Bravo for Byrne; Golden’s Pettiness

Today’s advice: don’t commission work from Michael Golden. Judging from this customer’s experience, his art representative takes the money, doesn’t deliver in anything near the promised timeframe, and when the piece finally does turn up 9 months later (only after much prodding), it’s completely unprofessional.

This Byrne board poster paid over $500 for a commission, promised in a month and a half. He had to keep pushing, which apparently aggravated Golden, so Golden decided to deliver a piece that makes fun of the customer. (He also misspells “virtue”.)

The art agent, Renee Witterstaetter, also seems to have some problems with keeping her story consistent. (You may remember her name from the nasty breakup with Arthur Suydam last year in which he was putting out PR about firing her.)

Why am I applauding John Byrne? Because when he read this story, he made the following offer: “email your address … and I’ll send you something actually worth $500.” That’s a nice thing to do to make up to someone when you have no involvement in the problem. I suspect, during his long career, Mr. Byrne has learned that annoying and driving away customers who were previously willing to spend money is bad business for all artists.

There are at least three other people who commissioned work from Golden around the same time who haven’t received anything yet. (Rich Johnston also covered this problem in early June.) Not a good way to get your name back out in the business. Word of mouth spreads quick amongst those with this kind of cash to spend on art, and they don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t deliver or delivers so inappropriately.


8 Responses to “Bravo for Byrne; Golden’s Pettiness”

  1. Michael Denton Says:

    Wow – really amazing! Even if the guy bugged the crap out of Golden to get his piece, you just don’t do that – instead you send back the money and refuse the commission – not purposely vandalize the artwork he paid good money for.

    I am also somewhat amazed by the level of paranoia on the Byrne board as to how JB’s truly selfless act will be twisted. That’s a bit scary!

  2. Johanna Says:

    Well, you can’t really blame them… there are a number of folks who love to point and laugh at Byrne and his devotees, sometimes justifiably.

  3. Michael Denton Says:

    Kudos to JB nonetheless!

  4. Fascination Place » This Week’s Haul Says:

    […] Coincidentally, this story about Golden doing an art commission for a fan showed up the same week on John Byrne’s message board. If it’s legit (and since the poster is claiming it happened to him and not a “friend of a friend”, I see no reason to assume that it’s not), then it’s pretty pathetic that someone would actually do this. (Comics Worth Reading has more on this.) […]

  5. Daniel Best Says:

    Byrne may not necessarily have made this offer without some form of an agenda. You might recall that back in the day Byrne left THE SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK title after a few because he had creative differences with his editor/ Guess who that was? You got it: Renee Witterstaeter. Byrne only returned to SHE HULK after Witterstaeter left the book and Bobbie Chase became the new editor. I’m not aware of any major conflicts between Byrne and Golden in the past, but if he’s already not fond of Witterstaeter, and this also happens to be an outrageous action that’s now been publicly exposed, both aspects may have motivated John to make his generous offer. Food for thought. I still applaud him for making the offer as public as he has, but while it makes one artist look bad, another comes out of it looking good…

    As for ‘at least three other people’, well I think you could easily ramp that number up considerably.

  6. Troy Nunis Says:

    Daniel — actually, Renee was Byrne’s editor for his second stint — Bobbie Chase was the editor for the first run which ended with the editorial dispute — so there goes that theory

  7. Daniel Best Says:

    Well bugger me, you’re right. Ok, I’ll stand corrected, I am an idiot.

  8. Golden Sketch Fiasco Followup » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] news on the story about Michael Golden scamming those who commissioned sketches from him and wanted them in the promised timeframe. He’s […]




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