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Neal Adams is a sign of the Apocalypse10264

Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
I go to LA Comic-con today and see that Neal Adams is there. Giant layout, he sits in the middle of the back of the booth surrounded by prints of his work. Booth isn't exactly the right word, his area is like 20x the size of a regular booth in the artist gallery. Understandable though, he's a star.

I didn't know he would be there, so from a dealer I purchase a copy of X-men #60 and go to Neal's kingdom to pay for an autograph. Not looking for a verified signature, not a book that's worth grading and trying to profit from, just something for Personal Collection. He tells me his autographs are $50. Fortunately at that point I didn't even have $50 left in my wallet, so I say I need to go get more cash...and I walk away from Mr. Adams forever.

It's not really his fault, collectors and speculators have created this situation by getting signatures for other-than-personal value and selling them at a profit to people who oddly put value on signatures that they did not obtain personally. So the creators, not wanting to be taken advantage of, no longer see us a fans looking for a signature to memorialize the time we met someone we admire. And they decide, rightly so, that the value in their signature was created by them, so they should receive a significant cut. It's an ugly, unfriendly, cycle that is a direct result of signature verification. It never donned on me until today that signature verification completely undermines the historical true personal value of an autograph.
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Collector BigRedOne1944 private msg quote post Address this user
Thankfully I have no interest in the signature fiasco part of the hobby.

I don't blame Neil Adams or ANY writer,creator or artist for charging what ever the market will bear for their time and signatures. I wouldn't blame a guy with Neil Adams stature if he upped his fee to $100

Autographs have always been ripe for fraud and fakes for decades. Im not so sure anything has really changed in that respect, even despite all this "Signature Verification"
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Collector Rafel private msg quote post Address this user
This is why when I get an autograph I have them sign it to me and have them date it. I have a Jim Steranko (FREE) autograph that I got in 1977 and it's signed "To Rafel, Jim Steranko". My STRANGE TALES 167 was graded art a 7.0. 42 years later it's still in my collection.
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Collector doog private msg quote post Address this user
I might pay Neal to doodle whatever he would like on one of his covers for $50, just for fun. Wouldn’t stand in line for it though
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Collector JustABitEvil private msg quote post Address this user
He was kind of rude when I didnt have $200 to drop on a headsketch...
I collect autographs so Ive never had a problem paying for them (free is awesome but hey, they have a commodity so let the market have a say, right?) but as much as I would love to have a Neal Adams origional Im pretty sure I dont want to start getting deep into OA, I really dont have the $$ for it.
I got that sketch from Maleev at NYCC and as much as I love it all I could think about was how many more comics I could have gotten with that cash.
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedOne1944
I don't blame Neil Adams or ANY writer,creator or artist for charging what ever the market will bear for their time and signatures. I wouldn't blame a guy with Neil Adams stature if he upped his fee to $100


True, but Signature Verification bolsters the market by allowing signatures to be monetized. Honestly, how much of a market would there be for $100 or even $50 autographs if they could not be monetized by verification? At that price even the most devoted fans would probably need only one auto-graph per artist for their collections. I suspect even Neal Adams market would shrink by 95%-99% if they were charging $50 for signatures that could not be verified for selling purposes.

Back in "the day" an autograph was a symbol of an unspoken appreciation between an athlete/artist and a fan. By asking for it the fan was saying "I know your work and I value it enough to want a memento of the time I met you. To me your signature is more than a signature...it's an auto-graph." And by giving it the athlete/artist would say "I appreciate that you are a fan and know my work". With Signature Verification that auto-graph is a monetizable commodity that rises and falls with demand and supply.
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Collector Batman66 private msg quote post Address this user
A signed book does fetch more money than an unsigned book (to most people), so it's more like the creators/artists and such are getting a cut of the profit. I've had Neal sign a few of my books, he is all about the money, as he should be. When I read an article about how joe shuster and jerry Siegel were broke and penny less. Joe literally was homeless, slept on couches of his family members while dc was reaping billions over their creation of Superman. So Neal helped them sue dc to get royalties from their creation. In my profession my time is worth money, some customers understand that others just don't or don't care and abuse my time to get something for free. I did have Todd McFarland sign a few books, loved that experience. He did it for free because his appreciation of his fans. Don't know if it makes a difference that his net worth was more than Stan lee and knowing his wealth only comes through fans who buy his products so he gives freely because of that position,
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman66
In my profession my time is worth money, some customers understand that others just don't or don't care and abuse my time to get something for free


I know the title looks like I'm railing against Neal, and I was irritated with him at the con. But as I wrote the wrote the post I evolved to recognize that he is just playing by the rules that the market has created. An ideal situation would be if a Rock-star like Neal Adams charged the Con to attend and gave out his Auto-graph for free...1 per fan, $50 for each additional.

