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Convention Season and Cosplay Where are you going? Who are you going to meet there? Who are you going to be?

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Old July 8th, 2006   lrdgrifter is offline   #1
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Smile The Official convention Q&A and Advice thread

I'm going to be attending my very first "big" con since I was a kid in a little less than a month now (Wizard - Chicago), and I've been trying to find some decent info on exactly what is considered proper etiquette as far as sketch collecting goes.

Back in the day, things were much easier as all I had to worry about was standing in line with the old man and getting an autograph. No big deal. Dad would talk for little starstruck me, I'd collect the autograph, say thank you, then leave to stand in another line and repeat process.

That was about 20 years ago. I haven't been to another con since.

I was just wondering exactly how the whole thing has changed. I hear that artists are charging for autographs & sketches now (completely reasonable, IMHO), and that there's alot of concern about ebay and such.

From the artist/writer's standpoint, what exactly should I expect when I get to the front of the line? How much should I plan on bringing along for sketches (ie. what is considered the standard going rate)? What should I bring along as far as materials go (sketch pad, type of paper, etc.)?

Forewarned (or educated), as they say is forearmed, and I like to go hunting loaded for bear.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old July 8th, 2006   JeffDyer is offline   #2
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Hi-
I've attended Wizard World Chicago for about 10 years in a row...and here are my thoughts on this...

1.) I've rarely paid for sketches and NEVER for autographs. This is part of the reason why the pros are at the conventions...to meet and greet their fans. I don't think I've ever paid for an autograph and the only sketches I've paid for weren't really "sketches"...they were full drawings. (I got a George Perez drawing one year and paid $40 but that was for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund...a very worthy cause). I think most artists will do a quick head sketch for free.

2.) Where to have the sketch done? Depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to hang it on your wall...where you can see it all the time (and I've done this with some of my better ones...sketches by Alex Ross, Jim Lee, Phil Hester, Mark Bagley, Carmine Infantino, Perez, Ordway, etc.). I like being able to see the drawings whenever I walk in my comic book room in the basement. Other sketches are in my sketchbook. Invest in a $20 hardcover sketch book with big thick white pages. It's fun to add sketches in the book every year you go to a con.

3.) As for autographs on comics...one thing that bugs a LOT of people is when you lug a HUGE stack of books and expect the creator to sign them all. I generally bring 1-3 books to get autographed by each creator and that's it...(Unless I have a one-on-one chat with a creator and then maybe will bring more...this also depends on how busy he/she is)

Hope this helps! Have fun!

Jeff
 
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Old July 8th, 2006   Phil Hester is offline   #3
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I can't imagine anyone charging for an autograph. Ghastly! As far as volume, just take a gander at the line (if any). If you're one of a few waiting- go for broke. Bring your whole stack, but be willing to "pause" for the fan who wants to cut in with just one. If quite a few people are waiting- limit yourslef to five or six and cycle back through the end of the line if you really want the rest of your books autographed. Most cons do not have line wranglers, so we depend on your courteous behavior.

Most artists, myself included, will do a quick sketch, remarque, doodle, head shot, whatever you want to call it, for free. You'll find that they tend to be less elaborate if the artist is busy. We want to meet as many readers as possible. A sketchbook is the best place for freebies. Most artists will assume they're doing a freebie when you hand them a sketchbook unless you declare otherwise. We bring the drawing tools, but on a freebie we appreciate you providing some type of drawing paper, even a backer board is fine.

Most artists will also do a more involved con sketch- full or half figure, inked, etc. for a price. Anything from $25-$100. I'm $40. Please note- that's for a single figure. My fellow artists would string me up if folks started showing up at cons expecting the entire roster of the JSA for $50. On paid sketches artists will provide their own bristol. Be prepared to wait a few hours for completion, maybe even overnight if you're at the con for a few days.

That said, I can't speak for every artist. Be flexible. Be patient. Most guys and gals behind the table were on the other side of it just a few years or months ago. We remember what it's like. Enjoy!
Last edited by Phil Hester; July 8th, 2006 at 11:32 PM.
 
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Old July 9th, 2006   DABEARS is offline   #4
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Thanks for the information Phil! I have always wondered that same question (about sketches). This helps out a lot.
 
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Old July 9th, 2006   Thunderflash11 is offline   #5
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I also got a question as I'm in a similar situation to Irdgrifter;
How does one approach an artist, do you make chit-chat, do you suck up, do you just go straight forward and ask? How do you actually ask for a sketch?
 
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Old July 9th, 2006   Phil Hester is offline   #6
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I also got a question as I'm in a similar situation to Irdgrifter;
How does one approach an artist, do you make chit-chat, do you suck up, do you just go straight forward and ask? How do you actually ask for a sketch?
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Just say "Hi, I really enjoy your work." Shake hands. After that we're all yours. We're a shallow, easily flattered lot. You can ask anything at that point.

As far as skecthes- just say, "Are you sketching today"? Most artists will then let you know if they're available, what it would cost and how long you might have to wait for it.

Here's another secret- the best way to get a great sketch, even a freebie, is to ask the artist to draw one of the following:
1- His or her creation.
2- His or her favorite character.
3- Say- "Go crazy. Do whatever you want."

Secret #2- If you have a sketchbook, try to start with something really awesome. The artists who follow will feel the need to match what came before.
 
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Old July 9th, 2006   Lord malvolio is offline   #7
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Be sure to get your autograph or sketch to say: "To ebay winner".
 
