"The first couple of years you don't make enough to pay the bills. The next couple of years you barely make enough to cover the bills. And then a couple of years after that you make enough to pay the bills. :-)
"I think a lot of people go work for a company and then jump into freelance. From what I've heard it makes the transition easier. Although if you have a lot of support (financial...) and are ready to tackle the market head-on then you might want to go for it.
"The first thing you need (after a portfolio obviously) is a list of people to send submissions to. I would suggest you get a copy of "Artists and Graphic Designers Market" by Writer's Digest Books. [Note this covers the US market].
"You should also get a hold of "The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines". This is a great reference source for pricing and what to expect in each industry.
Luc Belanger (Advice posted to the egroup, small_press_comics: used here with his kind permission)
Luc's Home Page: http://www.gingerillustration.com/comics.htm