I’ve accepted the fact that a largescale Batman Art Trade will never work.
A few years back, I participated in a paperback book swap on the internet. Because I work in a library, I have countless titles available to me on any given day, and I saw an opportunity to do a fun project. At that time, I had designs on an apartment and a better job (none of which panned out), but I wanted art to celebrate said imaginary apartment. I wanted Batman art. So, I offered to send any titles that anyone wanted – all they had to do was send Batman art. It didn’t really matter if they couldn’t draw – it’s the original interpretation that was important. Any size, any shape, any anything.
I sent out 6 books, at a fair cost to myself. I received one Batman drawing in return, and everyone else fell silent.
A few months ago, I tried this again – this time with lots of toys from around my room which I didn’t see any use for anymore. There was some pretty good stuff in there, and it cost a bunch to send out heavy boxes of toy fun. I sent out at least 6 boxes.
I got 2 Batmen back.
This might seem like a 25% success rate, but that’s the equivalent of being able to leave the shoe store with just a heel after you’ve just laid down the cash for a new pair.
Now, I’m not great at keeping up with all of the things I’ve said I’d try to do. There are a handful of tattoos which have hit the back burner (Wazina, Shakti, April), some birthday paintings that are three or four years overdue (the selkie, the artichoke portrait, the black and white thing), and very likely a good number of things that I simply don’t remember – but I have never been paid (or traded) for something that I did not come through on quickly.
My downfall is the fact that I am horribly bitter and broken, but I still retain this weird belief in the goodness of human community and our ability to live up to our promises. Two cheating girlfriends later, I still keep on hoping that people will come through on what they are contracted to do. Especially when Batman is involved.
He would be disappointed in you people.
Perhaps there’s a better community that paperback readers and toy artists on Twitter to share Batman love with, and as soon as I find that level of honesty, I’ll be home.