Thursday, 2 January 2020

Commission Prices 2020

I'm not changing my commission prices, for the most part.

I accept postal commissions all year round. So, if you can't make it to one of the very few comic cons I attend then no problem, we can sort it out online! 
Because of the cost to send a blank sketch cover in a mailer to the US, almost doubling for some reason, (seriously, gone from £4+ to £7+ since my last trip to the PO) I'll have to start charging for postage to places outside the UK. It'll be £5. For postal commissions within the UK, postage is free, unless it's a massive piece or there's some other one off situation involved.

How to pay: First, I take payment upon completion of the job, it makes the wait easier and also gives me incentive to get the commission finished. If the piece is for collection at one of the comic cons I attend, then cash on collection is fine. Also, if you have a phone, Paypal is obviously possible at cons too. Cheques are ok, at least until the last bank within several miles of where I live closes. 

Here's the full rundown of what I do with examples and prices.


These are still £50 for a b/w Copic sketch like the examples below, a single figure bust, a close up etc, even a single full figure or basic background. For a wrap that'd be £100. Colour (Copics and ink with watercolour wash) will be £60, £120 for a wrap. For anything like multiple figures, detailed background, complicated compositions etc then it'll be on a per job basis. We're not talking hundreds of pounds or anything, but they will be more money than the base price!

Also, I must point out, that the quality of blank variant titles varies greatly depending on the publisher. For example, DC generally have the best surface to draw on, it's a decent surface. Except Adventures of Supergirl which has a surface like 1970's school toilet paper and has my vote as the worst blank variant ever made. 

Marvel tend to be hit and miss, some are fine, some are ink, Copic, paint and even pencil repellent. The most recent ones are the best but they do have a tendency to soak up the colour from paint. Also, be mindful that some Marvel blanks have a massive logo plastered across them that inhibits greatly where they can be drawn on. Why? No idea, it's inane. Consider that when considering those blanks for commissions!

Dynamite...every tool I use skates across the almost plastic surface and coagulates in a pool of frustration. So, not all art options that I do will be available for every blank variant. We can always talk about it beforehand. Just be aware that occasionally, I can't do what you want on a specific sketch cover so you may have to be prepared to accept an alternative.Time for the art!

Julie Newmar, £50

Julie Newmar and Adam West, £65

Josh Brolin, Thanos, £50

Adam West, yes, I like drawing him! £50

Michael Rooker, Copics with colour wash, £60

Brie Larson, £50

Reeve and Kidder, £65

Poison Ivy portrait, £60

Adam west portrait, £50

Poison Ivy v Batman, £65

I can also do the above style of detailed sketches on regular paper, either A4 sized at £50 (£60 for colour (Copics with a watercolour wash) or A3 sized for £100 (£120 for colour), if you don't want them on blank variant covers. Again, it's a similar situation regarding detailed backgrounds and multiple figures. They'll be priced on a per job basis. One thing I no longer offer, on any surface, is likenesses of people who aren't celebrities, by that I mean family members, friends etc. It's just a load of hassle. Sorry.

Examples of A3 Copic tonal sketches

Joker's Daughter, A3 £110 (splash of colour)

Medusa A3 £110 (splash of colour)


 These aren't to be confused with the Copic pieces with a colour wash, these are true watercolours, no ink or marker involved. 

Prices start at £200 for a watercolour piece A3 in size. That'd be with a fully rendered figure, or two if it's simple, with a basic background. For a more detailed background, for example with rendered buildings, it'd be more money, say £250. For multiple figures involved in a battle, then it'd go up in price again. See examples below with listed prices for an idea of the different costs.

Jakita Wagner, A3 watercolour, £200

Brie Larson, A3 watercolour, £200

Black Cat A3 watercolour, £200

Black Canary A3 waterolour, £225

Poison Ivy v Batman A3 watercolour £225

White Queen A3 watercolour £200

Web of Spider-Man #1 watercolour recreation A3 £200

The following are examples of A4 watercolours. First up are some profile pieces that proved to be very popular. I'll be doing more of them to sell at conventions and, very occasionally, online through my Facebook page. 

