Fans at Fault For Not Buying Comic Art

I wish I was kidding, but that is the summary behind two articles that have been posted on Denise Dorman’s blog site here on wordpress.

dave dorman

Dave Dorman

I found this article through The Mary Sue. I read the whole article before commenting by the way. Yes I commented; for I prefer to tell a person my opinions about them before writing about them (if I have the opportunity).

my comment to her first article

Comment on her first post in regard to this matter.

She responded to my comment and I responded back.

She responded to my comment and I responded back.

Response to 2nd post

Response to 2nd post

She is the wife of Dave Dorman, apparently a famed Star War artist (I have seen his Star Wars art before by the way, I didn’t realize it was him , but I have seen it before and I always thought it was cool) that hasn’t been doing so well when it comes to his sales. As a result which is why the wife wrote this first blog post in anger, irritation? You decide.  Either way, it came across as immature.

In her first article it really does come across as she is blaming cosplayers and those that spend so much time seeing cosplayers. I can understand her frustration and appreciate it. For people are sometimes cosplaying as characters that artists have come up with and people are paying mroe attention to the cosplayers than the artists who came up with the character in the first place.

I have slowly come realize that in this selfie-obsessed, Instagram Era, COSPLAY is the new focus of these conventions–seeing andbeing seen, like some giant masquerade party. Conventions are no longer shows about commerce, product launches, and celebrating the people who created this genre in the first place. I’ve seen it first-hand–the uber-famous artist who traveled all of the way from Japan, sitting at Comic-Con, drawing as no one even paid attention to him, while the cosplayers held up floor traffic and fans surroundthe cosplayers–rather than the famed industry household name–to pose for selfies.

However In Dave Dorman’ & Denise Dorman’s case I am having some issues:

#1.) He did not create the characters in Star Wars, yes he did a great job drawing them, but he didn’t create the character from scratch. The characters existed before he drew them, he did his interpretation on the characters, that is the only thing he can own.

#2.) Artists of all kinds borrow from each other all the time. He did some batman art and you can say he was probably inspired and probably borrowed from other artists, nothing wrong from that. All artists inspire and borrow from each other.

#3.) If your point Denise is being misinterpreted, it is not the readers fault, it is how you wrote and presented the issue.  This came off as a rant and blaming the people that attend, which leads to my next point.

#4.) She isn’t owning up to what she did. And neither is her husband saying to her “Hey Denise, I’m glad you love me and you are protective of me, but that wasn’t cool.” If I did something like this (which I wouldn’t) my love would tell me that I reacted wrong and I would tell him the same if he reacted that way (which he wouldn’t).

However she writes another article saying that she doesn’t blame cosplayers. She says she wanted to have this as a avenue for discussion and it blew out of control.

What I had hoped for, igniting an HONEST discussion about what we, as exhibitors (and they the convention owners) could be doingdifferently and how to give the fans what they want and still be able toafford to exhibit, turned into something ugly. Online harassment. Threats. Hate.

Whether or not we agree with someone, sending threats to an individual is wrong.

I have to call her out though, the first post, did not sound like someone wanting to have a discussion, she just honestly sounds pissed off. Which is not a bad thing, but if you are going to rant, own up to the fact that you had a moment you lost your cool, apologize and move on.

Don’t backpeddle, which is what she did not surprisingly with the amount of backlash she received.

In her Second post about this topic she talks about how she blames fans and those that attend:

 “It’s the new breed of attendees who are there because someone said it’s cool to be there; they are the onescompletely unfamiliar with the comics industry. They are the ones who attend any hard-to-get-tickets event just to boast online. They are the people I take issue with.NOTthe Cosplayers. Those are the people who care only about their selfies on their Instagram profiles.Those are the people who hijack events like #Burning Man,#Coachella and #SDCC with no understanding of why these events exist, or their raison d’être. Once they show up to the party, the event jumps the shark. “

While I understand she is blaming a certain type of fan, she is still blaming fans and attendes. She is still acting in an exclusive manner which, silly me, I thought was against geek culture.  Yes, it can be annoying when people who have no idea what Star Wars is about are taking pictures with Slave Leia because she looks hot. At the same time though these individuals could become potential fans.

fans at fault

Denise Dorman herself

It is because of Social Media that I have Heard of Burning Man, Coachella and other venues where people come together to have a great time. Yes,it may be annoying that people are going there just to be seen, but they are the reason why I have heard of some of these great events!

