Tuesday, December 14, 2021

OMAC - The One-Man Army Corps!

Here's a commission I completed in 2021 for a collector of OMAC, Jack Kirby's quasi-loopy DC comic from the early 1970s, which was aborted somewhat prematurely for Jack's heralded return to Marvel and Captain America in time for the Bicentennial. Those DC Kirby comics -- namely, his improbably run on Jimmy Olson -- were some of the first comic books I could call my own. Although lacking the sparkly of Stan Lee's "Master of Ceremonies" scripting, they were some of the mature Jack's most energetic and creative work. This 14" x 17" commission, which came to me online, was begun during the afternoon lull at the 2021 Akron Comic Con as a lone pencil figure, then completed at home,

Final inked version, crowquill, pigment markers, and brush India ink.

Original pencil figure, light blue and graphite.

Inked figure, crowquill.

Pencil background, loose.

Tight pencil background.
 

See my commission price list for ballpark prices and more samples.

Megaton Man™, Stella Starlight™, and all characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 2021, all rights reserved. Wendy Whitebread™ and © Anton Drek 2021, all rights reserved. Used by permission.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Megaton Man Rejects from Savage Dragon Team-Up!

 This are four pages I created on oversized Marvel bleed Bristol (13.5" x 21") for The Savage Dragon vs. the Savage Megaton Man #1 (Image Comics, 1993) but were rejected by Erik Larsen. I was going for a more simplified, Kirby-esque style at the time (evident later in my self-published Bizarre Heroes, made possible by the generous proceeds from this and Splitting Image). Erik wanted the more elaborate Neal Adams-ish inking style of the early issues of Megaton Man, so I took another shot at it. Some panels included Erik's headshots of the dragon, but one splash was left unfinished (apparently, that's when Erik decided he couldn't live the approach I'd taken). The lettering and script in this case is entirely by me.

This page features Erik's Dragon in panel three. The spoof of John Byrne's Next Men would also be drawn by Erik in the final version.

In the final version, I included the Phantom Jungle Girl and Rubber Brother to round out the reconstituted Megatropolis Quartet.

The spoof of John Byrne's Next Men were drawn by Erik in the final version.

Erik began penciling his Dragon figure when he decided he wanted my older, more intricate drawing style, and asked me to take it from the top.

The final page has been sold, but if you are interested in owning any of the other three, please contact me at donaldsimpson1713 (at) gmail (dot) com. I only have a couple other pages from the final version for sale as well (and none of the Splitting Image left). Thanks for your support!

The Savage Dragon ™ and © Erik Larsen; Megaton Man is ™ and © Don Simpson 2021, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Upcoming 2022 Shows and Recent Commissions!

Since 1984, I have been a guest of numerous comic book conventions and shows from coast to coast, and many of the convention sketches I have drawn over the years can be seen all over the internet. I've also drawn a growing number of commissions in my studio and either shipped directly or delivered at shows. Below are some of my most recent commissions from 2021 shows.

The schedule for 2022 so far looks like this:

I will be sketching and drawing on the spot at every show, but time will be limited, and requests fill up fast. So if you've always wanted that special Don Simpson cartoon drawing of your dreams, it’s always a good idea to contact me ahead of time (mature or adult imagery, especially of the Anton Drek variety, can only be drawn ahead of time and delivered at shows). See my commission price list page for ballpark pricing and contact info (every commission is different and negotiated individually by teams of trained union bargainers!).

Megaton Man and Alfred E. Neuman, 14" x 17", January 2022.

Spidey, 9" x 11.5", penciled 2018, inked January 2022.

Megaton Man and Barrett Klein, 11" x 14", January 2022.

Glissando and Megaton Man, 11" X 14", January 2022.

Kamandi on vintage DC cover stock, 11" X 17", January 2022.

Breathless Mahoney and Flattop from Dick Tracy, pencil, 14" x 17", January 2022.

