Barbara & Rick Olney
And here we have the most recent incident of Rick Olney (allegedly) screwing over someone in a business deal. I feel that this one is particularly important to document because it shows that, despite all the allegations against Rick Olney (including @ least two proven court cases), there are still people out there are willing to take a chance and agree to work with him, even when shown the long record of his (alleged) mis-deeds. Indeed, some people even get angry @ the people who attempt to warn them. Matt Busch is one of those people, and I think any future potential business partners who think to react in a similar fashion would do well to heed how this is, so far, working out for Matt Busch. Note: this will be a long post, but it’s necessary, in order to get the full picture, although I do try to abbreviate when possible.
It all began when Rick Olney, despite proven, documented cases of owing several thousand dollars to various creators for years, attempted to put together a new comic-book convention, called the Adirondack ComicFest, to be Nov. 11-13, 2011. This is documented by Rich Johnston here:
Rick Olney Trying To Organise Veteran’s Day Weekend Comic Con In New York
On Aug. 18, 2011, an article was published about a special Indiana Jones World map, created by Matt Busch, to be sold @ the Adirondack ComicFest. Artist creates awesome Indiana Jones world map
Note that the article specifically says:
All the proceeds from the sale of this print, which measures a whopping 24″ x 36″ (fit for a world map!) and was commissioned by Lucasfilm and funded by Adirondack Comicfest, go to American Disabled Veterans
On Aug. 20, 2011 this was discussed on the Gail Simone Forum Thread about Rick Olney, with one member pointing out that no organization named “American Disabled Veterans” exists, but there is a charity called “Disabled American Veterans”, but that she works with them and knew for a fact that they had not given permission to anyone to advertise a sale for their benefit. It had also been established that the company that Rick Olney had been promoting as the “owners of the Adirondack ComicFest, called Adirondathon LLC, did not officially exist, because someone had checked to see if a Limited Liability Corp. had been filed under that name (it hadn’t). She then brought this up on Matt Busch’s Youtube page. Someone consolidated the various comments HERE The most relevant points are that Busch said:
Let me first apologize for my mistake. The proceeds from this are indeed going to DAV, my bad for messing up the wording. My heart was in the right place, and I think people will understand for whom the charity is intended. Second of all, there is an Adirondack Comicfest. And they funded the production just fine.
In terms of working with the charity itself, you’d have to contact Adirondack Comicfest about that, as they will be having that honor (I won’t be able to attend the show). As for me personally, I was not aware that I needed permission to give to a charity.
I’m aware of the witch-hunt against Rick Olney. How much of the past slander of him is true, and how much is artists disgruntled that things didn’t work out like they were supposed to? I have no idea, and I don’t care- as that’s between those artists and Rick I can tell you that my dealing with him (which has been minimal) has been nothing short of professional.
On Aug. 20, 2011, Matt Busch joined the Gail Simone Forum, and posted this message, explaining his connection to Rick Olney:
Earlier this year, I was contacted by Rick Olney to be a part of his Adirondack Comicfest show. At the time, I had no knowledge of Rick or any claims made against him. Perhaps I should have researched more up front, but I’ve rarely had any issues like this in the past, and he sounded as legit as the next convention promoter. It turned out that I had a conflicting engagement preventing me from attending, but he had mentioned doing a print that would benefit our veterans. I was all about it.
Meanwhile, I had just finished the IJ Map, a project that I worked on without pay for the sheer love of all things Indy. I had been in talks with Lucasfilm about it all along, and per our long-standing relationship, was confident that my time wouldn’t be of waste. Upon completing the map, I had several options, in terms of turning it into a product with one of LF’s licensees. Potentially, it could be sold as a limited fine art print through ACME, or a mass-produced cheaper poster through Trends International, or perhaps something educational with Random House or Del Rey.
At the same time, I was contacted by Rick about the charity print, and realized that I wouldn’t have time to create something brand new for the charity, but that I might have something rare or never-been-printed from my 20 year career past that could work. As I was thinking this- there was the finished map sitting in front of me…
I suddenly had what I thought was a great idea (and I hope it ends up that way). Here is this pop culture convention, set in the historical community of the Adirondack Mountains, with a patriotic theme benefiting veterans… The Indy Map would be perfect for this. I spent so long working on it that I really felt like this was the perfect answer to a passion project I spent countless hours on.
Rick loved the idea, and so did Lucasfilm, who gave me the green light.
Since then, as you can guess, my inbox has been pummeled with email from colleagues warning me about Rick. So, sure, I’ve very wary of this and am taking extreme caution to make sure I don’t get screwed, and my god- the Disabled American Veterans! I would go ballistic if all the proceeds don’t go to them!
