So ... as oodles of others before me I wondering about trying the whole web-comic thing myself.

Now, I have fairly solid credentials in my writing, and was even hired to write a webcomic that will go online in a few months (a one time job), so I have been through the whole process once.

The artist is incredible skilled, but equally busy, so I might have to look elsewhere to hire someone.

To make a long story short - what would be the ballpark figure for hiring someone with real talent?

I'm thinking 5000$ for 22 pages.

Does that sound right?

Yes, yes, I know I should go to a dedicated forum and ask the artists themselves, but I'm very early in the process here and try to figure out how much I have to calculate with.

I have seen the other treads on "how to get a artist", but my question is a bit more specific and I have no illusion (nor really an interest) in getting work for "free".

It would be either horror, weird fiction or something in that general direction. A creature feature, if you like