Jack Kirby's OMAC - The One-Man Army Corps -- for a connoisseur!

Hand-colored commission recreating the cover to Megaton Man #4 (Kitchen Sink Press, June 1985).

Re-creation of the epic Megaton Man #4 cover (Kitchen Sink Press, June 1985), inked version.

Re-creation of the epic Megaton Man #4 cover (Kitchen Sink Press, June 1985), This pencil version will be inked and colored by hand.

Pen and ink for a fan of the fine art of figure drawing!

Pin-up for Len Mihalovich's Section 12 comic.

He-Man, She-Ra and Skeletor with my original design for a Skelekoptor!

Jiin from Wayne Carey's sf novel El'Aris.

Spidey for Taylor at Pulpfest

A sketch cover inspired by Pulpfest!

A sketch cover inspired by ERBfest (part of Pulpfest this year!).

Someone has probably already thought of this (but maybe not)!

Another swingin' Spider-Man in my clean line, John Romita-Mickey Demeo style!

Sally Forth and Snorky can't get a moment's privacy in this King Kong cover sketch!

Some of the above commissions were created and/or delivered at shows (I also drew several in fan sketchbook that got away before I could photograph them!).

Some of the shows I attended in 2021 included Gem City Con (Dayton, Ohio), NEO Comicon (North Olmsted, Ohio), Pulpfest (Cranberry, Pennsylvania), Monroe Pop Fest (Monroe, Michigan), Great Lakes Madison Heights (Madison Heights, Michigan), Three Rivers Comicon (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and Akron Comicon (Akron, Ohio). My thanks for their support. I'm planning to do many of these shows again in 2022 (along with others to be announced!), so stay tuned!

Megaton Man™, Stella Starlight™, and all characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 2022, all rights reserved. Wendy Whitebread™ and © Anton Drek 2022, all rights reserved. Used by permission.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Commission Artwork Price List, Fall-Winter 2021-2022

Don Simpson Commission Art Price List, Spring-Summer 2021

I've been drawing sketches at comic book conventions & shows and commissioned art pieces for fans and collectors since 1984, even before the first issue of Megaton Man #1 hit the stands. Many of these pieces can be found on the internet, and depending on how long and crazy the convention was in the old days, they can vary in quality a bit (invariably, every drawing I drew after five jet-lagged days in San Diego for twenty bucks at three in the morning has found its way online!).

My most popular requests are Megaton Man, Yarn Man, Jenny Woodlore from Border Worlds, and Wendy Whitebread. Since my 1992 adaptation, King Kong remains a perrennial and crazy popular. The first three of these happen to involve labor-intensive detail and the fourth ... well ...


OMAC, 14" x 17" pen and India ink on Bristol board.

Ann and the Ape, 14.5" x 23" India ink on Bristol board.

I've also done almost as many drawings of Spider-Man, a character I'd never drawn professionally until the 2019 Marvel CRAZY! one-shot, as I have of Megaton Man, my most famous and popular subject. Some of the better examples can be found on the Comic Art Fans website and on my Donald Simpson Facebook page. I've also gotten quite a few requests for the Thing, whose rocky scales are almost as labor-intensive as Spidey's webbing.

Because of this, my base price for 11" x 14" or 11" x 17" pen and brush and ink these days has been running @ $200 on up. Factors like multiple figures, subject matter, display lettering (sound effects, emulated logos, etc.) increase the price. Pencil only would start at $150.

In the summer of 2021, most of my commissions have been averaging in the $200-500 price range, although some larger format and more elaborate compositions with backgrounds and/or color have been over $900. Whatever is agreed upon, I always try to work within your budget and give you your money's worth.

(Here are some recent examples. There are more if you scroll to the bottom of this page.)

I don't have separate pricing for "head shots," "torso up," or other configurations because my fans very seldom ask me to do anything other than full-figure drawings.

