Hello fellow nerds! Here is my latest fan art for fun piece. A character by the name of Silver Surfer and his arch nemesis Thanos! On of my favorite characters as a child and rightfully so. He was magnificiently powerful and righteously noble. So this piece brings back a thought to my mind. Silver Surfer is so noble of a character, what would he think of Fan Art? Would his nobility get in the way of this often loved but otherwise despised activity. Now Fan Art by itself is not evil. It is only when you transact an amount of money that it becomes wrong, right? So it is okay to draw these characters and showcase ones ability to draw these fantastic super heroes but not to be paid for the work. You then tread on copyright laws and are stealing from the intellectual properties that these companies hold.
That part I agree is wrong.......somewhat! Here is why I don't entirely agree with this matter. Now to anyone from Sony, or Marvel, or Disney or whomever owns this character, this piece is only for display purposes and there is no sale taking place. So please put your lawyers back into your pockets, thank you! The reason I feel that this is wrong to tell artist they cannot create their art and showcase a character that is owned by someone else, stifles creativity and places a burden on an already struggling artist. As an artist you can drawn an apple tree in a landscape and sell it without a hitch. Edgar Allen Appleseed doesn't come knocking at your door wanting his piece of the apple pie, does he? You can draw a portrait of a famous person from history and his great, great, great, grandson doesn't ask for his cut, does he? You as an artist are giving you interpretation of the subject matter. The way that I draw The Silver Surfer will be much different than the way another artist would draw the same character. I should be well within my rights to sell my origianl art, no matter the subject. It is after all, my version of that subject. I would agree that it is wrong to create copies and then sell those copies without distribution rights that are paid to the owner of that intellectual property. That makes sense but to tell an artist not to create his fan favorites for profit is wrong. It is hard enough for young artist to make a living and breaking into the industry is next to impossible, so why make it harder. And to prove my honesty on this matter. I have a comic book hero called Blackstone. You can see him at the top of this page. Feel free to draw him and sell the original art. I encourage it! To me, you are only promoting my product and your art. I wouldn't like it if you were to create a video game with my character and not include myself. But other than that, knock yourself out! Now I admit, my character isn't known so the art probably will not sell like a picture of Spider-Man or Batman would. The main point is that the few sales that would help a young aspiring artist to feel good about his/her progression is mere fractional cents to the huge multimillion corporations that own the rights.
So that is my perspective on this subject. Take it as you will. I really didn't know it was considered wrong till a few years back when someone got mad at me for drawing fan art. I thought they were joking at first. Had they not ever been to a comic book art show where almost everyone in artist alley was doing sketches for cashola? So then I began to research it and realized that it is actually illegal to do without a contract with the rights holder. And one last thing! Does it really make sense to hold people back from truly dedicating to the development of more art of a specific character? Don't you want fans to absolutely immerse themselves into that world? How long can one do that and not pay the bills? Not too long in my opinion. So let people create and let them earn some coin to keep creating!
Anyhow, that is my two cents. I don't claim to be an expert on this subject and I create fan art because I love to draw comics. Since I haven't been magically inducted into the secret club of comic book magicians, I create my own for fun! But either way, draw your comics and love every minute of it. If you have to make money then have someone pay you to show them how to draw their favorite character and then give them the artwork as homework. See how that works? You didn't sell them the fan art. You gave them an assignment to color it. :) Just kidding. I don't want to encourage anyone to do anything illegal so do what feels right to you.
Thanks for reading and more on the way real soon!
Robert A. Marzullo