Brian Bolland threatens me with legal action

Brian Bolland threatens me with legal actionThis morning I found an email in my inbox from an attorney claiming to represent comic book artist Brain Bolland. The return email address along with his signature shows that he is from the Chicago law firm Klafter & Burke. Their website shows that they specialize in real estate and taxes. Evidently they are expanding their legal scope into the lucrative world of comic book law.

Yesterday this same person attempted to post two comments to my blog. He didn’t identify himself yesterday as a lawyer representing Brian Bolland. In fact, he claimed the complete opposite. He claimed to not speak for Brian Bolland.

His comments were automatically held for moderation because WordPress misidentified them as spam. He attempted to post numerous links within his comments. I have WordPress configured to identify any comment with two or more links to be spam.

This all stems from a post I made on my blog almost two months ago concerning a commissioned sketch Brian Bolland did for a fan at the 2007 New York Comicon. I found the image of the sketch while looking for photos from the convention. The fan (also named Brian) wrote that he paid $150 for it.

The sketch measured approximately 3 by 4 inches.

I believed Brian Bolland overcharged the fan for the sketch. In fact, I wrote that he “ripped off” the fan.

Evidently Brain Bolland Googled himself last week and found my post. He twice responded to what I wrote. His comments seemed good natured and not the least bit snarky. It seemed that he was admitting that he overcharged the fan for the commission. He wrote, “I feel particularly upset that I’ve shafted a fellow Brian.

How can he admit that he “shafted” the fan, but then have his lawyer send a threatening email to me demanding that I remove my post? Isn’t shafting someone worse then ripping them off? I’m no wordsmith, but it certainly seems so to me. Maybe it’s just me, but the expression shafted seems to have a pseudo-sexual connotation to it that the phrase “ripped off” just doesn’t have.

If Brian Bolland wanted me to remove my post, why didn’t he just ask me himself? Why engage the services of a lawyer? The truth is that if he had simply asked me nicely to remove the post when he first discovered it, I probably would have done so. I had no malice or ill will towards him.

All that changed though when he decided to threaten me with legal action. I don’t particularly like being threatened. Then again, who does? Not that I have any malice for him now.

I now don’t particularly feel like removing the post.

UPDATE: My hosting provider asked me to remove the Cease and Desist letter sent to me by Brian Bolland’s lawyer, Christopher M. Caira of the Klafter & Burke law firm. Caira threatened legal action against my hosting provider unless the C&D letter was removed. Caira claimed that the letter disclosed private information including personal contact information. Oddly enough, it’s the very same “personal contact information” published on the Klafter & Burke website. I thought it was important to include the C&D letter to show what steps Brian Bolland and his lawyer were taking to silence critical speech.

Comments

  1. Jenn says

    It’s all fun ‘n’ games till the men in suits and ties arrive.

    “You will be held responsible for your words. Mr. Bolland will not be damaged by your thoughtless and reckless words and actions.”

    Brian Bolland had his chance to “call you out on the carpet” when he
    made his initial contacts and didn’t. He obviously realized that he took a fan to the cleaners (not sure where that turn of phrase ranks with “shafted”). So it’s maybe after consultation with his attorney that he realizes he could be “harmed”? Hmm…

    Libel and slanderous language is a real issue, but I always think of that more in terms of accusing someone of a murder, or an infidelity, or being a pedophile. Serious accusations that, if they prove false, should land the one who made the claims in some serious trouble. You accused Brian Bolland of overcharging for a sketch. I would think that more people than not would agree with your assessment.

  2. says

    Jenn, Mr. Bolland commented twice and at no time did I get the impression that he wanted me to remove the post. In fact, in his second comment, he seemed kinda disappointed that nobody had commented on what he said earlier.

    I don’t really understand why he would then go and have his United States lawyer threaten me with legal action. It seems to me that attempting to silence someone’s opinion and freedom of speech is a lot worse then overcharging for a sketch.

  3. says

    Jenn, Mr. Bolland commented twice and at no time did I get the impression that he wanted me to remove the post. In fact, in his second comment, he seemed kinda disappointed that nobody had commented on what he said earlier.

