My recent post about original comic art got me thinking again about what I should consider an exhibit versus what should just be posted. I came to a realization, and developed two rules that really help to clarify the distinction.
1) To be an exhibit, the item must be manufactured, not hand made, and 2) Drawing upon my shop floor and inventory management background, the item must have been manufactured as part of a lot with a lot size greater than 1. The first rule includes original art and commissions. Unless prints are made, these one-of-a-kind pieces of art that were made to create the comics we love, or specifically for us, are posts not exhibits by rule 1. Rule 2 is to handle print-on-demand items. They are manufactured, but manufactured “on demand”, and you can demand as few as one of the item. I cannot believe that it has taken me EIGHT YEARS to phrase this rule this clearly.
Does this mean I hate original art, commissions or print-on-demand items? Of course not! To be perfectly honest, I do not personally collect original art because I cannot afford it. I am working on getting a guest post about a couple of special commissioned items, hope to commission an item myself this October, and a second next year to be used on this website within the next three years. And the Harvey Mercheum Gift Shop is powered by Zazzle, one of the leading print-on-demand companies in the industry.
The big problem I have right now is my friend, the Ha Ha Harvey doll. He was BY FAR the most popular item in my TerrifiCon 2022 booth, several people wanted to buy him and were very persistent in their inquiries. But I seem to remember the vendor that sold him to me mentioned that he had been used in a Harvey Comics trade show booth. If that is the case, he may very well be one of a kind, and therefore should be a post, not an exhibit. He has no tags. I assumed they had been cut off, but a prototype or one-off made for trade show use may not have been tagged. I am going to leave the exhibit page up for now, maybe some day I will see another up for sale and this will be justified.