That’s right folks. The first of it’s kind. Not only is this Spawn statue just an overall incredible piece, but the story behind how it was created is even better.
Some of you may know me as Gem Mint from YouTube or Instagram. I’ve been a collector of comics and comic-related material ever since I was a kid. I’ve been collecting quarter scale statues since February of 2017. Like most Statue collectors, I started off buying statues from Sideshow Collectible. Then I graduated to pieces from XM Studios, Prime 1, and then customs.
Customs are unlicensed pieces that are created by regular people like you or me, who hire a sculptor, and get them produced by a factory. Being unlicensed usually allows for more outrageous creations as they don’t need to be approved by a big company like Marvel or DC. For example, Marvel wouldn’t approve of a statue of Wolverine smoking a cigar in this day and age, but as a commissioner of custom statues, you could have Logan puffing a Cohiba with his shirt off.
So, back to Spawn.
A commissioner by the name of Henry Stewart paid freelance artists to digitally sculpt designs that he could produce and sell online. Usually a commissioner will pay for the sculpture out of pocket, then take pre-orders from the community in order to fund the process of having the statue actually printed and produced. This is a standard practice that is done by the big companies as well.
Henry successfully produced a Punisher statue which was sculpted by a very talented, up and coming digital artist by the name of Franco Carlesomo. Being that this statue was produced and shipped, I personally felt comfortable putting down a deposit on one of his other projects, Agent Venom. I even went as far as to pay for the statue in full for $750.
A few months go by and rumors start to spread that Franco never got paid for his work, that Henry filed a PayPal claim against the factory and won. It just started to look pretty bad for Henry’s reputation.
By this time, Henry had been taking orders for Agent Venom and Spawn which was sculpted by Maycon Andrad, as well as a Wolverine that was also sculpted by Franco. Well, one day, Henry decides to block everyone on Facebook who has pre-orders with him...
What. The. F.
Everyone in the community starts freaking out. A lot of people start to ask me what we should do, and to tell you the truth, I had no idea. Some people who paid using PayPal’s Goods and Services were able to file claims. Those of us who went as Friends and Family were not as fortunate.
A few people started looking at Henry’s friends list on Facebook and started messaging his girlfriend...which I later found out he wasn’t too happy about. But to this day, we have never received an explanation as to why he did what he did.
Now on to the good part.
One of the victims who got scammed by Henry reached out to me. Jonathan De Moscovaki tells me that he spoke to the sculptor of Spawn and Agent Venom, explained the situation, and that Maycon was willing to give the files to the community to have produced, since it was obvious Henry wasn’t going to.
That was all I needed to hear. I felt pretty defeated after not being able to get my money back. This felt like the perfect way to get back at Ol’ Scammin’ Henry. I vowed to facilitate production of the three statues (Spawn, Agent Venom, and Wolverine) and offer them, at cost, to anyone in the community.
And the crowd went wild.
We received 50 pre-orders for Spawn and 25 for Agent Venom (we haven’t opened the PO for Wolverine yet.)
Henry was not happy. Henry reached out to Maycon and asked why he would give us the files if he had paid Maycon for the work. Maycon basically said “bro, you ran off with everyone’s money...” or something to that effect.
Henry then decides to reach out to McFarlane Toys and get a cease and desist on the project. The project that he initially started in order to make a profit off an unlicensed product. McFarlane Toys asked to see the profits I made off of Spawn. When I explained the situation - how this was a non-profit community project in order to help collectors who were scammed by the very person who tipped you off to us - I never heard back from them again.
The prototype for Spawn is now in my hands. The unboxing and review on YouTube has over 40k views as I type this. 50 pieces are currently in production. Agent Venom is next.
Henry Stewart may have run off with our money. But now we still have the statues to show for it. I’ll end this article with the same phrase that graces the bottom of each of these statues...Fuck Henry Stewart.
I go by Gem Mint. You can find daily comic book content on my YouTube channel: Gem Mint Collectibles. I do statue unboxings, weekly comic book reviews, omnibus reviews and more. We have a fun Facebook group called Geminites, so feel free to join. You can also find me on Instagram @gem_mint_collectibles I have a Twitter... but I still don’t get twitter 💎