    I don’t really understand why he would then go and have his United States lawyer threaten me with legal action. It seems to me that attempting to silence someone’s opinion and freedom of speech is a lot worse then overcharging for a sketch.

  4. Jack Vorpal says

    “You will be held responsible for your words. Mr. Bolland will not be damaged by your thoughtless and reckless words and actions.”

    Brian Bolland admitted on this blog (twice) that he overcharged. Why does he think he isn’t responsible for his words?

  5. Chris Caira says

    Thinking that a sketch is overpriced or not worth the money is a simple opinion about the quality of work.

    Calling someone the equivalent of a thief and saying that they ripped someone off is calling them dishonest, and is libel.

    Hopefully you will get to read this response Jack.

    Chris

  6. says

    Christopher M. Caira,

    I never called Mr. Bolland a thief. I said that he “ripped off” the person who commissioned the sketch. Mr. Bolland himself admits that it appears he “shafted” the fan who commissioned the sketch. Why he would now feel the need to have his American lawyer threaten me with legal action is beyond me.

    I never said that Mr. Bolland was dishonest. Don’t put words in my mouth. You aren’t very good at it.

    As I stated in my email to you, direct all future correspondence in this matter to me in writing or via email. I have provided you and your law firm my physical mailing address. Stop using the comment section of my blog to communicate with me on this matter.

  7. says

    Christopher M. Caira,

    I never called Mr. Bolland a thief. I said that he “ripped off” the person who commissioned the sketch. Mr. Bolland himself admits that it appears he “shafted” the fan who commissioned the sketch. Why he would now feel the need to have his American lawyer threaten me with legal action is beyond me.

    I never said that Mr. Bolland was dishonest. Don’t put words in my mouth. You aren’t very good at it.

    As I stated in my email to you, direct all future correspondence in this matter to me in writing or via email. I have provided you and your law firm my physical mailing address. Stop using the comment section of my blog to communicate with me on this matter.

  8. Ross says

    Rick,
    Do you honestly not see the difference between YOU saying that Brian Bolland ripped off a fan and Brian saying HE feels like the fan got shafted? If Brian wanted to come out and say that he was behind the Lindberg kidnapping, that’s one thing, but you don’t get to make the same allegations because you weren’t involved and have no knowledge of the topic. In other words, if Brian wants to come out and say something that could potentially hurt his reputation and therefore his future earnings, he can. You, or anyone else, do not get the same privilege.

    Ross

  9. says

    Ross,

    Lindberg kidnapping? Geez.

    I presented the facts as I understood them. Nobody seems to be disputing the facts I presented. Neither Mr. Bolland nor his legal representation claimed the facts I presented were wrong. Mr. Bolland didn’t seem to take issue with my use of the phrase, “ripping off”. At least he didn’t inform me that he had any issues with it.

    I then get an email from a lawyer claiming to be Mr. Bolland’s legal representative in the United States demanding that I cease and desist from posting about the sketch and remove the original post. I was also told to never mention his name ever again. The email was sent from a Chicago law firm.

    Nothing I said or did would in anyway jeopardize Mr. Bolland’s reputation or future earnings. The sketch and the price Mr. Bolland charged was already in the public view before I blogged about it. I stumbled upon it while looking for images from the 2007 New York Comicon.

    If people read my post and decide not to commission Mr. Bolland for a sketch it wont be because I said he “ripped off” someone. It will most likely be because they looked at the sketch and then looked at the price and decided it wasn’t worth it. Either that, or they will read what Mr. Bolland said himself about buying original artwork. He said not to waste money on original artwork.

    Look, the fact is that I like Mr. Bolland and his artwork. How can you not? His Joker is the absolute best. I’m looking forward to seeing his upcoming JACK OF FABLES covers. Even if he ends up suing me for blogging about one of his commissions.

  10. says

    Ross,

    Lindberg kidnapping? Geez.

    I presented the facts as I understood them. Nobody seems to be disputing the facts I presented. Neither Mr. Bolland nor his legal representation claimed the facts I presented were wrong. Mr. Bolland didn’t seem to take issue with my use of the phrase, “ripping off”. At least he didn’t inform me that he had any issues with it.

