Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Original Art Stories: Avengers #1; Real Or Recreation, Part III

Well hasn't this turned into one big war of 'spot the bastard'? There's been a lot said about this page over the past few days, not all of it true but one thing my posts have done is make people ask the question - is it fake or real? Currently it's sitting on eBay with a price just under USD$50,000 and I'm sure that the people selling it have mixed feelings about what I'm writing.

So, is it fake or real? Here's my points on the whole thing, again, clarified so there's no mistakes. I'm not sure if it's real or not. The scans, to me, are inconclusive, but then there's quite a few others are who convinced that it's the real deal, they're bidding, so they can decide. I'm not spending the equivalent of a deposit on a house to find out that what I'm buying might, or might not be, dubious. What I do know is that Michael Kelleher, in no uncertain terms, has stated that he has never drawn this page for Marvel. This is backed up by his art rep who also states that this page has never appeared on any list of art supplied to him by Michael, and I believe them both. So if you're the one who's been sending Michael emails saying that he's involved in a $50,000 fraud then stop right now and apologise to Michael. A few people have also pointed out that the discrepancies in the comparison scans could possibly be put down to the state of the scan on eBay - which raises another point, if I'm selling anything worth that much I'm not going to taking a series of dark digital photos - I'd either scan the page or have it scanned at a print shop. Before I bought my A3 scanner I used to visit the local print shop here in downtown Norwood and have them scan my art. I'd sit there and talk/watch as it was done, they'd also scan in at least 350dpi and took very careful care of the art. It can be done. It's like buying a car from a photo taken at a distance with no photos of the interior really. Take the extra effort, it'll pay off in the long run.

As for the art's authenticity, well if I were buying it I'd be taking the advice of Steven Bove and asking for a scan of the back of the page before I handed over a cent. But then I don't have a lazy $50,000 to throw around.

The whole controversy surrounding the Marvel recreations has taken on a life of it's own. At least one artist involved I suspect would like to hang me, either in effigy or in the flesh, yet another has taken me up on my offer to answer some questions - more on that as it unfolds. My stance is this - I believe it's misleading for anyone to issue a book claiming to be a reprint when material in that book has been totally recreated by an artist who did not work on the original material. It makes no difference if it's one page, a dozen or the entire book. If a page is recreated then it's not a reprint. I'm not talking restoration, that's a different kettle of carp, I'm talking out and out line-for-line recreation which is not properly credited in the book. If you're going to do it then fine, do it, but come clean about it and at least tell people what work has been done, what pages have been recreated and give the proper credit where it's due.

Ok, back to the public floggings.

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