As for my dealing with Rick, I’m sorry if anyone here has been burned by him. That’s business between you guys and something I choose to stay out of. So far, he has been legit with me. I hope that continues to be the case, and I don’t return to this forum bashing him with you guys later. (I say that with respect to you guys, of course I’m nervous about this now.) I guess you’ll have to ask me again when all is said and done.
I have since contacted the Disabled American Veterans personally to make sure they are aware of what is going on, and will take every measure possible to make sure they get what is promised and will not use their great name and cause in vain. Not if I or Lucasfilm has anything to say about it.
Side note, to answer some concerns: Originally LF granted 250, but later upped that number to 255 in order to retain the last 5 for their records. Also, the cost has risen in an effort to raise more funds, but let me also elaborate that the limited number being sold Online is what is almost sold out, not what will be available through Comicfest.
I hope that extinguishes concerns, at least for the time being. I’m aware, concerned, and will do my best to make sure all happens as it should. In the mean time, I wish you all well, hope you enjoy the map, and hope good karma comes your way if you have been wronged.
*Emphasis mine* I think it’s important to point out that Busch initially didn’t care what Rick Olney may have done to anyone else, and was still willing to work with him, as long as everything worked out fine for himself. Just sayin’.
On Aug. 23, 2011, forum member Jim MacQuarrie addressed Matt Busch saying, among other things:
If you want to work with Rick Olney, go right ahead. The natural consequence of that is, you will waste your time, lose money and spend a lot of time questioning your own sanity and ability.
The less you defend and excuse him now, the less shame and embarrassment you will feel when you inevitably have to admit we were right. Olney is a toxic person who poisons every relationship, so it’s just a matter of time before he drives you away as well.
If only Busch had listened @ the time…
Then, on Aug. 24, 2011, another member posted a copy of a Cease & Desist email that was sent to Rick Olney, by the Disabled American Veterans organization, insisting that he remove all references to them on his blogs promoting the Adirondack ComicFest, as he did not get permission to use their name.
Later that day, Matt Busch posted:
I’m aware of what has transpired with the DAV and have been in contact with them as well. Congratulations. You’ve succeeded in making sure the disabled veterans will not be seeing any of the proceeds from this project.
I’ve breezed through this message board since I was last on, and I gotta say, I’m a little discouraged.
For many of you, I get it. You feel you’ve been burned and this is a place to share like experiences in hopes of warning others so they don’t go through the same thing. It’s a positive spin on something not so good. It’s noble, and I sincerely appreciate contacting me about it. I’m obviously concerned (to put it lightly), and am taking every precaution to make sure this plays out as it should. I don’t want to tarnish what Lucasfilm has graciously authorized, my own name, or most importantly- those who have fought for our freedom.
But some of you I don’t get. The words you write are completely negative, with no care to find positive solutions. It’s poisonous. Not just the pointless name-calling, but snide comments about his physical appearance? Making fun of this guy’s family (real or not)? Poking fun at his terminal health? (Even I have been made fun of for which Indy movie is my favorite. Really?! But my own friends make fun of me for that, so no offense taken.) Look, I have never met Rick, (nor have I met any of you (as far as i know)) and have no reason to stand up for him, but he’s still a human being, and it’s silly to whine about how you weren’t treated professionally when you take it to unprofessional levels like this.
Here’s what I don’t understand…
Early in my career, I got screwed by clients a lot. People. Companies both big and small. I’m sure many of you have similar stories. Creatives get screwed. We learn the hard way. For me, when I started out, I trusted people too much and never worried about having a contract until I realized I wasn’t getting paid. Did I learn the first time? No, silly me, it happened over and over again. While I can certainly speak poorly of those who wronged me, I also had to blame myself. If you do anything in this business without a contract in place, you have pretty much guaranteed that you will not be getting a check. You live, you learn.
So, everyone here has been burned by Rick Olney, let’s say for sake of argument (because I don’t know any of you personally, or Rick for that matter) that this is true and he has wronged you. If you didn’t have a contract, it wouldn’t make him any less slimy, but hopefully you see where you shouldn’t make this mistake again. Sure, warn people of your experience, but learn from this and move on to grow as a professional.
If you DID have a contract, then politely and professionally sue. If you’ve been wronged, take legal action. Get what you deserve, plus damages, but then, move on and grow as a professional.
I’m blown away by some of these stories that happened with this guy even 10 years ago. And you’re still writing on this message board daily about it? Don’t you guys have more important things to do? If you spent this much time and effort toward something positive and moving forward, imagine what you’d have to show for it.
