As anyone who visits the Gallery knows, I am totes mad about old timey woodcut illustrations. The original Bayard et al pictures are among my favorites, although Lynd Ward's 1930's style images are themselves very cool, with quite a bit of the art deco about them. Nothing I like more than some good illustrations.
So back before Resurrections was published, I was introduced to someone who wanted to illustrate the books for me. Actually, back that up: I wanted an illustrator, and she had been pointed to the online version of volume I and was, according to the mutual acquaintances, amenable to illustrating. So I sent her some very VERY sketchy sketches of the scenes I wanted depicted, some of the more dramatic ones, wanting some appropriately woodcut style images. And she sent me some pencil sketches of her renditions of them.
On the one hand, I was bemused, because they were not the kind of illustrations I wanted. I wanted something like, well, the lineart seen in Bayard, Jeanniot, etc. What I got was, to be blunt, a Disneyesque rendition of the Tenth Anniversary Cast. No, seriously.
But this was twelve years ago, I was about to publish my first volume, and I wanted it illustrated so bad that I was willing to take what I got. It's not that I didn't like them, I did... or at least the idea of them. And I was in that first blush, gee-whiz-someone-drew-my-characters stage. (I have become somewhat more discerning since) So, I sent her a contract for the art. She was not doing me a favor; this was to be a business transaction.
Now, when an artist gets a contract to do work for hire, nothing is in concrete. They are perfectly able to negotiate clauses, payment, terms, the whole bit. In the end it's like any other contract: the artist is free to sign or not, and the contractor is free to accept the artist's revised terms or not. It's called negotiation, and it's usually the province of agents. Anyway, one of the terms I laid out was that I requested to be able to buy the original artwork on completion. I had this weird idea that I could hang them on the walls of my little apartment and enjoy the pictoral representation of my story--this before it occurred to me to just print the dang things out and hang them up that way.
Also, I know a lot of artists who make as much if not more money from the sale of the original artwork than from the proceeds of the project the art is done for, and I have bought art done for smaller projects before with no second thought about it.
This is where things went really bad. I got a very nasty email back to the effect "no one buys my originals, I do not sell my originals, you have no right to ask me this, the deal's off."
This took me quite aback, let me tell you. Because she had been represented to me as being professional, and one of the hallmarks of being professional is to act professionally. A simple "no" would have sufficed. But her reaction was a big red flag in the wtf department. So I went ahead and published without illustrations, and the rest is history. In the end I'm glad I went illustration-less, because the mood and tenor of the pictures I got would have detracted from the story. Also, although I do have a great deal of affection for the portrayals by certain actors in the stage version, I'm very clear in that this series is not connected with the musical version, but rather with the original novel.
So here I am looking back at my archive disks, while preparing the new ebook versions of things, and came across the pencil illustrations again. I present them here for the edification of the readers, to show what might have been, and are covered under fair use. In a followup post, after I get them all organized, I'll post my pathetic original sketches to compare how well they followed the idea, if not the execution, of the original intent.