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Old 01-25-2013, 11:28 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by monkeymcgee View Post
I think we can all agree that erasing sketches we don't care for is not really in the spirit of the hobby. Whatever the sketch's owners intentions were, I don't think it was really out of malice and was probably more of an impulse reaction to a card he did not like.
What if it was a political statement done to draw attention and create discussion? If that was the intention, it is working like a charm. He does not have a history of trying to profit from blank cards, so this just seems like he got fed up and wanted everyone to examine the situation.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #77 (permalink)
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And collectors like to talk about their hobby. No problem.

This has been a great discussion, and no one should be told to shut up about it. Art causes reactions, and people like to talk about their reactions.

No problem.
I never said to shut up about it, but there are polite ways to talk about it and just downright rude ways to talk about it. Just because it's an online forum doesn't mean people don't have feelings and hangups and emotions and everything else they bring to the table. Everyone in this community should be conscious of that.

It goes back to the age old saying of "treat others the way you would want to be treated."
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #78 (permalink)
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The consumers are creating a huge demand. It's impossible for me to tell what Topps' profit margins are so I can't comment on their efforts to keep up with demand. Are they having genuine problems finding artists to split this over or are they just trying to get as many sketches for as cheap as possible? I don't know, I'm not a part of that world. All we can do is observe and suspect.
Your entire post was fantastic, but I would like to address this one segment.

There are lots of artists out there, but the pay for sketch cards is lower than pathetic. Anyone with the talent to get paid for their art in another way usually bails out of the sketch card genre as fast as they can. It looks great on a resume, but there is absolutely no money in it. I have mad respect for Jim Cheung, he is the rare artist who continues doing sketch cards for nearly nothing, even though he makes so much more on his Marvel comic book work.

As for the Kickstarter idea, it would have to be non-licensed characters. The big properties like Star Wars and Marvel are crazy expensive and already locked up by bigger companies.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:40 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #80 (permalink)
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I never said to shut up about it, but there are polite ways to talk about it and just downright rude ways to talk about it. Just because it's an online forum doesn't mean people don't have feelings and hangups and emotions and everything else they bring to the table. Everyone in this community should be conscious of that.

It goes back to the age old saying of "treat others the way you would want to be treated."
We both agree on that. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:56 AM   #81 (permalink)
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When I pull an autograph of a fourth line forward, do I sit around and yell and scream that he's so bad, why can't he get his act together and score some goals?....

...Why are sketch cards any different?
Not to single you out by any means, but I hear this frequently pretty frequently. . . and it always bugs me. . .

The fourth line forward is a part of the team, in that respect he belongs on the card. . .

Sketch card artists, in most cases, have nothing to do with the source material. . .

That's the difference. . .
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:57 AM   #82 (permalink)
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I didn't take the time to read all the posts in this thread, but as an art teacher I think that certain artists have different ideas of what they consider a "sketch". Some will do exactly what the OP posted about. Some will do really nice pieces of SMALL art.
Also, though, as an art teacher I believe in integrity of a piece of artwork. That's something that somebody spent time on to create. Albeit some may not be masterpieces, but they are someone's piece!
I just think it's unethical to produce a piece of artwork over top of someone else's artwork (whether erased or not).
It's like buying a box of topps tribute. You would take a sticker auto from another set and put it on a base card you got in your box of tribute just b/c your cards/hits were crap would you?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #83 (permalink)
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I have mad respect for Jim Cheung, he is the rare artist who continues doing sketch cards for nearly nothing, even though he makes so much more on his Marvel comic book work.

Absolutely love his work. In particular, the Scion series back when he was with CrossGen.

Sorry. Carry on...
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Absolutely love his work. In particular, the Scion series back when he was with CrossGen.
He is so amazing. When Marvel finally had him draw Squirrel Girl, I almost died:

Jim Cheung did Squirrel Girl on the cover of AvX #6. | The Sketchcard Saloon.

Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion...
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:24 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Your entire post was fantastic, but I would like to address this one segment.
Thanks!

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There are lots of artists out there, but the pay for sketch cards is lower than pathetic. Anyone with the talent to get paid for their art in another way usually bails out of the sketch card genre as fast as they can. It looks great on a resume, but there is absolutely no money in it. I have mad respect for Jim Cheung, he is the rare artist who continues doing sketch cards for nearly nothing, even though he makes so much more on his Marvel comic book work.
Okay I didn't know this. So with this new information I think a lot of our problems could be alleviated if we take a consumer protection attitude toward these products. Through little interaction with this community it has become evident that sketches are sometimes the sole chase cards and the sole reason these products move. In which case, like gambling, I think the manufacturer should be compelled to post odds on their sell sheet.

