Guess Who

Erik Larsen's column at CBR is always a good read. I laughed my ass off this morning when I read this particular excerpt:

"I had a friend years back that was a habitual liar. He lied about everything - even things nobody cared about, even things that didn't affect anybody. He was an artist that later got in a position where he could give people work. He lied about his birthday because he wanted to still be one of the young guys in comics - he lied about jobs that were never mailed and checks that were never mailed and he left a path of destruction in his wake. He'd tell fans that he'd hire them in order to get them to leave him alone during a convention and then he'd conveniently lose their phone numbers and never take their calls. He'd promise huge page rates and not come through with the money. He'd hire folks to output film and stiff them. He'd go from one printer to the next leaving unpaid bills behind him.

His sunny smile and boyish charm got him more second chances than any thirty men deserve. And what could these guys do? Living in Canada, it was a hassle to sue, so they'd take pennies on the dollar when it was eventually offered.

This buddy swears, to this day, that he left our company of his own free will even though the rest of us know otherwise. He left, like Richard Nixon left, when the writing was on the wall and there were no other options. He claims otherwise, but some folks at this outfit are notorious pack rats and it might surprise him to find a phone bill from a party call and a faxed resignation with a date attached in our possession that clearly indicate that he is being less than truthful.
What's the point? What was gained?

This fellow used to solicit books and he'd decide whether he should draw them based on the orders they received. The 90-day return policy comics had at the time was used and abused by this individual."

Isn't it amazing how different things were back in the early-mid 90's? How easy it was to abuse the system, and, more importantly, how often it WAS actually abused? I'll say this--I'm not a hater...but it does make me throw up in my mouth a little to know that this individual made ridiculous amounts of money abusing the medium that all of us creators work so hard to maintain as a wonderful source of entertainment and valued literature.

I'll end this post with a little food for thought...realize that the person discussed in this post was paid millions, plural, MILLIONS, to reimagine several mainstream Marvel characters in the 90's.

Thank God our industry has changed so much since then and would no longer allow such a cluster fuck to take place.

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