15 years ago, I got burned by K-Swiss Shoes, Inc. I animated a TV commercial for them and never got the 16 thousand I was promised. (I had done 7 jobs for them previously with contracts and was always paid on time. This was the first one with no contract- I figured of course they’re good for it.) I can’t even remember the last time I told anyone about that. I’ve been too busy moving forward with the positive, then dwelling on how it all went wrong.
So, obviously, the map will not be benefiting the DAV. If you continue these pursuits, you will likely be able to screw every possible deal with every charity there is. And so- Rick will get no glory of being able to attach his name to something that helped those less fortunate. Big deal. It screws the project for me as well, but again, big deal. I’ll get over it. But what about those less fortunate that I’m trying to help.
Are you that hopeful that Rick Olney fails at everything that you’d rather not see anyone less fortunate get funding if it means Rick’s name is attached to it?
Someone had a quote on here that was really good. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something to the effect of ‘Every once in a while, someone evil does something good. But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still evil.’ I like that. I’d agree.
But let me ask you this. If you feel someone is evil, and there is a chance they could actually do something good, should you do everything in your power to prevent that, simply because they are evil and that’s all they should be able to do?
Some of you had questions- and now I can’t remember what they were. Some of them were about conflicting things I or Rick said Online months apart. Honestly, 95% of those conflicting things are simply changes that have been made, some at the request of Lucasfilm. No controversy at all, but clear that some of you are desperate to find it. It’s almost amusing how hard you’re trying.
Some of you are also asking intimate details about the process. Numbers and such. While I’m normally happy to share anything short of my social security number, there are other parties involved (and I’m not talking about Rick) that probably aren’t comfortable with me sharing until the final tally is awarded. Besides, the more information I share, the more some of you try to turn it around, create falsities, and stomp on it.
In the mean time, I’m continuing to stay on top of this and make it fool-proof. Every print is counted for- where it is, how much it was sold for. Rick is only in a position where he can help, if he can help at all. If in fact he tries and is able to find a way to take advantage of this, Lucasfilm will be all over it, especially because of the charity aspects. It would be serious.
Because of the controversy that has been stirred, extreme efforts to record the proof that everyone is looking for will be taken, and shared publicly. But I won’t be sharing them here as I had planned a few days ago. The negativity is way too draining for me, and so I won’t return. Even if Rick is a liar and a thief, this is slanderous and defamation of character. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
I don’t know you guys, and therefore I won’t judge. While it sounds like some of you are looking for retaliation and vengeance, instead of justice, peace, and resolution, I do hope you find the latter.
And I hope to meet you guys some day at a show, have a cold one, and talk shop in the positive- not just dwelling on how ol’ Rick Olney screwed you that one time. (Because if there was more than one time, then shame on you.)
Wow. Pretty self-righteous and condescending, don’t you think? Pay attention to the parts I emphasized, as you’ll soon see how relevant that is (especially when he accuses other people of slander and libel in regards to Rick Olney).
I won’t post every single comment Busch made in the thread, as that will make this far too long. But, needless to say, despite saying that he wouldn’t be back, he did post again, several times, to defend himself (&, by extension Rick Olney), and claim that he was making sure everything involved with himself and the convention was “rock solid.” You can see his posts HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE
So be warned, Rick Olney will praise and glorify you, until he either has no further use of you or your talents, or he rips you off and gives you continuous promises of reimbursement and excuses. And then, if/when you say anything about it, the “legal” threats, physical threats, taunts, rants, and truth-spinning will begin.
And, sure enough…
Oh man, do I owe everyone here a big apology. You guys were absolutely right about everything.
There were vaguely suspicious things going on with Rick at first, but I thought I was smart enough to make things fool-proof and be win/win for everyone. I thought for sure there was no way he could be THAT shady. Boy was I wrong. And I’m pretty embarrassed at how noble I thought I was asking you guys to give this situation a shot.
I don’t know what to say, except for I’m sorry. I guess the smarter we think we are, the more we sometimes find that we are completely naive. Well, I feel like a douche and I hope you guys will accept my apology. You ARE the good guys- what the heck was blinding me from that? Pride? Who knows…
Anyway, for legal reasons that I am pursuing, I don’t want to get into juicy details, but I am actively trying to get the maps back from Rick. He is refusing to return them and gleefully intends on offering them Online, which Lucasfilm has not granted him permission to do. So I’m contacting Lucasfilm, my lawyer, and the police department of Rick’s home.
