Brian Bolland rips off fan for $150

A guy goes to the recent New York City Comic-Con and commissions comic book artist Brian Bolland to do an old school Batwoman sketch. Brian Bolland charged his own fan $150 dollars.

The actual sketch only measures four by three inches.

Update #1: Brian Bolland and his lawyer Chris Caira threatened me with legal action over this post.

Update #2: Brian Bolland and his lawyer Chris Caira try to have my blog shutdown.

Author: Rick Rottman

This is my personal blog. It's where I write about things when I feel like it.

80 thoughts on “Brian Bolland rips off fan for $150”

  1. Bolland definitely ripped this sap, but I have a hard time feeling sorry for any schmuck who wants a sketch of “Old School Batgirl.” Plus, if the asshole was willing to shell out $150, that’s his own stupid fault.

  2. Well, I don’t think he ever referred to it as an “Old School Batgirl”. That was my editorial decision to call it that.

    It turns out that the guy that purchased this sketch is one of the newer members of the Comic Geek Speak podcast. I think he absolutely got ripped off. You figure that he wasn’t the only one to get such a crappy sketch for their money.

  3. Regardless of what the commission subject is, Mr. Bolland can not be proud of this sketch. I believe that the artist took advantage of the fan in this case. Considering Mr. Bolland track record for highly detailed photo-realistic illustrations… this is highway robbery and the artist knows it.

  4. This is the type of sketch artists routinely do on the back of a comic board for free.

    I hate to wade too deep into this because I have never bought a sketch in my life. I don’t know exactly how it all transpires. Does the buyer pay up front? Is it in cash? Does the buyer get a receipt? I have to guess the money was paid before the guy got his sketch. Otherwise, I doubt he would have paid for it.

    I imagine there was a lot of cool stuff to be bought at the NYC Comic-Con for $150. This sketch wasn’t one of them.

    1. Usually you pay after the work is done. $150 for what he got isn’t a good deal at all but I’ve seen lesser known artists charge around $120 for a drawing (no color either). Brain Bolland is my favorite comic artist & it pains me to see this. Not really trying to defend Bolland but he could’ve been tired & didn’t care at the time. Still doesn’t excuse what he charged for that.

  5. I’m not sure on “sketch etiquette,” or “Sketchiquette” (tm 2007 DJ Sloofus) either. It’s tough to tell whether or not the artists are charging beforehand. Sometimes they have a little sign on their table. Most indie creators draw a little sketch when you buy a book from them, if you ask them to sign it. They never charge for it, and they definitely never charge $150.

  6. well I will chime in on this one, YES he got ripped off I have over 1,000 pieces of original art in my collection. I collect Batman memorbillia and art and have been for 17 years I have one of the Largest Private collections in the world. I have paid any where from 2 bucks to 10,000 for a piece of art and I have had con commissions done by almost every artist I can hand money to. Far as sketch etiquette usually an artist will have a sign on their table with with prices for pencils, inks, and colors if applicable and sizes. Some artists ask for the money up front and others wait till you come back and will ask you if you like the piece or not some if you don’t like the pose etc will put it aside and will find another fan who does and will do another other say take it or leave it too bad. Sometimes artists don’t post prices and you just have to bite the bullet and ask. Sometimes it will surprise you in a good way or a bad one I have told a few very well known artist that they are NUTS on their price sorry but 450 for a penciled head sketch on a backing boards is nuts and I have been given prices like this from several artists. I have paid upwards of 2 and 3 thousand for a commission but these are usually full paintings. In this instance the fan was ripped off plain and simple, I can’t see justification in the price for this piece in either size or quality. I know plenty of artists and most will do a nice con type sketch for 100-300 so for this DOODLE I could not see paying more than 10 bucks at most. I have a Chuck Dixon(DC writer) Sketch he did me of Batman that is better quality than this and he’s a writer and did it for FREE LOL

    PS I have been trying to get a “QUALITY” piece from Brian myself and yet to find anyone who has gotten a nice piece.

    Just my Batty 2 cents

    The Batfan

  7. Hmmm. Looks a bit pricey to me too. Over the years I’ve done many many free sketches (usually a standard, generic, Joker head which I can draw quick so everybody get’s something). That has always been the way in Europe. Now we have Ebay I’ve been advised that all artists, especially in America, make a charge that’s comparable with the amount someone would sell it for on Ebay. I always tell people the price of a head shot, a half figure and a full figure before they line up for a drawing. After it’s done they pay me the agreed amount. While I’m drawing it they can tell me if they want more or they can say no thanks. They get to choose what they’d like me to draw. They’re gonna get a better drawing of a character that I know and a worse drawing if it’s something I’m not familiar with, or I need reference or it’s supposed to be in another artist’s style. In New York in Feb ’07 on one day I sat in one spot without a break and sketched for 8 hours. After a stint like that it’s a surprise to me that drawings look like ANYTHING! In the end the fan can always turn it down – but, I suppose, if you’ve waited in line you want to go away with something. The amount this guy paid for this drawing isn’t an amount I usually charge. I don’t know how it arose. If you own this and you wanna bring it to me one day we’ll have a chat and work something out.