    I then get an email from a lawyer claiming to be Mr. Bolland’s legal representative in the United States demanding that I cease and desist from posting about the sketch and remove the original post. I was also told to never mention his name ever again. The email was sent from a Chicago law firm.

    Nothing I said or did would in anyway jeopardize Mr. Bolland’s reputation or future earnings. The sketch and the price Mr. Bolland charged was already in the public view before I blogged about it. I stumbled upon it while looking for images from the 2007 New York Comicon.

    If people read my post and decide not to commission Mr. Bolland for a sketch it wont be because I said he “ripped off” someone. It will most likely be because they looked at the sketch and then looked at the price and decided it wasn’t worth it. Either that, or they will read what Mr. Bolland said himself about buying original artwork. He said not to waste money on original artwork.

    Look, the fact is that I like Mr. Bolland and his artwork. How can you not? His Joker is the absolute best. I’m looking forward to seeing his upcoming JACK OF FABLES covers. Even if he ends up suing me for blogging about one of his commissions.

  11. Ross says

    Rick,

    Whether or not Mr. Bolland took issue with your use of the term “ripped off” at the time or not, he certainly has a right to change his mind. The buyer of the sketch certainly did. So the fact that he didn’t say anything to you directly about it doesn’t mean that you’re not still libel for saying it.

    The bottom line is that you did more than present the facts as they happened. You took a stance that Bolland in some way cheated the buyer because of the fact that the buyer complained about spending so much. The “fact” in this case is that the buyer willingly gave over $150.00 for the sketch, not that Bolland somehow swindled the buyer. If he didn’t feel like the sketch was worth that much, then he shouldn’t have paid that much for it.

    You’re better off cutting your losses on this one. Chalk it up to not putting your best foot forward, much like Bolland did on the sketch. Just own it. Much like Bolland did on the sketch.

    Ross

  12. says

    Ross,

    I presented the facts along with my opinion. It’s my opinion that Mr. Bolland ripped off the buyer. I didn’t say that he cheated the buyer. I didn’t say that he swindled the buyer. I didn’t say that Mr. Bolland was a thief. I feel as though you and few others are attempting to engage me in a straw man argument. You take what I said (ripped off) and then translate that phrase into other things such as “cheated” or “swindled”. I then find myself faced with defending words I did not use.

    As far as owning what I said, I have no problem with that whatsoever. I stand by everything I said. As far as Mr. Bolland owning the sketch, I believe the guy that paid him $150 still owns the sketch.

    All three by four inches of it.

  13. says

    Ross,

    I presented the facts along with my opinion. It’s my opinion that Mr. Bolland ripped off the buyer. I didn’t say that he cheated the buyer. I didn’t say that he swindled the buyer. I didn’t say that Mr. Bolland was a thief. I feel as though you and few others are attempting to engage me in a straw man argument. You take what I said (ripped off) and then translate that phrase into other things such as “cheated” or “swindled”. I then find myself faced with defending words I did not use.

    As far as owning what I said, I have no problem with that whatsoever. I stand by everything I said. As far as Mr. Bolland owning the sketch, I believe the guy that paid him $150 still owns the sketch.

    All three by four inches of it.

  14. Jack Vorpal says

    Chris Caira said:

    “Thinking that a sketch is OVERPRICED or not worth the money is a simple opinion about the quality of work.

    Calling someone the equivalent of a thief and saying that they ripped someone off is calling them dishonest, and is libel.”

    rip-off
    noun informal
    a fraud or swindle, esp. something that is grossly OVERPRICED : designer label clothes are just expensive rip-offs.

  15. Bruce says

    Rick, you said you never called him a thief. Well, what the heck do you think Rip-Off means?!

    Here’s what the dictionary says what Rip-Off means: Stealing, Cheating, ect..

    So, yeah, you called him a thief. It’s the persons own fault for paying that price when he didn’t have to.

  16. Ross says

    Rick said:

    “As far as Mr. Bolland owning the sketch, I believe the guy that paid him $150 still owns the sketch.

    All three by four inches of it.”

    ..which he willingly paid for.

