Adam Hughes Curtails Convention Sketching and Why It Matters

Adam Hughes DC Babes Poster Art
Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool broke a story yesterday that Adam Hughes has decided to significantly curtail his convention sketching going forward.  Rich’s article quotes Allison Sohn (Adam Hughes’ wife and manager) from their Yahoo! Group, and it’s worth reading in its entirety.  The gist of the story is that Adam and Allison were upset to see that one of the commissions Adam completed at last week’s Boston Comic Con was put up on eBay less than 24 hours later, and predictably was being auctioned off for a significant premium to what the buyer paid Hughes. 
 
After the news broke yesterday, Allison wrote a piece on their Yahoo! Group summarizing their views:
 
Hello all;
 
I thought it might be smart to make one post, re-capping many of the points we've discussed today. With the word of our decision to stop taking a sketch list hitting news outlets like Bleeding Cool, I wanted to post one concise version of what we've been discussing, so that people that want more information don't have to sift through 200 posts to get it.
 
Adam and I agreed that it was time to stop the sketch list. After attending the Boston Comic Con this past weekend where Adam was only able to get 3 sketches done, we came home to learn that one of those sketches was within hours of it being drawn, put on eBay. The person that got the sketch told us elaborate lies about how much the piece meant to him, how long he'd been trying to get one, and all the usual, in order to make a profit off of Adam. The worst part for us is not that we won't make the $3000+ that the sketch sells for on eBay (and I wish that was an exaggeration) but that some fan who really DID want a sketch, and there were many that had been on our list for years, was denied the chance to take one home so that this person could instead make a profit at their loss.
 
Is this the sole reason for our decision? No. I have been saying for a long time that this day was coming, and to be honest, I thought we'd have had to stop the list long before now. As it became harder and harder for Adam to get drawings done, and as the lists grew longer and longer, the stress increased. At every show, people want books signed, they want to have a personal few minutes talking with Adam, they want a photo with him, to shake his hand, to ask him what he thought of the latest comic book movie. On the professional end, editors and fellow artists want a few minutes, and show promoters want him to do panels and signings. All of these things don't allow for very much time to draw. When Adam does finally sit down to draw, the list of requests is as much as 50 people long. When you look over that list and know that at best you might get 5 accomplished, the idea of disappointing so very many people can be really difficult to deal with.
 
Now take all of that, and add the possibility of one of those few drawings you do finish being collected and then re-sold by someone that doesn't care how hard you work or how much other fans really wanted the opportunity to be the one that took it home, and it’s just enough stress to help you decide that it is really no long worth it.
 
Going forward: there will still be art. Adam and I are discussing how we can have an eBay sketch winner for each day of the show, and how we can limit it to one per person per event. I'm hoping that with the tremendous strain of trying to draw at each show alleviated, Adam will be able to consider sketching from home. These drawings could then fill a portfolio that we could bring to events that fans could shop from. And maybe we can finally go ahead and start listing auctions for overseas fans; something we've always wanted to be able to do, and time and stress have never really allowed for.
 
I know many of you are disappointed. Please try and understand, Adam has been doing this for more than 20 years, at a rate of 10 – 12 conventions a year. We wanted to make everyone happy, and there comes a point where that pressure is simply too much, and you have to admit to yourself that it is an impossible task. Even knowing that, we still tried our best for as long as we could. I want to thank everyone that has posted, emailed, and tweeted their support. It really means a great deal to us. I look forward to the rest of the convention year, and the opportunities it will now present us. Hopefully with this stress lifted from his shoulders, Adam can do more panels, tutorials, portfolio reviews and generally spend more time with you guys, his fans.
 
You all have my gratitude for being so cool about this;
 
Allison
Deadpool & Domino by Brian Hurtt
 
As someone who attends a lot of conventions, has the pleasure of knowing quite a few artists, and has the joy of owning quite a bit of original art and commission work, this is an issue near and dear to my heart.  And as anyone that’s read through the comments in the Yahoo! Group or on Bleeding Cool will attest, this is an issue that strikes an emotional chord with a lot of people.
 