  8. During my 8 (or possibly 9) hour shift sketching at the Jacob Javits Centre in New York in Feb 2007 I remember doing a drawing for someone called Brian. I remember remarking at the time that quite a lot of people in the US seem to be called Brian. The guy behind the guy I was drawing for (his name was Brian, remember) said “My name’s Brian too”. I had a surreal moment where, it seemed, everybody was called Brian, even the girls! Where I come from (England) the name “Brian” has fallen DEEPLY out of fashion. In the US it seems quite popular. I feel particularly upset that I’ve shafted a fellow Brian. I came back to this discussion hoping for some some robust debate about whether I overcharged him but no one’s chipped in. I feel a kinship with anyone saddled with the name “Brian”. If, in future, you happen to be called Brian and have an ID card (or something equally convincing to prove it) I’ll do you a drawing at a special low rate (to be negotiated). That’s how unfair life is!

    My advise to all fans of comic art is this: DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON ARTWORK! I’ve been a fan of Neal Adams for 40 years but I don’t own any of his artwork. The stuff we do is perfectly suited to the printed page. Buy that and it only costs you a couple of dollars.

  9. I am curious about the source. How did this sketch end up on this blog? Did Brian (of Comic Geek Speak podcast) send it to you, Rick?

  10. I don’t know what the exact instance is here, but sometimes the artist is required to sketch in exchange for the show picking up his travel, food, and hotel tab. The convention organizers set the price of the sketches and the artist never sees a dime.

  11. You know, if you take the time to read the comments, you’ll see that the artist of said sketch has actually posted on the matter.

    Reading is fundamental!

  12. I have seen a pencil sketch by Bolland that he gave a comic shop owner here in NC. It was of the Joker- and is supposedly the first concept sketch for the Killing Joke.

    Its huge – its detailed- and he gave it to the store owner.

    I’d say he got ripped off…

  13. wchoco32, I found the sketch posted at http://www.comicsketchgallery.com. I was looking for pics that had to do with the NY Comicon. I linked to the page I found it on. Nobody sent it to me. I don’t know the person that commissioned the sketch and I don’t listen to Comic Geek Speak any longer. At the time I posted this, I didn’t even know he was part of Comic Geek Speak.

    If you go here, you can see where I found the pic of the sketch.

  14. at the comicsketchgallery.com in the comments on the side of the pic, brian does say he likes the pic he just thought it was a little small. its everyone else that seems to really have all the bad negative things to say. & chris weston is right the reason for charging for a skecth is cause comic artist need to feed thier familys too.

  15. Hello
    I’ve never been to this site but someone over at the Comic Geek Speak forums linked to this blog. I’m a listener of the Comic Geek Speak podcast and I’ll fill in some of the details until the owner of the art, if he chooses, chimes in.

    Yes, Mr. Bolland remembers correctly. There were several Brians involved. Bryan Deemer runs the Comic Geeks Speak podcast and Brian Christman, also a CGS member, is the one who purchased the art. It sounds like they are fine with the art, after all a sketch is just that. One can’t expect a finished piece done on the spot, I would think. It sounds like the problem is more with the size being so small for the price. It sounds like Brian C. just didn’t want to make a stink about it while it was brought up on their show. Prices are usually posted or asked at cons, but are sizes?

    Brian C. is not a schmuck, asshole, or a sap. He’s a good guy with good intentions (i.e.-the art was for himself not EBay) and probably just felt obligated to take what he believed he had already purchased. And I doubt Mr. Bolland is a greedy ass since that kind of behavior would give the man a rep around the convention/fan circuit. It sounds like Mr. Bolland here is willing to have a chat with him and work something out to set things straight. The Comic Geek speak people are good chaps as well and I’m sure they don’t hate Mr. Bolland. In fact, I rather hoped they might interview him for their podcast.

    And following Mr. Bolland’s advice not to purchase original art. I say, take that money and buy his ART OF BRIAN BOLLAND book that came out late last year. It sounds like a lot of ass-kissin’ here but it was really the best art book of last year.

  16. I think Brian Bolland’s responces above come from his heart, and I think if Brian Cristman was to contact Mr. Bolland, I think they could work out a deal so that everyone can be happy.

