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Beware: Clay Mann/Titanfalls

WHO: Clay Mann aka TitanFalls

WHERE: Fan Expo (Canadian comic convention)
Also does work at deviantart, and titanfalls.com.

This artist is a professional comic book artist that currently works for Marvel Comics.

WHAT: A hand drawn commission of an X-Men character (traditional art). I approached Mr. Mann in person at the 2011 Fan Expo Comic Convention. This con is a 4 day convention, and we spoke very early on during day 1. The art was paid for in cash, $100 Canadian, up front by myself and two other friends (who each also paid $100 CAD for a piece each of their own). Each day of the convention we were told to come back and check in to see progress, and by day 4 Clay had left early to catch a flight home. Before he left, he asked each of us to email him with our addresses so that he could mail the art to us directly, implying that the pieces were with his luggage at the time.

WHEN: The transaction began on August 23, 2011 which was also the date of the payment. Within a week after the con myself and both of my friends emailed him with our personal addresses.

PROOF: My post-con email; friend #1's post-con email.

EXPLAIN: After no reply, I waited about one month later to reach him again (Sept 30, 2011), this time trying both of his email addresses. That email was responded to 3 days later with an apology stating that he was very busy working on a mini (Magneto, which was only 3 issues long) for Marvel that required his attention. He told me to pass that along to my friends, which I told him that I would (and did).

I did not hear from Clay again at all after this time. He opened up commissions again on Feb 14, 2012 on his deviantart and blog, so upon seeing this I sent him another email asking for an update, which was ignored.

Friend #1 sent him another email in May 2012. This email was ignored.

Friend #2 was able to reach him July 2012 and was told that all three commissions were being sent to her so that she could pass them along to us. She did not hear from him again, and no commissions were mailed to her. At this time he did apologize and gave us another reason for his busy-ness. Which is fine; crap hits the fan for people all the time and I wanted to give him the benefit of a doubt. It had been 11 months by then and while it had been an inconvenience, it was not utterly unreasonable.

By the time November 2012 rolled along, I had grown tired of waiting and emailed him to ask for a refund. Once again, I was ignored.

Frustrated, I had made a post to my tumblr (which was admittedly a bit bitter sounding) and later got an Ask from another user who pointed me in the direction of this community. All of this was public and could be seen by anyone. The next day friend #2 received an email from Clay, ironically enough, stating that he would have our commissions sent to us within the week and that he was sorry about everything.

I wanted to, again, to give him the benefit of a doubt, but I was very unhappy with the idea of getting art that I did not want and asked a refund for. I searched around to see if this artist has had a bad rep before, and I did find a few things elsewhere.

Needless to say, it was quite possibly a ruse to get me to shut up and not come here. Not sure, but either way I'm tired of waiting and my friends and I are tired of being ignored. If you are a comics fan or a convention goer and you are considering getting a personal piece of art from him, I would do so with caution.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
Yeeesh...how unprofessional!

I will say that unfortunately, I've run into more of this commissioning industry professionals then I have in various fandoms. It seems some comic illustrators I run into are always late or just forget - but are totally willing to take your money at a convention.

Buyer beware, make sure and research the artist you want to approach and see if they have issues finishing freelance work!
Mar. 3rd, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
How disappointing, and definitely worth a beware.
Mar. 4th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
What a shame to see someone working for a company as big as Marvel doing something like that to a customer. :/ Beware well warranted.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 4th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
I've had some very good experiences with artists from the Big Two delivering on commissions and mail-in con sketches (Oliver Nome, Reilly Brown, Ron Randall, David Baldeon, Mike Ryan, David Yardin, etc.). It has a lot less to do with who they work for than with the professionalism of the individual in question. Dropping the ball on communication, constantly failing to deliver on promised commissions, taking on new work while they've still got customers waiting in the commission queue, vanishing with the client's money and ignoring requests for refunds...these are the earmarks of artists who just don't measure up, be they well-known professionals or the usual DA/FurAffinity scammers.
Mar. 4th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
If you're too busy to do commissions, then you don't take commissions. The fact that he took the commission puts all the onus on him to do it, it's NOT a customer's business to decide if the artist is too busy or not.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 4th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
That's complete nonsense. Please provide proof. Please provide other posts about "big artists" here on AB. Please provide any evidence whatsoever to support your assertion, because otherwise I'm going to regard it as utter BS.

"Big Artists" get to be big by knowing how to meet deadlines, being able to provide what they're paid for, and generally otherwise being GOOD at the business of being artists! How can you possibly succeed as a comic book or any other kind of artist if you are unreliable? Who would hire you if you never come through with your work?
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 4th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC)
The thing is that the purpose of this community is to provide information to people that they can use in deciding who to commission. When you make a broad, sweeping assertion that accuses an entire group of people of being the sort of people that a person shouldn't commission, you need to back that up.

You can't just say something that nasty, and tell people to not commission these folks, and then just call it your opinion which you agree to disagree about.

Either there's some evidence or experience or something that caused you to have that opinion, which you should share, or there isn't, in which case you should probably keep such an unfounded opinion to yourself.

(And how on earth is it drama mongering for me to ask you to support your assertion with some kind of facts? What's dramatic about that? If anybody is drama mongering, it's the person who's making sweeping accusations with no evidence behind them.)

Edited at 2013-03-04 08:01 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 4th, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC)
I've been watching this community for a while, and I haven't actually seen very many major artists. Unless you mean "famous in a fandom" but that's a really different thing from somebody who works for a company like Marvel.
Mar. 4th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
Alright, this has gotten more than heated and gone beyond a disagreement. If you two wish to continue to discuss this train of thought, please take it to PMs.
Mar. 4th, 2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
To be honest this is the first ever time I have had any problems with Marvel/DC artists. I've been doing the con thing for about 7-8 years now and tend to hit up at least 3-5 pros each year. Most have the ability to deliver their commissions within one day, some over the course of the weekend. I haven't really heard many complaints from others about pros either, though maybe I haven't checked this community's tags thoroughly enough? Weird.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC)
A lot of people don't post on A_B because they don't know it exists.
Mar. 5th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
That really doesn't make any sense, if they are working for a major publisher that implies they have the ethic and efficiency to deliver things as contracted, on schedule, or else they'd be let go.
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
You'd think so, but for a medium that largely depends on the readers showing up regularly for the next installment of their story, Marvel and DC will let an artist drag deadlines like you would not believe if he's popular enough. It's gotten better over the last few years I'd say, but some guys are notorious for not being able to get a book done on time. It was so bad for a while that Image, the third biggest comics publisher, was able to claim getting their books came out on time as a promotion point!
Mar. 5th, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
I dont' recall much of this, but then I was into mainstream comics more in the 90s; pretty much lost interest once I found indy comics.
It seemed to me then that image had the titles that would be the /most/ behind!
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
This is probably something that could go either way and is ultimately down to the individual's attitude, but I can see your point. I've seen Eric Basaldua (whose prices start at $500) talk openly about making people who commission him wait for well over a year in some cases, generally outside of conventions I assume.

Their workload is intense and the art they do for their company will always come first so commissions could potentially fall by the wayside. Not saying that this excuses it or that all comic book artists are like this, but I understand where you're coming from.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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