An Individual Decision Deserves Your Respect
 
Before we delve into the broader issue of convention sketches and commissions, and their future, let’s first get something clear about Adam Hughes’ decision.  IT IS HIS PERSONAL CHOICE AND EVERYONE SHOULD RESPECT THAT.  Honestly, I get why people might have a philosophical difference of opinion with Adam and Allison on this matter, or might be personally disappointed because they were hoping to someday secure a piece of his original artwork, but at the end of the day, that’s FAR DIFFERENT than getting angry with them for their decision.  It’s Adam’s art. It’s Adam’s time. He’s free to choose to do whatever he wishes with his time, and how anyone can get angry with someone’s personal choice baffles me.
 
Unpacking the Participants Motivations
 
In my “day job”, I’m fond of telling my colleagues that it’s important to put yourself on the other side of the table.  What I mean by that is to remember that every negotiation or transaction is driven by the motivations of everyone involved, yet far too often people forget that the people on the other side of the bargaining table have their own, often differing, objectives.  If you take the time to think through what they’re looking for, it’s MUCH easier to architect a successful and expeditious outcome.
 
Jeremy Haun Domino SketchAn Artist’s Motivations for Convention Sketching
 
  • Generate income & offset convention expenses
  • Connect with fans
  • Build goodwill among the comic book community
  • Pass the time while sitting at their booth
  • Foster creativity and undertake projects they don’t normally get to illustrate
 
A Fan’s Motivation for Obtaining Convention Sketches
 
  • Obtain a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork
  • Use as an entrée to strike up a dialog with their favorite creators
  • Support (financially) their favorite creators
  • Generate an arbitrage opportunity to re-sell the work for a profit
 
For the most part, the motivations of artists and convention goers are sympathetic.  It’s when the two bolded (and in red) motivations come into play that animosity can (and does) spark up.  As Allison says in her missive, it wasn’t so much that the guy wanted to re-sell the artwork (she acknowledges his right to), it’s that he intentionally deceived them in an incessant way, and then brazenly flaunted that fact by putting the art up for sale immediately.  That makes a lot of sense to me, were the shoe on the other foot, I too would’ve been miffed.
 
Arbitrage Has and Always Will Exist
Coca Cola on shelves
 
Arbitrage is part of the business world, and it’s not going away.  Comic book stores don’t pay Diamond $2.99 for an issue of Green Lantern; they pay a $1.79 or so and then charge you, the end customer, a markup.  That’s how they manage to keep the lights on, afford a store front, stock the shelves, and put food on their own tables.  Grocery stores don’t pay $0.99 for a 2-liter bottle of soda, and I’m guessing it doesn’t bother you to know that.  So to think that humans won’t continue to find ways to arbitrage is a little misguided.  For as long as there are goods in demand, there will be people who try to find a way to acquire those goods and then re-sell them for a markup. 
 
“Flipping” has been going on for a long time, particularly since the proliferation of the internet.  With sites like eBay, it’s so easy to reach literally millions of potential buyers that would’ve never been available in times past.  If you got a convention sketch from an artist in 1982, it was highly unlikely you could re-sell that sketch for a significant premium. Who would buy it? Were you going to put a classified ad in the paper? At best, you would probably sell it to another local fan, or to a local comic retailer.  Today it’s a much different story.
 
Remember that it wasn’t long ago convention art was usually FREE.  Artists started feeling like their work was making money for other people, so they started charging for their efforts.  As the industry has evolved, we all now have very good data about what “going rates” are for artwork, and that informs not only the buyers, but the artists.  Artists are smarter than ever about the worth of their own product; and more power to them.
 
Tips for the Non Flippers & Artists to Avoid a “Hughes” Situation
 
Although I respect a person’s right to re-sell sketches and commissions, I would prefer they didn’t – for purely selfish reasons.  Since I LOVE to acquire commissions and sketches, and have never re-sold one, I would rather artists not have to worry about that kind of thing.  But recognizing that what I want in a perfect world isn’t the reality, here are some tips to help ensure your pursuit of original art pieces continues unabated.
 
