Monday, April 20, 2009

Why cartoonists stop doing free sketches

For years, many cartoonists would do store appearances or conventions and spend many hours drawing for their fans. What a wonderful time that could be had by all. Years ago, I got free sketches by several top artists that now reside on my office walls, the walls of my comic store or in one of my sketchbooks. Love'em. Absolutely love them. They are not only nice drawings but memories of time spent with someone you admire and whose work you admire. I would never sell them. They were gifts, for crying out loud!

At Free Comic Book Day, Strange Adventures goes all out and I've played host to Steve McNiven, Andy Runton, J. Bone, and of course, Darwyn Cooke at these events. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like any of those cartoonists will be coming this year as doorknobs like this guy take the free sketch and try to sell it for profit. Nice. Thanks for ruining the fun, dude.

sorry to rant on so, but a few thoughtless people can spoil things for many.

a more positive note, Darwyn will be appearing at the Calgary expo April 25-26 and in case you forgot, here's an illustration he did for the event.

12 comments:

Keith said...

I've seen some artists at conventions require that they personalize any sketches for this exact reason.

Jeremy said...

Couldn't agree more. My ire for those people grows every day. Take a free sketch and flip it for $100, gee thanks guys.

the_housesittah said...

Wow... That's no fun at all...
Firstly let me say thanks to Calum, I am a huge fan of this blog... It really gives me a cool little web-commection to my favorite artist.
That being said I am really disappointed that some ding-dong has gone and riuned it for the lot of us. I have planed a family vacation to Halifax, specifically to check out the shenanigans put off by Strange Adventures. My best friend lives in Halifax and has raved about the awesome times had every year. I am even the proud owner of a Green Lantern done by Darwyn, giving me the finger... Well Calum, me and my family will still be there, drive from Newfoundland and all... We won't let some tool ruin our fun.Mr. Cooke, if we ever get the opportunity... Thanks.

Eric Orchard said...

When I was in New York at the comic convention( with Cal strangely enough)David Lloyd was selling sketches for charity which I thought was brilliant. Now I have a wonderful original drawing of V.

Craig Zablo said...

Unfortunately as long as there is a profit to be made some of these knuckleheads will do it.

That's one of the cool things about my theme... the artist knows I'm not going to flip the piece. ; )

Ian Explosivo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Explosivo said...

You're totally right Calum. I honestly think people who do this are the scum of the earth. I've collected some very nice pieces from obliging artists over the years and I wouldn't sell them for any reason. I love it when an artist takes the time to chat and I'm always thrilled when they personalize a sketch for me too. People who turn around and sell on eBay are the worst kind of opportunists.

To Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone and everybody: Please try to keep in mind that the vast majority of folks get sketches and commissions from you because they love you and your art and you've probably made their year by taking the time to put something on paper for them. Don't let the ingrates ruin your fun!

And to Strange Adventures: You guys are amazing and if I ever find my way out East (from Vancouver) I'll be sure to stop in. Keep up the awesome work!

Danny said...

It's a shame to here that Strange Adventures will not be celebrating FCBD in such the grandeur as last year. Although I have never had the privilege of attending (living in T.O.), I am jealous just to hear and look at the cool stuff that SA puts on.

I have noticed this guy's eBay sells for several years now. It's a shame because they are great sketches. Kudos that Darwyn and you are aware of this dude.

And what's great about Darwyn is, he never forgets a face!

Michael Cho said...

Nice post, Cal. I agree with you on this point. Its sad that one opportunist can ruin it for all the others.

That said, I'd come sketch for you guys at Strange Adventures again. The people in Halifax were just great the last time I was there, and there were so many kids that came to the table -- its always a treat to draw stuff for kids: they're always ecstatic no matter what you draw.

Calum Johnston said...

I have a plan for next year to try to discourage this. I'm going to print some postcards with the FCBD info on one side and the other blank except for a comic panel in which an artist could do a sketch and some text about this being a freebie and only dirtbags would sell it.

Danny - we still big it up for Free Comic Book Day - drop by and check it out!

Michael - you're on. Let me know when you have some free time this summer and we'll bring you back to the coast!

NoPepperGames said...

This angers me as well. I'm a pretty casual comic reader - but I would love to have anything by Darwyn. Knowing that the chances of me getting him to do a sketch of Jackie O b-slapping Marilyn Monroe is but a pipe dream doesn't help. If personalizing it or even writing a check to an artist's favorite charity would prevent them from stopping this altogether, then I'm all for it.

leo said...

I recently met Darwyn at the Boston Comic Con this year and surprised to found out that he does not have a portfolio and was not doing sketches at the event. I had been looking forward to adding a Cooke piece to my wall and felt like an ass once I found out that professional collectors are ruining this just like they have always done (baseball cards, comics, toys) oh well. I just don't want to spend a large amount of money and know that its not even going to the artist themselves. A shame.