Monday, October 22, 2012

Gahan Wilson Souvenir Vampire Bats

Right now on eBay three drawings of vampire bats by Gahan Wilson are available for purchase. As you might already know, it's not unusual for Wilson to present fans with souvenir drawings of vampire bats. The ones shown here I have gathered from various online sources, eBay included, and are each quite different. While some were done fairly quickly, others are more elaborate and took at least a good few minutes.

I admire the fact that, based on these several examples, Wilson makes many variations on his bats for his admirers. While I'm sure there must be very similar drawings to some of these out there, they are clearly not done by rote. All but one of these drawings are personalized.

I'm often concerned in creating posts like this that I'm doing a disservice to the artist by collecting these variations in a single place, even though they are already out there individually in cyberspace. I'm sure fans are delighted to receive drawings from Mr. Wilson, but some inevitably receive nicer drawings than others, and I might be creating evidence of a hierarchy which disappoints some who otherwise would have been delighted. That's certainly not my intention.

I'm likewise concerned that by posting these, I'm in some way making it more difficult for the artist to carry on doing this for fans in the future. I first felt I might be going overboard in my post on James Gurney. He had gone out of his way to draw a fabulous Apatosaurus for me in his book Dinotopia, and I ran home to post it here, making comparisons with other online examples. (One of the drawings I found for comparison was on eBay, and I bought it myself.) Artists (and celebrities) have long had to contend with those who come from conventions or book-signings and go to sell their treasures on eBay or in other venues almost before the ink is dry. But what I was doing was showing off an artist's generosity toward me, and in so doing possibly limiting the use by the artist of that particular idea at future public events. Artists like Wilson and Gurney seem to be exceptionally generous in what they'll create for fans. The question is, am I punishing them for their generosity by publicizing it here? Or do they understand in advance that this is bound to happen sooner or later and welcome the publicity?

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting souvenir drawings of vampire bats by Gahan Wilson:

No longer available as of March 17, 2014

Here's another, more elegant drawing on a full page:

One more, the most expensive currently on eBay:

February 26, 2013 Update:  Sold for $149.99.

RR Auction, Item 535 - Gahan Wilson Catalog 388 (Jun 2012) Sold for $132

Gahan Wilson. A Bat Drawn Just for Clementine,                                       
flickr photostream of earinc, Fantagraphics, February 12, 2010
Gahan Wilson. Inscribed "To John with my Best Wishes--" in a copy of "...And Then We'll Get Him!" Posted by owner John Platt in July 2006 on the Comic Art Fans Page

Gahan Wilson. Inscribed "For Chris," in a copy of Little Lit: "It was a Dark and Silly Night..." (2003)

October 29, 2012 Update:  Reader Stew Patton has sent this stunning image from his personal collection, an awesome, illustrated thank-you note from Gahan Wilson himself.

Gahan Wilson. Inscribed, "Thank you, Stew Patton, for your kindly words!"

September 1, 2015 Update:

EBay Listing Ended June 8, 2015

EBay Bid History
Nineteen bids, all small increments

October 25, 2015 Update:

eBay Listing Ended August 1, 2015

eBay Item Description

eBay Bid History
The bid in the final five seconds wins it.

And one more:



  1. I sent him an autograph request and included a small drawing that I did of him and also decorated the envelope. You can see that it paid off, don't think I've seen one this detailed. He really made my day.