    Standing by your words when they were so clearly misleading, isn’t something I would be too proud of in this case. Beware of pride. It’s not always a good thing to have.

  17. says

    Bruce, which dictionary are you quoting? Wikipedia states:

    “A ripoff (or rip-off) is a bad deal. Usually it refers to an incident in which a person pays too much for something. A ripoff is distinguished from a scam in that a scam involves wrongdoing such as fraud; a ripoff, on the other hand, is in the eye of the beholder. A scam might involve, for instance, a scheme in which a person pays $20 for a startup kit related to stuffing envelopes for a living, but the kit never arrives; upon receiving the money, the recipient flees. A ripoff, on the other hand, might be a business opportunity in which a person pays $375 for bulk vending machines worth $75. The fact that the advertised product actually arrives – even though it is worth far less than the purchase price – makes it a ripoff, not a scam”

    I never called him a thief.

  18. says

    Bruce, which dictionary are you quoting? Wikipedia states:

    “A ripoff (or rip-off) is a bad deal. Usually it refers to an incident in which a person pays too much for something. A ripoff is distinguished from a scam in that a scam involves wrongdoing such as fraud; a ripoff, on the other hand, is in the eye of the beholder. A scam might involve, for instance, a scheme in which a person pays $20 for a startup kit related to stuffing envelopes for a living, but the kit never arrives; upon receiving the money, the recipient flees. A ripoff, on the other hand, might be a business opportunity in which a person pays $375 for bulk vending machines worth $75. The fact that the advertised product actually arrives – even though it is worth far less than the purchase price – makes it a ripoff, not a scam”

    I never called him a thief.

  19. says

    Ross, did he willingly pay for it or did he feel obligated to pay for it? He may have felt an obligation pay for it after commissioning it. I know I would.
  20. says

    Ross, did he willingly pay for it or did he feel obligated to pay for it? He may have felt an obligation pay for it after commissioning it. I know I would.
  21. Bruce says

    I’m using the Webster’s dictionary. Here’s what is says in my other Webster’s dictionary on Rip-Off:

    The act or instance of stealing, cheating, etc.

    Here’s what it says on Dictionary.com:
    rip·off /?r?p??f, -??f/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[rip-awf, -of] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun Slang. 1. an act or instance of ripping off another or others; a theft, cheat, or swindle.
    2. exploitation, esp. of those who cannot prevent or counter it.
    3. a copy or imitation.
    4. a person who rips off another or others; thief or swindler.

    So, there you go. Whether you ment to or not, you were basicly calling Mr. Bolland a thief.

  22. Jack Vorpal says

    Rick, I can’t believe that people actually think you did something wrong. It’s only libel or slander if what you said isn’t true. You presented the facts and then gave your opinion on it.

    The entire case is based on a misinterpretation of a slang word that has multiple different meanings. It’ll never hold up in court.

  23. says

    Bruce, if I wanted to call Mr. Bolland a thief I would have done so. I don’t think he is a thief. I didn’t want to call him a thief. So I didn’t. Please take your straw man down and put him away.
  24. says

    Bruce, if I wanted to call Mr. Bolland a thief I would have done so. I don’t think he is a thief. I didn’t want to call him a thief. So I didn’t. Please take your straw man down and put him away.
  25. says

    To Ross, et al.-
    I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but critics of creative works are entitled to opinion. Mr. Caira might also want to take note of that as well. Opinion is a strong defense against libel and/or defamation.

    If people weren’t allowed to offer criticisms on creative works, we might all have become victims to Uwe Boll movies. Or we might all have seen Ghost Rider in the theater, like I did, on a free pass and drunk.

    Laws exist to protect people from harm, not to coddle their egos. The law is also not supposed to be something that is used to bully others into submission.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that a genuine cease and desist letter would be proofread a little closer.

    Of course, this is all my OPINION. Therefore, you can’t sue me.

  26. Bruce says

    Look, I just pointed out the facts of what Rip-Off ment. Don’t get mad at me if you can’t handle the truth. I realize you didn’t mean to call him a thief, and I believe you when you say you don’t think he is one. But, the fact is, you did call him a thief.
  27. says

    I think I’m starting to really dislike “Ross”. He talks like a bill collector.

