I’ve actually taken a few classes at UCLA that focus on comics writing, and most of what was said here is in line with what I learned about the business in them. In one class Greg Rucka came in and talked about his career and experiences and Geoff Johns come in for the second class I took. The teacher of the class is also a full-time professional in the industry, so we were lucky enough to hear firsthand what the industry is like from a number of professionals.
One thing that stood out to me in class is that if you’re only a writer, it’s very, very tough to get anywhere in comics today. If you’re also an artist (and I mean a reasonably skilled artist), you have a slightly better chance of getting somewhere, though it’s still very difficult.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, focusing on comics as opposed to other types of entertainment writing probably isn’t worth the time and effort. There are other creative markets that pay better given the comics’ market’s existing barriers to entry. If you’re looking for a career in a field, you have to look at whether it’s even possible to sustain a career in it, full-time, in the first place. For most people, comics just isn’t going to be worth the frustration given how little it pays.
That said, writing comics is a great creative outlet and helps writers who are typically focused on words to visualize scenes and action better. If you’re a writer who is lucky enough to have an artist collaborator, it’s even better because you can potentially see how your words translate into visuals on a page. It’s also great practice for planning storyboards if you want to work in either film or video games.
Lastly, I do have to add that for me writing comics has been pretty fun, regardless of its career potential.