As I mentioned over on Twitter, I've been in the process of figuring out just how many new freelancers were hired by Marvel in 2009. So after looking over various spreadsheets and data, and culling down lists of talent we've started working with in the last 12 months, I've calculated, albeit in no real exact scientific or mathematical way, that Marvel's editorial/publishing arm hired 144 new freelancers in 2009! That high number surprised even me, to be honest. Not bad for being in a recession, eh? Looking at that number more specifically in terms of artistic disciplines, here how it further breaks down...
Writers - 24
Pencilers and/or penciler/inkers - 81 (Provide non-color line art)
Digital painters - 13 (Provide complete artwork from sketch to color, covers and/or interiors)
Inkers - 8
Colorists - 15 (Provide color only over line art)
Letterers - 3
A few other quick observations just looking over the list...
- 18 of these talents were women.
- It struck me the number of writers from the previous year when we were publishing Marvel Comics Presents and the Unlimited line of anthologies.
- The increasing number of pencilers who have started to ink themselves lead to a fall in the number of dedicated inkers we hired as well.
- Geographically speaking, the largest percentage of talent came from the U.S., followed by Italy, Spain and South America.
- These numbers reflect what I'll call "first-time talent" who had never been published by Marvel before. I took out any talent who had returned to Marvel after a long period of time after working in other industries or at other companies, and also removed artists who left studio systems and came to work for us directly, of which there were quite a few.
And I'd like to publicly thank Angie Nunez and Alex Morales at Marvel for their help in getting me all the freelancer data to review. I couldn't have done this without them.