Social Media is a wonderful thing. It can make or break you. Unfortunately between; her husbands site which is under construction and not user friendly, the fact he doesn’t market himself to a younger generation but seems to be expecting his fans (which seem to range from 40s-50s) to carry him through) and this bad publicity he just got due to the fact that his wife went on a rant, he may have a harder time appealing to the younger generations now.

My Overall Critiques on Their Social Media Presence:

  • She doesn’t appear to help her husbands image. While I understand her blog is about being a comic book wife, she could talk abut which works that he has created that is her favorite. She can still brag about her husband. I try to brag about my boyfriend accomplishments when he lets me (which is really hard to do by the way because he is a private person). She could connect with other comic book wives and spouses and start a group to help comic artist in general.
  • She didn’t think before she blogged. Her actions will not only affect her, but her husband too. Sad, but true.
  • This screenshot about what appeared in her recent blog post. Immature and doesn’t paint her in a better light.
    not mature
  • His website is not user friendly. There is not gallery at all of his past work, I’m not expecting him to post every single artwork he has created, but he should at least have a small gallery showing off his work. it’s very basic and not that appealing.
  • His blog is, to put it simply, boring.  I know my blog isn’t perfect, but I try to make it visually appealing on a broke college budget and limited art abilities (like stick figure limited). He is a comic book artist and he could use his art as a background and show off his talent in the process. He could created his own logo to brand and market himself.  It’s just black and red though, it doesn’ t link back to his original website, his facebook profile,etc . He hardly uses images in his posts There is no About Me Section or Contact Me section. The only good think about it is that he has connected to his twitter.
  • He doesn’t have an actual facebook page. He just has people follow him on his regular facebook profile. While you can debate about that being a good or bad thing, he should have a facebook page that promotes his art and his work. I have a facebook page solely related to this blog and a facebook page slowly related to writing. It takes time and upkeep, but you have to learn to compete.
  • This one is a little more nit picky, but the younger generation won’t be as kind or understanding.
    dave webs
    What that says in a light color font on a light color background A Facebook Page for fans of daves art.
    Well it doesn’t lead to a facebook page, but a group instead. People are less likely to join groups on facebook than facebook pages for this reason, people can feel like they have to contribute to group pages, while with facebook pages, the person who created the facebook page can be the sole contributor.
  • Having a Linkedin is fine, I don’t think necessary for a comic book artist, but I could be wrong.
  • Another nit picky thing I have is how he presents each social medial ink he has on his website (not blog).  Dave’s Facebook with the usual Junk -that doesn’t encourage me or other visitors to see it, Just leave it at my facebook page or whatever it is. Dave’s Twitter with hourly words of wisdom (rolls my eyes) – it really comes across that you are doing this social media thing grudgingly.
  • As for his twitter I am very glad that he has an image of his artwork up there, it shouldn’t be his profile pic though. It should be in the banner instead. His twitter profile pic should be a pic of his face.  With the Banner he can change the artwork regularly and people can identify his face with that piece of art. He is also not tweetiing regulary. Keep up to date with what is trending and if comic movies or geek topics happen to be trending, share a piece of artwork you did hashtag it and tada! People will see your stuff.

Social Media is important for success now. Just because you are talented doesn’t mean you will succeed or that you are entitled to. You have to constantly work to be the best and to get notice.  To blame fans and to blame social media obsession instead of using that obsession to your advantage is shooting yourself in the foot. Social Media is here to stay for a long time and tons of people of all ages use it .

There all kinds of people and all ages that attend cons. Conventions have also changed and its not the newbies fault. If you want to lay the blame on anyone, blame it on bad marketing ofthe artists, the creators and the people in charge of the conventions themselves. Many cons have become more diverse and there has been more focus on panels, shows, contests, stars, etc. At the same time, though its not the fans fault, yes they are going to this stuff, but because its being marketed the best.

One must also factor the cost of the convention before they even buy stuff at the convention itself:

  • The cost of ticket can range from $20 per person at a small local con to $100. Sometimes more than that! This is not including VIP Passes which can get up to ridiculously high prices.
  • If they cosplay their making their outfit will cost money.
  • If they buy books, comic books, art, pictures, etc. for the people they plan on seeing ahead of time.
  • Transportation expense. Plane Tickets, gas for the car, etc.
  • Hotel expenses.
  • Living expenses. People need to eat, sometimes they get a migraine and forget to pack their Excedrin, and sometimes a girl got her period and didn’t think to  pack her tampons. Life happens.

