Hey, that’s my sketch! Credit your source.

I have a fair sized original art collection and a website I set up years ago (and never update) to showcase it, eBabble Comic Art. Since I’m a fan or comic art I started our Web Arted weekly feature in 2011 and as such monitor a large number of comic art websites. Tumblr has made this a lot easier, but is also a mix of the same thing over and over again.

Brian Michael Bendis runs one of the most watched comics Tumblr sites and I was excited and surprised to see the following piece two weeks ago.

2007 Sketch J.P. Leon Galactus


That’s a sketch of Galactus I commissioned from John Paul Leon at the New York Comicon in 2007, as seen here. Bendis’ Tumblr showed “Reblogged 2 weeks ago from transmissionsgeekroom (Originally from joearlikelikescomics)”. There was a source link back to joearlikelikescomics, another Tumblr site, but no source or mention of where the art came from.

Back when I started Web Arted (actually the category is called l’art pour l’art, or art for art’s sake, but that never got any traction) I knew listing where I was getting the art from was important. The source should be credited, and readers can click and see what else could be waiting for them down that particular rabbit hole. Now pretty much everything comes from Tumblr, Comic Art Fans and auction sites. That’s not a bad thing, since the auction sites take excellent scans and mostly keep them online well after the auctions end. Tumblr seems to give the option of listing the source, but that’s not always the case. Recently I decided not to show art that doesn’t list a source.

Watermarking is an option, but that’s like hitting a fly with a sledgehammer. If you’re going to show art then let the viewer see it all.

There’s no indication where Joe saw this art and used it for his Tumblr. It would have been nice if he listed his source and so on and so on until it came back to my site. I’d like to say it’s all about referencing a source and giving credit where it’s due but a small part of me would like the world to know that it came from my website. So now it does. Yay!

Scott VanderPloeg
Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.

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Ed Campbell
10 years ago

In my opinion, anything I have ever posted on the internet is fair game. A few years ago I made a set of custom G.I. Joe figures based on the Expendables. I took a picture of the team together and posted it on joecustoms.com.

Some time later I was searching the internet for Expendables action figures (Diamond announced they were releasing a toyline for the movie) and I was surprised when I saw a toy blog repost my picture of my Expendables toys when they were talking about the new toys. It was a shock.

It didn’t bother me that they re-purposed my picture, it was the fact that they used it while talking about the official toy. Did they think my stuff was that good?

Now when I post pictures that I take specifically for CBD I try to add a CBD watermark in the corner. I try to add it somewhere that doesn’t take away from the overall picture, but will still give us credit where credit is due.

As far as your situation Scott… know the world knows that that piece of art is actually yours and it is hanging on the wall in your extensive library.

10 years ago
Reply to  Ed Campbell

I have to agree with Ed. It’s nice to get credit, but as long as no one explicitly says “THIS IS MINE, F YOU!” I don’t really mind. I’ve had my Monster High (yes….) pictures reused all over tumblr and instagram and it doesn’t bother me as long as no one says “I took this picture!” I never get credit, but it doesn’t bother me.

In your case, the artist’s hard work should get recognized, but there isn’t much you can do about it now. Next time, watermark

10 years ago

Scott, no thoughts on the new Byrne FF Artist Edition? No comments on the non-superhero comic film 2 Guns? No discussion on Amazon’s art initiative?

Instead… “someone reblogged my sketch?” I realize it’s the summer but…

10 years ago

The only people who buy giclee reproductions are those who have friends named Bubba. It’s little more than an inkjet print on canvas, often blurry and very cheap looking. I wouldn’t pay $5 bucks for one of these… let alone $850. You’re better off getting your own output at Staples for $24.

Oh hey, this one’s signed by Stan Lee and it includes a piece of paper to prove it’s authentic. Well, that changes every thing…