Spring Break: Ask Not For Commissions From Rob Liefeld…
WonderCon was pretty good. It was surprisingly huge, to be honest…much bigger than Equestria LA was last year. There were tons of artists in Artist’s Alley, rows upon rows of them. I found it really challenging to go up to them, introduce myself, explain the schtick that is Tales of Adequacy, and then ask for a commissioned piece of artwork about it. Very hard. It took equal parts moxie and “stick-to-it-iveness” since the plan was to get art from real artists.
I have to imagine that’s what it’s like to the artists themselves when they pitch a project. You have your portfolio, you have some pages and some ideas, and you have to talk to an editor that you don’t know, and convince them that it’s a good idea. The only difference is the artist in that case wants to get paid for their idea…as opposed to me, walking up with dollars in hand, as the editor, or at least the client.
Sometimes I didn’t want to bother them. They would be hard at work, drawing something, not looking up, and it seemed…well, just rude to butt in with my request, like the whole damn universe orbits me and my little webcomic personally. Other people, like Scott Koblish, were chatty through the whole drawing, and very, very pleasant to just hang out with.
The Con opened at noon. Noon. As readers know, I was looking forward to trying to get Rob Liefeld to do a commissioned page for me. I later discovered that the five commissioned pages I now have in hand cost less than one head sketch would have from him. Being honest, I didn’t just go to lightweights either. I have three more pieces in the hopper, which will be sent to me…drawn by real heavyweights…and still, adding those in, bringing the number of pages to eight, we are competitive with Rob’s rate that was quoted to me for one head sketch.
I didn’t get the quote from Rob though. We saw him, and there was a line of people waiting for him to sign comics. He had a rate schedule for that…just his signature. The line was long. I decided to come back later, at least to talk to him. This guy created Cable and Deadpool, drew the New Mutants at a time when my friends and I really looked forward to the issues…created Domino…I was really focused on the GOOD.
Rob Liefeld is famous for not finishing his comics projects.
I should have known that when we came back, less than two hours after the convention opened its doors, he would already have left. Nothing but a banner with Deadpool’s image, and the word Liefeld, left behind. Less than two hours.
His neighboring artists called it a “rapid strike” mission. I found it bewildering. Discovering that I couldn’t have afforded to commission anything, much less have him do it while there…didn’t make that go down much easier.
Don’t get me wrong. I got to shake Dan Brereton’s hand. I got to have Tony Fleecs, who drew the cover to one of my favorite comics of 2013, draw a page for me. I hung out with Scott Koblish, one of the current Deadpool artists, and Tone Rodriguez of Violent Messiahs. There was a lot of GOOD. Beside that, there was a @#$% ton of stuff that I wanted, which I got.
It’s just…here I was, giving Rob Liefeld a chance to be the Rob Liefeld that everyone tries to remember. I’m pretty damn unforgiving, and have based on him at length on the very pages. For a moment, I relented, softened my heart, and I got to physically watch him do to a room full of fans what he does to DC and Marvel. Leave without finishing a project.
To that end, I dragged out the cropping tool, the old Obama poster maker, the retro filter, and then, the taped photo effect. All so that I could put this virtual poster on my virtual wall. Let’s say it’s like a wanted poster in some ways…
There was, however, an exhibit of indestructible things. That was cool.
Still, I feel like I need to go after the Rob Liefeld issue some more. When a friend told me he would be doing at least a cover for IDW on GI Joe, I was depressed. I actually watched him skip out on fans, and somehow, comics companies keep giving this guy dollars. Real, American dollars, not Latinum Vouchers from the Ferengi Consortium. Not Bitcoin.
As a result, I feel I must provide this link to the Forty Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings. Beware, the critic curses. A lot.
In the absence of my own highly priced piece of Liefeld original art to criticize, it only seemed fair. For those of us reading who are teachers, and not comics afficionados, here are some high points from the critic’s list:
Okay…okay….I have to let it go…it is too easy, and you can get lost in it. For all that I was just very critical, and with good measure…in the late eighties and early nineties, this was one of the most popular comics artists in the world. His compositions were new and dynamic, he had new ideas for new characters…he was so #$%&ing important to the comics industry, Spike Lee made a jeans commercial with him in it. Drawing.
Now…its just unfinished projects, draftsmanship that never fully evolved, and fans being let down. It’s sad. I would have much rather come home with a piece of art, and basked in nostalgia of having to wait a month with my friends for the next issue, endlessly debating the events of the one in hand, in college dorm lounges. Going to the convention at the Shrine, which was big then, monthly, to make sure we had the whole stash of X-Men books.
As it is…I did walk away with a huge stash of art, which will be a guest artist week for Tales of Adequacy! YAY!
That won’t be this week though. Probably next week. I want to spend time setting up links, and examples of the artists’ own fine work, making the week really cool. It’s an Adequacy Event, True Believers!
Next Issue: The Spring Break Endeth!