Well, promotion is a bit like everything. I speak about it while maybe I shouldn't, as I don't apply to myself what I preach ( I get into actually making projects, and always forget about ANY promotional stuff)... I worked doing basically that, promotion, SEO, social media entries, etc, at some companies.

Yeah, production...well, more than easy (although, IMO, board games, if one does a bit of everything is more complex, less 1-2-3. And video games require tons of complex technical stuff. Comic is hard, but has less elements/hats) I'd say is straightforward . You have your parameters, your dos and don'ts, and your skill, your craft. Promotion needs some, too, but imo, quite less under control.

Or that (all above) is just my view...

1) Newer software? What do you mean ?. With practically any newer software you could think of (if want advice about some software, just ask me ), yep. Mostly being a freak about technology, but also as in my IT-deserted region, I needed to wear many hats to get a salary. (graphic designer, 3D modeler/animator, comic artist, illustrator, pixel artist for retro games in mobile, oil painter(portraits), web developer, tech support....)

Not sure about what are we specifically referring to, here. Is not that comic needs much of that. Indeed, a bunch are yet just using a Bristol paper, doing their pencils and inks traditionally (Some people don't know, but...still pencil and paper, our hand-brain is faster and more accurate than ANY digital pen-tablet (that electro magnetic thing is not that great). It is simply faster with a tablet because the computer allows many corrections and shortcuts that are slower and less productive in traditional.). Color is way , way faster and flexible by computer. I do the 100% of everything by computer. But until around '95, I did ALL by hand, comics, oil/acrylics pictures, terracota modeling... People of my generation and that made my strange professional path have a feel of both worlds. 20ers, not so much, with exceptions, they tend to be full digital. Yet I'm finding (I have a theory: everything comes back, lol) new (young) fresh artists now using traditional, which is both great and surprising (and brings the memories..). Specially as some of those are doing even some great money through Patreon, selling the watercolors, and youtube.

Then there's this complexity imposed by an industry niche : very explicit in the mainstream comics (marvel, etc) . You are entering in an industry chain, usually as an inker, or penciller, or colorist...You need to comply with very rigid specs and rules. IMO, not really a software issue. In mainstream US comics for example, there's a ton of details to observe, to deliver properly to DC, etc. (how to deliver those pencils, inks, flats, etc). Besides, good anatomy , perspective, composition and visual story telling , common for every art. Yet nothing of this has to do much with software. But knowing those industry specifics, and having good habits, is not too complex. Is just to integrate well in the chain. Still, this does not really apply to indy comics, imo. At all. Much less to those which are mostly heading to only web output (webcomics), which I love as is wild expression with no restrictions. (sadly, a lot is low quality, but there are a little few very remarkable).

Or maybe the struggles that some find is in the actual inking/penciling/coloring digitally. Besides actually knowing how to handle the software applications (way easier though than learning all what is needed to be a video game artist or, graphic designer, or etc) there's also the coordination hand-brain-screen with a Wacom or alternative tablets, not easy if you don't have a pen-display (like a cintiq or an alternative), which you can use to paint directly on the screen. Is easier for most people (easier coordination, more natural) than doing it with the non-screen tablets. But I learnt with only a pen-tablet, and I do have that coordination already (still, am more accurate with pen and paper, and as the product has to be of the same quality in both cases, it just means more time consuming LINE drawing (digital painting has less, or no problems, instead) in digital, but gets greatly compensated). In the end, when get used to pen-tablets, can work with larger distance to screen, use professional grade monitors, etc. Has its advantages, besides the much lower price.

2) I'm not sure if you refer to rate as how much I charge per each profile/type of task, or what percentage of time it takes me each task. If is about the money rate, well, a full page is a ton of work (this why I left the comics world, or headed to only do well paid gigs of it, and/or my own comic story, which if I ever get back to doing one, will be almost only for passion and portfolio, and maybe some crazy luck). I could not be able to justify less than 150 $ (or 155, for the paypal commission, sigh...) for a full page of pencils, inks and lettering. And that's dirty cheap (but still, there's people doing that kind of stuff for less!)...I mean, I earn quite more doing about anything else (for the time it takes, probably also working at a Mc Donalds ). Coloring takes quite some time, too, and requires artistic skill, but to me, is less time consuming. So, I wouldn't charge less than an extra of 50 bucks for the colors (totaling 200 bucks) . My take at this is... symbolic payment, mostly. Is something I like to do, but I cannot justify making, and wont do even for my own (my own comic and own story). So, is time not being used to actually make money in a much better ratio. But I'm willing to do it for the sake of having something (not tied to a company's IP or NDA, which can't show, and neither too old to include in my portfolio.) to show in the comics area.

Is not... in proportion with the time it takes (plus, varies from person to person) each stage. Is mostly how I value it, and divided by a large factor, so that an indy writers can think of engaging the project. But lately not really even going for it. I value pencils a lot, as is where all anatomy, perspective and your knowledge to visually tell a story is shown, and can wreck it all from there, drawing is the base of all...or even save the entire thing even with bad color, later on. Inks are important for mainstream, is a very serious profile, but for indy world... I don't k now, for me is not as time consuming. Might be me. Colors... Typically is doing the flats, then adding to it some effects, and thinking well about lighting and color balance.Again, not as hard as the penciling stage.

Sorry that I cannot set some fixed % numbers, here, which I guess is what you wanted, probably to know better the nature of the work of comic artists.

You can put a lot of time in a task, and yet, have quite a harder time doing another task which takes less time. And often, the latter has a very different value in the market (IMO, solid drawing is VERY hard to find. Passable inking, coloring or lettering, absolutely much more common. Even average drawing can (and geez, does..!) make everything cringe, while average coloring, inking or lettering.. not so much. )

If the question was solely how much time it takes (not how each one values the effort, merit, etc, of each part.. and so, how much is charged) , percentage of time used in each stage... Harder to say. In every thing I do, each task can take a lot, or a little, it depends on the nature of the project, and the specs. I can only give a general idea, in my case, but each professional around here will have a different timing. So, no percentages, but I'd say, the harder, more time consuming is the pencil drawing stage. I value coloring (in an artistic way, and there where you show certain skills) quite more over inking... But in reality, in indy comics, you can do some fast techniques for coloring, and inking can be tedious, time consuming. I am not really a letterer... a pro one (remember, despite I am a graphic designer, the mainstream industry is VERY fragmented in specialists. Again, no point, as this is all indy, but, kind of have to search some point of comparison, to talk about it). But in indy field, what I am seeing is I do that part just as well as anyone else, so, there you have it...

3) - yep...I guess you have seen my illustration thread (I'm around these parts mainly to illustrate (PAINT, let's be clear with that, hehe) book covers, lol. And as I mentioned, while I have even worked for some national magazine (er, humor strips, small stuff), and a certain big company had me for some tiny webcomic, my main intense activity was during the career (Fine Arts), working for indy magazines, and I don't keep any of those, neither I show anything from '97 and below, as we artists evolve a lot, even in one year.

So, the only work I have online (I have very deeper work, but can't be shown ...yet. And some , I will NEVER be able to show, sigh) is in the bottom of that thread , and also, in a site which is one of those free portfolio sites. Have been asked already, and the reason why I don't put anymore my site, is... As being a web designer, it embarrasses me to show it ( one does not get much access to the designing part on those sites). I need to code my own site, place it in my hosting, and eliminate as well some very old portfolio samples, as do not reflect at all my current quality....

But what the heck, will put here my site, as well... Funnily, there's stuff not present in flickr, and yep in the site, and viceversa. :

The thread (the link is at the bottom of it, where says "some of my portfolio samples")

The (LOL) "site"