Sunday, May 4, 2014

Comic creators: The new celebrities?

I doubt right now anyone is reading this and if you are, awesome. This has been bugging me for the past few years, comic book creators charging for a signature. It blew my mind the first time I saw it. I don't understand it, and for the most part it's creators who have been around and who have worked on major books. So why the need for extra income just from me asking for your name on my books that I have purchased? You were paid to do the job, more than likely you've sold that art (be it the original or print), you can do sketch/commissions at conventions, more than likely if it was a well received book, you'll get royalties. So now why ask for $5-20 for a signature when I've already given you my money to buy the book and also to enter the convention to meet you? That money could have been used to purchase a print or sketchbook that you paid to have printed.
Along those same lines is "I'll sign your books if you buy something from my table". Again, I've already bought your books. Do you need the money to make up for costs on prints that you over spent on or the 4 table spaces that take up your very own section of the show floor?
The other thing that I've got a gripe with is the asking for charity donations. It seems like that bucket is on everyone's table these days with the sign that reads "I don't mind signing your books, but please make a donation". If you've been down an Artist Ally at a con, you know what I'm talking about. I've got nothing against the cause or any other charity, but if I want to donate I'll go to the booth where they are set up and I'll do so. Me personally, I have given them a fair amount of money over they years with the books that they put out (got em all as a matter of fact, bought one this weekend to complete the set), but I'm not made of money to be dropping $5 at every table for a damn signature. Also, I know people who contribute every year to that cause that get membership cards, if I flashed one of those would you still charge me for a signature?
All this is to me and I hope others take a stand and agree, is nothing more than greed. You don't need the huge table space, move over and let another creator have time to get out and make money. You're not "The Man", who can charge for a signature and photo. He can do that because of what he's done and everyone knows who he is.
One last thing, if you're a creator in the industry and go to shows and have your own table... Please stay at your table. You're advertised to be at the show and walking by your table and seeing it empty all weekend or seeing that you've got set signature or appearance times is a huge "fuck you". You can't take the time to lift your head up, sign a few books and go back to whatever you were working on?

So with all this being said, if I've encountered these things from creators (besides the charity) I've more than likely stopped buying your books, and ultimately stopped supporting you.

1 comment:

Ironic said...

I ran into this problem at WWMinneapolis. I brought my 7 year old son with me who was really excited about some of the celebrity actors and artists. Yet, when he went to one of them and gushed about his/her work and asked if he could be in a photo, the person looked at me and said, "Only if dad is willing to help make that happen." This person then pointed at a sign explaining how much a photo/signature/drawing was. I did my best to explain to this artist/celebrity that my son REALLY likes him/her and a signature would ensure that my son would buy his/her stuff for a long time to come.
Didn't matter. In a not very polite way I was told to "Pay or move on."
Not wanting to disappoint my son, I paid. However, I very loudly explained to my son about meeting Todd MacFarlane once and not having to pay a thing for him to do an original drawing. He looked at my excitement and said, "THAT...that right there is why I draw Spider-Man."
I don't blame this person for wanting the extra money, but I feel like people like Ethan Van Sciver (whether you like him or not) are doing it right. Signatures are free. Photos are free. Conversations are free. You want a commission, that's different.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but remember that as fantastic and wonderful as your art is, creators, we need to buy it and love it. Personalities can make that difficult at times.