By the way, I too am in a profession where people will sometimes steal my "intellectual property" (experience and expertise) from me with no intentions of actually doing business with me.
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Moderator Jesse_O private msg quote post Address this user
I'm not sure I'm following this. Are you saying that signatures were free before verification because people were not making money off of them? Are you saying that verification makes it easier for people to make money off of signatures? Or are you saying something else? Plus, by "verification", are you referring to witnessed and verified signatures or just to CBCS's verified signature program?

Regardless, people have been selling unwitnessed and unverified signatures for YEARS, long before any system was set up to make sure that what you are buying was authentic. And those signatures are still being sold. I did an eBay search of "Neal Adams signed comic book" on eBay and got 46 results. One wasn't signed by Neal. Only 4 were in slabs. That leaves 41 that were just raw comics that are signed. A few had COA's, but most people consider them worthless nowadays.

The thing about witnessed or verified signatures is that it guarantees the signature to be real. People will pay a premium for that piece of mind. Many people collect signatures. Many of them cannot attend cons or have opportunities to get the signatures they want. The verification/witnessed programs are a godsend to those people as COA's are easily faked. That's why we have these options.

So while I get that people may get put off about paying for a signature, IMO they should be grateful for the opportunity. It's not like artist has a product that you have to buy from them first. In the first post, @EbaySeller stopped by a dealer to buy a comic for Neal to sign. That dealer got money just because Neal Adams was there. Then, the thing you REALLY wanted, Neal's signature, wasn't free, so you didn't get it. Do you see how backwards that is?

Many times, all that a fan wants is a signature on a comic that is special to them. The artist got paid once to draw that comic and signing them wasn't part of the deal. He got paid the same whether Marvel/DC sold 1,000 or 100,000 of that comic. He doesn't get any more money if the comic or a portion is reprinted in a TPB or in a reprint. His signature is the only thing he has that he can sell in connection with that comic. And if you truly appreciated the artist, why would you not be willing to support him? He can't pay his light bills with his signature on a comic book, he needs cash for that.

I know a few artists and I have seen them struggle to make ends meet. If an artist gets so well known and popular that he can charge for his signature, I say congrats to him. He probably spent many sleepless nights at his drawing table wondering whether he could pay his rent on time to get there.

One thing I have heard of that makes a LOT of sense to me, is the artist requiring a purchase to get a signature. You have to buy a print, a sketch, whatever, to get a signature. That seems like the best compromise IMO.

I apologize if I got a bit long winded. But honestly, I have no problem with an artist/actor/athlete charging for their signature. It's not like they have a lot of options for things they can sell.
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Collector PixelPanda144 private msg quote post Address this user
Neal did an appearance at my LCS earlier this year and that was exactly what they did - one free signature and them $50 each for additional signatures.

He also spent about a half-hour amusing the assembled fans with anecdotes... a very different experience to when I have seen him at his mega-booth at cons, buried behind all those tables.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EbaySeller


An ideal situation would be if a Rock-star like Neal Adams charged the Con to attend and gave out his Auto-graph for free...1 per fan, $50 for each additional.

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Collector Nuffsaid111 private msg quote post Address this user
Comics have become a serious business. Flipping, slabbing, yellow labels, wednesday warriors, Ebay, Movies, etc.. have all contributed. I am dismayed by it all and long for the days in the 80s and 90s where paying for signatures was unheard of. That's gone.

The artist/writers will say it's their time at a con, etc... etc... and to some extent that is true; but this is really about profiting off their name and they want their cut.
Even if you specifically are not profiting off their name and just want an autograph they can't be expected to really know what you're ultimate intent is.

I remember Adam Hughes doing his Con commissions for $100; and someone begging begging begging for a Wonder Woman commission as his greatest fan. Adam, out of good will, did the commission and it was immediately up on Ebay. Now that's some "biggest fan" huh?

Again, unfortunate - but expected when big money is thrown around, and there is unscrupulousness (is that a word?) going around. They simply charge what they think the market can bear and then you're free to do what you want with the book/art/commission. Ahhhhh - capitalism at it's finest
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Collector X51 private msg quote post Address this user
Neal is a business man. Neal doesn't evidently like people exploiting him for personal profit if he not getting compensated accordingly.