    But, it is a sad state for the industry that artists feel that they need to charge such a high price up-front for sketches on the off-chance that that fan wants to then sell that art on eBay. A good deterant is for artists to personalize each sketch to the person asking for it. My name is Jon, so I know I won’t buy any artwork that isn’t made out to “Jon”, (if I was so inclinded to buy sketches on eBay, that is).

    I think comic artists would be surprised at how low a percentage of the artwork they do for fans actually ends up in an auction somewhere. So because a few bad apples are out there, do they have to spoil it for everyone who wants to collect sketches?

    Something to think about.

  17. Regarding the comment about personalized sketches. If you like the sketch, you’re going to buy it regardless. I have a great Tim Truman Grimjack sketch that was personalized to someone else that I purchased from Albert Moy a few years ago. It was a great sketch, I’ve got it framed and on my wall at home, so what if it was personalized to someone else, I’m buying the art, not the signature.

    And I think you would be surprised how much is purchased to go straight to ebay. I’m always amazed after a major show how much stuff I saw at the show at an artist’s table is on ebay the next week.

  18. Honestly Brian Bolland (to my knowledge) doesn’t hold a gun to the head of people interested in a sketch. Further if you are willing to drop $150 on something so subjective in advance then you you can’t come crying sour grapes later. But as it turns out it wasn’t even in advance. So the indignation is further unwarranted.

    That sketch is worth $150 because thats what Brian got for it.

  19. Josh, it’s hard to believe that anyone could argue the sketch is worth $150 when you look at what $150 will get you with other comic book artists. Plus, Brian Bolland himself himself admitted the sketch was overpriced.

    I got a couple of sketches of a similar quality and size this weekend in Pittsburgh. For free.

  20. Another option is to use a sketchbook. Although no guarantee that your sketches won’t go on eBay, a sketchbook really makes it seem like the sketches are for you. I have some great sketches from artists (I have an original Chuck Dixon, too!) that were priced lower because of the sketchbook. Most of them are personalized, and I carry that book with me to each con I go to. Artists are generally excited about the book, too, because they get to page through and see who else I got sketches from.

  21. I love purchasing sketchbooks from artists. I wish more artists would do this sort of thing. For $10-$20, you can have a collection of sketches inside of 20-40 pages. Plus, I like the blank boxes for personalized head sketches when they are offered.

    Taste is the enemy of art.

  22. Rick,
    I’m not argueing that the sketch is less then stellar, far from it. Without the signature I would NEVER guess this was Bollands work.
    But it is worth the price paid since the price was paid. I wouldn’t give you a nickel for say a Turner sketch however I know he can actually ask and get quite a bit more then that for them.
    Even though Bolland has admitted that it was overpriced the buyer still saw $150 worth of value when he handed his money over.

  23. I’ve been to only one comics convention in my life, but my experiences there in getting several sketches done leads me to believe that there is no standard rate, or even a range of rates, for sketches. Some relatively obscure webcomics artists wanted $25 for a head shot of one of their own characters that took them 30 seconds to produce; on the other hand, Walt Simonson drew the first, and possibly the only, picture of the original Kirby OMAC that he’s ever done, for free.

    Even after reading the above responses (including Bollland’s), the circumstances of the acquisition of the drawing seem a little, ah, sketchy. If Bolland did tell people beforehand what his prices were (and subsequently spent 8-9 hours drawing and selling sketches at those prices), then obviously that’s what the market would bear. Perhaps the original purchaser went “ZOMG BRAIN BOLLAND” and went for the sketch, and had a little buyer’s remorse after he’d gotten home and the rent was due.

  24. This whole thread is retarded. People are willing to pay X amount for sketches, art, knick knacks, etc.. Just because YOU can’t afford it, doesn’t mean the buyer got ripped off. If he’s happy with it (and given that he posted this on a site showing off sketches, I’d bet he’s happy with it), then it’s not up to anyone else to say he got “ripped off”.

    I know, I know, everyone feels entitled to free stuff. Why pay for anything when you can be a nudge? Damn the people who show appreciation for their heroes by buying sketches (and allowing said artists to, you know, make a living) to hell! They’re ruining it for the rest of us!

  25. I got pointed here from Lying in the gutters and I have 2 cents to add.

    I’ve been collecting sketches at cons now for about 7 years. Brian Bolland is one of the people I’ve always wanted to meet but never have. Please do more US cons Brian!

    OK…. on to the sketch. Was this sketch worth $150? Probably not. Did the fan say anything to Brian when he picked it up? Was the price discussed before hand? From what I have heard Brian is very gracious. I’d be willing to bet if the person who got the sketch would have said something along the lines of “hey Brian, for $150 I was expecting somehting a little bigger, or maybe a torso shot or something.” I’d be willing to bet Mr Bolland would have made it right in some way!