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Old July 12th, 2006   Havok85H is offline   #8
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What size sketch book is best? 5x7ish? 8x10?
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   grimston1 is offline   #9
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I have attended many convention and have a pretty good collection of art. These are some of the thing guidelines that I use and I hope you find them helpful.


You can ask and artist if they are doing any quick sketches. This usually implies that you are asking for a quick free head shot. It is always good to ask how much they charge. Some artist still do free quick sketches. In the age of Ebay, what was once free now may cost a few dollars. If you want something more detailed, ask the artist if they are doing commission sketches. Always inquire about the price and what the sketch entails (full figure, head shot, inked or not inked, grey tone etc..). Most artist have a commission list for the show. It is important that you get on the list as soon as the show opens. Some artist will require you to pay upfront others will want to wait and see if they get to you on the list. Some artist will do sketches at home and then mail them to you.


Be prepared. This not only goes for Boy Scouts but Con attendees. Look at the guest list for the show. Narrow down what artist you are interested in and think what sketches you would like to get from them. If you can get a diagram of the dealers room, map out your routes and prioritize who you want to get first, 2nd etc.. and get on a list . Almost any artist can do a Batman, Superman, Spiderman from memory. However, if you want to get a more obscure character have a reference to show the artist. The easiest thing to do is to print something out from the net. Have a sketch pad that will allow you to tear out pages and leave them with the artist. Some like a sketch book, but I find that will tie you down by having to leave it with the artist.

Take a book to get signed. Have some knowledge of what the artist has done in the past. Getting the book signed is a good way to break the ice. You might even have some questions about the art in the issue.

Don't be an Ebayer. I see time after time the same guys that go to shows and get sketches just to sell. They have not intention of keeping what they get. I have never sold any of my art. That is not to say that I would not sell some if I needed a new kidney or something like that. Also, I like to get my sketches personalized.


I am a proud owner of a Hester & Parks Green Arrow sketch that is framed in my den! Phil was a real nice guy and I enjoyed talking with him.
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   Jason Truong is offline   #10
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What size sketch book is best? 5x7ish? 8x10?
ddf
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I think mine is 8.5"x11", one of those hardcover sketchbooks.
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   Jason Truong is offline   #11
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Secret #2- If you have a sketchbook, try to start with something really awesome. The artists who follow will feel the need to match what came before.
ddf
Phil Hester
I believe that's how someone got Steranko to sketch at Motor City this past May (or before that). I forget who started off this person's sketchbook, but Steranko saw it, and said he has to be in the book. Also, as Phil stated, the sketch before usually gets the next artist to match what came before.
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   Jason Truong is offline   #12
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You can ask and artist if they are doing any quick sketches. This usually implies that you are asking for a quick free head shot. It is always good to ask how much they charge. Some artist still do free quick sketches.
ddf
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Yes, don't assume you're getting one free. Ask before about the artist's sketch policy.


Be prepared. This not only goes for Boy Scouts but Con attendees. Look at the guest list for the show. Narrow down what artist you are interested in and think what sketches you would like to get from them. If you can get a diagram of the dealers room, map out your routes and prioritize who you want to get first, 2nd etc.. and get on a list.
ddf
grimston1
Most of the bigger cons provide the floorplan and seating chart. Up to you to match the two. It makes things easier.

Some like a sketch book, but I find that will tie you down by having to leave it with the artist.
ddf
grimston1
Speaking from experience... it took me about 3 hours to get my book back from Dave Ross. Not that he was slow, but after he took my sketchbook, and after he finished the sketch he was working on, he decided to take his lunch break. So, I was without my sketchbook for quite a while.

Don't be an Ebayer. I see time after time the same guys that go to shows and get sketches just to sell.
ddf
grimston1
Heck, some of those people don't even sell the original. Beware with what you see on eBay. Some people sell photocopies that they re-inked.

I am a proud owner of a Hester & Parks Green Arrow sketch
ddf
grimston1
Still waiting for the day I meet Phil and Ande.... on that note, Phil & Ande, please come to Toronto.
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   Thunderflash11 is offline   #13
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Just say "Hi, I really enjoy your work." Shake hands. After that we're all yours. We're a shallow, easily flattered lot. You can ask anything at that point.

As far as skecthes- just say, "Are you sketching today"? Most artists will then let you know if they're available, what it would cost and how long you might have to wait for it.

Here's another secret- the best way to get a great sketch, even a freebie, is to ask the artist to draw one of the following:
1- His or her creation.
2- His or her favorite character.
3- Say- "Go crazy. Do whatever you want."

Secret #2- If you have a sketchbook, try to start with something really awesome. The artists who follow will feel the need to match what came before.
ddf
Phil Hester
Thanks, man!
I would never have thought of any of those. Thankyou!
If 2 applies to him , god ****it i want to meet chris claremont, he is the master of original costumes/characters.
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   RedSoxFan is offline   #14
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This is very good advice. I know my son would love some skecthes when we go to WW-Dallas in the fall.
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   agentofdarkness is offline   #15
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Thanks, man!
I would never have thought of any of those. Thankyou!
If 2 applies to him , god ****it i want to meet chris claremont, he is the master of original costumes/characters.
ddf
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...claremont is a writer not an artist...did you know that?
 
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Old July 13th, 2006   wickedwrister31 is offline   #16
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I'm glad this thread popped up becasue I'm thing I've never been able to bring myself to do was ask for a sketch.
The only one I have is from Darick Robertson who just started drawing on the inside of my "Born" hardcover while we we're chatting. I was the only person at his table and he was really great guy to chat with. Had some funny stories too.
 
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