    Also, I think I’d be a little surprised to learn that Mr. Caira was really Brian Bolland’s lawyer.

    Is this because Brian comes off as so extremely good-humoured and reasonable in his comments to your last post? Possibly: if it were me instead of him, I think I would’ve gotten the strong sense of being dogpiled-on a little, and probably I would’ve become kind of resentful. It’s hard to reconcile his approachable, level-headed tone with what Mr. Caira has sent your way…or indeed with a lot of the comments you’ve attracted here.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s the glaring typo that makes me suspicious.

    As for the “advice” you seem to be getting…trust your own lawyer, not your commenters’ inner lawyers. And good for you for not getting intimidated!

  28. Bruce says

    Plok – oh, really? Well, here’s what the Thesaurus has to say about Rip-Off:

    Main Entry: rip-off
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: trick
    CHEAT, con, exploitation, fraud, gyp, larceny, lift, pinch, purloining, racket, robbery, STEAL, STEALING, swindle, THEFT, THIEVERY, THIEVING

    Yeah, I see what you mean, plok. You definitely know what you’re talking about.

    By the way, I got this from Dictionary.com in case you wanted to look it up. :)

  29. says

    From the OED:

    Thief, n. 1. one who steals esp. secretly and without violence.”

    Steal, 1. v.t. take away (thing, or abs.) esp. secretly for one’s own use without right or leave, take feloniously.”

    Cheat, 1. n. trick, fraud, deception; swindler, deceiver; impostor, unfair player. 2. v.t. deceive, trick (person into or out of thing); (arch.) beguile (time etc.). 3. v.i. act fradulently.”

    If you’ll notice, “exploitation” and “pinch” aren’t synonyms either. Nor are “racket” and “robbery”.

  30. says

    Bruce and Ross:

    What the fuck is the matter with you two? Bolland himself pretty much admitted defeat in this matter; why are you two trying to drag it out even more? The sketch he made was total shit (opinion), and everyone knows it. One hundred and fifty buck for that? Assholes, I fucking love Bolland’s work, and have for twenty years, and will buy just about everything he does from now on. I read Rick’s comments, and if you guys think his words will dissuade anyone from purchasing Bolland’s future projects, you are complete assholes.

    Give it up and find a cause worth fighting for. Bolland is a great artist, and no one’s opinion will stop people from agreeing with me. If you seriously think this is a matter worth seeking legal reparations for, please sue the psychologist that released you first.

    -Sloofus

  31. Bruce says

    Plok – You’re a dumbass. You just described what the word Rip-Off means. Steal and cheat! What, you think I just pulled it out of my ass?! Holy crap, go finish school.

    DJ Sloofus – Hey, I’m not saying I agree with the lawsuit or whatever. Rick said he never called Bolland a thief, but yet he basicaly did with this statment:

    “I never called Mr. Bolland a thief. I said that he “ripped off” the person who commissioned the sketch.” – Rick

    I was just pointing out what the word “Ripped Off” ment in that statement. That’s all.

    I agree with you as well. I wouldn’t have paid that much for that sketch, but, it’s not for me to decide if it’s worth 150 bucks.

    The problem with Rick’s blog here, is that it isn’t just friends talking. It’s posted on the web for everyone to read which makes it a published article.

    I feel for you Rick, I really do, but, it’s the price you pay for having some internet real estate.

  32. says

    Bruce-
    There is no “price to pay” for having a blog. Are you a citizen of the U.S.? We have freedom of speech guaranteed by our Bill of Rights. If you’re from another country, you should really check out our Constitution and Bill of Rights- it totally rocks.
  33. Bruce says

    SchoolyG – Great answer! No seriously! I liked your answer! It was the most intelligent one so far. You’re alright in my book. I think I will like America! :)
  34. Bruce says

    plok – I apologize. I should have been more civilized. Please accept my most humble apology.
  35. Ross says

    Rick,
    I get what you’re saying. I would have felt obligated to pay for it as well, but there’s a point where good sense has to overcome that feeling of obligation.

