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Is fanart killing the indie scene?
MasonEasley
post Jul 23 2011, 08:17 AM
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We've all seen it at conventions; People pushing posters and original artwork featuring popular comic and manga characters at cons. This isn't a thread about whether or not its right or wrong to sell this type of stuff, this thread is about its effect on the sale of independent comics. At comic conventions, do people selling fanart inadvertently (or directly) hurt the sales of independent comics trying to gain their footing?

In my personal experience, it does. However, I'd like to hear some other thoughts on this topic.


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G-Man
post Jul 23 2011, 09:31 AM
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Not affected by it in the least. Let them sale whatever they want...the people wanting to get hold of indie comics still find their way to them.

To each their own. The people buying that art usually do not buy comics...period. Probably haven't read a Batman book or a Hulk book in years...but if they want to buy a Batman pin up by a local artist....have at it.

It's all good.


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Cary
post Jul 25 2011, 12:21 AM
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I guess it seems like apples and oranges to me. I'm not sure how the guy next to me selling Superman prints is in any way hurting my chances of selling my own prints starring my characters, or my comics for that matter. If a guy shows up at the con and wants a bad ass Superman print, that's what he's buying. Hell, even if he wasn't sold on what he was buying till he saw it and it caught his eye, that's what he'll buy. By the same token if the guy shows up and is open to some excellent art and story by an independent creator, that Superman print isn't going to matter one bit.


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G-Man
post Jul 25 2011, 06:12 AM
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Exactly.


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MasonEasley
post Jul 25 2011, 08:12 AM
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Good points gentlemen. I honestly never thought of it that way. The notion that there's two different sets of buyers at cons is an interesting one.


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tbrotomo
post Jul 25 2011, 09:40 AM
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At SDCC, I take a look at those posters and then I move on. I spent a good amount of money on indie books this weekend to support the cause. That's the difference in someone who's looking for a story and not just a print of something.


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MasonEasley
post Jul 25 2011, 09:50 AM
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Since I'm an artist, I have to take a more pragmatic approach. If my goal is get my name out there in a quicker fashion, Fanart may be the better way to go than doing a creator-owned project. Also I have to consider the ability to turn a profit, and again fanart seems to be the more efficient process. Clearly doing a pic of Batman is going to get more attention and earn more money for myself than doing a pic of an original character. So while there may be different subsets of purchasers, its pretty clear which group has the deeper pockets. It can also be pretty damned frustrating to see an artist who is worse than you are, making more money than you are because he's pushing Batman prints and you're trying to push your creator-owned property.

If anyone needs proof, all we need to do is look as small-press conventions vs regular comic conventions. The amount of foot traffic in the former is depressing. Meanwhile, small one-day cons like Derby City and Summit City have very strong foot traffic.

In short we need more people like tbrotomo.

This post has been edited by MasonEasley: Jul 25 2011, 09:51 AM


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ChadStrohl
post Jul 25 2011, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE (MasonEasley @ Jul 25 2011, 11:50 AM) *
In short we need more people like tbrotomo.


And less people doing their own knock off version of Heath Ledger as the joker. Enough already. Sheesh. They're all beginning to look like photocopies with some random colors thrown in to make them "original".

But I digress.

I wholeheartedly agree with Bill and Cary to a point. But we can't forget the "new" buyers (akin to the Independent voter, I guess). They come in with ten bucks and spend it where?

Now I love the people who are looking for a story, but I also love the ones who DIDN'T know they were looking for one.

This post has been edited by ChadStrohl: Jul 25 2011, 02:41 PM


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cougar18
post Jul 25 2011, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (ChadStrohl @ Jul 25 2011, 03:39 PM) *
And less people doing their own knock off version of Heath Ledger as the joker. Enough already. Sheesh. They're all beginning to look like photocopies with some random colors thrown in to make them "original".

But I digress.

I wholeheartedly agree with Bill and Cary to a point. But we can't forget the "new" buyers (akin to the Independent voter, I guess). They come in with ten bucks and spend it where?

Now I love the people who are looking for a story, but I also love the ones who DIDN'T know they were looking for one.


Yeah, the Dark Knight reproductions just got so boring, so fast. And from what I can see, they are all complete photocopies or next to photocopies with little artistic changes on the artists part.

Give me something that is more inspired by the artists imagination than a photocopy, which is why I cannot stand people like Greg Land or Salvador Larocca, people who trace photos with not artistic talent whatsoever.

And for the record, I like realistic pencillers, as well as cartoonish ones. I just hate tracers.
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Anthony Hochrein
post Jul 25 2011, 04:18 PM
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QUOTE (cougar18 @ Jul 25 2011, 04:51 PM) *
Yeah, the Dark Knight reproductions just got so boring, so fast. And from what I can see, they are all complete photocopies or next to photocopies with little artistic changes on the artists part.

Give me something that is more inspired by the artists imagination than a photocopy, which is why I cannot stand people like Greg Land or Salvador Larocca, people who trace photos with not artistic talent whatsoever.

And for the record, I like realistic pencillers, as well as cartoonish ones. I just hate tracers.

