Midori Harada at NY Comic-con - A story

Was at NY Comic-Con today and was shocked to find Midori Harada in the artist’s alley just chilling and drawing, with barely any line.

I really wanted her to sign a card but didn’t bring one with me. I spent about an hour combing vendor booths but surprisingly barely anyone had even a common card by her. Finally I found an random CGC 8.5 uncommon Xatu from Sandstorm in a slab pile at a vendor booth for $20. Originally I had no idea how I was going to get the card out, then I remembered I was at a cosplay con lol. So I fought the crowds to get upstairs at Javits to the cosplay repair section. That way I could ask two separate organizers for a pair of pliers and screwdriver to pry the Xatu out, it was quite an ordeal!

Finally I got the card and went back to her booth. Her assistant told me you basically have to buy a $250 sketch before she will auto a card, as she is there primarily to promote her own artwork, not sign cards, which makes sense. Alternatively, she will commission and draw whatever you like (same price), as long as you don’t ask her to draw Pokemon or any Japanese IP. I thought it over a bit and thought, why not, who knows when I’ll see her again.

I finally had her draw Shivan Dragon :sweat_smile: using the original art as a model, since MTG isn’t a Japanese IP. I really like her sketch of it! Though, somehow, I feel her version looks darker and more threatening than the OG haha.

Somehow gives me Red Eyes Black Dragon vibes.

And at the very end she signed my card and drew on a Xatu too. The guy before me had a random stadium card from Aquapolis (?) signed, but requested she draw a Cubone, which she did. I think I’m always going to keep this card just because of all the shenanigans I did to get it signed!

Also, there was a bit of a sad/awkward incident right before my art. This girl in front of me had Harada draw a Batman sketch. At the end she wanted her to sign an energy card ‘for her friend’ she said, and didn’t want it personalized with a name. Harada flatly refused to sign without a name personalization, so the girl paid for the sketch, but walked off without any signature. Both of them looked pretty pissed off at the end :sweat_smile:. I’m not sure if the girl was trying to skirt the blanket Pokemon Company rule about personalized sigs only, or maybe just wasn’t aware of it.


Really interesting story!
I’m curious though… it sounded like the Terms were ‘no drawing Pokemon’ and yet she drew you a Xatu, and the person before requested and received a Cubone? What is the stipulation about then?

Basically, she could sketch a Pokemon on the card that she signed for you, but you couldn’t request her to draw a Pokemon in the larger $250 commissioned drawing (which is why I asked for Shivan Dragon instead of a Charizard or something lol).

Legally I’m not sure if drawing sketches on Pokemon cards vs bigger paper makes any difference. But she seems to be mostly worried about getting sued by Japanese IPs and not foreign ones. She also drew Jedi and Batman and other American franchises without any fuss lol.


“Energy card / for my friend / no personalization” = almost 100% thks person is a mule or going to flip it.

I’m glad your experience was a lot more positive and genuine. Shikishi looks amazing and having a story to go with the signed card makes it significantly more meaningful.


Yes, it’s my first Japanese artist signature so it’s always going to carry some weight for me :slight_smile: . And yeah, I suspected based on her reaction that the girl was a mule or maybe a flipper. Harada certainly seemed to think so. Bit sad to watch that go down. I think she wanted the event to be more about her own art rather than Pokemon.

Though, I couldn’t comprehend why the girl wanted to just get an energy card signed - wouldn’t you want the sig on a card that Harada drew for more value? Since you are paying $250 up front. But maybe she also didn’t expect to find Harada there and it was the only thing she had on her to sign. I have no idea if there’s a market for signed energies.

Also, I just noticed this got moved to a separate topic, thanks! I was debating doing the same earlier but I wasn’t sure if it was significant enough to warrant one, haha.

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Energy gives you a bigger sketch. Resellers know.

Your story got 40+ likes so I thought it deserves it’s own thread


I’m somewhat surprised that she got mad in person and refused to sign the girl’s card, but if the girl was pushing for no personalization, then its understandable to refuse. Overall Harada has always been nice from what I’ve seen each time I’ve met her.

For me personally I always enjoy going to her events and seeing her draw. I’m also sure she wants these types of events to showcase her own work, rather than Pokemon.

I had a couple shikishi’s done of video game characters and I was very happy with how they turned out. The only disappointment I had was that I didn’t have my phone to film (I used my phone for her reference photo) the way she draws so effortlessly.

Seeing her at NYCC was definitely a great surprise.

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I should clarify, Harada didn’t refuse to sign the card, she just insisted that a personalized name be added. Pretty sure she would’ve signed if that condition was met. The girl refused to add a name and walked away without letting Harada sign the card. Her loss I guess.

And yes, agreed! I was amazed at how fast she drew that dragon, took less than 15 min. I didn’t get the whole process but I did get a short clip on my IG.


Ironically harada has one of the least valuable signatures. Even if that girl received the non personalized auto it most likely wouldn’t earn much. She should have just done the personalization and enjoyed the moment.


There is a market where people pay more to have a specific request fulfilled.

There’s a good chance this individual had zero interest in the experience and was just looking for the paycheck. I am making cynical assumptions but I’ve seen enough of this first-hand to know how it works.

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I think thats probably the case. Especially after finding out the customer declined because of a personalization requirement.


But, if she WAS a scalper, isn’t this bucket of cold water a good thing? Or would you say it’s just a drop in the ocean?

Yeah it’s probably more personal for artists as well to do a personalization. It really is the easiest way to combat scalpers.


Is there somewhere to see where they will be signing?

As I live in Europe, it would be great to know when their is here, would like other signature than Arita

If that girl was a scalper, she wasn’t a very good one. Who turns down a autograph with purchase of a commissioned shikishi?

It’s actions like that where it’s easy to understand why some artists refuse to sign.


Harada and Saitou will be in Florida this December


Do we have a dedicated thread for e4 members who are willing to get signatures on others’ behalf at given events?

Maybe better to have a thread actually compiling all these events and if people want to work something out they can.


Company has an office in FL! :star_struck:
Can I ask which event is it?

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