I read an interesting article on Bleeding Cool about the troubles people are having with comic book artist Jason Craig. He’s currently the artist for Dynamite’s Evil Ernie. Last year people commissioned him to do comic book character sketches. They paid Jason Craig upfront.
Jason Craig has personal problems
Because of a whole host of personal problems including a divorce, a broken neck, high blood pressure, a foster child with Cerebral Palsy, and a bunch of other awful things, Craig spent all the money and never did the sketches. I know all about this because Craig posted about it on a public message board.
Craig detailed all his personal problems on a public Internet message board. Many of the folks who paid him for sketches he never did took their problem to the same message board. One of the problems with ripping people off over the Internet is they tend to make a stink about it.
The person Craig seems to have the biggest problem with is a ripped-off customer by the name of “Kyle.”
Most commercial commission sketches are not legal
Personally, I don’t have much sympathy for anyone who sends money to an artist in exchange for a commissioned sketch of a trademarked comic book character. The artist, in most cases, doesn’t have a legal right to create commercial art based on the trademarked character. You’re essentially paying them to do something outside the law, to create something that is technically illegal.
If an artist is willing to accept hundreds of dollars to create something they’re not legally entitled to create, should it really be that big of a surprise when they fail to do what they were paid to do?
I don’t think so.