    Yes, the term “rip-off” can be interpreted in different ways, and you are definitely entitled to your opinion. I’m of the opinion that your statements called Bolland’s character into question, and he clearly did nothing wrong beyond not drawing his best in this case. Whether Chris is a real lawyer or not, continuing this makes little sense. Bolland stood up and offered to make it right. Case closed.

    Plok,
    Bill collector? No. I struggle enough just to pay my own, let alone worrying about someone else’s. =)

    DJ Sloofus,
    That was very articulate and insightful, but you forgot to insult my “mama”.

    SchoolyG,
    I’ve got no problem with the idea behind what you’re saying, and I mean no insult, but if you’re naive enough to believe that we have truly free speech here in America, then you don’t fully understand the way it works. Yes, you can say whatever you want to say, but that is with understanding that what you say can carry consequences. I can’t walk into work and launch into a profanity laced tirade to my boss and then happily go back to my desk and hide behind the veil of free speech. I’m in all probability, going to get fired. If I yell “fire” in a movie theater, I can’t just whip out my copy of the 1st Amendment when the police show up to arrest me and have them tell me, “Oh well, you’re right. Have a nice night, sir.” Right or wrong, freedom of speech isn’t as free and you might like.

  36. says

    Ross, I think I misjudged you: I thought you were a duck-blind for Chris Caira. Apologies for that.
  37. Ross says

    No, not at all. I just hate seeing a fellow creator get a bad rap when he/she clearly didn’t deserve it. No hard feelings.
  38. says

    Ross, your examples (specifically, that tired old cliche about yelling fire in a movie theater) are not entirely appropriate to this situation, if at all. You can’t walk up to your secretary and yell “Nice tits!” either. It’s not a matter of free speech; it’s a matter of civil liberties. Rick did not intrude upon anyone’s civil liberties.

    Bruce, you seem like a decent guy. I might have misjudged you at first. However, I still don’t think that Rick called Bolland a ‘thief.’ You can get ripped off a variety of ways, but they’re not tantamount to thievery.

    Though I was a wee bit tipsy when I made my comments last night, I stand behind them. No one will boycott Bolland’s work because of Rick’s comments. However, if in fact Bolland is behind an attempt to shut down Rick’s blog, that indeed might affect my decision to purchase his work in the future. In other words, what someone else says about you may or may not affect your reputation, but your own actions certainly will without a doubt.

  39. says

    Ross-
    Actually, I think you’ve been mis-educated about what free speech is.

    You CAN curse out your boss at work and your co-workers. You might get fired, but the freedom of speech protects you from being arrested for it. As long as you did not threaten someone or slander them, you are protected by the Bill of Rights. As long as your speech is not inciting violence, you’re in the clear. “Fighting words” have to be determined to cause a breach of peace.

    Having employment is predicated on certain conditions- you have NO RIGHT to a job; think of it as a privlege or a responsibilty, but nothing that is guaranteed to you. You DO have the right to free speech. Shouting “Fire” in a movie theater is a different kind of speech. It is intended to cause a riot or “imminent lawless action.” FYI- the case that the “fire” comment comes from was later overturned, I think.

    Ross, freedom of speech is as free as I know it to be. Maybe you should refrain from telling me what you think that I know or don’t know.

  40. Ross says

    Rick,
    I’m the colorist for a book called Fallen Justice. I’m also involved in a couple other projects.

    Sloofus,
    It wasn’t my intention to apply my examples to the situation at hand, but to illustrate that free speech still carries consequences.

    SchoolyG,
    I’m actually well-educated on what freedom of speech is. Please take the time to re-read what I wrote. I didn’t say that cursing out my boss would get me arrested. I said it would probably lead me to get fired. I never said you couldn’t say anything you wanted to say. What I said was that what you say can still carry consequences.

    Good call on the overturned case though. Schenck vs. The United States. It was overturned by Brandenburg vs. Ohio in 1969.

  41. says

    Ross,

    I guess I don’t get your whole consequences stance. You seem to be implying that since I criticized something a comic book creator did, I deserve to have my website shut down. I don’t get that.

