Back in fall of 2006, Rich Johnston wrote a series of reports on his old column on Comicbookresources.com detailing a series of allegations of financial misconduct against a man named Rick Olney. It should be noted that Rick Olney continually denied all allegations. Nevertheless, eventually a group of individuals within the comic-book industry signed their name to an open letter released on the internet as a warning to others about doing business with Rick Olney. Here I present the letter, with the only alterations I’ve made to it being including the names of Rick Olney’s most recent business attempts, Adirondack ComicFest, and including links to Rich Johnston’s various articles on Bleedingcool, detailing this ongoing saga, so that YOU, the reader, can judge for yourself whether you think the information in this letter, and the names attached to it, are credible.
Dear Comics Professional,
If you are approached by an individual named Rick Olney or a representative of this man, if you are approached by Olney or anyone else representing entities known as The Mighty Mini-Con, TightLip Entertainment, ORCA, Adirondathon, or Adirondack Comics Fest, we strongly urge you to run in the other direction.
There is a very long, very well-documented history of non-payment, deceit, emotional manipulation, and fraud in connection with this man and his projects. Despite searching and publicly requesting evidence for over three months, nobody has been able to produce any evidence of any artist ever having been paid in full for their work for TightLip. Many attending professionals to his conventions were promised reimbursement of their expenses, but while some were provided with lodging, none are known to have received full compensation for travel and meal costs, and many have been the subject of vicious personal attacks as a result of having inquired about the promised reimbursement. In addition, Mr. Olney has a considerable history of erratic and unprofessional behavior on many message forums and mailing lists on the internet, several of which have banned him due to his frequently racist, sexist, and homophobic rants, as well as his willingness to hurl vicious insults in response to legitimate questions about his business practices.
As far as we can tell, nearly everyone who has ever had any professional contact with TightLip, the Mighty Mini-Con, or Rick Olney, has a “war story” to tell about being misled, cheated, and used.
You can find more details here:
Please, do not attempt to do business with Olney. In fact, please pass along this warning to any comics professionals, aspiring comics professionals, retailers, exhibitors, media guests, and fans you know.
Do business with Olney at your own risk.
We would prefer to not do this in such a public manner, but, with Olney again advertising a convention and claiming that he is still planning to publish comic books, the greater good demands we speak out.
Thank you for your attention,
Shelly Kennedy, Webmaster Unscrewed!
Danny Donovan, Various independent Comics, 911 Emergency Relief by Alternative Comics, Radio Free Comicks
Dave Rothe, Ant #’s 6-9 from Image Comics
Tom Stillwell, Writer/Creator of The Honor Brigade from Spinner Rack Comics
Kurt Busiek, Astro City, Superman
Paul D. Storrie, Revisionary, Gotham Girls, Robin Hood
Scott Reed, Web’s Best Comics
Tony Isabella, Black Lightning, Tony’s Tips
Chuck Dixon, DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Bongo, Wildstorm
Joanne Ellen Mutch, Rummblestrips, Potlatch, LOTR sketch card artist,
Kevin Huxford, ShotgunReviews.com/Newsarama Contributor
Timothy J Tobolski, UNSCREWED! editor-in-chief
Jim Taylor, The Wraith
Mike Bullock, Lions Tigers & Bears, The Phantom
Blake M. Petit, Comixtreme.com
Scott Shaw!, CAPTAIN CARROT, THE SIMPSONS, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG
Jeff Austin, AC Comics
James Ritchey III, Green Lama, Team Defiant!
Danielle Sylv Taylor, Hollow
Colin McMahon, New Dimension Comics-McMurray
Wil Radcliffe, Noggle Stones
Larime Taylor, Writer/Creator of HOLLOW, Archaia Studios Press
Mercedes R Lackey, Valdemar Series, DAW Books
Larry Dixon, DAW, Baen Books
Jim MacQuarrie, MonkeySpit.net
Alice Woodside, The Daredevil Anniversary Art Quilt Project
Sean McKeever, writer
Steven D. Forbes, Writer of Bullet Time, Co-Writer of Fallen Justice, EiC of Paper Dragonz
Koben Kelly, Newsarama.com, Best Shots, ShotgunReviews.com
Sarah Beach, editor, writer – Shooting Star Comics Anthology #1, Unscrewed! anthology
Lance Boucher, Inter-Fan Productions
Colleen Doran, A Distant Soil
Nat Gertler, About Comics
Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
Joe Zierman, artist – Big Bang Comics
Martin R. Oakley, formerly of Bloodstained Productions, writer/artist
Kneon Transitt, Gemstone Publishing
Gail Simone, Birds of Prey, Villains United, Gen13, Welcome to Tranquility, Atom
Frank Dirscherl, The Wraith
James A. Owen, Starchild, Mythworld, and Here, There Be Dragons
Richard Neal, Eisner winner Zeus Comics
Brian Pate, Comic Book Conventions.com
Cully Hamner, BLUE BEETLE, DC Comics
Erik Burnham, Shooting Star Comics
Scott McCullar, Shooting Star Comics, DC Comics, West End Games
Butch Guice, Marvel Artist
Brian J. Crowley, Graphic Designer DDP
Gerry Alanguilan, Superman: Birthright, Batman/Danger Girl, Silent Dragon (Wildstorm)
Michael Netzer, DC & Marvel artist
UPDATE: ON DEC. 28TH 2012, RICK OLNEY DIED