Thursday, March 01, 2007

Getting Unscrewed

This may not be the biggest news in comic books right now, but it's certainly the most entertaining. Particularly because the good guys appear to be winning. Background on the nasty situation is here, where you will learn the sordid history of Rick Olney and his many deceptions. If you want some serious reading material on the subject, check out this forum thread on Comic Book Resources, but set aside a few hours to read it!

Unscrewed Comics

Blog@Newsrama provides a jumping on point, if you haven't been following this from the beginning. And The Beat warns anyone who might be tempted by Olney's claims that he's going to do another convention. In short, don't believe the guy.

And don't start feeling sorry for him, either. By some estimations, this scumbag owes $100,000 to various freelancers and professionals. That's a lot of money, even divided among his many victims. That's why a group of people have decided to turn this negative into a positive, and put together the Unscrewed website, with auctions and an anthology to support the victims of Olney's lies.

What do I have to do with this? Nothing, really. I may have linked to the thread back when Gail first started it, but otherwise I've been following it idly. I've been very disappointed by some of the insult throwing in the thread, but at some point it became clear to me that this is the sort of dirty story that splashes mud on you just being a part of it.

So why am I wading into the muck now? Two reasons. First, this is an old story in comic books, and an utterly unacceptable one. Far too many people get away with scams because freelancers live paycheck to paycheck and cannot pursue legal action to get the justice they deserve. Because of Gail's original post, victims have worked together and now are getting legal judgements against this guy. The more fans who know about this story and understand what is happening, the better. The more professionals willing to talk about scammers like Olney, the better.

And second, the auctions have just started on the website. If you like comics and have money to spare (that last bit is the tricky one, I know), consider looking at the auctions and helping some comic book creators out (I wouldn't complain if someone bought me the True Story Swear to God piece, either). And yes, I want to give the Anthology a bit of press too. I'm looking forward to reading it, myself.

Unscrewed Comics