A few months back, I opened up comments on commissions I'd like to get at Houston's Comicpalooza 2012. I have to confess to being more than a little disappointed that in the time since that post, the only major change to the artist guest list was Ryan Stegman being replaced by Joe Eisma. I'm also bummed that I apparently won't be getting another Andy Kuhn this year, breaking my streak. With a little over a month remaining until the con, I'm firming up my plans, although this has also led to some darn & blasé...
The Reverend Dave Johnson
I found a site selling stuff along the lines of what I'd like to get for $300-650. I've never paid more than a c-note for a piece of comic art, but then, I've never tried to buy a Dave Johnson original before, either. It might come down to Kubert vs. Johnson at these prices, and either is pretty much guaranteed to be of the Martian Manhunter. I will say that either would be my first J'Onn J'Onzz commission (as opposed to buying previously produced pieces by Michael Bair and Kevin Maguire,) and I like that standard.
I mentioned last time that Kubert had a whole gallery of relatively recent sketches at Comic Art Fans. What I didn't know was that they were almost all tied to a book promotion or an auction, that the quality was erratic, that Joe had a history of refusing sketches, and that the only mention made of fees alluded to their being high. As much as I'd like to get a Silver Age Martian Manhunter drawing by a legend who I can't recall ever touching the character, I'm not a big fan of jumping through hoops, either. The limited edition books were selling for $275, and I could see going twice that, but four figures is out of the question. I still have to fight the urge to get a B'rett, but it gets easier the further into triple-digits the price goes.
Still advertised as $250-300.00 for B&W art, $900 for a painting. I tend to like Robinson's art raw and uncolored, which helps, but I'm still not comfortable with that price range. I'm happy to be able to up my budget for 2012, so I hopefully won't be kicking myself over passing on something like a $100 Bob Layton TOR like I did last year. Still, I'd hate to blow my wad on the first few guys, as well. With his punk rock western aesthetic, B'rett or the Devil Men would be high on my list of possible commissions. Other options include Fernus, Rott, Kanto, Brimstone, Cabal, Cay'an, Scorch, Master Gardener, Weapons Master, Saul Erdel, H'ronmeer, Bloodwynd, Perkins Preston, Cameron Chase, Jemm, Kishana Lewis, or Marie Fouchere.
Since the last post, I've realized Maybury was responsible for the wicked Clock story in Crack Comics #63, which you should have bought already. It's really good. Anyway, again, this guy seems to draw whole scenes as opposed to pin-ups, which makes him ideal for less defined "conceptual" subjects. His published rates are one character B&W brush and ink for $80, + $50 per character. $300 for more elaborate stuff like backgrounds and digital color. Sounds doable. I'm thinking the Scary Monsters, the Devil Men of Pluto, the Pyre, the Swarm, the Hyperclan, Cabal, the Human Falcon, Mr. Moth, Dr. Trap, the Renegades of Mars, the Martian Mandrills, Thantos, D'Kay, the Lizard Men, the Thythen, Vulkor, or Till'all.
I found a UK site that says his head & shoulders quickies are $30.00, with heavier duty stuff negotiable as a mail-away. It also looks like the wait is fairly long (something like 3+ seasons.) I think I can be that patient if I know up front that I'm in for a wait, but I still get itchy about that sort of thing. I might prefer to just arrange the whole thing by mail at a later date, so I can keep cash on me for more instant gratification. If that's the case, some candidates for mug shots include B'rett, Scorch, B'enn B'urnzz, the Marshal, Weapons Master, Commander Blanx, Bel Juz, Professor Hugo, J'en, Perkins Preston, or the Conjurer. More ideally, I'd take advantage of his talent for retro folk, and try Diane Meade, Captain Harding, Lt. Saunders, Mike Hanson or even Hannibal Smith. Still, my ultimate goal remains a full J'onn J'onzz, and if I have to wait a year, maybe John Jones as well. Also, I understand Chaykin's very chatty, which is perfectly nice, but also means I'm going to line up my other commissions first to get them off my mind.
I really liked this guy when I was first exposed to him, but my interest fell away. Going over his work in detail, I now realize it's because I'm not into buxom pin-ups/super-heroine porn, which is all anyone seems to want him to draw. When he gets to cut loose on fully clothed subjects, he really goes ape over detailing, and that stuff is fantastic. Options include the Osprey, Vandal Savage, the Mercurian, Triumph, the Prophet, Jemm, Glenn Gammeron, Re's Eda, or even the Human Squirrel. If I did go girly, appropriate choices include Her-Who-Must-Be-Served, Bette Noir, Scorch, Princess Cha'rissa, and Bel Juz. My problem is that I can't find a firm rate list, and there appears to be a whole E.Bas economy of flipping commissions on eBay. One cover quality piece was sold by the artist for a grand, and more pin-upy stuff seem to go for $500-750. I can't see going anywhere near those numbers, so speculation may be moot.