    I don’t think anyone has actually voiced the opinion that the sketch was actually worth $150. Instead I seem to have people arguing with me that my usage of the slang phrase “ripped off” somehow will lead people to believe that I am saying the artist committed a crime. As though I am saying that he was seen running out of a bank wearing a ski mask carrying two large sacks of money with large $ emblem on the side. Quite frankly, one would have to be retarded to believe that.

    I totally understand why the fan didn’t speak up about paying the $150 for the sketch. At first I didn’t understand. Now I do. For him to speak up and say something about the piece at the time he paid, he would have to actually criticize the artist and his art. He would have to do it in public and in person. I have witnessed first hand the effects of criticizing this artist and his art. As it turns out, the same lawyer/friend/fan of the artist that threatened me and my website’s hosting provider with all sorts of consequences is the same person that was working the artist’s booth that weekend. He was the very person taking names for the commissions and managing the artist’s time. The fan that commissioned the art would have had to tell the artist’s lawyer/fan/friend that he didn’t like the art and wasn’t going to pay for it. I can only imagine how he would have responded.

    I can only imagine what the consequences of that would have been.

  42. says

    Ross,

    I guess I don’t get your whole consequences stance. You seem to be implying that since I criticized something a comic book creator did, I deserve to have my website shut down. I don’t get that.

    I don’t think anyone has actually voiced the opinion that the sketch was actually worth $150. Instead I seem to have people arguing with me that my usage of the slang phrase “ripped off” somehow will lead people to believe that I am saying the artist committed a crime. As though I am saying that he was seen running out of a bank wearing a ski mask carrying two large sacks of money with large $ emblem on the side. Quite frankly, one would have to be retarded to believe that.

    I totally understand why the fan didn’t speak up about paying the $150 for the sketch. At first I didn’t understand. Now I do. For him to speak up and say something about the piece at the time he paid, he would have to actually criticize the artist and his art. He would have to do it in public and in person. I have witnessed first hand the effects of criticizing this artist and his art. As it turns out, the same lawyer/friend/fan of the artist that threatened me and my website’s hosting provider with all sorts of consequences is the same person that was working the artist’s booth that weekend. He was the very person taking names for the commissions and managing the artist’s time. The fan that commissioned the art would have had to tell the artist’s lawyer/fan/friend that he didn’t like the art and wasn’t going to pay for it. I can only imagine how he would have responded.

    I can only imagine what the consequences of that would have been.

  43. says

    Ross-
    I read very closely what you wrote. Your condescending tone came through very clearly in that post and many others. It’s evident that you still very clearly believe that freedom of speech is very limited- and it is still evident that you clearly don’t have a full grasp of what it really is. Obviously, your wiki-fu is up to par.

    Are you trying to imply something further about fascism or the government or something? I really don’t get your point. It seems to me that your accusations of naivete seem to blow forcefully back on yourself here.

  44. Ross says

    No, I’m not saying that you site should be shut down at all. That would be going to an extreme. At worst, I believe that your comments warrant an apology to Bolland. Again, at worst. I’m not trying to tell you what you should do at all.

    I was merely trying to point out that your comments could be construed as Bolland doing something intentional to, as you put it, “rip-off” the fan. And that that misconception COULD be harmful to the artist’s reputation.

    My feeling on this issue is that Bolland stepped up and said he wanted to try to make it right with the guy. That and the fact that he doesn’t seem to have a history of screwing his fans should earn him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t seem to be getting. I’m just not sure why “I don’t particularly like to be threatened” sounds like a good reason to carry this on. Although I guess it did kill some time for a few of us for a couple days. =)

    As for criticizing the artist and the art, would the consequences have been any worse that shelling out $150? Like I said, I understand the feeling of obligation, but if the choice is between paying $150 for something clearly not worth that much and getting into a verbal argument with someone over the work you’re being expected to pay for, then I’m choosing the argument 10 times out of 10. Again, Bolland seemed like he was understanding, maybe Chris would have acted differently, but the buyer has a higher obligation to his own wallet than he does to anyone else’s.

  45. says

    If he wants to ensure he has the moral high ground in this case, Brian the patron needs only to accuse Brian the Bolland of a bait-and-switch tactic. After all, he asked for a drawing of Batwoman, but what he got was a drawing of somebody’s mom dressed as Batwoman.
  46. Ross says

    SchoolyG,

    If you believe I was being condescending, then you’ve misunderstood my intent and taken things the wrong way.