    When I ask for a sketch I always ask price up front, I also ask if they need paper (I bring my own 11X14 bristol pad). If I get quoted a “high” price I ask if it’s full figure or whatnot to make sure I won’t feel “ripped off”. Also if the artisdt is only doing head shots I always ask if I can pay more for a full figure.

    Getting a sketch is always a bit of a crapshoot. Sometimes you get far MORE than you expected (like my Chris Weston sketch.. thanks CHRIS!)and sometimes less. I am sorry this particular fan feels “ripped off”, but again, I wish he’d given Mr Bolland a chance to make it right.

    I’ve also heard, probably 8th hand, that Mr Bolland is not exactly hurting for money. If this is true (and I have no idea), it seems even more likely he would have “made right” this sketch if he was aware of the complaint.

    So why does he charge? he’s a “big name” and if he just did free sketches all day… he’d be worn out, grumpy, and have the pleasure of seeing his free sketches sold on e-bay by the Comic-monster or one of his peers. Not to mention the incredible crowds/ line that would generate.

    best,
    Brian Tidwell

    PS if you wanna see the Weston sketch it’s here:
    http://qurls.com?i=2372

    PSS as another “Brian” I’ll happily take Mr Bolland up on his “special reduced rate” should I ever have the oppurtunity to meet him!

  26. I wonder where this myth comes from that “I’m not hurting for money”. If you were to look at my career you might notice that I haven’t been involved in any money spinning projects for a while and, as it’s well known what a slow artist I am, you might be able to do the arithmetic and work out that I’m not exactly Bill Gates.

    This dialogue comes for me on a day when, in addition to the 100+ pages of Judge Dredd artwork that were sold off to dealers back in 1988 without coming via me (ie. STOLLEN!), a piece of artwork of “The House of Dollman” with some puppets fighting a giant octopus which took a similar route and was sold at auction (ie. STOLLEN!) two years ago, I’ve discovered the route by which the artwork to a 2-page Dan Dare story, which was never returned to me, was recently sold into the hands of dealers (see above), as it turns out, by another artist who I know.

    So I know a thing or two about being ripped off!

  27. Please correct me if I’m wrong. This thread seems to go on and on and maybe the original points have been lost (at best, or completely skewed at worst). A fan recently purchased a sketch at a Con from an artist for a predetermined amount of money. The fan was given the opportunity to pass on the sketch in question or purchase it at the initially agreed upon price. If the fan went ahead with the purchase, I would assume he/she was pleased with the end result and felt the price paid was fair and reasonable.

    As a fan of all forms of art, myself, I truly understand and appreciate how subjective art appreciation can be. One person’s tastes can completely contrast the next person’s. What one person treasures, another can utterly dispise. Likewise, what one person places a specific monetary value to, another might disagree entirely and devalue that same item for no reason other than personal preference and taste.

    The truth is, there’s no way to say for certain, one way or the other, whether the fan was “ripped off” or “shafted”. It is my humble opinion that Mr. Bolland is simply being a nice guy and conceding when anyone else on earth would be defending themselves against such prejudiced statements. Bottom line, it’s impossible to say what Mr. Bolland’s sketch is worth. It’s value is based solely on personal taste and, therefore, is unquantifiable.

  28. “So I know a thing or two about being ripped off!”

    Stealing is NOT the same thing as ripping-off. So, no, you don’t.

    A day ago I would’ve felt sorry for you. You’re a great artist. But Rick has done nothing wrong. He felt that the buyer paid more for the sketch than it was worth–which you agreed with–and said as much on his blog. Because that’s what blogs are for. Expressing your opinions.

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

    And yes, this is directly from the Webster’s dictionary.

    So, aparently, you don’t know what it means to be ripped-off.

  30. Brian,

    I certainly didn’t mean to remind you of all the times you’ve been stolen from. I think it’s a travesty to think of all the classic art that’s been “liberated” over the years. All the Neal Adam’s stuff… and of course the Marvel wherehouse “liberations”. It’s definately the shady underbelly of the comic art collecting world that many of the most precious possible pieces of comic art were obtained initially in underhanded, irresponisble, illegal, and illegitimate means.
    As for the rumour that you are not “hurting for money”… I’d be happy to tell you how I heard it. I assume however you do not want me posting on a public messgae board untrue rumours. I tried to email you through the http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/johnjf/brian_bolland_e/ website but the email link is not working. Please contact me at Dosselmeyer at yahoo dot com if you’d like to hear the “whole story” of the rumour.

    best always,
    Brian Tidwell

  31. Brian Bolland wrote:

    I wonder where this myth comes from that “I’m not hurting for money”.