Emma Frost, £60

Jean Grey, Black Queen, £60

Wonder Girl £60 

Guy Gardner £60
Speedy from Arrow based on Green Arrow #1 cover. £60

Banshee, full figure watercolour A4, £60


I enjoy doing these, for the most part, especially by artists who's work I like. Standard price, $300 (about £220) for the linework ones. That includes me drawing in the logo, price etc. Unless you don't want it on...The full tonal pieces are $400 (£270), they're obviously more time consuming, but they look pretty nice. I also colour recreations digitally, the cost of the digital colouring (a full size colour print is included too) is $100. Cover recreations are approximately regular comic art size 15.5" by 11".

I also do completely original linework commissions and also original tonal pieces done in pencil, ink and Copics. Same pricing as the recreations. See an example of those below after the recreations!

The linework recreations, $300

Digital colouring, original art and colour print included, $400. An example of an original (non recreation) commission.

Another example of an original linework piece, coloured digitally.

The tonal recreations, $400 each

Example of digital colour over tonal b/w art.

The following are in another artist's style (Nick Cardy in this case) but are original compositions.


I paint in oil on canvas board. I can work to specific size requirements but the usual size is approx 18" by 13". I used to paint on stretched canvas but various postal services seem to enjoy bending the art and trying their best to damage it. 

Below are a some examples. I'll talk about pricing underneath each image! I price each piece according to the size and subject matter. It's easier that way!

Oversized canvas, 24" tall, $2750 (£2000)

Oversized canvas 24" wide, $2750

Surfer cover recreation in oil, approx 18" tall $2000 (about £1500)

About 18" tall, $2000

Batman C-44 Colector's Edition oil recreation, $2000 

18" tall about $2000

Oversized 24" tall, based on Silver Surfer 4 cover, $2750

18" tall, $2000

Oversized, 24" tall, $2750

If you're interested in me doing a commission, then get in touch via or message me on FB! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

NICE 2019: Postscript

I'm reasonably tired.

For the first time in what seemed to be an age, Russell Payne was travelling to Bedford with me. I say travelling with, but in reality, he was driving me there. I'm unable to drive as I've never learned. I've travelled on the train to NICE before, but it would've involved setting off in early July to arrive in time and an extra £300. So, Russ agreed to drive after my former chauffeur Scott bailed on me (to be fair, he was starting a new job in something tedious involving software and screens).

Russ arrived on time to pick me up. I blame that for the things I forgot to take with me. The plan was to arrive at 6pm. I'd not been in a car with Russ for a while and I'd forgotten he doesn't believe in, or understand, anything about stopping distances.

We arrived at 545. Unprecedented. I put the smooth journey down south to the Sat-Nav. A svelte Jeff was waiting at the reception. He insulted Russ and we were given our keys.

We sat in the bar for a while as people bought pieces of art from my folder. Whilst my friends were rifling through my bags, I chatted to the ever-pleasant Mark Buckingham about Miracleman. It took us some time to realise that the key cards for our hotel room only worked because the door was already open when we entered. We managed to lock it upon leaving the room, only to find that it didn't open again. The limp handle and the fact the entire unit listed to the right was a clue that all was not well. The man from reception was convinced it was simply a case of us being too simple to use the cards. Exonerated, he couldn't open the door either! We were assured it'd be functioning when we returned from our meal.

A sketchcover I sold in the bar, Friday night

We ate at Wetherspoons. The food was warm. Two friends, Alex and Michael ordered about 12 meals and 3 litres of cocktails between them. I ate a dry veggie burger. Russ ate something but he inhaled it so fast I've no idea what it was.

