Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 4, 2014

Follow-Ups To Last Week's Post About Healthcare, Money, Comics

Here are a few posts I've bookmarked relating to last week's mini-discussion across the comics Internet about healthcare issues and money issues more broadly.

* this post from the talented illustrator Kali Ciesemier is about as friendly and hopeful as they come when it talks about the practicalities of establishing a freelance career, which I think is all stuff that can apply to comics, too. I like how and open and engaged with those questions it is, in particular; I think in comics in particular there's a tendency to avoid these questions altogether -- that's something with which I struggle as a self-employed writer.

* something more directly comics, and from a different perspective, comes this piece from Colleen Doran, an older post given new life. She writes about money issues a lot. Her advice that income varies wildly when you make comics is also put out there in a way that isn't defeatist, but realistic, and she also recognizes that the problem with some elements of making a career in comics isn't swings of $50K but that four years' worth of work might not add up to be $50K.

* Ben Cohen engages the idea of healthcare issues as they relate to comics as a vocation directly here, citing last week's CR post directly. One thing that stood out for me on a re-read is the notion that it's not just comics people that have problems with healthcare, or that when they do that this is solely a comics thing. The system can be really, really messed up.

I never expect to see a time when the comics community might not have to step in here and there and lend a hand as best as they're able just as all communities have to; I do think that the exposure to risk for a lot of people can be reduced by engaging the issue directly and working on all fronts to do what is necessary to take care of these things. I struggle with these responsibilities, too.

One thing I always urge, if you're out there without insurance right now, is at least be marginally informed as to what your options are. Right now that likely includes signing up for whatever the new programs are, or trying your best to do so (it can be a nightmare). I also think in general it just takes some information-gathering: finding out what doctors in your area might allow a discount for cash payment (I have two in my county that go 50 percent and 40 percent for people willing to pay in full same-day), finding out what a hospital trip really costs, picking up information from places like Wal-Mart about their prescription costs, unearthing information about any drug program like a $5-first-prescription program some areas have, finding out if there are indigent programs in your area, finding out if there are clinics. It's a first step, not a solution, but I never want the comics community to lose someone, or another someone, because that person was more frightened than necessary.
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink

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