We already try to figure this stuff out with the production run by sharing info. I think that the big manufacturers should be able to show their sell sheet like they already do but also be required to print numbers of specific classes of art. Example: 32,000 monocolor pencil art, 5,000 multicolor pencil art, 3,000 monocolor brush art or other medium, 1,000 multicolor brush art or other medium. And those numbers were total stabs in the dark and this could be the "fine print" at the bottom of the sell sheet but I think, like posting the odds on pulltabs or slotmachines, this would actually dissuade buyers from being upset and let them know the odds. I know that the best detailed monocolor pencil art can easily eclipse the worst multicolor brush art (maybe have internal high/low detail ratings instead of medium?) but this is an effort to get more information to the consumer about what exactly it is they're purchasing. That's what I'm hearing in this thread, we don't have enough information before we pay good money on a product. It might also force the big manufacturers to pay for better art and splice these runs across more artists since they have to post this data.

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As for the Kickstarter idea, it would have to be non-licensed characters. The big properties like Star Wars and Marvel are crazy expensive and already locked up by bigger companies.
Right, I mean, I've talked before about how there's a ton of public domain material out there. Hell, I love Edgar Alan Poe and I think you could go through his works and pull out the descriptive elements of characters and settings and have artists re-imagine them in art.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:30 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Right, I mean, I've talked before about how there's a ton of public domain material out there. Hell, I love Edgar Alan Poe and I think you could go through his works and pull out the descriptive elements of characters and settings and have artists re-imagine them in art.
Very true, and the Classic Mythology set by Perna Studios is a great example of a high quality product that uses public domain characters.

I don't know why they decided not to use Kickstarter when they created their company, probably didn't want to give up the 10% off the top.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:41 PM   #87 (permalink)
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I have mad respect for Jim Cheung, he is the rare artist who continues doing sketch cards for nearly nothing, even though he makes so much more on his Marvel comic book work.
You should have mad respect for all sketch card artists, then, because we all continue doing sketch cards for nearly nothing while making much more at our day jobs.

Jim probably does the sketch card thing to keep his creative juices flowing. If you keep doing one thing all the time it can quickly get stale. When I first came into the sketch card scene it was this HUGE artistic outlet I was missing out on while doing the boring 9-5 thing day in and day out. I will admit there are times when it seems like a chore, so I try something different and make it fun, and try to learn something along the way.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:13 PM   #88 (permalink)
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You should have mad respect for all sketch card artists, then, because we all continue doing sketch cards for nearly nothing while making much more at our day jobs.
Unfortunately, I have to disagree. Many sketch card artists don't have day jobs and some of them don't have the skills needed to create good sketch cards, let alone get a job drawing comics for Marvel. I respect all the artists doing sketch cards for such low pay, but there are some that bring the whole hobby down with the low quality of their work. I am sorry if that is harsh, but it is the truth as I see it. That is my humble opinion.

I respect Jim Cheung for continuing to support the sketch card hobby, no matter what his reasons. He could have moved on and left the cards behind. He has top level skills, and I don't think anyone can argue that.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:21 PM   #89 (permalink)
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I respect all the artists doing sketch cards for such low pay, but there are some that bring the whole hobby down with the low quality of their work.
It somewhat perplexes me that you would acknowledge that the pay is quite low and -- in the same sentence -- claim that some artists bring the hobby down by making art at the level of low pay. If there are artists that have a mindset that they should produce at a level they are being paid for, then it's up to the manufacturer to decide if they should participate.

Conversely, I would propose that you think of it this way: there are some heroic amazing mind-boggling artists that somehow defy all odds and produce work well above the level they're being paid to produce art at despite the low pay. The rest of the artists are saying, "Look, if you want to pay me nothing and you want a thousand sketches at that level, here you go, 30 seconds per card."

I'd rather suspect that the manufacturers pay a little more to the artists that refuse to compromise their work and then use these as poster cards for sell sheets and use them to drive the chase. Is that an incorrect assumption?

Bottom line: I don't understand how we can fault artists for putting in little time and effort while recognizing the pay is abysmal for that work. The fact that we have hero artists doesn't make a workhorse artist that just churns out sketches at low pay a bad artist -- I would firstly suspect the manufacturer of being manipulative.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #90 (permalink)
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This has been brought up before, at least on other forums. Plain and simple, I think collectors & resellers are jaded/spoiled/have unreasonable expectations... however you want to phrase it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:41 PM   #91 (permalink)
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I'd rather suspect that the manufacturers pay a little more to the artists that refuse to compromise their work and then use these as poster cards for sell sheets and use them to drive the chase. Is that an incorrect assumption?
As far as I know, having seen more than one contract, that is incorrect. All artists are paid the same low amount.


The artists who continually produce top level cards are making big money for the companies. They may be able to cash in later with commissions, they might someday get a job on another level with their skills, but they are paid the same as the lesser skilled artists when they draw sketch cards.

I honestly don't mean to offend anyone by using these terms, but I am just trying to discuss the situation honestly. We can talk all day about subjective taste and stuff, but personally I see a few artists each set that don't have the skills for the job yet they get the job. The companies want to sell a certain amount of boxes, so they need a certain amount of sketch cards.