  1. Personalize the item – I never understand why more artists don’t insist on this.  If they’re worried about flipping, why not say upfront that any piece they create will be personalized in such a way that re-selling will become much harder?  For example, if you’re drawing a character, write a word balloon with a specific call out to the person buying the piece.  I almost always ask for my work to be personalized, asking the artists to sign the work and dedicate it to me.  I’ve found many times that artists appreciate this because they realize the chances I’m a flipper are much lower.
  2. Prove your passion – I have the entire downstairs hallway of my house dedicated to original art. It’s a gallery. So I’ve got tons of pictures of the gallery and am always quick to show the artists pictures to let them know I’m a collector, not a flipper.  You would be surprised how at ease it puts artists to know you’re an art lover. Does that mean you couldn’t be flipping pieces while keeping others? Of course not, but it’s still a gesture of goodwill, one that I can personally attest to.
  3. Consider sketchbooks – Some of the best convention art I’ve seen has been in the form of thematic sketchbooks.  When an artist sees a sketchbook chock full of other art, it tells them that you’re interested in keeping it, versus flipping it.  As an added bonus, having a great themed sketchbook will often push an artist to up their game, because they’ll want to make sure their piece stands up to other great works you already have in the book.
  4. Pre-negotiated auctions – Adam Hughes and Tony Moore are probably the two trailblazers on this front. Both guys now regularly set up eBay auctions before a convention, with the winner getting a guaranteed commission.  For the artists, this all but guarantees the winner won’t be a flipper, because the open bidding sets the purchase price much closer to what a flipper would hope to get from his/her own eBay listing.
  5. Pre-negotiated purchases – Some artists don’t like to take pre-orders, but many do.  I politely contact every artist I want to get work from before the show and ask if they’re doing pre-orders. The benefit of a pre-order is a) it creates a dialog and record of sale, b) it allows the artists to get more work done over a broader period of time, and c) it guarantees the purchaser will get their art versus having to wait for awhile because the artists ran out of time.
 
At the end of the day, Adam Hughes’ decision isn’t going to change much.  I fully respect his (and Allison’s) approach toward the decision, but I also think it’s important to remember that he’s in an enviable position.  Adam can do one or two commissions per convention and earn thousands of dollars for his efforts. That gives him a lot more flexibility in how he chooses to spend the rest of his time.  But for many artists, if not most artists, they HAVE to generate convention art sales in order to justify attending the shows.  To those people, I would say that with a little intuition, clear instructions about personalizing the work, and a bit of luck, they can greatly reduce the frequency of flipping without having to ostracize their genuine fans.  To my fellow fans, the next time your mouth drops as you see the prices an artist is charging for a commission, just remember that there’s a VERY good reason for their prices.  It all comes down to basic supply vs. demand.
 

Jason is a mutant with the ability to squeeze 36 hours into every 24-hour day, which is why he was able to convince his wife he had time to join the iFanboy team on top of running his business, raising his three sons, and most importantly, co-hosting the 11 O'Clock Comics podcast with his buddies Vince B, Chris Neseman and David Price. If you are one of the twelve people on Earth who want to read about comics, the stock market and football in rapid fire succession, you can follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. AmirCat AmirCat says:

    I love personalized artwork and signed stuff. It’s worth more to me. It’s awesome to see my favorite writer/artist and have him/her recognize me. That’s worth more than $3k any day.

  2. brattyben brattyben says:

    Thanks for writing this Jason.  I respect Adam’s and Allison’s decision to put a filter on how they handle commision sketches.  
    I’m an artist who works tables at cons, and personally I love when someone comes up with a themed sketchbook.  It’s a really great idea, and if you can come up with a great theme, it can be a lot of fun. And you are right about the upping your game part.  Try following up Punisher drawing by Whilace Portacio!  Yikes.