Pen and ink commission for connoisseur Dean Focareta. A quick online search will offer a plethora of further examples of sketches and drawings I've created over the years.

I use only the finest archival materials: graphite pencil, pen, brush, India ink, pigment pens, Dr. Martin's watercolors, color pencil, and the best acid-free paper (Strathmore 400 or Bristol board, generally). I don't use markers or anything impermanent that will fade or discolor over time (although constant exposure to light may affect some watercolors). (With very few exceptions, this applies to my published original art as well, although some techniques, such as Zip-A-Tone, have aged.)

Collector commissions are so unique and personal that a comprehensive price list is impossible, but I try to address a few FAQs, below. But your best bet is to email me at donaldsimpson1713 - at - gmail - dot - com and describe what you have in mind and the price you have in mind, and we can go from there.

Note: I have also done very many sketch cards and blank variant sketch covers, but these are supplied by fans and usually created on-the-spot at only at shows. Please inquire.

Sketch cards for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund set, 2011.

Sketch cards for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund set, 2011.

Note: Many fans have themed sketchbooks they want me to draw in; I will only do these at shows.

What follows is only the most basic ballpark of price lists:

My characters/creations (including Megaton Man, Bizarre Heroes, Border Worlds, "In Pictopia," etc.)
  • Basic 11" x 14" Strathmore 400 Drawing or Bristol, pen/brush and India ink: $200 on up.
  •  Display 14" x 17" or 12" x 18" Strathmore 400 drawing or Bristol, pen/brush and India ink: $500 on up.
  • Color pencil on Strathmore Toned Grey, 9" x 12": $200 on up.
Other media may be available; please inquire.

Particularly complex or detailed characters such as Megaton Man, Yarn Man, and Jenny Woodlore (in her textured spacesuit) are more involving and labor-intensive, and may be priced 25%-50% more.
  • Emulating a cover, 11" x 17", pen and brush and ink, with display lettering and or multiple figures, background: $500 and up.
Number of characters, backgrounds, color, etc. will influence pricing.

Postage: add $25 to cover packaging and shipping via Fedex Ground (since the pandemic, I won't use USPS) in the US. Canada and overseas or special shipping instructions will involve an additional fee.

"Special Requests" (and what isn't a "special request" in a custom-made commission?!):

Popular characters that are not mine (straight or parody): Since I am drastically limited in the ways that I can publicize and exploit images of characters that are not my own creation (and not under my trademark or copyright), I generally charge 25% more, on up.

Team-Ups, Parodies, and Caricatures
 
Generally, I will not mix characters that I own with characters I do not own unless those characters are in the public domain or stock types (barbarians, monsters, swashbucklers, etc.).
 
As a professional freelance artist, I have drawn comics for Marvel, DC, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mr. Monster, and other characters. I've also done team-ups (The Savage Dragon vs. The Savage Megaton Man, normalman vs. Megaton Man, and so on).
 
For fans, I've often drawn characters I do not own, or drawn Megaton Man as a parody of various characters (Green Lantern, Captain America). As parody, this is protected by fair use.
 
I cannot, however, honor requests to mix my creator-owned characters (Megaton Man, Border Worlds, et al) with characters I do not won (Marvel, DC, Archie, etc., etc.). For one thing, this would be presumptuous; for another, such unauthorized team-ups trigger a number of ethical and legal issues that are more hassle than they are worth.

Teaming up my characters with generic or public domain characters (a jungle ape-man or woman, a giant ape, a robot, a stock science fiction pulp swashbuckler, a barbarian, Sherlock Holmes, etc.) are permissible. Also, in certain cases, I have caricatured media personalities, movie stars, politicians, etc., which is protected under fair use.

