"It's definitely not as lucrative as mainstream illustration work, but it's a hell of a lot more fun!"