    Again, thanks again for the article.  Very informative, and I hope people follow the advice.
     

  3. j206 j206 says:

    As with everything, money-grubbers and scalpers looking to make an easy buck ruin every good and fun. Be it autograph hounds with stacks of head shots, sports cards, or comic books. Ticket scalpers and agencies buying up all the tickets that would normally go to actual fans and charging them double to triple face value. Or these jerks posing as fans and instantly throwing the art up on eBay. It’s terrible and I hate it.

    There’s no such thing as an easy dollar. If you have found a way to do so like the guys I mentioned, odds are it’s a slimely way to make a buck. Even if it’s not necessarily dishonest (which it is in many cases), it’s still low and cheap. And IMO, people who make their way off such livings are pretty scummy. No different than an obnoxious, creepy paparazzi, IMO.

  4. j206 j206 says:

    Besides being a dishonest way to make a buck at the expense of others. What really annoys me about these types of people are that they cheapen and ruin such experiences and traditions for the people who love them. Be it a little kid wanting an autograph from his favorite athlete, a true fan wanting to attend a concert or sporting event, or an actual comic fan who would put a convention sketch up on his wall. Such as shame. Money really sucks the fun and joy out of everything.

    PS – That’s a cool ‘ladies of DC’ piece you included with the article. I’ve figured them all out except the black chick and the one sitting in the chari with the red streaks. Any help?

  5. Jason Wood Wood says:

    @j206  Vixen and Batwoman

  6. pyynk pyynk says:

    Economically, I can understand flipping art. Emotionally, I could never do it.

  7. stuclach stuclach says:

    Incentives, incentives, incentives.

    I have no problem with an individual reselling an item (unless they misled/manipulated the artist) and I have no problem with Mr. Hughes deciding not to sketch at cons anymore. 

    What I don’t understand is why artists don’t put more sketches on eBay themselves.   If they did, they would 1) make more money (which as Jason mentions is part of the reason they do sketches) and 2) increase supply, thus driving down the prices of their sketches on eBay (and thus decrease the incentives for “flipping” items.)*

    As a supplier, if you know there is an opportunity for arbitrage to take place, you should close the gap (and collect the revenue) yourself.

    *I’m assuming the quantity increase will more than offset the price decrease, thus increasing total revenue for the artist.  (Demand needs to be fairly elastic.)

  8. stuclach stuclach says:

    I can’t believe I just footnoted a comment.

  9. stuclach stuclach says:

    I can’t believe I just used thus three times in one comment.

  10. srh1son srh1son says:

    I just hope shitty moves like this don’t make it difficult for a first timer like me to do a sketch.  I’ve yet to go to a con, but I know I would like an original sketch for my home at some point.  There are so many artists and styles that I’m drawn to though; it’s hard to decide.

  11. Jason Wood Wood says:

    @srh1son as long as there are Artist Alleys, there will be commissions and sketches. As I said in the column, artists like Adam and Tony Moore and Skottie Young are exceptions, in that they have such demand they can (if they want to) cover the cost of their trip with just a few pieces. Most artists need to do a fair amount of sketching at a con to justify the costs.

  12. zombox zombox says:

    I basically come down with Jason on this. The primary reason I go to cons is to meet creators and get art. I own a few pages and dozens of commissions. I hate that this market will now raise prices on what is already a fairly expensive market.

  13. atomhues says:

    Adam Hughes, here (yes, it’s really me).

    Thank you for an informative & supportive column.  I’m sorry everyone is making such a fuss, but I understand that some people have hopes of getting sketches.

    I’m sorry if my decision upsets anyone or bothers them in any way.  But, as Jason pointed out, it’s my life, my career, and my decision.

    I’ve been doing convention sketches for 23 years, and while my drawings have slowly increased in value, so have the monetary predators who feel they have the right to buy my art FOR THE EXCLUSIVE PURPOSE of instant monetary gain.

    Is your con sketch your personal property, once I’ve been paid?  Yes.  Is it yours to do with, as you see fit?  More or less – you can’t reprint it for monetary gain without permission. 