Upon returning to the hotel, Jeff asked Russ to compere a panel the following morning; Sketch and Chat with Ben Oliver and Dylan Teague. They'd no idea what that entailed. No one had. After high level comic talk, we headed for an early night around 1am. We'd forgotten that our room was inaccessible. No longer, we were in! The early night became a memory when Russ started talking and throwing questions around. He finally fell silent at 0430 so I could grab a few hours sleep.

Russ had to make money over the weekend. His plan was to share my table and sell Jack Kirby based prints alongside some actual Kirby comics from his collection. He reckoned that if he sold all the comics then he'd make £800.

Breakfast was excellent. Sat with Greg Staples and Dave Kendall, both great guys and artists and talked about the lack of opportunities for kids to create and use their imagination within today's school system.

Set up at the con was simple. I sat on the left as the light was slightly better (we were in the second building where there's only one window about the size of an egg box to light a gym sized area). Russ kindly let me put some comics I didn't want/have space for anymore in the box with his. I did point out that his comics were massively overpriced. For example, I had the first appearance of John Stewart in pretty decent shape, signed by Neal Adams, for a tenner more than Russ had an FF 19 in 'left to die' condition. But Russ was convinced he'd sell out, like he did at LFCC. I enjoy his blind optimism.The panel with Ben Oliver and Dylan was cancelled. No-one will ever know what it was going to be about.

The con opened with an explosion of people. I didn't manage to start sketching until two hours later, I was so busy selling art, meeting fans and signing comics. This year, for the first time for years, the sketches were normal; Hobgoblin, Black Cat, Wolverine. I did do an Obi-Wan on a blank variant that may have been a mistake. I said I wouldn't do any likenesses as it takes an age at cons with the constant breaks for chatting and the guff reference. I did a portrait of Prince once that took hours. I tried to do an Alec Guiness. Russ helpfully pointed out, as soon as I started inking, that the blank was an Anakin and Obi-Wan so I should have been drawing Ewan McGregor. I also did a Quislet sketch, not many of those around!

An action shot of Watson and Payne. I look like a medieval lackwit. Terrible hair.

Russ posing as reference for a Hobgoblin sketch.

I sold a fair few of my comics and even managed to shift one of Russ' while he was compering a panel about concept art with Greg Staples and Adi Granov. Russ had realised that I was right about his comics (he had a Lois Lane with part of the cover missing, I think it'd been sat under a tractor for 40 years, priced at £20. It was worth 50p, at most) and halved all his prices.

One comic I sold was to a young lad. It was a golden age Flash comic that was beat up, but the price reflected it. I did a deal for him and he was dead happy. It's really encouraging to see someone so young who cares about the Golden Age stuff and is so obviously excited about finding an issue like that. I remember being that age and the excitement I felt upon finding something unexpected, old, and affordable! Everyone in the area had their mood boosted by several points.

People brought me gifts! Thanks Nige and Ben for the Legion stickers, badge, hat and the art book! Had a brilliant chat with comic retailer Tony Addison about old school bmx. I had no idea he'd been a rider for Mongoose when he was a kid. Ace.

We dined with Mark Farmer, Julian Clarke and Rob Rundle, all members of the Legion of Superheroes APA, conversing over excellent Indian food. We walked past the restaurant where at least 80 of he con party were eating and saw Jeff serving people. He really looks after his guests.

Later in the afternoon. I think Ben Le Foe, Russ and myself were talking about how insane Paw Patrol is.

Russ, Mark Farmer and I retired to the hotel bar. Pretty much everyone else was still eating at the collective meal Jeff organised, so it was quiet. Except for the wedding party. Mark regaled us with industry tales and we talked about old artists and writers. A really cool moment was when Mark talked about his favourite covers of all time (he'd been asked to pick his top ten for a recent article) and we began to finish each others sentences; 'that Bat Lash one where he's,' and the other person would say, 'behind a grave.' Or, 'the Hulk cover where he's' and the other finishes, 'holding up the logo.' The same thing happened with Joe Jusko when we spoke about covers. Seems there's a collective agreement about what constitutes a great cover!