I've got a lot of stuff signed by Neal. I prefer my comics unsigned. I bought some unsigned items through his web site store. The online store sent me signed versions that usually cost more.

I negotiated a discount on a sketch by pointing out a discrepancy in his pricing structure.

As with any negotiation, be willing to walk away with nothing.

People come up to Neal all day long claiming to be his biggest fan. They talk about how special it would be to have something personalized. A week later it pops up on eBay at some absurdly escalated price.
Essentially, he gets lied to constantly. The people exploiting him have helped make it difficult for everyone.
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COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
The artists from yesterday are at cons to make money just like the vendors that are selling books, art, or toys. I find it unbelievable that fans expect creators to do something for "free" when they would never expect a vendor to give them a book, toy, or page of OA for free. They are both there for the same thing - to make money.

Fans aren't owed anything by the people that produced your favorite comic. They were using the skills they had at the time to pay the rent, and put food on their table. It would be like one of them coming up to you if you owned a gas station and asking for free gas because they bought their first tank at your station when they turned 16 right before he/she went on the first date with the guy/girl who became their life partner. You know, they have great memories of that tank of gas and all so you should fill it up for old times' sake. The creator's signature has value just like the gas. When one looks at it that way expecting a creator to give it away is as absurd as expecting the gas station owner to give gas away.
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Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
even when signature from athletes/actors/artists were free, who's to say that was right? it may have been a more "warm and fuzzy" time, nicer time, but that doesn't really mean anything. Bottom line is, there is a demand for signatures. It takes time and effort to produce these signatures. They should be paid what the market will bare. Nothing is free and we should not expect it to be free. Charging for signatures also eliminates "fans" approaching the celebrity with 500 items to sign.
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Collector etapi65 private msg quote post Address this user
This has been how Neal Adams has operated for a LONG time. I want to say I caught him at a small con in 2015 and he was charging $35.00 per sig. I got the impressions that this was not his normal price...about 5 months later saw him again (and at basically every con I've attended in the past 5 years) and it's been pegged at $50.00. I guess my point is, this is a well-established price he charges. As are his sketches. Yes, Neal is known for being a bit of a conceited prick. My experiences with him have seemed to back that up, but I don't find that uncommon among celebrities either. It's not something that makes him stand out in some way vs. his peers.

My only complaints with Neal Adams are 1. He doesn't give 2 craps about your comic; I've seen him drop food on people's stuff, rip covers with a smile and spine bend (I swear it was on purpose), etc... In one extreme case he dripped mustard oil and vinegar all over a person's blank sketch cover that they had spent $450 for a bust. Handed it back like that. The person went to an inker/colorist and had them basically create a design around the stains to mantain some sort of value. I saw it before and after and thankfully the inker/colorist didn't charge too much more. 2. WHen you buy limited, exclusive comics that are numbered at a con. They are neither limited or exlcusive to that con based on that numbering. It's disingenuous at best and a scam at worse. You got # 2/60 on that deadman glow in the dark! Awesome! Then you go on ebay and see 375 auctions with several #2s and you realize he prints as many as he wants and then he manually (or someone manually) numbers x amount for every con he does (which is dozens/year). Again, though, he can do whatever he wants, people will keep paying because it's Adams. At least Adams has actually contributed to comics in art and created characters...unlike some other creators with similar egos/scams.
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Collector DrWatson private msg quote post Address this user
@EbaySeller It sounds to me like you're pissed that Neal Adams is charging $50 for his signature and you don't want to pay that for it. Well, welcome to the world. Sometimes shit costs money. (shrug)
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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Neal Adams always overcharges for sigs and sketches. There are the guys that want to slaughter the sheep and sell it once, and guys that want to sheer the sheep and sell the wool over and over and over again. Neal's a sell-it-once kind of guy.

He was $65 for a sig at HeroesCon a couple years ago. I was just back in comics and didn't know that was a thing, charging so much for a sig. I thought $5 or $10 at most. Anyway, I wasn't planning to buy one, but I had a couple of his books with me, including a beat up Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali I've had since I was a kid. Went over to introduce myself, I'm a big fan, love your work, all that. No one else was really around, so we had a nice chat, close to an hour. At one point I said, "Hey, would you mind signing one of these for me?" He said "Sure!" and signed away. Then his wife / assistant came over and said, "That will be $65." I was dumbfounded and surprised ... I thought I was asking for a signature, not asking to buy a signature. And I thought he agreed to do it. But I looked at Neal and he had backed away a bit, pretending he hadn't heard, looking at something off in the distance that caught his eye.