You must never have been a fan of Wally Wood's or Al Williamson's then. What would you prefer? Grid method artists?


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cougar18
post Jul 25 2011, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE (Anthony Hochrein @ Jul 25 2011, 04:18 PM) *
You must never have been a fan of Wally Wood's or Al Williamson's then. What would you prefer? Grid method artists?


I don't understand?

I was referring to how people took still DVD images from The Dark Knight movie and reproduced them to a tee, rather than create something inspired by the scene. Wally and Al hardly traced pages and images.

The grid artists were those who did the tracing with no artistic talent behind it. Grid methods are good for learning, or for reproducing one's work from a drawing, but not as a meritable form of artwork.
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Greg G.
post Jul 25 2011, 09:12 PM
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No.

Because these artists are out to make money and are making money.

Does it stink?

Yes.

Do you see how the game works? Yes. Are you playing by the rules of the game? No. Why not?

If anything look to Dave Sims. His compromise was to say sure - I'll draw Captain America for you, but it will be Cerebus in a Cap costume. Dave Sims branded his character and cashed in at the same time.

Even if you dislike the practice, having some prints of popular characters at your table will not hurt. And honestly, if your comic isn't grabbing people - maybe that first idea wasn't as hot as you thought it was and it's time to move on to greener pastures. Not every concept is a winner.


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rocketpig
post Jul 26 2011, 06:55 AM
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I'll buy prints from indie artists but only if they're also selling a book. For example, I bought a Supergirl print from Mike Maihack at SDCC because he does Cleopatra in SPAAAACE! and I really enjoy the comic. I didn't want any of the books he had there because I'm waiting for him to release a larger volume and because I've already read his current material online. So, in support, I bought a cutesy Supergirl print because his art style is really cool.

In the end, he gets money from me because he creates a comic I appreciate. How he gets that money is kind of irrelevant, IMO.

But pin-up artists? Meh. Never liked them, never will. Maybe because I'm an artist and know how much harder it is to do sequential art but I've always kind of looked at pin-up only artists with a kind of disdain.


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Anthony Hochrein
post Jul 26 2011, 08:12 AM
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As far as pin up art is concerned, hasn't that been the bread and butter of artists attending conventions? I mean, aside from their original pages. I remember attending my first cons and there were always con sketches and pin ups of some kind for sale.


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Greg G.
post Jul 26 2011, 09:20 AM
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Thinking about it, I never really worried about the artists feelings when I request a convention sketch. I just want to see as many renditions of a character I enjoy as possible. That said, if the creator is selling a book that looks good I'll pick it up as well.

Because Jay Fosgitt did a sketch for me with his fun art style, I now have a cool Jay Fosgitt sketch and know all about Dead Duck since he sold me a copy as well.


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tbrotomo
post Jul 26 2011, 09:40 AM
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QUOTE (MasonEasley @ Jul 25 2011, 08:50 AM) *
In short we need more people like tbrotomo.


Don't go saying that, he's a real jerk!


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Ringtail Cafe
post Jul 26 2011, 05:04 PM
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Honestly, to me, even ignoring the "is it right to sell" factor.

I don't think the fact that someone has custom art of a mainstream character affects whether or not people are going to buy indy stuff.

That person was going to buy that captain america picture, regardless of if it was an official marvel print, or some guy selling a piece of fanart. That character is what that person wanted.

Your goal, as an indy person is to rise above that, to have something so amazing you turn the heads of everyone looking at mainstream, to stop and go "oh...what's this?" biggrin.gif


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ChadStrohl
post Jul 27 2011, 01:57 PM
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Did you guys know someone owns a patent on toast? I just heard about it on the radio yesterday. I believe it was granted like seven years ago as "refreshing bread with heat."

What does it have to do with this thread? Not a clue. I just thought it was a perfect example of how NOTHING really matters in this topsy turvy existence we mistakingly refer to as "reality".

I wonder if anybody has the patent on scrambled eggs?


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Ringtail Cafe
post Jul 28 2011, 07:57 AM
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QUOTE (ChadStrohl @ Jul 27 2011, 03:57 PM) *
Did you guys know someone owns a patent on toast? I just heard about it on the radio yesterday. I believe it was granted like seven years ago as "refreshing bread with heat."

What does it have to do with this thread? Not a clue. I just thought it was a perfect example of how NOTHING really matters in this topsy turvy existence we mistakingly refer to as "reality".

I wonder if anybody has the patent on scrambled eggs?


I know of another company, that owns a particular shade of green. Not "green in that shape/configuration" they simply own that shade of green. If anyone were to use that shade of green, they would have the grounds to sue.

Funny, what the courts will award, or not award.


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Tyler James
post Jul 28 2011, 01:48 PM
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I've had great success treating fan art as a "gateway drug" to get folks interested in my indy work.

Often times, the guy coming to the show looking for a killer Batman sketch gets that...and also happens to a leave with a copy of my book.

It's not a zero sum game. It's not like if there was no fan art allowed, people would choose to spend that money on indie comics. It's up to all of us to make the best damn products we can, and sell them to our target market.


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