Updated August 3rd (see bottom of post)
Let me say first off, I straight up love Michael Cho’s art. He’s quite talented, has a pretty cool retro style, and does some really good stuff. With that said, he recently made a post where he took someone to task for wearing a t-shirt that depicted a piece of his art. I read through the comments and most of them just seemed to be “Yeah, good for you Michael, tell him!”, naysayers were ignored, and in truth they devolved into trollish behavior. The story was even reported on by the Joe Shuster Awards website.
Something didn’t sit right with me though.
If this is a commercial venture, I say “More power to you Michael”, but if it is not…if it’s one fan who took it upon himself to make a t-shirt and wear it to a local con…really? Where’s the harm? Why should an artist respond with anything other than flattery when someone is so inspired by their artwork to create a one-off t-shirt out of it? I certainly wouldn’t expect the artist to go off advocating what amounts to vigilantism on his behalf.