Some of you might be aware that the ONLY bad experience I've ever had at a convention, or with a publisher, either, was with Rick Olney, of 'Tightlip' entertainment.
Rick's got a LOOOOOOONG history of meltdowns on the internet. People have some hilarious stories about him, and I doubt none of them. The guy is, to be kind, odd as hell.
He's one of those guys that talk about honor and integrity as if he were the only one that has those qualities, despite regularly being in the middle of serious ethical problems such as repeatedly not paying people when promised.
He talked me into paying my own way to his 'convention (which was a nightmare, but I felt bad for him at the time), to be reimbursed before I actually left home.
That was a lie.
Then I was to be paid when I got there.
That was a lie.
Then I was to be paid immediately after (the check would 'beat me home,' he said.
That was a lie.
You get the picture. My mom was in the hospital and I needed to be reimbursed. Rick's defenses got angrier and more bizarre, but I tried to work with him and be polite for a long time. Finally I got the bulk of the payment, months after being promised. But the remainder, a hundred dollars by his account, he continued to lie about, 'til after TWO YEARS (I kid you not), I finally told him to keep it, I didn't want it anymore and I never wanted to deal with his bizarre excuses again.
Lesson learned, right? Now I get lots of references from people I trust for every small con I attend, and have never had another problem, not one. Every other con I've gone to has been well-run and extremely honest in their dealings with me.
Anyway, Rick, who fancies himself a huge wheel in comics (for reasons that are beyond me even though he spent hours talking about himself after the con), decided to start a comics company called Tightlip Entertainment. Predictably, he isn't paying people when promised. They were supposed to be paid in fifteen days, but haven't been paid yet and it's months later. Pros with sterling reputations for honesty and professionalism have not only not been paid, but are being threatened with lawsuits by Rick Olney for having the 'disloyalty' to speak out, so other creators won't be taken in.
A more repulsive display of unprofessionalism I can't imagine.
Anyway, there's more, a lot more. I've spoken out, and Rick has repeatedly threatened to sue me. Hilariously, I have saved every email he ever sent me (once I realized he wasn't trustworthy), and in his own words, he lies to me over and over again.
I was willing to let the matter die. It was worth it to be rid of him. But I am furious that he has not only not paid these hard-working professionals whose only crime is trusting Olney, but that he's threatening them all with lawsuits when HE is the one who broke the agreement and acted in bad faith.
He's got a Myspace page, mostly about how great he is. It had some hilarious stuff on it, but he's mostly deleted that. Still, check out his blog at
I keep getting email from other people who have been stiffed by him, and now he's lost Ronee Burgois, one of the kindest and most generous people I've ever met, and Rick's former PR manager. The reason? Surprise surprise, he hasn't paid her in seven months.
Anyway, there's this kind of funny thing...he posts these rants about how everyone's out to get him, poor thing, and this one woman, who may be perfectly nice, for all I know, says over and over, "People suck!"
Anyway, here's the response he won't put up on his blog, from me.
"Lying deadbeats suck, I'll agree with that.
People like Rick prey on people's good intentions and honesty and then they cry 'victim' when people speak up. Boo hoo.
You keep calling me a liar, Rick. Where have I lied? Show me one place. What I said was you lied to me about paying me, which you did and you damn well know it, many, many times. Why continue lying about something we both know to be the truth? Where in the world do you come off not keeping your word AND pretending to be a victim?
What I've said was you lied to me repeatedly about payment, and you're doing much worse now, and now you've betrayed poor Ronee, one of your last few defenders. You gonna threaten to sue her, too?
I keep saying, bring it on. I can prove everything I say with your own words. YOU lied, YOU stiffed all those people and you're still doing it. Bring. It. On. You threaten all the people you've betrayed and mistreated...maybe if you kept your word once in a while people wouldn't HAVE such a low opinion of you.
This lady who keeps saying 'people suck' is wrong. MOST of them are honest and decent. It's YOU who are the exception.
And yes, I have a pen name. I'm sorry that seems to baffle and confuse you. It takes a complete lack of understanding of publishing history to be so ASTONISHED by something so banal, but as you're so desperately trying to blame others for your repeated failures, I understand you don't have much to work with. Here's something for free...I also wear corrective lenses sometimes. OH, MY GOODNESS!
Pay Chuck. Pay Val. Pay Ronee. Pay the other people who are afraid to speak in public (and quit using them as examples of happy employees--trust me, they ain't happy with you at all). Quit threatening them. Quit trying to blame THEM for your poor business practices and dishonest responses to their legitimate complaints.
Then you'll have a chance to talk again about your 'honor.' Right now, that is a devalued commodity around your company.
Please note that Rick Olney was allowed to post here for quite a long time, and managed to not only never answer any accusations, but used the space only to post racist and homophobic insults against those he'd cheated and his other accusers, as well as some really vile anti-woman insults directed at nearly every woman who had ever been a guest at his fake, crappy 'convention.'
Then, because he is at heart an utter coward, he went through and deleted most of his posts, as he's done throughout the internet to the best of his ability. If we occasionally appear to be arguing with no one, it is most likely because Rick "I Always Stand By My Words" Olney deleted the crucial posts.
HOWEVER, since he's had this pattern for at least ten years (leave racist, homophobic, anti-woman slurs and threats of violence), we saw it coming and saved all of it, at www.unscrewed.com
If you'd like to see what kind of 'man' Rick is, check out Unscrewed.com.
This is not a person who keeps his word, as a decade long history of utter deceit and untrustworthiness show. He has NO ONE who supports him except for his professional toady, Dennis Kininger. Fortunately, the industry now has tools to spread the word about people like Rick Olney, and hopefully potential victims of his tricks will see how he has handled his obligations in the past, which is to say, he ignores them.