    But the thing that rankles me & makes me sick in the gut about the flippers is that they take away a sketch from someone who ACTUALLY WANTS IT.  I’m slow, and there’s too much demand – I can’t do a sketch for everyone who wants one.  Jason’s arbitrage argument about Coke and Green Lantern is trenchant, but the truth of the matter is that a con sketch (from me or anyone else) is a one-of-a-kind custom item.  If I do one, I have the right to expect the person paying for it to actually WANT it, not see it as an instant investment opportunity.

    There will still be sketch opportunities in the form of gauranteed eBay acutions before cons, and the headshots I do in return for charity donations.  Maybe I will be able to created art for shows beforehand and have it for sale at my table.  But that is unlikely.

    One poster aksed why we don’t put more sketches on eBay, and the answer to that is the same as the answer to why I don’t pre-draw sketches and bring them to shows: TIME.

    I have so many assignments on my desk right now, you have no idea.  Covers, interior assignments (both writing and drawing), designs for products, and commissions.  When I am supposed to find time to also draw sketches for cons while at home is beyond me.  Maybe if the day was 40 hours long, and I didn’t require rest or time off to recuperate creatively, I could add at-home sketching to my To Do List.  But it’s overwhelming, trying to do you best work 100% of the time for your clients AND keep up with the usually enjoyable duty of producing one-of-a-kind sketches for actual, loyal fans.

    I saw this article’s link on Twitter and felt the need to comment.  I thank everyone who supports me & my decisions.  I have awesome, amazing fans, and I greatly appreciate them.

    ~AH!~

  14. A problem that i see with convention sketches from an art business perspective is that the artists are effectively flooding the market with their work, which devalues all of their art across the board. An artist that makes 100 convention sketches a year (which is of lesser quality than published work), might be creating a market of lesser value for their original pages. In talking with some fine art and illustration friends who sell through galleries, amount of available work on the market directly influences prices for every other piece they sell. Supply and demand. I see why they do it from a fan, support the industry goodwill thing, but from a artist business side i don’t necessarily think its the best idea.

    I think all creators who do sketches should insist on personalization if they want to prevent flipping or sell themselves on ebay. Doesn’t Scottie Young sell his own work on his blog? Sounds like a good idea to me. 

  15. stuclach stuclach says:

    It is always awesome when the actual creators come to the site and comment.  Thank you, Mr. Hughes.

    @atomhues  I completely understand that time is a constraint.  As I mentioned in my post you would need to earn enough (increased revenue) to offset that.  I’m thinking that you spend the time you would’ve spent doing commissioned sketches at the con and simply do sketches to put up on eBay (which, according to your letter, sell for much more than you charge for commission.)  That way you spend the exact same amount of time doing sketches, but make more money.  It’s win, win. 

    I completely understand that you may prefer doing commissions/requests and absolutely respect your opinion and preferences.  I was just suggesting a way to improve the situation and put the money in your hands (where it belongs) instead of in the hands of a reseller. 

  16. gobo gobo says:

    Gabriel Hardman (I think) was recently idly talking on Twitter about doing a “Stay at home” con where he’d spend a weekend doing commissions for people on ebay/etsy/twitter/whatever, I thought it was a GREAT idea.  I wonder if he’ll ever actually do it

  17. after re-reading my comment it didn’t come off the way i intended. I agree with all Hughes points, especially the one about time vs doing your best work. The last thing an artist should want is to have stuff below their own standards out there, and thats compounded if its being resold without that intent.

    All too often comic fans forget that creators are people, that have lives and families…they’re not 24/7 slaves to their craft. Sometimes we expect too much i think. 

    Fippers suck, its always sad to go onto an auction site and see old Kirby(or any other legend’s) con sketches selling for cheap. They weren’t supposed to be there y’know?

  18. zombox zombox says:

    Gabe is amazing if anyone hasn’t bought some of his work.