    Maybe they see how you are able to utilize the services of a Chicago law firm to go after a blogger that dares to criticize how much you charged one of your own fans for a commissioned sketch. Lawyers cost money.

    You publicly admit that the 3 inch by 4 inch sketch you did for one of your fans was not worth the $150 you charged him. Then behind the scenes you dispatch your lawyer to issue a Cease and Desist letter demanding that I remove the post in question and to never mention your name again.

    When I turn around and publish the Cease and Desist letter on my blog, your lawyer contacts my website’s hosting provider and demands that my website be shut down. Evidently the name, address, and phone number of your lawyer is super secret confidential information – even though it is published in full public view on the law firm’s website.

    The only reason I even posted the C&D letter your lawyer sent me was to document the crap you are pulling behind the scenes. Frankly, if this had happened two weeks ago to some other blogger that dared to criticize how much you charged one of your fans for an off-center 3 by 4 inch sketch, I wouldn’t have believed it.

    According to your lawyer, this is not the first time he has done something like this for you. He claims that he has represented you before in similar situations. Whatever that means.

    Speaking of which, did you know that the fan who commissioned the sketch is one of the hosts of a very popular comic book podcast? It might surprise you to know that they spoke in great length about your sketch. What they said was not at all very nice. It was much more critical then anything I wrote.

  32. Bruce: STEALING a car is not the same thing as CHEATING at cards. Nor is it the same as RIPPING someone OFF. There is a reason that they are different words. They mean different things.

    I would let this go, but it’s scary to think how you can function without understanding this basic concept.

    Furthermore, Coke is not Pepsi, apples are not oranges and an opinion isn’t libel or slander.

  33. Jack – I was just giving you the definition of Rip-Off. It’s in the english language. I’m not making it up.

    Here’s what it says on dictionary.com:

    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.

    You can go there and look it up if you don’t believe me.

  34. If you’ll look a little bit further down the page you’ll also find

    “American Heritage Dictionary
    rip-off (r?p’ôf’, -?f’)
    n. Slang

    1. A product or service that is overpriced or of poor quality.”

    Which Mr. Bolland’s lawyer has admitted in the comments section is perfectly legal.

    Try looking at more than one dictionary. Maybe even one printed on paper. It may blow your mind.

  35. Actually, I looked at three different ones. 2 were printed. You should try looking at at least 1.

    And the headline reads:
    “Brian Bolland rips off one of his fans for $150 dollars.”

    It makes it sound like Bolland cheated, took, stole, etc. from a fan.

    Don’t be mad because I pointed out the facts.

  36. Bruce, you are not pointing out any facts. You are pointing out your opinion. It’s your opinion that the title. “Brian Bolland rips off one of his fans for $150” sounds like he stole or cheated.

    Opinions are not the same thing as facts.

  37. True, but the definitions I have given about “Rip-Off” are facts! I looked them up and I gave them to you. And it seems like you are telling me that the english dictionary is wrong on the definition.

  38. Bruce, it’s a slang phrase that has different definitions. Jack Vorpal provided the American Heritage Dictionary definition that says, “A product or service that is overpriced or of poor quality“. That describes what happened fairly well.

  39. You know, I was just trying to help you out on what Mr. Bolland and everyone else was seeing. But, you’re obviously not interested. I could care less if you get sued or not. I was just showing that how you used the term rip-off, was not coming accrossed as to how you ment it.

  40. Rick (34) Wrote:

    “I wonder where this myth comes from that “I’m not hurting for money”.

    Maybe they see how you are able to utilize the services of a Chicago law firm to go after a blogger that dares to criticize how much you charged one of your own fans for a commissioned sketch. Lawyers cost money.”

    The guy you refer to is A lawyer (apparently a Chicago lawyer) but he is not MY lawyer. I’m not employing anyone. He’s a friend and a comic fan.

  41. Brian,

    He has repeatedly represented himself as your lawyer. He issued a Cease and Desist letter claiming to be your legal representative in the United States and demanded that I remove all postings about you and to never mention your name again. He didn’t do this as your friend. He didn’t do this as your fan. He did this claiming to be your lawyer.

    He also contacted my website’s hosting provider identifying himself as your legal representation. He demanded that my website be taken down. He told them that you are his client and that he was representing you. He didn’t say that he was a fan.

    Look, if you want me to take down the post where I said you ripped off a fan, I will take it down. It won’t be because your lawyer/fan/friend threatened me with legal action.

    If you wanted me to remove it, all you had to do was ask.