I know some of you have questions, but much of it will have to stay tight lipped with legal until something concrete is developed, and I can share more. In terms of how the Adirondack Comicfest funded the map, that was all press release jargon early on, and some while I was waiting for Rick to put the money forward. And as you can guess, he never paid a dime for anything. Not even shipping. See what a shmuck I am?
Why did I fight so hard to stand up for this guy? I guess it just hurt too much to even consider that this project could actually be crumbling under my feet. I didn’t want to believe it.
That’s about as much as I want to get into at the moment, and I’m getting married in a week, so I won’t be able to frequent this board much, if at all. The whole thing makes me want to vomit. (Rick Olney, not getting married. Haha!)
But I do hope that you guys can forgive my retardedness. If you ever see me at an after-party-type-thing at a show, please come say hi and introduce yourself. Drinks are on me.
Hey, I do give him credit for actually coming back to apologize, in light of what a smartass he was before. He continued..
In the mean time, I thought you’d all get a kick out of this email I just received from Rick:
“Well, I had asked you nicely not to take that step. And, because you’re so inclined I’ll share with you that I intend on burning your maps tomorrow. I’m all done being manipulated. You think embarrassing me is a game. Lets see how you like learning a lesson.
I think it’s safe to say he won’t be burning the maps. Why miss out on an opportunity to profit at the expense of an honorable charity?
I can’t believe how blind I’ve been!
Rich Johnston reported on this: Now Matt Busch Turns Against Rick Olney Over Indiana Jones “Rick did not respond to emails asking him about the recent events.”
On Sept. 18th, Rick Olney canceled the Adirondack ComicFest (this is after more than half of the announced guests had backed out after being made aware of Olney’s history), as reported by Rich Johnston here: Rick Olney Cancels Adirondack Comic Con
Meanwhile, I am reserving my comments regarding the Matt Busch matter until I am contacted by Lucasfilms. After riding the Busch rollercoaster of support, you’ll need to excuse me if I no longer care to deal with someone so starving for the attention of Internet trolls.
Yes! You can still get a highly collectible Indiana Jones Map until November 15, 2012 [presumably, 2012 is a typo, and he meant 2011] by contacting the Adirondack ComicFest at: firstname.lastname@example.org Cost: $59.95 (includes mailing costs)
Details: Posters are sent out within 48 hours after order receipt. Sorry, No personal checks or credit cards shall be accepted. Payment shall ONLY be accepted in the form of (USPS) United States Postal Money Order form made payable to Richard L. Olney.
Mail to: Richard L. Olney, 147 West Main Street, Mohawk, New York 13407-1032
Presently there are plenty maps on hand. All monies gained from the sales of these maps shall be donated to a disabled veterans charity to be made public at the conclusion of this sales period. After that date, the unsold quantity of maps shall be returned to Matt Busch, and all donation information shall be released publicly. So don’t wait, because they could sell out!
Get them while they’re hot! (no pun intended!)
On Oct. 4, 2011 another blog post from Rick Olney was quoted:
The maps are not stolen property. I have written permission from Matt Busch early on to take possession of the maps, and while the original goal (and the idea was Matt’s) was to sell them at the Adirondack ComicFest. You remember that, right? That was the event that I helping several other people get off the ground. You know, the one that you and your friends ruined, but I digress.
If I was to post all the emails between Matt Busch and myself you’d all have a much clearer picture of what was in his mind in offering to help. But am I going to? No.
While it is true that I was supposed to pay the printing costs, Matt Busch actually changed that (again, something I can prove via his emails) and sent the maps to me regardless. I, after getting the maps, posted on the Adirondack ComicFest blog about them and how the maps would be offered. I also contacted Matt Busch and told him that because he covered the printing costs — I would add that cost (which he shared with me) to the total monies being sent from ALL SALES to the Charity that he and I had decided upon.
But then again, you people there on that Gail Simone thread went to work looking for ways to stop me just as you have since 2005. That made Matt concerned enough to play your game and he started interacting with you all. From there, he attempted to renege on his part of the agreement with me. Me. Personally. And that was when all the threats from him came to ‘buddy-up’ with you all to drag me (or at least as he seemed to think) deeper into mud. There is a word for that — I think it might be loosely called BLACK MAIL.
‘Course, then I got mad and I made the remark about burning the maps; something I’d never do, btw. But, looking at that from my perspective … makes for great drama, doesn’t it?? I mean, you guys there on Simone’s shitty thread love it, right?
