Some artists have reportedly made remarkable profits, and some buyers have seen their purchases semi-disappear:
José Delbo’s days of drawing superheroes for Marvel and DC Comics ended decades ago, and when COVID-19 shut down comic conventions last year, the 87-year-old got cut off from the fans who bought his artwork too.
“I have been able to take my art to a whole new place,” Delbo said on Twitter of his late-career pivot. Delbo’s latest drop, featuring a new, original hero, netted more than $1 million.
Buyers also face risks. Rarible, the online marketplace built around the Ethereum cryptocurrency, recently told artist Mike Deodato that Marvel had issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice against Deodato’s NFT of his December 2008 cover of “The Amazing Spider-Man Family.” Deodato had already sold the NFT for the crypto equivalent of $5,500.
After the legal threat, Rarible barred the buyer’s ability to view or sell the art he now owns on the blockchain, a decentralized digital network that tracks ownership. The buyer simply logged in one day and could no longer see his purchase in his crypto wallet through the Rarible website, though it is still visible through other crypto exchanges.
Related, Winter Solider co-creator Ed Brubaker spoke about his dissatisfaction with the way Marvel has treated him:
Brubaker mentions turning down a check for a “Thank You” credit in Captain America: Civil War because he found the tiny amount to be such an insult. To add insult to injury, Brubaker apparently had to attend the premiere in the overflow theater as opposed to the main big theater with the big stars.
Perhaps most surprising is the revelation that appearing in the Winter Soldier film for a brief cameo makes Ed Brubaker more royalties than actually co-creating the character.