  42. Actually, I think the fact that this blog is making libelous and defaming statements against this person with no basis whatsoever is the real problem. This whole argument is based on personal taste and opinions, yet blanket statements have been made and slanted in such a way to paint this person in a negative light. It just doesn’t seem right.

    Also, having read through all the comments in all the threads pertaining to this topic, the flow seems to be off a bit and some of it just doesn’t seems to make sense, chronologically speaking. Also, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of negative comments and, knowing how people LOVE to play devil’s advocate – if for no other reason than just for the hell of it – it all just seems off somehow. It’s almost as if these discussions are being moderated and certain key posts are being deleted before anyone can read them. It’s almost as if this is meant to be a Brian Bolland Bash Blog than a true open discussion on the topic. I see “free speech” and “1st ammendment” mentioned periodically here but it seems it’s only the blog owner’s rights that he truly cares about.

  43. Mike,

    I can honestly say that the only comments I have deleted were that of the lawyer/fan/friend of the artist. Even then I only deleted his comments that were of a personal legal nature. I told him to send those types of messages to me in email or better yet, in writing. I also provided him my physical mailing address so he could do that.

    I haven’t deleted or moderated any other comments.

    Scouts honor!

  44. Mike,

    I can honestly say that the only comments I have deleted were that of the lawyer/fan/friend of the artist. Even then I only deleted his comments that were of a personal legal nature. I told him to send those types of messages to me in email or better yet, in writing. I also provided him my physical mailing address so he could do that.

    I haven’t deleted or moderated any other comments.

    Scouts honor!

  45. To set the record straight and this is my last word on the matter:

    Please let this post stand. It is not a threat, it is not a bash of you, it is not anything to embarass you.

    Because I am Brian Bolland’s friend I offered to help him, free of charge, in my capacity as a lawyer.

    I am not his regular attorney. He is in England I am in Chicago. There is not many things I can help him with on a regular basis. When this popped up I offered to help out. I have helped him in different capacities in the past.

    He did not “employ” me, since he is not paying me, but he accepted my offer of assistance. That empowered me to make the contacts I did on his behalf. But that was the last direction Brian gave me on how to handle the situation.

    Mr. Bolland simply wanted the Headline of your story changed, that’s all. But you deleted my posts almost as they hit the screen. Once I saw your explanation that you did not mean to call him a thief I wanted to speak to you on the phone and let you know the simple thing that Brian wanted to clear the air, but you did not want to talk to me.

    Still wanting to represent him in the best way possible I was left with little choice.

    Brian did not know about the Cease and Desist or the report of abuse to your web host before they happened. Brian never asked for or wanted your blog shut down. That was something your web host told me they would do if you did not respond in 24 hours. I did not want that. I just wanted the headline changed and my email removed.

    Those were strategic decisions based on what were his best interests and what the facts demanded. Based on the deleted posts and the rejections via email it did not seem that a request to remove the headline would have been met with a reasonable response.

    So do not blame Brian for the C&D or the notification of your web host.
    After re-reading your story and seeing the headline and the angry comments in the stream I would never have thought an email from him would have made you change the headline.

    This was all in defense of a good friend, and had I thought that you would have responded to him positively, if he asked, I would never have gotten involved.

    Being that it seems you and Brian are having cordial discussions in this matter and since Brian is not the source of your anger, I am ,
    I will remove myself from this equation entirely and you two can email to clear the air. My assistance is not needed.

    Based on your subsequent comments, it doesn’t sound like you wanted to call him a Thief, just to comment on the quality of the sketch and Brian nor I quarrel with your right to do so, so long as it cannot be misunderstood and hurt him. From the round and round discussion many people took that headline in a very different way than what you meant it to be, and that is the crux.

    If you are willing to talk to Brian, and Brian is willing to talk to you. As it seems you both are, I think a lot more can be accomplished without legal presence.

    -Chris

  46. 1. You represented yourself multiple times as his lawyer. You claimed that he was your client and you were his representative. Not only to me, but my hosting provider.

    2. I never called him a thief. Stop saying I did.

    3. I did not want to speak to you on the phone and “off the record” as you called it because I quickly learned I needed to have all communication with you very much on the record.

    4. The email I posted that you refer to as “personal in nature” was a Cease and Desist letter sent from you using your law firm’s email account. In it you identified yourself as his lawyer. The “personal information” was the basic contact information also found on your law firm’s website. I thought it was important to post because it showed that you were identifying yourself as his lawyer and that you were demanding that I remove all mention of him “therein”.

    5. Not only did you demand I change the title, you demanded that I remove all mention of him entirely.

    6. I have a copy of the email you sent my web host. You still want to tell me that you never asked to have my website taken down?

