Friday, July 31, 2009

Ninja Mountain Episode #27 - Return of the King

This week sees Patrick return the conquering hero from San Diego Comic-Con (or SDCC or CCI or whatever the search engines prefer to find), with his blood stained booty sack crammed full of audio goodness! Jeremy and Socar take some time to tackle a question from a prospective client and... Patrick is back from ComicCon!

The Show Notes
Todd Lockwood

Steranko - comics & book covers

Chandra Free
Chan at the Archaia panel with Zachary Quinto (she starts about 4:40)

Chris Burdett
(Who blogged extensively about the con, and even has pics of Patrick's seminar!)

Mu Young Kim

Nicole Cardiff (Thanks for the cookies!)

Alex Eckman-Lawn
(His Graphic Novel Awakening is on Amazon now!)

David Rodriguez - Starkweather: Immortal Graphic Novel is in Previews NOW!!
Pre-order it at your local comic book store asap!! Art by your friendly Ninja Patrick McEvoy.

Mark Smylie

Marv Mann
(Some New Kind of Slaughter is on Amazon now!)


Joe Slucher said...

Any chance I can get a link to that forum post about AD's with their most ridiculous price quotes?

Jan said...

:D I had fun twice with this episode. First time the amazing podcast itself (pity Nicole Cardiff wouldn't say more, I'm a big fan. :)) and then listening to what people are saying in the background :D

Thanks for featuring Mark Smylie/Artesia, I found it online some time ago and then forgot about it.
Looks like a great comic.

Joe Wilson said...

Yeah, I'm interested in seeing that forum post too.

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks Jan. I want to state for the record that I TOTALLY messed up Nicole's interview, and for some reason (I blame lack of sleep) cut it short. I really wanted to hear more of her thoughts and observations on hunting down Art Directors! Sorry Nicole!


Anonymous said...

I wish I still had the link, but this happened around 2000, 2001, in around there--I can't even remember which forum it was on. I think the link to it was posted on Sijun, though, so the search function might turn something up.

Jan said...

I just looked up Artesia on amazon and when I'll be making a big order from A., I'll put the first Artesia book in it. It's SO DAMNED sexy to see such realistic arms and armour in a fantasy comic!

Nicole Cardiff said...

Jan - I have fans? *blink*

Patrick - heh, I don't think it's all on you - I apparently have a tough time mentally censoring for "oh, crud, ADs may not want to be mentioned by name, even for strictly positive stuff" and then *also* trying to sound like a reasonable person.

re: budget publishers - I agree with Socar, my best recommendation is to license pre-existing stuff from artists. I license probably half of my personal work eventually, which means small presses get nicer art than what the commission fees would likely engender, and I get money for my experimental stuff. Everybody wins. :)

Jan said...

Nicole - you do! :D at least one. I've been following you for more than a year. On DA, CA, your blog...
(húm, that came out a bit stalkerish :D)

You're awesome!

furman said...

Wow! Really fantastic episode. I am too shy to goto conventions so I never meet anyone but I really felt like I was there! Todd Lockwood! Mark Smylie! Steranko! Wowzer!
Thank you for all the hard work Patrick.
I also would like to see the link Socar mentioned and I am glad she raised the point about portfolio work as opposed to deadline work :)
Thanks for my favorite podcast... (you guys beat out geekspeak!)
Nate Furman

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks a lot Nate! I had a great time doing it.And just think - I get to work with Mark Smylie as my publisher all the time!! :D

MuYoung Kim said...

Yep, it's official. I hate my voice. That, and I talk too goddamn fast. Dang.

Awesome show as always, and thanks again to Patrick for taking time to go on his Comic Con audio hunt. That, and another thanks for paint demo'ing like a bomb!

Jon Hodgson said...
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Jon Hodgson said...

And again with less typos. Apologies to the tldr crowd. This wouldn't fit on Twitter:

NIcole said: re: budget publishers - I agree with Socar, my best recommendation is to license pre-existing stuff from artists. I license probably half of my personal work eventually, which means small presses get nicer art than what the commission fees would likely engender, and I get money for my experimental stuff. Everybody wins. :)

Yup I'm right there with you Nicole. I think this is the best solution.

The idea that /all/ artwork must be commissioned brand new, and on an exclusive work for hire basis is lunacy, especially when a given budget just doesn't begin to support it. This is something that is inexplicably prevalent in role playing games: "I want all rights, but I can only pay $100" or whatever.

Once you get into non-exclusive licensing you can really cut some deals, keep your rights and have your work work for you beyond a single commission. I find it also blows the wind right out of the sails of blusterers who bemoan the so called "unreasonable demands" of artists. "Unreasonable" usually meaning "out of my budget". We can say yes to them, rather than a flat no, but still get a good deal for ourselves:"Sure you can have something from my back catalogue, non exclusively for that rate".

I've built up a nice range of this stuff, from relationships whereby a couple of clients get first refusal and some degree of exclusivity (which they pay for, naturally) to anything I paint for myself (which is wonderful), right down to selling more generic pieces multiple times over, non exclusively.

When you have a market like small press rpgs with high volume of clients with low budgets it seems a very good fit.