If things work out like I hope, I'll get multitudinous work from Zahler. He offers a B&W 8.5" x 11" single figure plus computer colored print for $50.00, and he has a gift for it. The only drawback is that he draws weird shaped heads, but I'm confident that can be turned into a strength. Roh Kar, Human Falcon, Jemm, Vulkor, the Thythen, Thantos, the Headmaster, the Martian Criminal, Mr. Moth, Prof. Hugo, and Zook all come to mind. Additionally, there are Lt. Saunders, Capt. Harding, Diane Meade, Patrolman Mike Hanson, the J'onzz Family, Sally Winters, the Humans Squirrel & Flame, Futureman, Marie Fouchere, TOR, Tybalt Bak'sar, Diabolu, the Osprey, and Despero, who have other features suited to Zahler's style.
Here's an artist with a thorough quote. $40-60.00 for a quick sketch (depending on background.) $100-150 for full rendering. $150-250 for digital coloring (again, w/ or w/o background.) At Boston Comic Con, he was charging $50 for busts and $80 for full body, and I'd expect something similar in Houston. While I like Takara's full blown art, the thing that really got me jazzed was "50 Tiny Characters" starting back in 2009 (and expanding to 122 by 2011.) I love the simplicity, which reminds me of the Marvel Comics' corner box figures from the Bronze Age. I'd love to get some of these for my sidebar icons, and just do my usual crap flat MS Paint coloring for free. Some options would be Korge, Cay'an, Commander Blanx, Re's Eda, N'orr Cott, Bel Juz, the Mercurian, Diane Meade, T'omm J'onzz, TOR, Fernus, the Master Gardener, Thantos, or the Prophet.
9x12" $50 bust, $100 full size. 11x17" $300-$400 figure + background. Sounds reasonable to me. I see myself getting a $100 figure, and it will almost certainly be a male. Kirkham's from the Mike Turner school, and Turner was famous for drawing contorted Barbie dolls. I really don't like that soulless plastic look, and Kirkham's males draw from additional influences that I prefer (Silvestri/Portacio/Platt.) As much as I prefer talking to artists in person over emails, I do find it frustrating that so many of the guys attending this year are from an artistic school that I never took to. I'm trying to use it as an opportunity to see characters through a different lens, but when I stumble across information like Tom Grummett doing commissions, who I've been fond of for a couple of decades, it really gives me pause. Anyway, some options include B'enn B'urnzz, the Osprey, Despero, Vandal Savage, Fernus, Weapons Master, the Mercurian, Malefic, Triumph, the Prophet, Rott, Glenn Gammeron, or Commander Blanx.
9x12 Bust $40. 11x14 Full Figure $80. Grey tones: +$20. Colors: +$35. +1 additional character: +25 (bust) +50 (full figure). 11x17 - Full Figure $125, additional characters: +$75 per character. Eisma was in town last year, and I didn't get anything from him because of a combination of price and my not having a strong emotional response to his work. He's not a bad artist, though, and I like that he has such clear terns posted online. Let's say I got the Devil Men in color: $215-305. Looking at his female characters, I'm reminded of Al Barrionuevo's Cay'an, especially the eyes. Since there are no clear, full figure drawings of that character publicly available (to my knowledge,) that might be $115-160 well spent.
I understand Davis charges $60 for a bust. That's okay. You know, I just really can't get excited about this guy, so barring a kickass Human Squirrel full figure, I doubt that this one is going to happen.
This lady has a predilection for the female nude that exceeds even Eric Basaldua, given that they are so vastly the majority of her output that I can't even link to her NSFW tumblr feed. She's got a nice Nagel vibe, but her material isn't really in my wheelhouse, and I can't afford her anyway.
I can't find commission rates, I'm not sure what medium he'd be inclined to use, I'm uncertain of the reference necessary, and I just don't feel like going through the potential trouble with this one. Pass.
Another one I'm probably not going to work with. I just cannot figure out what approach this guy would take, there's too little reference online, and I have no idea how much he charges.
I finally found some art by him beyond zombified super-heroes in his deviantART gallery. I like to take artists out of their comfort zone with my oddball suggestions, but Phillips' interests and style seem pretty specific. I'm looking at B’enn B’urnzz, B'rett, N’orr Cott, Despero, The Devil Men of Pluto, Fernus, Korge, Malefic, The Mercurian, The Pyre, Rott, or the Scary Monsters.