I received an automated email late on Friday from Brandon Peterson's website. Brandon Peterson is known for hyper-detailed artwork on such titles as Uncanny X-Men, Codename: Strykeforce, Arcanum, Ultimate X-Men and the mini-series Ultimate Vision and Strange. This is the message that was forwarded to me:
"You are getting this e-mail because you signed up for information on special projects and offers from Brandon Peterson via the Brandobot mailing list. The 2010 Brandon Peterson commission list is now open with very limited slots available.
If you are interested in a commission, precede IMMEDIATELY to the website addresses and follow the instructions. There are very limited slots and they are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Over 600 people are on this list and only 10 slots are available."
Additional Q & A style information included in this message went:
"1) Will Brandon do less detailed, cheaper, convention-sketch style commissions?
No, Brandon is only doing Pen and Ink commissions as shown on the website. Last year's commissions are available for viewing at the website. These commissions will be featured in Brandon's next convention sketchbook, so they must be publication quality illustrations. No one has ever complained about the quality or level of detail yet.
2) Is Brandon open to do more detailed, color, or multi character commissions for an additional charge?
Yes, but the amount of time Brandon is able to put into each commission is up to his discretion. There is a spot on the sign-up page to write special instructions or requests. Make your requests known there when you sign up and Brandon will get back to you, and let you know whether or not he is able to fulfill your request, and quote you a price for the additional work.
3) Will Brandon be sketching at Calgary, Heroes Con, San Diego, or Baltimore this year?
No, the only way to get custom Brandon Peterson art is by signing up online. The only commissions Brandon will be working on are these. Brandon does not do convention sketches as he finds there is too little time to do them at conventions with his signings and other activities."
After receiving this message, I did as instructed and followed the link only to be informed that the commission list was full. No surprise really, with ten slots and six-hundred potential customers, well - you do the math. I do appreciate the opportunity to be informed, but can't help wondering if a better method for this "lottery" could be crafted.
I then consoled myself by checking around the Brandobot site, where I found the commission piece that accompanies this post. I distinctly remember seeing Brandon work on this Conan illustration at last years annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC. In fact, he specifically states that he was able to squeeze this drawing into his busy schedule there. I have to point out how little justice is actually done to this outstanding commission in the scan. It was phenomenal seeing it in person, and the reason why I got on the commission list in the first place was due to being blown away by his work on the Conan piece. Now be warned, Peterson's rates are not cheap, no sir, but stuff like this will easily win me over despite the cost (sometimes). I can't say for certain that I could have mustered the financial wherewith all to follow through anyway at the present time, but I thought that offering this information may help out any fans of Peterson's who may be on the fence about acquiring an original piece from him someday.
He does sell frequent sketchbooks that are of high quality to assuage the wound of not scoring a space on his "to do" list, and these sketchbooks typically showcase most of his private commission pieces anyway; so there's your spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.
And my response to the automated message:
"I must've blinked. So [clicks tongue], commission space vanishing at the speed of light is one of Brando's hitherto unrevealed talents. In other words, damn - damn - damn. Keep me posted though (I'm always a glutton for additional punishment)."