I apologize to anyone who is offended, that is honestly not my intention.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #92 (permalink)
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The artists who continually produce top level cards are making big money for the companies. They may be able to cash in later with commissions, they might someday get a job on another level with their skills, but they are paid the same as the lesser skilled artists when they draw sketch cards.
I only suggested that you reframe your position from "there are some that bring the whole hobby down with the low quality of their work" to "there are some that produce artwork above and beyond what the pay would warrant." And that it's really unfair to think that all artists should be righteous and refuse to lower the quality of their work. The fact is that the manufacturer will buy 30 second sketches at the same rate that they will buy 4 hour masterpieces. So when the manufacturer pays an artist for 30 second sketches and they are willing to buy them at the agreed upon price ... how is any of that at all the artist's fault? Furthermore, how do you use that as proof that "some of them don't have the skills needed to create good sketch cards, let alone get a job drawing comics for Marvel"? I'm not mad at you or upset or offended, I just fail to see how any blame is placed upon the artist ... all of it should be divided between the manufacturer and the buyer.

Why are we acting like me paying a manufacturer $100 for a box then pulling a card that they paid an artist $3? to make is in anyway the fault of that artist?
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #93 (permalink)
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One thing that has not been brought up yet. Rittenhouse actually addressed this issue a few months ago when they hired Warren Martineck to supervize the hiring of sketch card artists. He has done a great job giving good advice to prospective artists applying for future jobs.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:53 PM   #94 (permalink)
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I'd rather suspect that the manufacturers pay a little more to the artists that refuse to compromise their work and then use these as poster cards for sell sheets and use them to drive the chase. Is that an incorrect assumption?
This isn't necessarily the case. I would say that the majority of the sketch card artists out there get paid the same. However there are indeed others that have negotiated a higher rate either per card, or in the case of more APs, or Return Cards. Everything is negotiable.

I will also say that there are guys out there that have produced sketch cards for the major manufactures that will tell you that there is no way the companies will pay an artist more than the buck fifty that is the current rate.

If you have any other questions, drop me a line. A few of the sketchcard guys don't like the dirty side being publicly discussed.

There are companies out there that will not honor the contract as well, I've talked with a couple of guys that have done the work only to have the terms changed so they blacked out the cards and sent them back in.

It's a dirty game.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:57 PM   #95 (permalink)
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Why are we acting like me paying a manufacturer $100 for a box then pulling a card that they paid an artist $3? to make is in anyway the fault of that artist?
I was not saying that at all. I would love to have pulled that Mignola sketch I posted, even though it only took him 20 seconds to draw it.

I am saying that the companies should pay more money so they could attract artists with more skill.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:00 PM   #96 (permalink)
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Like I said it always comes down to money. Listen it's our choice to take the work for the pay.We choose to do what we do and if they buy it fine, if not, negotiate for more money. If that doesn't work, leave. Collectors like anyone else gets their expectations raised by the hyping of certain artists thereby making other artists pale in comparison. It's life. Not everyone can be the quarterback or receiver, some are the fat assed linemen.
If every card was a Glebe or Acar or Kezele then it would be boring and the prices for those cards would be 10 bucks.Be happy there are those artists who can be chased. Think of card buying as the lottery, not every ticket is a winnah.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:04 PM   #97 (permalink)
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I was not saying that at all. I would love to have pulled that Mignola sketch I posted, even though it only took him 20 seconds to draw it.

I am saying that the companies should pay more money so they could attract artists with more skill.
Wouldn't happen, the pool of good artists is limited like any specialty field. Fact is it's very difficult to draw on these cards. Very difficult to draw more than just heads or upper bodies without getting wonky proportions and just horrible designs and outcomes.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:06 PM   #98 (permalink)
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Wouldn't happen, the pool of good artists is limited like any specialty field. Fact is it's very difficult to draw on these cards. Very difficult to draw more than just heads or upper bodies without getting wonky proportions and just horrible designs and outcomes.
Absolutely correct, which makes the top level cards something of a miracle.

Which makes them that much more fun to chase!
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #99 (permalink)
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As far as I know, having seen more than one contract, that is incorrect. All artists are paid the same low amount.
I'm sorry Rian... this is totally untrue.

Some card producers will pay a lot more under contract, per card, to certain artists.

I will not name names, but 1 producer was paying $10 per painted card from a well-known sketch card artist - where they were paying $2 for a colored card from a lesser-known artist in the genre.

I, myself, was offered a lot less on a card set than someone (whom I felt didn't deserve the fuss made over them), and then delved into the subject deeper until I saw the truth.

I promised myself I wouldn't post in this area, after being told by many what a fiasco it turned into, but I couldn't stand to see this one line.

On the subject: Sketch cards were originally designed to be 'sketches' back in 1993 when we started them, and not the full-blown 'art cards' they turned into.
If someone didn't like that Star Wars sketch card, they should've sold or traded it - erasing it is like 'defacing art' and is a major slap in the face of the artist and the hobby. Not every card can look the same, or be of the same 'quality', or the hobby would be boring as hell.
I love to see the variances in style, the various methods used of the subject, etc - making each card and artist unique.

The guy who erased the card needs his ass kicked, and the card producer needs to get off their ass and get Ebay to stop the auction.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #100 (permalink)
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RUSTY!!!!! Whats up big guy?
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