First of all I have never been paid "rich, fat Image money". When I first started coloring at Marvel, I got the bottom rate, $16 a page. After twelve years, I was amongst the top paid colorists at Marvel, but had still not reached the rate cap. In other words, I was paid a rate that MARVEL established for me.
Secondly, the contract Joe refers to was with a separation house. Not a coloring studio. For several years work was taken away from computer colorists becouse of this contract that REQUIRED color guides to be done by hand. Marvel has taken this opportunity to cut their costs at the expense of freelance computer colorists. At least one these new houses (located in Korea) were created specifically to unbid colorists. I say this with certainty, becouse I was approached with a job offer to help set up this sweat shop several months before this fiasco began.
Thirdly, It is my understanding that these coloring houses will be getting contracts for a minimum number of books. There is also talk that they will recieve rush rates as well. Something previous computer colorists ever got (to my knowledge anyway). If that is true, then their aggressive bids are not so aggressive after all. Since the vast majority of Marvel's books are late, they will be paid, essential, the previous standard rates, which results in no cost savings. Again, if this is true, the result (if not the intent) is a classic bait and switch. In other words, it gave them a good publicity reason to get rid of all their colorist in one fell swoop. High paid or not.
Fourth, "most of our highly talented, lone, nonstudio artists" can be counted on one hand, and they too have been asked to aggressively bid on work.
Fifth, Remember what I said about liscensing out books? Read the second paragraph of Joe's statement again. Times are tough. Gotta cut costs. Marvel "would be a fool to not entertain these offers". After all, you pencilers, inkers, and writers: "It's simple economics and don't be fooled, it's not like colorists are the first ones who have had to take a serious look at their pricing, this has been going on for years now as all of that rich, fat Image money dried up."
Reviews/ Services/ Resource Guide/ Resume