So a number of you may be wondering, “What was with all that posting of images?” Sorry about that, but I have had a couple of friends ask me what I’ll be selling at Heroes Convention next weekend, and posting the images here seemed the most efficient way to deal with the requests to see what I’ll be peddling.
For those of you uninitiated in what goes on at comic book conventions, one of the big trends over the past 15 years or so is the peddling of “prints”. I put that in quotes because for the most part said “prints” are more akin to posters. To most of the art world a “print” is an expensive, limited edition, reproduction of a work of fine art. The term Poster, on the other hand refers to a low cost, mass produced, unlimited edition of a work of illustration.
So what you often see at comic book shows are various artists selling their interpretations of various comic (and other fan media) characters in somewhat unlimited editions for $10-20 for an 11 x 17″ image–usually color laser printed on decent weight stock.
The reason I say “somewhat unlimited editions” is that this is often done in unauthorized form. That is to say many people do this sort of thing featuring popular characters, and the publishers and copyright owners often turn a blind eye to the practice until something happens that puts them off–and the artist gets hit with a cease and desist notice.
That happened to me (after a fashion) in 2006. While I wasn’t actually singled out of the herd of those doing unauthorized prints, I was given the choice of signing an agreement with various publishers or not appearing at a particular show. The agreement said I would no longer issue unauthorized editions featuring said publisher’s characters. I signed it and showed up at the convention figuring I’d do a little less well, but then everyone else that showed up there had also been asked to sign the agreement.
I noticed that no one else was actually honoring the agreement pretty quickly. Then I quickly noticed that I was not making as much money as in previous years.
But I have continued to honor the agreement, and in the years since have signed similar agreements with companies such as Lucasfilm, when I was asked to do some sketchcards featuring Star Wars characters.
Again, I have honored that agreement.
And I’ve taken a beating at show after show.
Finally, this year I’ve decided to dive back into the print business. I have a number of pieces (previously posted today) that I’ll be offering for sale. You’ll note that they are either created under agreement with the copyright holders (Mr. Jigsaw, The Other Dead, Chance Fortune, Skinwalkers); protected as parody (Captain Dolly, Napoleon GAH, Science SuspenStories); or created “whole cloth” and owned or co-created by me (Wolfman, Dreamgirl). The sole exception to this is the Gladiator piece, which was actually commissioned as a pitch piece, but I was never paid for. Therefore the copyright on this art belongs to me still. I’m putting that one under “fair use”.
As previously mentioned several people have been asking me for years why I wasn’t selling prints anymore. I always quoted the agreement I signed–and told them it was a matter of honor to abide by the agreement. Until recently I never considered that there might be ways to continue to honor the agreement (even honoring the spirit of the agreement, not just the letter of the law) while still issuing prints that might have some commercial appeal beyond just solid artwork on my part.
But as I’m diving back into the pool (as it were) I’m also going to be setting my prices at a 2006 level. $10.00 for 11 x 17″ and $5.00 for 8.5 x 11″. So if you come by my table next weekend at Heroes Convention, you’ll be able to purchase any and all of these pieces in print form. Unless I’m sold out. Which–I’ll confess–I would dearly like to sell out.
But I’ve been scouting the area around the convention center for places I can do laser prints in case I should sell out. That may be wishful thinking on my part, but it never hurts to be prepared.
There you have it. My sales pitch for Heroes Convention. If you’re going to be there, look me up. I’ll also be selling individual sketches and original artwork–but I’ll be pushing the prints (posters). If it goes well I am already considering branching out from there.