Requests likely to antagonize copyright holders or owners of celebrity likenesses legally, morally, or otherwise will not be considered. So please don't request Marge Simpson in a BDSM scene with Buzz Lightyear. For that matter, please--no Simpsons requests at all! :)

Frontal Nudity/Explicit Erotica:
 
Ordinarily, I will NOT draw my mainstream characters (Megaton Man, Bizarre Heroes), or other popular characters that are not mine, completely or partially nude or in compromising sexual or suggestive situations, let alone in explicit acts. I reserve the right to turn down any request I find objectionable for any reason. Please inquire if you have any questions.

Border Worlds, a "Mature Readers"/"Adults Only" title, is a different matter; many requests are subject to ordinary pricing, but commissions involving nudity or eroticism begin at 150% of the above prices, and may be turned down for any reason. Please inquire.

Commissions for Anton Drek characters (Wendy Whitebread, Forbidden Frankenstein, Dracula's Daughter, et al,) involving nudity or graphically explicit situations begin at 150% (mild nudity) and start at 200% for more graphically explicit themes, on up. Please inquire.

Please note: I reserve the right to turn down any request I find objectionable for any reason.
 
Right to Reproduce:

Commission art prices include owning the original piece of art. Unless the subject matter is sensitive, owners are permitted post images on thier social media.

Price does not include permission to publish or reproduce the work in print or in any media for profit.

Copyright and tradmark, as well as the right to reproduce my creator-owned characters, remains with me, without limitation. Characters owned by others cannot be reproduced or exploited in any way, except as posts on social media.

Nudity or erotic subject matter must remain private and cannot be posted without my permission.
 
Approval: For many commissions involving ink and/or coloring, I usuall email or message a preliminary sketch or pencil version to make sure it satisfies the buyer's expectations before finalizing the art.

Payment: Usually payment in full is required before I will begin work. Check (mailing instructions will be provided) or Paypal to my above email address is preferred. Total must cover the price of the art plus shipping fee.
 
For Paypal plus 2.9% of the total + $.50 (50 cents) per transaction. Please don't try to scam Paypal by claiming you are "Friends of Family!"

The Paypal Fee Calculator is a handy online tool for estimating total prices.
 
In certain cases I can accept shipping payment as a second payment, once shipping fees have been determined.

Note: This is everything I can think of, although the above list does not cover everything by a long shot, so you'll just have to contact me!

Go for it: Describe your commission request to me at donaldsimpson1713 - at - gmail - dot - com and please be as detailed as you can. I will respond as promptly as possible. Thanks!

Below: Some recent convention sketches and commissions have been colored pencil on grey or tan paper:

Ms. Megaton Man and Kozmik Kat. Colored pencil on grey or tan-toned paper has proven very popular with many of my collectors, lately.




More traditional pen and ink commissions are below:

Pen and ink, private commission for Brian Cremins, presented to Harlan Ellison in 2015. Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and Mary Marvel are ™ and © DC.

Pen and ink, private commission for James Hall, 2015. Dracula's Daughter is ™ and © Don Simpson, all rights reserved. Mr. Monster is ™ and © Michael T. Gilbert, all rights reserved.

Pen and ink, private commission for Flavio Pessanha, 2015. In Pictopia is ™ and © Alan Moore and Donald Simpson, all rights reserved.
 
Blank cover variants (you supply):

A recent commission for a blank cover variant! (Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more recent commissions.)

 
Sketch blank variant cover
 
Gallery of more convention sketches and commissions (see elsewhere on this blog for even more):

Sketchbook commission (2-page spread with Inida ink and guoache).

India ink and watercolor.

Cover sketch in India ink and watercolor.

Pen and ink variant sketch cover.

Pen and ink and watercolor commission.

Computer-colorized version of a pen and ink sketch commission.

Pen and ink commission from back in the day (colorized later by another artist).

Pen and ink convention sketch from 1989.

Pencil commission.


Pencil sketch for Steve Bissette.

All other characters are ™ and © their respective owners.

More commission examples here.
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Read my YA prose experiment: The Ms. Megaton Man Maxi-Series! New chapter every Friday!

All characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 2021, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.