  19. Jason Wood Wood says:

    @atomhues  Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to the column, Adam.

  20. flakbait flakbait says:

    I can’t blame him. Even without the scalpers, the flood of requests must be overwhelming. Easier to just say no to them all.

    Now if we can just do something about that guy who is always in front of me and wants eighty comics signed.

  21. Jason Wood Wood says:

    @flakbait  Although that’s a separate issue, I never understand why creators allow one fan to get so many books signed. For one thing, it’s my experience that the VAST MAJORITY of people getting dozens of books signed by the same person are doing so for financial reasons. Second, it totally slows up the line and hurts people who may just want one thing signed or a chance to shake the artists hand and say, “thanks.” One thing I’ve seen done, and HIGHLY encourage all my artists buddies to do is…sign up to 5 items for free (or whatever number they see fit) and then charge $1 per signature beyond that which goes to H.E.R.O. Initiative or the CBLDF (or another charity).

  22. Christopher Christopher says:

    Great article, Jason.

    Adam, thanks again for being so generous with your time in Chicago for Japan relief.  I love having something from you in my collection.   

  23. @Wood  –thats a cool idea about the signing thing. Creators can be generous to a fault that way. I’m that guy who just wants a chance to say “hey i love your work” and shake the person’s hand. The signature is a bonus that i barely care about really.

  24. JFernandes JFernandes (@jdfernandes) says:

    Personilization is one thing I always try to get.  Even with authors.  I’m always happy when a creator asks if they want it signed to my name because it lets them know you actually appreciate their work and intend to keep the item yourself.

    I went to the Boston Comic Con last weekend and had a great experience with Declan Shalvey.  He had no idea his work on the Shadowland issues of Thunderbolts was even collected yet, so he was shocked when I pulled out the hardcover for him to sign.  He flipped through the book, was amazed that Marvel put in his thumbnails sketches, and then signed the book to me and even did a sketch of Ghost.  He was just overjoyed that someone appreciated his work so much.  I hope he’s at the New York Comic Con so I can see him again with another Thunderbolts collection.

  25. First, this column is simply great. Thank you Mr. Wood.
    Second, for AH! to drop by and post, Awesome!

    Personally, I pack favorite hcs and such to get signed and sketches put in. I always ask for personalization and gladly pay if that sketch could take a little more than 3-5 minutes standard sketch time.

    Thanks again for a great piece.

  26. “Arbitrage” for you econ guys is called the “Secondary Art Market” in the fine art world.
    Its commonplace.
    Theoretically its beneficial to all and self correcting.
    Buyers re-sell the artists work for larger amounts at auction, then next art show the artists work goes for higher prices and so on. Eventually the market floods or the popularity bubble bursts and prices drop. Galleries and artists buy back their work to keep it off the market to help keep up the value of the new work. Its a sick shady game, but its life.

    It seems to me the fine art world solution to Mr. Hughes problem would be to raise his sketch prices. ($3,000 a sketch at the next con) When they sell for higher on ebay after that con, raise them even more.

    Sadly this can’t happen.

    Comics differ from fine art, I believe for two reasons.
    1. History
    Comics and their art have a long history of underappreciation. (think of all the lost work destroyed as trash) It’s taken a long time for the market to catch up and comic artists still devalue their own works worth to some extent.

    2. Fans
    Comics do not have prestigous critics that make or break careers like the fine art world. All the good press in the world does not save books from cancelation let alone secure future jobs. You need to be liked in comics to survive and to thrive.

    Pricing your comic art for its true market value will breed ill will amongst fans who all want a piece of their “favorite” artists. And with a history of cheap, devalued art being basically given away at cons, it would be hard to break tradition and maintain fan goodwill.

    Also Mr. Huges seems like a really nice guy. Over the past decade at SDCC I’ve met him multiple times and he always signed my books and appeared to care about my awkward comments to him. Which is something I’ve never witnessed in the fine art world.