Anyway, I didn't want to make a scene or complain. What happens if I say no? He's already signed it. So I paid what she asked. I wasn't mad, not really, except at myself for assuming. But I never gave Neal Adams another cent, and I never will. It doesn't matter that he was my favorite artist when I was a kid, and I still love his classic work. He slaughtered the sheep and now he's done.

It would have been the work of a moment to just say to me, signatures cost $65, is that what you want? But Neal didn't want to be the bad guy, I guess. And, I'm pretty sure, he knows he makes a little extra with people like me, who misinterpret the ambiguity. I bet he kind of does that on purpose. No way he interacts with thousands of fans a year and not see this over and over.

Neal is also the one always pushing the envelope on creator's pay. And he did back in the day, too. Did a lot of good. He was the one to get pages and covers returned to the creators after publishing. He got extra pay on reprints and collected volumes as a standard deal. He will often talk to other creators at cons and berate them for not charging enough for signatures or sketches, all while his super-booth is bereft of customers. One thing he has done lately is really push the idea that, whenever someone sells his art at auction, he should get a cut of the final bid price. Five or ten percent, I believe. I'm not sure how well that's flying, but you will sometimes see a note on an auction at HA or ComicLink to that effect.

Anyway, Neal's a nice enough guy. A little weird, with some of his ideas on physics. But he is definitely too greedy by half. Hurts himself in the end. He has kind of lost sight of the idea that he should still try to make his art the best he can do, real quality, rather than phone it in. So when I read that he's sloppy with comics or spills mustard on a $500 sketch he just did? Yeah, I totally can see that.
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COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
So, you chatted with him for an hour and got a book from your childhood signed and it cost $65.00? Sounds like a small price to pay for the memory of chatting with a comic giant and being able to tell a (negative) story about it that people read and more than likely listen to when you tell it. IMO, you got a deal.
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Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
I dont know. When these artists are at cons I assume they're working. if I get something from them I assume theres a cost (if I dont already know that). if the book is signed or sketched already and I didnt know the cost (or the fact that there was a cost) before hand I kinda feel that's on me, not the artist.
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Collector DrWatson private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by GAC
I dont know. When these artists are at cons I assume they're working. if I get something from them I assume theres a cost (if I dont already know that). if the book is signed or sketched already and I didnt know the cost (or the fact that there was a cost) before hand I kinda feel that's on me, not the artist.

Pretty much. They are there to promote themselves and trade on their popularity, ability, and artwork. I've never understood this expectation of free. If Neal Adams, as an example, wasn't successful in charging what he charges, then I would imagine that he would either reduce his price or his number of appearances.
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Collector Siggy private msg quote post Address this user
Mike Royer charges $5 per sig, with 100% going to Cancer Research. A couple years ago Neal Adams told him, "Mike, you should charge $30 (that's Neal keeping things in perspective) for your signature, and keep all of it!"

I tell him all the time he needs to up that to at least $10 and keep something, but he loves his fans, and is thankful he and his wife are survivors.
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Collector Batman66 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by GAC
I dont know. When these artists are at cons I assume they're working. if I get something from them I assume theres a cost (if I dont already know that). if the book is signed or sketched already and I didnt know the cost (or the fact that there was a cost) before hand I kinda feel that's on me, not the artist.
the booth at LA comic con that he has to pay for Isn't cheap, it is a business with expenses. Like@DrWatson said, if nobody is willing to pay 50 for his signature, Then he would have to re-evaluate what he charges
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Collector RRO private msg quote post Address this user
As I understand it as things are done these days; Adams etc. are given a generous stipend to attend.
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Collector Donnied private msg quote post Address this user
I dislike the whole idea of ANYBODY writing on a comic! Writing is just defacing the comic and destroying its value (if it is high grade enough to be judged lower because of the writing). A mid or low grade book is at least kind of okay to be defaced by a signature. My personal choice is not to buy any comic with writing. I remember being pissed off 40 yrs ago, after buying a Marvel Premiere #1, and finding some jackass named Gil Kane had signed his name under the indicia on the first inside page. I'm over it now, and still have the comic, but only because its not on the front cover.
I do have a lot of signed sketches on art board though, that I have framed.
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Collector etapi65 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by RRO
As I understand it as things are done these days; Adams etc. are given a generous stipend to attend.
Depends on the con and the person. I'm not sure this is true for Adams. I know the small press people and one's who mainly do covers/independents pay to attend. I think if they're listed as "guest of honor" they're probably not paying for space, but I bet they're paying for some expenses associate with attending the con.

