Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gail Simone has some advice for you...

Taken from the 606 Studios forum and written by Gail Simone:

"How To Spot Rick Olney When He Approaches You

I thought it would be worthwhile to post the exact approach Rick uses to get what he wants without paying.
If you somehow manage to disbelieve the dozens of firsthand testimonials of industry people regarding this man,
if you choose to ignore their warnings, take a look at this list and see if it matches his behavior with you.

Say you have something of use or value to Rick. It could be comics, it could be talent, it could be anything.

STEP ONE: He flatters you beyond all reason. He proclaims himself to be your biggest fan. And he's going to be
your benefactor...he's going to do everything in his power to make you get the recognition, money, or
credentials you want. He finds what you want, and tells you he will supply it. But first, flattery, flattery, flattery.
He uses this technique every time, and it is especially effective on people just breaking into the industry, or those
who are aspiring to do so.

STEP TWO: He tells you a huge sack of nonsense about his credentials, claims so ridiculous (and completely bull*&^%),
that they somehow seem credible because no sane person would make them up. He tells you credentials he doesn't
have...he's friends with Stan Lee, he invented the idea of comics in the classroom, his comic club had 1800 members
and gave away 700000 comics, George Lucas named a character and toy after him in Phantom Menace, the film
Iron Man II has a cameo character that is supposed to be him, half a dozen characters in comics are based on him
or his club mascot, on and on and on...it's endless. And most people do not have the resources or inclination
to check these claims. So it SOUNDS like he actually is in the industry in some capacity. He isn't (and the claims
are all false).

STEP THREE: He promises you extravagant treatment. He will fly you out to his cons, pay for everything,
you will be treated like royalty, paid an appearance fee, ride in town cars...or, if he's trying to get you to work
for free, he will offer you a high page rate and lots of exposure. He has no capacity to do any of these things,
ever. But he will promise them.

STEP FOUR: He will lay out a long, long conspiracy theory where a few internet trolls are trying to ruin his good name.
He will play the sympathy card here...you will feel sorry for him. Until the moment you read dozens of firsthand
accounts of people who have been told this same line of nonsense. Does it REALLY sound right to you that
dozens of people have come forward, all telling the same story, and none were paid, and yet somehow,
the response is all to try to crush some weird little man in upstate New York? Use your reason,
read the testimonials. Look past the flattery and the promise of money you will NEVER receive.

STEP FIVE: He will issue you a boilerplate contract that he got off the internet that has nothing
to do with the industry and makes little sense in this context. An NDA will be included.

STEP SIX: He will immediately begin breaking promises. Immediately. Pay dates will be missed. These
will be blamed on a non-existent bookkeeper. He will have to 'draw from a special account.' He will
tell you the check is in the mail. We all heard all those excuses. Sometimes he would forget which
excuse he used last time and try it again weeks later with the same person. You will NOT be paid.
His answer will always be for you to keep working. You've come this far, right? You are going
to risk everything over a small amount of money? Keep working. He will have endless excuses,
which will hinge on your human decency--he will have deaths in the family, illnesses, and other
catastrophic problems. They won't stop him from having internet tantrums or telling people the
check is in the mail when it isn't, all they seem to prevent is him keeping his word.

STEP SEVEN: As it becomes clear that you are not getting paid, and you are yet another of his
victims, he will start to show his true colors. He will start to threaten you, mildly at first. Threats
to your career, legal threats. At this point, he is trying to bully you into work he hasn't
paid for. He will use things he learned against you that you told him in confidence.

STEP EIGHT: He will try stretching you along. This happens with everyone he abuses in this manner...
he will offer some sort of bonus you didn't ask for, 'for the inconvenience.' Everything from
t-shirts, to bonuses, to merchandise, to comics...he's going to be a magnanimous guy and
even though you are being SO MEAN by not trusting him, just because he's broken every promise,
he's going to be the bigger guy and give you this bonus. When he pays you. Which he never will.
These bonuses never appear. But he will still tell people he gave them to you. For months,
he told people he paid my husband's airfare to his con, when he hadn't even fully paid MY airfare.
Then one day, he just admitted he hadn't, and tried out a new lie, that I had demanded he pay
my husband's airfare. Just like that, like a switch was thrown, the old lie was discarded and a
new one put in place. It's weird as hell. Don't fall for it.

STEP NINE: Here, he will begin inventing hoops for you to jump through, additional steps to
do before you will get paid. If you don't do them, you won't be paid. If you DO do them, you
won't be paid, you'll just get more hoops. New paperwork he needs, he'll 'lose your email and
contact info,' receipts he never asked for will need to be produced, additional fixes to the work,
on and on. All delaying tactics. He told his former PR person, in public, that she just needed
to sign an NDA to get paid. She said fine, I'll sign it. He immediately changed his mind, the NDA
was worthless and she wouldn't be paid. Hoops, hoops, hoops. I don't know if he just likes
sticking the knife in, or it's a delaying tactic. But it makes zero difference, you won't be paid.

STEP TEN A: At this point you have the choice of either giving up and forgetting about it, in which
case, you will never be paid, or going public about it, in which case, you will never be paid.
If you don't go public, he will come up with an excuse not to pay you. He won't answer your
emails or phone calls. You won't be paid.

STEP TEN B: If you DO go public, he will use that as an excuse not to pay you. The NDA, which
offers NO protection for a deadbeat employer who broke the contract, will be the excuse. But what
if, like, say, Chuck Dixon, you were never given an NDA, you didn't sign an NDA, and the work was
completed and accepted? You STILL will NOT be paid.

STEP ELEVEN: Once you are on Olney's never-ending enemies list, there is no level he won't stoop
to. He will insult, harass, threaten...he will use racist, homophobic and misogynistic language. He will
issue physical and legal threats. Just last month he posted a smug mocking taunt to a woman who
had stood up to him, over the DEATH OF HER HUSBAND AND CHILD. This is a man who will tell
you endlessly what an honorable Christian man he is. He delighted in telling an artist who trusted
him that he would never be paid, while that man's angelic baby daughter was in the hospital near
the very end of her too-short life. He will try to embarrass and hurt you for daring to speak out
about his non-payment and bad behavior.

And you will never, ever, ever be paid.

If anyone, not just Rick, but ANYONE in the comics industry treats you like this, WALK AWAY.

They are poison. They can't help your career, and you aren't doing them any favors. They are not
well-intended goofs.

MOST people in comics are great. I have been fortunate enough to be involved in probably close to
a hundred conventions and appearances and haven't had a single bad experience or dishonest
promoter in the batch, EXCEPT for the Mighty-Mini Con, which I wish to God I had never agreed to

MOST are great. Don't let one person make you think it's all bad.

But BE AWARE. The internet allows you to communicate, to make sure a publisher or con organizer is on
the level. Take that ten minutes, be wary of false flattery and promises, and you will save
yourself endless misery later.

Thanks, and good day!"

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