At this point the person could have spent about $500-$1,000 total (depending on distance to destination, ticket expense, hotel expense, you get the idea) and I am really, really low balling too.

By the time people get to the convention, people are running low on money ususally. Believe it or not, not all con goers are rich spoiled fans that won’t spend money.

Than we get to the items at the convention itself:

  • Usually crappy food that is overpriced.
  • Price of getting star signatures and or getting pictures with stars.
  • Buying fun geek stuff
  • Art
  • Entering Costume contests can have a fee

If a person has run out of money, they will still want to find ways to enjoy themselves and there is nothing wrong with that.

What is free at conventions:

  • Watching the costume contests
  • Panels
  • Looking at the vendors (who can get ticked off if you don’t buy anything)
  • Taking pictures of yourself at the event with friends and cool people dressed up cause those cool people don’t usually charge.
  • Take pictures with awesome props:like if they have a Tardis of a comic book statue on display.

Don’t blame or think fans don’t care about your art, many could be broke by the time they get there. At the same time though, just because you are a comic book artist doesn’t mean you are entitled to make money or have people buy your art.

Now the Conventions should not isolate the artists and while having Artists Alley be a great idea at many conventions it could kill things for the artist. Granted people can distracted by the other vendors and stars, and shiny things that are surrounding the artists, but the best stuff I have found is when I am strolling around and not being inundated by all vendors, or all stars,etc. at the same time-but when things are broken up.

It all depends on the Con and the feel of it though, but the Artist Alley, while maybe having good intentions, could actually be isolating the artists from the rest of the con.

I can hear you readers that attend conventions say,

stars do fine

Those stars usually receive more publicity from not only the convention, but gossip magazines, and the people  who are excited to go see them at the convention. They are known for being in movies or TV shows. They are constantly in our face  While the artists may be mentioned, but the likelihood of a fan being familiar with what the artist look like is a lot less.

That is why I propose that maybe the stars and the creators (artists and writers) can be mixed in together. While the stars may get a lot of attention, people will still see the creators themselves.

Example- is a big Thor comic book artist coming to the convention and there are stars from the Thor movies coming, place them next to each other. TADA!

To wrap up this surprisingly long article on this issue…

Blaming those that attend cons is not only wrong, but immature. If you are having trouble making money in your business and being a creator you are in charge of your business. If your business isn’t growing it’s not the peoples fault that they aren’t buying, you need to reevaluate how you are presenting your product.

And as of right now, you, Denise Dorman are presenting yourself and your husband in a negative light.

I for one enjoy your husbands work, but this behavior doesn’t encourage me to buy it. Nor my family, which is a shame since we all love Star Wars.

good job

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A Response for The Daily Post. I just typed all this up in 10 minutes. (Editing and pictures took longer though. I wanted to fact check before posting).
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5 thoughts on “Fans at Fault For Not Buying Comic Art

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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  3. Desiree

    I agree, while there are a lot of factors involved in artists revenue going down, I find it disingenuous to blame fans for it. Artists need to market themselves to a large audience. Update your website, post more on twitter, get a tumblr, build a following. I see artists all the time on tumblr engaging with fans and showing up in pictures on instagram, twitter, and tumblr. Market yourself, you are your brand, make yourself known and keep yourself relevant.

    Reply
  4. Desiree

    No, I fully agree. Artists need to promote themselves more, especially the older ones. They may have helped build the business, but if they haven’t stayed relevant than newer fans aren’t going to know them. That’s not newer fans faults, comic books alone have near three decades of history. It’s a lot for new fans to get into and it takes time. But it’s much easier if artists (and writers) take the time to interact with new fans in the various avenues provided by social media.

    Reply
  5. Stephanie Bussen

    I came to your blog via your comments on http://comicbookwife.com/.

    I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you about the whole exclusive ‘true geek’ vibe in the original article. As someone who didn’t even know about cons growing up but who lives in San Diego now, I attended my first SDCC 4 years ago.

    My husband and I always try and browse the creators’ areas on the Con floor. But I am not going to apologize if we don’t buy a comic or piece of art we aren’t interested in. A lot of times, we might buy a few items throughout the day, and then get info for other artists that look interesting to view via social media later. Cons are expensive, as you note!

    I love your points about social media too. An artist with a poorly constructed website or poor media presence are less likely to pique my interest.

    Reply

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