I keep in mind the costs; includes flights, hotels, the booth etc... It's one of the reasons so many of the bigger names are now part of an organization that does that all for them (like comicsketchart). Means it's always worth the trip for the creator. They don't have to count pennies just to break even. Others will coordinate with a comic site of some sort for whom they did a cover. I see this with Mike Mayhew and Clayton Crain regularly. Even saw Marat Mychaels at a con at a supply booth (the booth was selling bags/boards/etc... and there's Marat with his comics; didn't even know he was going to be there). It's one of the reasons I almost prefer supporting people like Sorah Sunhg, Jeremy Clark, Dawn McTeigue, Bill McKay, Anna Zhou; creators with some skin in the game who paid to be there and show up to meet fans and talk comics. Working on building their brand instead of taking for granted what they have and seeming to just be going through the motions.

But if those people are still making money despite their seeming over-priced goods and attitude then good for them. I don't fault them for that...I just don't like it when they add what seem to be scams to the mix. I fell for the Adams trap with a "limited convention exclusive" once and now I'm aware of it. I still look through the stuff at his booth and occasionally buy something I want. I just do it completely understanding what I'm buying now and feel fine about it.
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Collector Batman66 private msg quote post Address this user
Does anyone know what Jim Starlin and Romita jr charges for signatures at La comic con
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrWatson
@EbaySeller It sounds to me like you're pissed that Neal Adams is charging $50 for his signature and you don't want to pay that for it. Well, welcome to the world. Sometimes shit costs money. (shrug)


I actually went over to his booth expecting to pay $20 for an auto-graph. In fact I had sent the dealer partial payment by Paypal to keep the last $20 in my wallet. It was when I was faced with a $50 signature charge that It slapped me in the face that we had crossed the Rubicon in the Artist/Fan Relationship. At first I was irritated with Neal Adams, but as I thought it through I realized that the artists are not the ones who took us across the Rubicon, it was we the "fans".

So when I say that Neal Adams is a sign of the Apocalypse, I don't mean to imply that he's the cause.
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Collector EbaySeller private msg quote post Address this user
There is an interesting second-half to my experience that I left out. Before leaving the Neal Adams booth I was approached by the manager of the local store that he owns. He suggest I may want to bring any old Neal Adams books that I own to the store where they would offer to buy them from me. He said they constantly need to replenish their Neal Adams inventory. I assume that anything they bought from me would then be signed and sold as a Neal Adams signed comic. After thinking about it over night I put the pieces together, the $50 fee is important to setting the market value, it's what allows him to create value in his store by signing books. If he charged only $5 or $10 it would devalue his signature and eliminate the opportunity to create value in the store by adding his signature to inventory that they have purchased. It all kind of makes sense, by adding his signature today to a 20 cent comic book from 45 years ago Neal Adams can finally receive proper compensation for work that he was probably extremely under-paid for at the time he created the book.
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Collector Siggy private msg quote post Address this user
The signatures and art I got from him SDCC this year will probably be the last items I get from him. I have plenty comics signed, and the cost of being able to say I own a Neal Adams Batman sketch is hard to justify. If I'm getting a multi-creator TPB signed, I might go to him, but no more comics or art.




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Collector Darkseid_of_town private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy
Mike Royer charges $5 per sig, with 100% going to Cancer Research. A couple years ago Neal Adams told him, "Mike, you should charge $30 (that's Neal keeping things in perspective) for your signature, and keep all of it!"

I tell him all the time he needs to up that to at least $10 and keep something, but he loves his fans, and is thankful he and his wife are survivors.


Something I noticed that probably means little to most, but when you buy a Mike Royer signature it looks like a comic guys signature...it just has some mood to it. Likewise Steranko, I have no idea what Steranko charges but one thing you notice about his signed books...he sits and studies the best spot and color and makes his signature look like part of a piece of art. I saw some books Neal Adams signed and said...wow, I thought they would look a little more...stylish or more artistic. Sort of like paying good money for an Adam Hughes set of initials I guess.....
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