Sometimes I wonder if there is too much negotiation based around an apparently unmovable work for hire/exclusivity/all rights model. If the client will shift on the rights required I'll shift on the price. Low budget clients who argue they need to own all the rights to "their" IP for pitiful wages, "just in case they sell the movie rights" are really kidding themselves and effectively on the rob from their creatives. And I have heard that very line. The mind boggles... so you're planning on paying next to nothing now, but want all the rights just in case you get some massive windfall based in part on my work, for which I will receive nothing...? Hmmm lemme think about that deal!

It was inspiring to read this story a while back, about George Bush's mistaken ideas about "The Horse Thief". More surprising than that man's mistake was how many times the painting had been used on books, in magazines and so on:

Andy said...

Loved the convention segments, Pat - did you actaully do anything else at the con at all, or were you just making sure we got the best ingots of podcast gold?

Jaybird said...

Good work, Ninjas!

Socar and Jeremy's spot about not necessarily sharing the hobbyist vision was dead on with my rant in the comments of #26. It couldn't have been more timely. Thanks guys.

Patrick, good work with your scavenger hunt. We appreciate you braving the madhouse to be our roving reporter. I swear I could hear you blushing through half of your exchanges with spookychan.

Ryan said...

Amazing work! Thanks for the podcast!

I ran into something interesting yesterday and thought I'd let you guys know. I'm a board game illustrator and I use a site called quite a bit for my freelance work. The same people just launched a new site: It's built like wikipedia more or less, where the community uploads information. I noticed that they have a huge list of artists and a list of the work they have done. On the first page was Andy Hepworth. I haven't looked too much into it, but I'll bet all your names are on it. Take a look:

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks all!
Andy, yes I did get to do some other things at the con, though it was certainly a busy one! I spent much of my time at the Archaia booth (as you can tell from the interviews!) selling Starkweather: Immortal. Also gave my seminar on Friday and appeared on an Archaia panel Thursday. And of course some after-show parties and get-togethers (yay!)

Yeah, Jaybird, I think we were both blushing, but it was good fun all around.. :D Be sure to watch the video linked in the show notes for the full Chan/Quinto effect!


Andy said...

Ryan, I don't think my ego needs any more massaging ;)

HydeSite_Is_2020 said...

If a client can't come close to your rates, it does seem like a good idea to sell from your back catalog rather than lose out, but understand that this can have an effect.

The second you sell your work at rates that fall below half your typical quote, I would argue that you are sending the message that if your talent can be had on the cheap, then maybe your talents are not so valuable in the first place. (That's not a personal comment on your talent, Jon-the "you" here is generic)

Let's face it. In this conversation, we are talking about clients who have not done their homework(otherwise they wouldn't come at us with 50.00 in their pockets) or they are charlatans, so they leave with the feeling that we are overpricing original commissions in the first place and if peewee presses hold out long enough, or stamp their feet loud enough, there will be that orc in red scale mail available somewhere for 5.00 from an artist demoralized enough to sell work for less than the price of a cappacino.

I still feel this is undercutting with a self-justified new era labeling. The idea here is that back catalog works could earn money if they have been bought enough times, but we are not selling music on i-tunes. It's unlikely to work for you unless you really, really know what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Think you're reaching a bit, there. I don't know anyone who sells one-time print rights to existing work for the same rates as brand-new work. It's absolutely NOT undercutting, as long as you don't get ridiculous about it.

I'm not about to let someone snag print rights for $5, but I certainly won't turn down a reasonable offer. If I can get a couple of hundred without lifting a finger...I will. Even if the original sold for $1,000+, fair market value for a small one-time print run isn't, realistically speaking, $500+.

HydeSite_Is_2020 said...

Oh, true. Covers would be a bit different. I admit I was thinking of interior type work when I said that.

Not too many presses (of anything) would allow cover art to be resold unfortunately [in my experience]. I have had the 2 year clause on that before.

I like to try to look ahead and base it on the way things are going now (like everyone does, I guess). I have only had about 12% of my clients understand and agree to one-time rights. Woefully, a recent trend is for a certain big company in a certain big market to not even allow me to use my work for self-promotion until 2013! That is new to me, and completely unfair. They could allow at least one piece to be shown to earn me some more commissions.

I'm sorry to say that the relationships are secretly very adversarial. If the people aren't then the business of it is. It does not need to be a tangled web yet I've had precious few art directors, editors or coordinators not pull out some lame bait and switch tactics or pass the blame around, blah blah.

Imagine what would be produced if atitudes were adjusted for mass cooperation and monies adjusted for fair compensation on all fronts. That would require the deletion of greed from capitolism so ahahaa.

HydeSite_Is_2020 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HydeSite_Is_2020 said...

(That last comment was bleak, even for me :)

I do wish there was a secret forum for anonymous pro-level artists to announce the abusive pratices of companies so we would have an arsenal going in.

Char Reed said...

I just found this blog today and I've gotten SO MUCH information, links and contacts through just this one podcast! Thank you so much for this, you definitely have another subscriber!

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks for the comment, Char! Glad to have you on board. Feel free to post about past episodes as you listen to them - if you have any questions or comments about those we'd love to hear them. :)