Commission And Be Damned

I recently became aware of someone who commissioned a well known comic book artist for a piece of art for the sum of $200 at a comic convention, and was given the impression that it would be ready by the end of the show.

Over three years later, with excuse piled upon excuse, there was nothing. With new managers getting involved, there would be long periods where e-mails would not be replied to, and that was the case right now, with no responses for months. The buyer had requested a refund as the artist seemed to express problems with creating the piece, but no money had been received.

The individual contacted Bleeding Cool, I emailed the parties in question, and later that day the buyer was refunded in full, three and a half years after the payment was made.

I agreed not to name the artist, as the money had been paid in full, but this is the kind of thing to consider when commissioning work. Obviously working comic book artists have to put publisher gigs with strict deadline ahead of their commissions, and schedules can change at a moment’s notice. And some people make it very clear that commissions may take a month, may take a year, may take a lifetime. And people are happy to wait.

But when polite (initially) e-mails are not responded to, when availability for commissions is advertised with an estimated completion date of six weeks, and the artwork still hasn’t been completed, then something needs addressing.

As ever, transparency is key.

Talking of which, I have a script to finish and a waiting editor. This weekend, I promise.

Bleeding Cool's coverage of San Diego Comic Con 2015 is brought to you by Valiant's BOOK OF DEATH #1 – in stores July 15th. Visit ValiantUniverse.com for more information.

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