Artists at cons, help me help you. Stop pushing prints.
With con season in full swing, and Wondercon right around the corner, I would like to plead with comic book artists to get creative with their table merchandise. Too many tables only sell prints or original pages of art. While both of these art products are fine to have displayed for sale, they also present several problems to convention regulars.
1. Walls Have Limits
My walls are already covered with art prints from previous shows. There is only so much wall space I can use for art before I start hanging frames from the light switches. I’m no longer a child who can proudly have posters cover every single inch of my room. I’m a grown adult. I need a bit of space between my Iron Man and Hellboy art.
2. Wallets Have Limits
I get it. You are a popular artist. But $150+ for an original page of art, which has 5 panels of meaningless imagery (no characters in the panels) from a comic that was canceled due to lack of readers, is just stupid. I understand the writer needed you to draw a transition page, but unlike the writer, I have no need for that page. Pages of original art are too expensive. Don’t artists know I need extra money to spend on problem #3?
3. What Frame Store Doesn’t Carry 13” by 15”?
I have run into this problem more times than I like to admit. Too often have I bought a print from an artist I’m a huge fan of just to find out later that the print’s dimensions are not common premade frame sizes. I end up having to wait several months for an Aaron Brother 60% off custom framing coupon just to be able to pay 3 times more for the frame than I did for the print. Yes, I’ll take the gallery glass and quadruple matting…might as well at this point. I can’t skimp when it comes to a picture of Howard the Duck playing cards with the Avengers.
Artists, learn to size your prints. We like your work. Some of us want to frame it. We don’t all just buy prints from your portfolio jacket just to place it into our portfolio jacket.
4. My Name is Url
When I buy a print I always enjoy when the artist takes the time to sign the print. Coincidentally, I hate when the artist just says they are pre-signed. (Is it also pre-paid for? Sign it again, rookie biatch!) Point is…I want the artist’s signature. Not often, but sometimes, the artist will have their website url on the print. This is the worst! The url will even by on the actually lower or upper portion of the imagery, not just in the white margin. “Thanks for the web address! Now I know where to go to request a print without a stupid web address on it.”
Artists, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy prints, or original art pieces; I just don’t have a ton of money or space. I bought your comic, so I’m already low on cash. What I am looking for is something reasonable, something like:
1. A Bookmark
Some of us still read regular books. Plus, very often your graphic novels aren’t great and we may need to step away from them for a while before we can capture the courage to finish reading a waste of $20…I mean… your graphic novel. It would be nice to have a cool bookmark (like the one I made below, using art by Dustin Nguyen) to save our place with. Bookmarks also make nice little gifts for children who are getting into reading. They’re cheap to make and you can sell them for $1 or $2 dollars each. Oh, and I like my bookmarks like I like my dildos: double-sided.
2. A Small Sketchbook
I may be out of wall space, but since I sold all my comics and went digital, I have plenty of everywhere else space. I love when artists, especially popular artists, have a $5 to $25 sketch or commission book. Artists like Dustin Nguyen, Leinil Yu and Eric Canete have produced several fantastic small-sized art books that are easy to carry around for the day and don’t break the bank. They are also great to give as gifts and perfect for showing off to the drunken art chick that comes up to your apartment after you finished your Culver City art walk. Dustin’s Lil Gotham DC characters work every time.
3. A Capri Sun
Sure this has nothing to do with you (the artist) or your art, but remember, this is about me, the fan. I’d give a couple of bucks to puncture the bottom of a Capri Sun for a bit of cool refreshing energy. You’re sitting behind a table all day, but I’m out here walking the floor. New artists may even want to give out drinks for free. My parents used to give cold sodas to the garbage men when they came by in the summer. I’m not saying you have to give me a free drink, but it would entice me to come by and maybe pick up some of your trash.
I look forward to seeing what artists have on display at Wondercon, this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up a bookmark, sketch book or free cold beverage.