    I’d be interested to hear you explain how it is evident that I don’t understand what freedom of speech is though, or how I’ve given the expression that it’s very limited. I’m not sure how you’ve come to that conclusion. How does “You can say whatever you want, but sometimes what you say can carry consequences” translate into “Freedom of speech is limited by our fascist government”?

    If you truly don’t get my point, then you must really be trying hard not to. I’ve made it very clear.

    Rick,

    I read your update to the update. Kudos for being stand-up about it. It sucks that it had to go beyond just a spirited debate. Good luck.

  47. Ross says

    SchoolyG,

    Yes, I know I wrote that. But how does that translate into my thinking that “freedom of speech is very limited”? You took a stance that implied that freedom of speech was absolute and that there was “no price to pay”. I simply said that there CAN be a price to pay for your words. I never said that there were restrictions on what you can and can’t say. So again I ask you, how is it evident that I think freedom of speech is very limited?

  48. says

    on Today at 11:51 am (1 hour ago)SchoolyG
    Ross, you wrote:
    “freedom of speech isn’t as free and you might like.”
  49. Ross says

    From the Redundancy Department of Redundancy…

    Since you’re apparently unable to make a connection as to how my saying “Freedom of speech isn’t as free as you might like” is the same as it being evident that I believe “Freedom of speech is very limited”, I’m just going to assume that we’re done discussing this.

  50. says

    Schooly, maybe you should accept defeat on this one. Ross obviously knows not only what you “might like” better than you do, but also has an understanding of our nation’s laws that run so deep, they border on the retarded.
  51. says

    I learned everything I ever needed to know about FREEDOM sitting behind a 1998 Chevy Tahoe at a red light. The truck’s owner (lets call him Cleatus) was kind enough to adorn his bumper with a sticker that not only butified the appearance of his fine truck, it educated people as well.

    It read FREEDOM ISN’T FREE.

    I think it even had a picture of an eagle. I couldn’t really tell because at that point, my eyes were filled with tears.

  52. says

    I learned everything I ever needed to know about FREEDOM sitting behind a 1998 Chevy Tahoe at a red light. The truck’s owner (lets call him Cleatus) was kind enough to adorn his bumper with a sticker that not only butified the appearance of his fine truck, it educated people as well.

    It read FREEDOM ISN’T FREE.

    I think it even had a picture of an eagle. I couldn’t really tell because at that point, my eyes were filled with tears.

  53. says

    God Bless the USA and Chevy trucks. Did the truck also have one of those magnetic “Support the Troops” dealies on the back?
  54. Smellycat says

    What do you expect for 150 bucks? The mona lisa? Martin Scorsese to film your wedding? Brian’s a top of his game artist, if you want his stuff it costs. 20 years ago i saw his killing joke pages for 700 pounds each, well over a thousand dollars plus twenty years inflation. On a dollar per square in basis it’s not really so expensive. And it shows he met the guy in person. Plus it’s now officially an infamous work. Worth every cent, frame it, hang it in the can and smile with pride every time you take a dump. Peace and love. Chris
  55. Goldbricker says

    That’s easier said than done. When you commission someone to do a sketch you’re just hoping that they give you something quality to meet the price that they’re requesting. There have been many times when I’ve stood there totally disappointed in the product that I receive. But what can you do? Sit there and haggle with the artist? Demand a refund or a reduced price? Not likely. Most people just nod their head, hand over the money, and thank the guy. Luckily for me this is not the scenario that plays out most often. Most often artists exceed expectations and this makes up for the guys that don’t put their best foot forward.

    On a side note, in my opinion that was not a $150 sketch. That was a $50 head sketch and Mr. Bolland should have been embarrassed to demand that kind of money for that quality of sketch. The funny thing is I was googling Bolland sketches to see what I could expect and whether I’d pursue a Bolland sketch at the upcoming New York Comic Con. Based on what I’ve read here I’ll skip it and find an artist that will appreciate my money and give me something of quality in return for it.

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