    7. You told my web host that, “It is critical that this site and the offending content be removed before my client is damaged and my privacy rights are violated any further.” You wanted the site and the “offending” content removed. Privacy rights? Once again, it was the same general contact information located on your law firm’s website.

    8. Once again, I never called him a thief.

    9. The only comments I deleted were ones where you were threatening me with legal action. I informed you to stop relaying such communication to me in the comment section of my blog and to instead send such communication to me privately. I even gave you my physical mailing address so you could do so.

    10. I sent him an email earlier today telling him that I would change the title or even remove the entire post – if he asked. I would do whatever he wished concerning the post. Not because of threats or legal intimidation from you. As I told you before, I do not respond to threats.

  47. I told you it was how the headline sounded. You still don’t see anything wrong with this headline?

    “Brian Bolland rips off one of his fans for $150 dollars.”

    Wow! Okay.

  48. Also meaning:

    Rip-Off: Stealing, Cheating, ect..

    We all know that you don’t think of Mr. Bolland as a thief. Nobody’s questioning that. Do you UNDERSTAND? We all know that you don’t think of Mr. Bolland as a thief. NOBODY’S QUESTIONING THAT. (I just thought I’d repeat it since it doesn’t seem like you are listening.) It’s just how that statement is coming across. IT’S JUST HOW THAT STATEMENT IS COMING ACROSS.

    But, whatever makes you sleep better at night. Just remember, what comes around goes around.

  49. This is an interesting post to say the least. I went through a similiar situation from another artist that I had publicly complained about the quality of the sketch. I had contacted him after the show, hoping to get another sketch, which I was willing to pay for. I was rebuffed. So I “took it to the masses” so to speak. It was childish, hurtful to the artist and made me look like an asshole. Which I will be honest, I probably was at that time.

    While I can completley understand the dissatisfaction of waiting for a sketch all day, anticipation building and forking over a decent amount…Only to realize that maybe your time and money were spent better elsewhere. You’ve waited all day, you’re not going to walk away empty handed and you feel foolish if you reject the piece.

    I learned the hard way that the only way to prevent from being disappointed in a sketch, commission or whatever, is to NOT buy them. Or expect to have a few short of standards. I remember a CAF member posting this incredible Ethan Van Sciver Batman piece that was done at a show, simply breathtaking…looked like a commission. It goes both ways…It’s a gamble and the fan either has to accept that or not play.

  50. If you think it’s a rip off then you’re a moron Rick. In August 2007 a page of Bolland’s art from the killing joke sold at auction for over 35,000 US dollars. It was only 12 inches by 18 inches. If you work out the value on dollar per square inch I reckon that the guy made out just fine. Why are you so jealous of a talent like Bolland? Cos you’re a toxic little nothing airing his vicious little fantasies on his squalid website. Grow up (P)rick.

  51. Bad analogy, Smellycatchris. An actual page of published art is automatically far more valuable than a piece of sketchpad paper with a crap-ass Sharpie marker drawing on it, no matter who drew it. I’m not a professional artist, but I’m proud to say that my own modest level of creative prowess, combined with morals that would prevent me from swindling a fan out of $150, make me a better human being than Brian Bolland. Likewise, Rick’s blog is free entertainment, and yet it’s better-conceived than that goofy drawing of Batwoman. Rick wins.

  52. Smellycatchris, thanks for the kind words of support. It’s people like you that let me know I was right about this back when it happened. Some people might not want to weigh in on this being that it happened over a year ago. I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Feel free to stop in and leave more comments. Cheers!

  53. Smellycatchris, thanks for the kind words of support. It’s people like you that let me know I was right about this back when it happened. Some people might not want to weigh in on this being that it happened over a year ago. I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Feel free to stop in and leave more comments. Cheers!

  54. Jesse, You’re right. I’ve changed my mind about Smellycatchris. He’s an idiot. Who even uses words like “squalid”?

    Just because some idiot buys a page from a funny book for $35K doesn’t mean squat. In fact, I will go on the record and say that it doesn’t mean a squalid squat.

  55. Are you kidding, Rick? “Squalid”? You totally blew past the fact that this dude used the word “Reckon,” without being ironic. “Squalid” seems classy in comparison.

    He is right, though. If an artist created something of complete artistic merit, in their prime, over twenty years ago, they should be justified in charging an exorbitant amount of (USA!!!) dollars for a piece of shit sketch that my grandmother could outdraw. And bare in mind, the bitch is dead.

  56. Sloofus wrote:

    Are you kidding, Rick? “Squalid”? You totally blew past the fact that this dude used the word “Reckon,” without being ironic. “Squalid” seems classy in comparison.

    Hey, I live about three miles below the Mason-Dixon line. The word “Reckon” is as common around here as Dale Earnhardt t-shirts.