One story Mark shared, from the early days of his career, was when he appeared on Wacaday (a kids TV show from the mid to late '80s presented by Timmy Mallet) with Jim Shooter. Barry Kitson was supposed to be there too, but didn't turn up. The idea was to show kids how a comic book page was created with Shooter explaining, Barry talking about pencilling and then Mark inking the piece. It went wrong when Mark was asked to ink wearing a massive werewolf hand. The tale involved a wardrobe malfunction involving Patsy Kensit and other general failures. Mark has the show on tape but it's not something anyone will ever see unfortunately.

A4 White Queen pre-con. 

My eldest daughter messaged me whilst Mark was talking to us about what it was like inking Gil Kane. She asked if we could watch an episode of Fringe together that night. She hadn't noticed I'd not been at home for the previous two days.

I awoke the next morning with a spotlight shining in my face. Thanks, Russ. It was better than the constant snoring I'd endured though. He was eager to get to the con, wanting to sell everything so he could eat upon returning home. He'd added more prints he'd had concealed in his car boot, a Kirby portrait he'd digitally vomited on and a Galactus that looked as if a young child had drawn it and then accidentally pressed some keys whilst using Photoshop. He didn't sell any.

Russ drew the above. He copied it from an Artgerm drawing. If anyone wants to buy it then I'll make sure you're barred from next years con. 

Russ may not have made any money, but he made a lot of people happy. His Kirby talk went down very well and was met with a standing ovation from at least four people. Although he didn't do the promised rap, which was a huge disappointment to all.

Nice is more of an art event, less what passes as a 'comic con' in the UK. There aren't hundreds of cosplayers wandering around, a random Batmobile parked outside, a bloke dressed as a clown for no reason at all. There are no celebrity guests or people who may or may not have been in an episode of a tv series from 1978. There are no artist guests posing as industry professionals who've never worked in the industry. Those events are fine, they're what comic cons are today, kid friendly, for the family. But Nice is different. It's a con where 30 or so artists and writers, pro and self-published, are gathered to sketch, sell art, sign things(for free) and talk with fans. It's a convention for people who collect art and want to meet the creators. It's very laid back and relaxed. Jeff and Bub, and the rest of the team, do a great job putting it on each year. It's not put on to make cash, cramming as many people through the door as possible. Instead, it's a con based around a love of comic books and the creators who work on them.

Neo Joker, pre-con commission, A3

Jakita Wagner, A3 watercolour, pre-con

A4 Banshee watercolour, pre-con

Russ was tired when we set off for home, having carried a heavy box across Bedford. It was my fault as I had one final art deal to do. I have Cam, Bub's eldest to thank for that! The first warning sign that everything was going to jump the shark came when Russ went all the way around a roundabout and then, after another circuit, headed back to the hotel car park. After escaping that loop, it happened again at another roundabout. Then, Russ ignored the Sat-Nav.

     'It's ok, when I was coming back from London a couple of weeks ago, it said the motorway was closed and it wasn't. They just want you to spend £8 on the toll. It adds ages to your journey. I can't afford the toll.'
     'I'll pay,' I replied, an edge of fear entering my voice. As we drove past the lane for the M6 toll, neither of us expected what lay ahead.
     'See,' exclaimed Russ triumphantly, 'our journey time has gone down by 20 minutes.'
It took us over 2 1/2 hours to travel about 5 miles. My nadir came when we heard reggae blaring from a van window. I don't like reggae, I hate it. I know, it's a valid music, it's really not for me.Russ wound my window down to ensure I enjoyed it fully.

We arrived home at 0130.

Update from Russ: ''I was going to go to the bank yesterday to pay in all my profits, but I spent them all on a Curly Wurly instead.' You can read a slightly disingenuous version of the weekend from Russ' point of view here.