Friday, August 24, 2007

And Now For A Word From Tony...

From Tony Isabella's Message Board, please repost if you also think folks ought to be warned about this guy. This is being posted now because the scammer just resurfaced after a time of blessed silence, and has started threatening people again.

For a while there, it looked as if the vile Rick Olney had somehow acquired at least enough sense to stay offline. That was clearly foolish optimism on my part as he has once again surfaced to mock those to whom he owes money; to insult and threaten those victims and the good people who have championed the cause of his victims; and to proclaim conventions and publications that have no basis in reality. So, again, here is my...


A message to all my friends and readers...

If you are approached by an individual named Rick Olney or any representative of the man, if you are approached by Olney or anyone else representing entities known as The Mighty Mini-Con, TightLip Entertainment, ORCA, Mohawk Valley Newsletter, or any commercial entity or enterprise associated with any of the above, including online vendors, I strongly urge you to run in the other direction. You can find some details here:

You can find many more horrifying details on Olney and his business practices by doing a search on his name and the other names listed above. Really. Go look. It will amaze you.

If you trust me, do not attempt to do business with Olney. In fact, feel free to pass along this warning to any comics professionals, aspiring comics professionals, retailers, exhibitors, media guests, and fans you know.

Olney is not someone you want to do business with.

It has been estimated he owes freelancers anywhere between $40,000 and $100,000. The courts have already ruled against him in several cases where freelancers sued him for non-payment. Though Olney has yet to make good on these court-mandated judgments, auctions run by Unscrewed have raised several thousand dollars to help freelancers who were put into dire straits by Olney’s refusal to pay them for work they had completed.

He is being investigated for charity fraud. Other investigations of a different nature are ongoing at this time.

The list goes on and on.

Although I had hoped not to involve myself in this further, recent Olney actions, such as advertising a convention that seems to have happened only in his own mind, claiming that he is still planning to publish comic books, targeting foreign artists he hopes have not heard of him, and attempting to recruit naive American artists, the greater good demands I and my fellows continue to speak out in this manner.

Check out the UNSCREWED website for the impressive list of creators who have signed a version of this warning. Feel free to re-post this warning, which has been translated into several languages, to any forum you like.

Anything Olney is involved with should always be consider suspect.

Olney continues to troll - trolling as in a pimp hanging out at the old bus station - MySpace and message boards and Yahoo groups looking for fresh meat to exploit, for naive young artists foolish enough to believe that he's going to give them their big break. Before they work for him, they should really talk to the many writers and artists who he hasn't paid for past work. They can find many of "Olney's Orphans" at the Unscrewed website.

This last bit isn't an update, but bears repeating.

Despite threatening to sue me and many others, Olney has yet to institute any legal action against anybody. Indeed, as mentioned above he has been on the receiving end of several lawsuits and has already had several judgments against him...with more certain to follow.

You've been warned.

To repeat, feel free to pass this warning around or post it wherever you like. Oh, sure, I'm setting myself up for another impotent threat from Olney, but that's a chance I'm more than willing to take if I can prevent even one fan or pro from getting involved with this blight on comicdom.

Tony Isabella