  57. Jessie Jace (your real name?) the point I was trying to make is HE’S REALLY POPULAR AND HIS ORIGINAL COMMANDS HIGH PRICES! If you don’t wanna pay em, DON’T! Make you a better human being than Brian Bolland? I’m not Dr Frankenstein.

  58. 150 dollars? That’s about 80 pounds in England. An average days wage if you didn’t go to university, about the cost of 2 video games or a decent bottle of wine. Not too much for an original Bolland, small or not.

  59. “squalid” , “reckon” Rick, you use the word idiot twice and impune my vocabulary? Seriously, I’d like to know what is so wrong with reckon. I’m from England and don’t have a clue what the mason dixon line is or who dale earnhardt is. Please give me a clue. Is it hills have eyes, banjo picking, moonshine country?

  60. Actually if he did rip off the guy then I applaud him, that’s better than just being expensive. Comic fans deserve all they get. Thinking about it I’ve got Glenn Fabry, Mike McMahon and Simon Bisley art, all bought dirt cheap. He should have bought it twenty years ago when prices where low. What a mug.

  61. On many occasions, my fellow artists and I drew scenes and characters on restaurant tablecloths during dessert. This being the early 70s, none of us ever dreamed of charging money for these “masterpieces”. I thought Giacoia drew the best but Vinnie Colletta’s illustrations invariably always garnered most of the waiter’s votes. I wonder what it would be like going to dinner with Mr. Bolland? Not as much fun, I’m thinking.

  62. i’ll say this: brian bolland was at the ny comic con this past weekend, and he has a sign on his table that lists the prices ($150 for a ‘sketch’, $250 for a ‘detailed sketch’, $500 for an ‘ultra detailed’ sketch), and one of the rules listed is that if you don’t like the sketch, you’re not obligated to take it and not obligated to pay for it, but you won’t get another done

    i debated getting one since bolland’s one of my favorites, but ultimately couldn’t justify spending $150, let alone $250 or $500 for a sketch

    seeing the above batwoman, i’m very happy with my decision

  63. Does Bolland still cherry pick from his sketch list? I was the first name on the Sunday sketch list at NYCC a few years back and never got mine done because Mr. Bolland didn’t want to do mine. Very unprofessional! And his rep or whatever is a douchebag weasel!

  64. this guy walked up to brian’s booth and comminisioned for a old school batwoman sketch. Well he got what he asked for, what’s old school anyway, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s? Can Mr. Bolland read minds. The drawing and the printing in the golden and silver age comics was crude and rough. The covers for the 10 cent comics were slightly better well drawn but most of the batman comics did’nt show batwoman on the cover, just in the story. The inked sketch is acurate for an old school batwoman. If the customer had asked Mr. Bolland to draw his best work for a $150.00 and put an 1940’s, 50’s, or 60’s old school twist to it prehaps he would not be bashing Mr. Bolland because on the customers inability to communicate properly. Now on the flip side, I did’nt see any pencil work under the inking, because prehaps if there were he could have shown it to brian, gotten a green light to go ahead and ink it. I happen to know that brian bolland is a generous soul, as I wrote him back in 1993 and received from England an amazing pen and ink illustration on a 3×4 card of a female vampire drooling blood from her teeth which I believe could compare easily to Mr. bolland’s best joker work. Mr. bolland, you have atleast one fan out there, thankyou.

  65. This is a ‘rip-off’ for 150 dollars?…are you NUTS?

    I don’t know who slighted whom in the debacle that seems to have followed. But if the quality of this image is the cause – it’s a false one. There are plenty artists who make a living with work far less professional than this and no one bats an eye.

    I think you owe the artist a huge apology, you are wrong to have started this.

    I found this post while searching for references to a number of artists whose work I followed as a teenager, people I’d nearly forgotten in all the years that have passed. Pleased to see the quality of the work has stayed high all these years, even when offered so little as a 150 dollars for it.

  66. I will take that drawing off your hands for $151 now. The debate and furore it has caused will make it a historical piece.

  67. I just read the Killing Joke for the first time and googled Brian’s name to read more about him and his work. Hilariously this is the first post that turns up about him.

    This comment section was not AS entertaining as the Killing Joke, but I must say it certainly comes close.

    After reading Brian’s Afterword in the Deluxe Hardcopy version I’m not surprised at all that he has so little regard for his fans, as he also seems to have little for his colleagues.

    But on the other hand, who are we to judge how people spend their money? Especially fanboys who paid hundreds of dollars to get into a Con event. This is all they have people!

    And as the saying goes, “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

    I’m just glad I wasn’t such a fool today- thanks to all my comic book friends who Bitorrent!

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