  27. sorry to be art-nerdy with this next post but there are actually 5 reasons (or a combination there-of) to buy art:

    1. Commodity (buy art for investment)
    2. Welfare (buy art to support artists)
    3. Decoration (buy art for aesthetic reasons / looks nice on your wall)
    4. Trophy (buy art for cultural prestige / impress friends)
    5 Movie Ticket Stub (buy art to relive experience / i.e. keeping a movie ticket stub to remind you of when you went to the show)

    Sorry. got very excited when I read “A Fan’s Motivation for Obtaining Convention Sketches” as I knew it would be the only chance to use ideas from my thesis for the rest of my life…as it tends not to go over well at parties.

  28. Zarathos81 Zarathos81 says:

    It’s late so I’m going to read this in the morning but the first part angered me. Not the part about Mr. Hughes no longer doing sketches but the part about the jerk to lied to get one and then sold it. It’s people like him that make the rest of us look bad. I can’t tell you the number of times I wanted something signed at a show and got the ‘you’re going to sell this online, aren’t you’ look. I hate that look but I know why I get it.
    Not that any of the people who I’ve gotten signatures from will see this but of the dozens of things I have signed I have NEVER sold a single one. I never plan to and I fully appreciate each and every artist taking the time to do such a thing for me. I make it a point to thank the cretors I meet not only for the autograph but for giving me so many years of endless entertainment and joy. I want them to know how much I deeply appreciate their efforts.

  29. pchan126 pchan126 says:

    Sadly there is just the air of inevitability about this. When flipping a commission on ebay will pay for a person’s airfare and hotel stay, art scalpers will spring up like mushrooms. And then to add insult to injury, they feel that they can get better results by emotionally torturing the artist? As someone who’s been on the list twice and come away empty handed, I fully understand Mr. Hughes’ decision.

    I would suggest that there is an opportunity to create some truely awesome convention pieces – Frank Cho / Adam Hughes Heroes Inititive Sketch Jam Auction? Yes, Please!

  30. This is a great article and I completely agree with Adam Hughes’ decision. I don’t have any commissioned sketches. I don’t have the money for one. However, i have a very short list of “dream” sketches I would love to one day own. The very top of my list would be an Iron Man sketch by Bob Layton. If I ever got that, I could never dream of selling it for a profit. Comic books are my passion in life, Iron Man is my favorite super-hero, and Bob Layton was the co-plotter and inker on the definitive run on the book. Actually owning a sketch by him would be one of the biggest thrills of my life and the thought of turning around and getting easy cash for it actually makes me a little sick. 

    While I 100% respect Adam Hughes’ decision and completely agree with why he decided to do it, I just feel bad for the people who genuinely would get a huge thrill out of owning that sketch they didn’t get because of some flipper. 

  31. ericmci ericmci says:

    Could he be quitting comics?

  32. homiegfunk03 homiegfunk03 says:

    As hard as it is to hear I gotta respect Adam and Allison’s decision. As much as fan’s like the ones writing here genuinely respect the artist, fandom as a whole tends to be demanding and entitled. How much can someone who’s exhausted from the marathons that are cons take?

  33. This makes me sad for all the people who genuinely love his work and would cherish a piece of art, but I completely understand his reasoning. 

    I was at the Boston Con and got an issue of Zatanna signed, couldn’t make it onto the sketch list.  The art’s so good I hung up the signed issue on my Comic Art wall in my apartment.

  34. BBretall BBretall says:

    I don’t blame Adam Hughes at all.  I have the same opinion that while someone is free to do what they want with something they buy, I dislike people who eat up the comission slots of “hot’ artists solely to make a profit, depriving fans who will cherise the commission an opportunity to own one.

    I like the idea of only doing commissions that are personalized within the art in a way that is not easy to crop out.

  35. db8coach db8coach says:

    This is a great article and your suggestions are really good.  I have recently gotten into purchasing art myself and the suggestions will really help.  Living in a rural area where the closest convention is 6 hours away, makes it hard for me to be able to get sketches.  Flippers do anger me because it puts ligitimate collectors at a dissadvantage.