“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Please read. This makes for an interesting and alarming situation - perhaps explaining my apprehensive attitude about posting larger scans. Thanks all.
[10/5/06 7:12am, firstname.lastname@example.org]
Good morning, Ryan.
I hope you don't mind but I am thinking about re-posting, in part or in whole (and minus all the important information such as your e-mail address and such), your e-mail to me that concerns people taking images down from your website and trying to pass them off as the legitimate sales of originals on e-Bay.
But I thought it'd only be proper if I asked you first. It is after all, a private correspondence between you and me and I thought the appropriate thing to do would be to run it by you and take your temperature on it. If you could get back to me I'd certainly appreciate it. I'll speak with you soon.
[10/5/06 11:49am, **e-mail withheld by request**]
Nope, I don't mind at all, and can even give you some further details.
I was contacted by a dealer one night who notified me to the listing featuring four Sandman pieces from a VERY well-known artist from the Sandman books. I had a look at the pieces, and knew instantly that they were forgeries, as I was the actual owner of one of the pieces in question. But just to be certain, I called the artist on the spot and had him verify that the pieces were indeed forgeries, which the artist confirmed. At this point I sent emails to the seller, eBay, and all of the bidders, notifying them that these were fakes. My emails to the seller and, unfortunately, eBay went totally ignored, but most of the buyers got back to me. I was told by a few of the buyers that I was just another collector out to discredit his auctions so that I could get the pieces myself. The seller also wrote some rather nasty emails to other friends and associates of mine, claiming rather dubious motives on my part.
Ultimately, I had the artist email eBay as well, (though they still didn't stop the auction). The pieces ended out going for just under a thousand dollars. The high bidder, the artist, and myself came to an agreement that both myself and the high bidder would send the original pieces to the artist, and he would verify the validity of ALL of them, and then press charges against the seller accordingly. At this point the buyer decided not to purchase the pieces, and the seller more or less vanished from eBay.
Having related this story to a number of other collectors, I was contacted by a collector who had also had been offered many pieces privately from this seller. He forwarded me a number of emails, and I was shocked to find that out of nearly 25 pieces sent to me, the majority of them had been pilfered from my site and were no more than crass forgeries. There were a number of other pieces by several prominent artists, among them Mike Mignola, Art Adams, and Jon J Muth that were obvious fakes as well. It became pretty apparent at this point that this guy has probably been passing off fakes for while now, though I do think he sprinkles legitimate stuff as well, which makes him even more .
Unfortunately, without any of the fakes in my (or anybody else I knew) possession, it was pretty impossible to pursue any further action. The sandman.tv website came down, as I refused to be a catalog for somebody else to exploit collectors.
The guy disappeared for about a year, but has recently resurfaced the eBay handles (**edit**) and another that I don't remember off the top of my head, but I'll try and track it down for you.
I wouldn’t normally pass out contact information, but I strongly feel that this guy needs to stopped. His name is (**NAME WITHHELD**), resident of Grand Junction, Colorado, and the last valid email address I've got is (**edit**).
I'm fully with you on your reasoning for not possting bigger scans, it's exaclty this kind of thing that one wants to avoid. So indeed, yes, hopefully people will get the point!
at 7:16 PM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Right off the top, never take too much stock of a fellow who uses the word 'coz' (instead of 'because') in a professional correspondence. I emphisize *professional* because it's just not something you do if you want to pass yourself off as some company's president and high level muckity-muck. You're trying to make a legitimate point and not come off like a street thug. It should be,
"While we sincerely appreciate your samples, *because* of our current publishing procedures, i.e. - not accepting unsolicited material in either written or illustrated form, we are unable to accomodate your submission at this time. Thank you very much for your fanship and...blah blah blah."
"*Coz* we got sumthin' like this already and coz you know so-and-so..."
[ Note: Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that's what happened with these here samples. I mean, you want to talk about 'unprofessional'...that would be it. The example I've given above *obviously* referes to something that's happened to me in the past - way, way, back in the day. Not for these pages. Because that would just be petty and small and wrong of me. ]
Seriously - people should be aware of the company's brand that they represent when they respond to anyone that's not within their close cirlce of friends. Wow - that's kind of preachy. Sorry about that.
Anyhoo, I've already posted the first two images from this set of pages and now I'm posting the last two...hell, I'll post all four again as I've had nothing new to show lately. I've gotta say that I had a ton of fun doing these pages and I've come to consider this as my first professional colleboration with Jon - and though it may never see publication, it counts for something to me to think I drew pages that he scripted (and scripted very well, I might add). I surely hope the powers that be get back with Jon soon. That'd be awesome COZ Jon's a pretty damn good writer.
I *still* don't think Vega is pretty enough. I guess that means that's #724 in the list of things I still need to learn how to draw - pretty boys.
at 3:42 PM
Earlier this year, at the APE convention in SF, a guy comes up to the BVS table and asks if I could contribute to his 'Sandman and The Endless' themed sketchbook. I was more than happy to of course, until I saw who he had in that awesome collection of his. Man, I can't even begin to list the amazing people he's gotten to draw a character from that Vertigo series (and he said he's got volumes of this stuff from other sketchbooks he's filled already - that's NUTS!), but here's one thing that's for sure: I didn't belong with those guys. I mean, this book was insane! But the fella' did ask nicely and I had already flipped though the pages so I drew something anyway. I still owe you a better image, Ryan - sorry, brother.
Here's a small, little ditty I did for Ryan's other sketchbook at SDCC - Dream's kooky little sister, Delirium. I think I've already posted the image of 'Destiny' I did for Ryan and there ain't no way that I'm going to relive that shame. So if ya'll wanna see it, scroll down or rummage though archives. Ugh...I feel ill just thinking about the coolness that is that sketchbook.
at 7:37 AM