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Thursday, January 29, 2009

George Perez talks, we listen

We at The Hero Initiative are fortunate enough to have the mighty George PĂ©rez at our booth at the New York Comic Con, Orlando MegaCon, Wizard World Chicago con and liklely a few other spots this year. George has already released the following via his Website, but also wants to make note here. In addition to Hero Initiative, George has done signings for the American Diabetes Association and other worthy causes, so no matter what, your money's always going to a good place. And for that, we thank George!

Jim McLauchlin

Now that I'm back doing conventions again, albeit not as many as I used to, I have been receiving a lot of e-mails regarding commissioned sketches and I need to clarify a few things.

For the last couple of years I've had to institute a "lottery" style system at conventions to manage the large number of fans who want to get a sketch. What's usually done is that, during the first hour of the convention day, I, or an assistant, gives out a ticket stub to anyone who desires a sketch. The other half of the ticket is put into a bowl. After an hour all the tickets are stirred up in the bowl and a small number (usually about 10) are drawn from that bowl. The 10 winners then pay the price for the sketch (which is now $100) and I get those sketches done during the course of the convention day. Please note that all money earned during my convention time goes to charity (usually the Hero Initiative, but this applies to any charity I'm raising money for).

This method seems to have gone over very well in the past couple of years and it gives every fan an even chance, whether he or she is a dealer already on the convention floor before the doors open or a fan waiting on line either at the start of the line or the end (the first hour of the show should be enough time to allow everyone on an average convention line to get into the hall)

Now, due to the extremely hectic nature of a convention and the flattering number of fans who line up for sketches and/or autographs I did have to set up some rules and limitations, which, once explained, I hope you all understand and accept.

1. The first ticket handed out to a customer is free.
However, due to fan requests and past experiences, you can increase your chances at winning a sketch by donating a dollar for each extra ticket you want. The winner would still have to pay the price of the sketch once he or she wins. This was actually a fan's idea, and proved to be both popular and profitable. One fan paid over $70 dollars in tickets, knowing he would then have to pay the price of the sketch as well when he won. Ironically, he didn't win and one other fan actually won with the free ticket he had, not having purchased any extra chances. In a touching gesture, and in the true spirit of charity, the winner with the free ticket gave his ticket to the guy who had paid so much money. Now, that's a side of fandom I love to see, and it's one of the wonderful side benefits of the system I've adopted.

2. Only one win per customer per day.
Again, this was done in the name of fairness to everyone, but also brought about a spontaneous act of charity and camaraderie among the fans when the winners started distributing the rest of their tickets to the other waiting fans, thus increasing the chances of winning for those whose numbers had not yet been drawn. The best side of fandom yet again, and it makes for a nice block party atmosphere. This whole process is repeated every day, so a person can conceivably win more than one sketch if he or she has a winning number on separate days. New tickets are used each day, so preceding days' tickets are void after the day of drawing.

3. You have to be there to win.
Pretty obvious, really, since the tickets only have numbers and no names. However, if you need to leave early and it doesn't look like I will get to your sketch before your departure, shipping arrangements can be made for a nominal fee, unless you or a proxy can pick it up the following day. You don't have to be there while your sketch is being drawn since we will write down your name and the character you want drawn. Just check in from time to time to see where you are on the queue.

4. I can only draw portrait drawings (head shots with chest symbol,
if any), no full figures.
This is an unavoidable limitation due to the number of autographs I need to sign and panels that I am sometimes required to attend during the course of a convention. Also, please, only fictional characters, no portraits of real people. That's more work than I can do under convention conditions

5. I alternate sketching and autographing times.
In order to get sketches done without interruption, I close my table to autographs for an hour or so in order to get some sketches done. Then I open up for about a half hour for autographs and then go back to sketches for another hour and so on. Times will be posted at the table as the day commences and will be determined by the number of fans there and the number of books to be signed. However, even if I am sketching, please feel free to say hello and chat. I can still do both simultaneously.

6. Regarding autographs, I do not charge for autographs but do request donations for charity, especially if I'm being asked to sign a large number of books.
The size of the donation is not monitored by me, but, being the charity shill that I am, I don't really like to hear the sound of coins landing in the jar. Paper money is so much more calming to my nerves-- and helps needy people even more.

7. For those wanting full-figure sketches, all is not lost. I am now doing such sketches through The Artist's Choice ( and you should be provided with rates and specifics there. The rates are pretty high, but, so far, most buyers feel that they've gotten bang for their buck and my goal is to keep my loyal fanbase happy.

Well, if you've read all this, I commend you for your patience and I thank you for your understanding. Hopefully. I will be able to provide you with a sketch that will meet your heart's desire, either at a con or through the mail. In any case, I appreciate the attention and the consideration and shall always strive to be worthy of it all.

Take care,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Art good, fire bad!

’Cause we love you soooooooo much, we'll be previewing art for the Hero Initiative New York Comic Con art auction via the mighty ComicArtFans.

Eat it up like pie.

Jim McLauchlin

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We're gonna party like it's 2009!

Thursday, Feb. 5, night before the New York Comic Con starts. Dave & Busters, Time Square. Be there!

There will be booze. There will be free gift bags. There will be prizes. Did we mention THERE WILL BE BOOZE?

Again, be there.

Jim McLauchlin

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's On! Hero Initiative Memberships!

And as a new year starts…Hero Initiative memberships start for 2009! They're available in four flavors starting at $29, and each membership gets you a spiffy membership card, an ORIGINAL art sketchcard, and more. Check out our ol' pals at Atomic Comics for full order details.

There will be several as-yet-unannounced bonuses available to members as well, and a cool contest where you can take a pic of yourself with your card and upload it to the Hero Website. The above pic is that of Aaron Duran, he of, who helped us put the plan together. And it's not just for young bucks like Aaron! Some more "elder statesmen" have joined as well…
Jim McLauchlin