Spotting a Fake: #BuyerBeware
Buying original artwork online is a staple of being a comic book fan, and it is tempting to put down your hard earned cash that you have saved for a piece immediately without considering its legitimacy. Unfortunately, it is an all too common practice for fake pieces to be placed on auction sites such as Ebay, masquerading as one of your favorite artists just to make some quick cash.
Recently this problem has been highlighted by a particular Mike Mignola impersonator who has been uploading fairly convincing fakes to ebay. The sad part is that this person has already made over $1000 at a known minimum from his scam. Today Mignola himself warned potential buyers across all of his social media outlets to beware who you are buying from.
To people like you or I who are not trained artists, it is incredibly difficult to spot a fake without being told what to look at. For Mignola, telling his creations apart from a simple line trace is as simple as looking at the shading. He says that any buyers who look to buy original art of his should first email a link of the piece to firstname.lastname@example.org, where he can verify the legitimacy of the sale.
As for other artists you look to buy art of, unless it is coming from a trusted website (sites like “Cadence comic art” sell artwork directly from the artists, we have personally had fantastic experience with them) you should always try to make an effort to either contact the original artist, or at the very least post a link to the piece in a forum or Facebook group where a bunch of fellow nerds will have your back and help you out. After all, that was how this particular guy was caught!
Remember, the vast majority of comic artists have your back! They just want to make sure as many people get to enjoy their artwork as possible. Don’t be afraid to reach out and make sure you aren’t being scammed! Also remember to check the seller ratings. If it is just a few people giving 5 star reviews, it is questionable. Those could very well be fake accounts. If it is a seller with hundreds of positive ratings you are likely in safe hands, but still be skeptical!