I am still selling the maps. I still stand by what I have posted in that last blog post about the costs and so forth. Anyone ordering will get their maps, and sales are picking up. And again, I’m not accountable on this matter to you or any of the trolls on Gail Simone’s thread. I’m not even accountable to Matt Busch. As I have told Matt, I’ll await to hear from Lucasfilms and if they take longer than the November 15th deadline then this matter shall simply correct itself.
Later that same day, someone commented on Olney blog, questioning his reasons for keeping the maps, and not simply returning them once the convention was canceled, since the original agreement was for them to be sold @ the convention. Olney responded:
And here’s your simple answer: The matter of the Adirondack ComicFest being cancelled had NOTHING to do with whether or not I was under any understanding or obligation to sell these maps, bluecove.
Additionally, you are not in a position to question my character. You don’t know me personally and the sum of what you express here is based upon one side of the matter you think you’re an authority on. Like tens of thousands of other assholes on the Internet — You think you know everything.
I’m not playing a game of chicken. I’m standing up to the agreement as it was originally understood — and NOT because some group of miscreants intimidated Matt Busch. Again, I stated all the particulars needing to be made public at this time. Lucasfilm can contact me as they see fit. I shall continue to sell the maps as originally agreed upon between Matt Busch and myself.
On November 15th, I’ll fulfill my time frame for trying to sell as many maps as possible. I’m doing the right thing in trying to aid the Charity involved. The monies shall be donated and the remaining maps returned to Matt Busch. That’s it. End of story.
I have nothing really that bad to say about Matt. I didn’t approach him begging for his support of the (now cancelled) Adirondack ComicFest. No, actually, after having had a bunch of emails with Matt on Facebook, I invited him to consider being our guest. After sharing what he had on his plate with getting married and all, well, I easily understood why he couldn’t accept. And this all took place before the anti-Rick Olney crew on Gail Simone’s message board got wind of everything and set afoot to try and ruin the event.
Nope, nothing bad to say about Matt… Lord knows, I’ve made my share of bad decisions and then allowed some foolish pride to get between revering my decision or standing my ground. The grand design of life is meant to allow us to learn from our mistakes. So, yes, I am learning.
It is true that Matt and I now seem to have a difference of opinion, but I have suggested to him first privately, and then announcing publicly on my blog posts, exactly how I thought the matter of the Indiana Jones Commemorative Maps should be handled and early on, Matt was in agreement somewhat. He really only had to figure a way to make it palatable to the handful of troublemakers that were then spamming his email and YouTube message board. Matt’s own emails to me are retained for the sole purpose of proving my point. I don’t and can’t fault him to buckling under the pressure of being bullied, but he was. And he did. And he thought that because others have bullied me … he figured, I deduce, that he was safe in running with that pack versus stand on his own principals. Again, nothing against Matt. I still happen to be a fan and admirer of his. But after the last 7 years of being harassed and jeered online, I can smell bullshit and the effects of Gail Simone and her merry, misguided band of miscreants a a mile away. And of those miscreants, who want the fans and professionals of comics to think I am who they say I am … more bullshit! I have three close friends inside this hobby and business of comics, as well as outside the realm of imagination mediums for each other of them!
It may very well end up being that I made a bad choice in retaining the maps per our original agreement, but I saw his decision as unfair and flawed by a group of Internet bullies and, well, I am not the sort of man that buckles under fear of threat or pressure. It just isn’t who I am. My word is good and I’ll return the maps after the November 15th date, along with showing proof of the Charity donation being made. It is, after all, about helping disabled American military members!
On Oct. 7, 2011, a message from Matt Busch was passed along to the Gail Simone Forum.
I apologize for the impersonal update, but I’m on my way to the airport and don’t have time to sign on.
Earlier today I browsed through some of the recent posts here, and I wanted to speak to some of your concerns about why I haven’t made a huge ruckus Online about all of this- warning people not to get the maps from Rick and such… Some of this is out of respect to Lucasfilm, who has to clean up my mess, so the less drama, the better. They are not happy about this, and, let’s face it, a lot of letting this happen is my fault.
Also, in all seriousness, the majority of people who frequent Rick’s blog are people who despise him so much they want to see what asinine thing he’ll say next, or keep tabs, etc. (He obviously loves the attention and feeds off it.) So I don’t think he’s getting huge sales. He’d be hard to find, even if one googled the Indiana Jones World Map.
However, the biggest reason I haven’t been updating my Facebook, etc. with warnings not to buy the map from Rick is because… My inbox is pummeled daily with people inquiring if there is anything they can do to get a map. They don’t even care if it’s signed. They want it any way they can get it. As soon as I shout it out loud not to get the maps from Rick, I’m basically saying, “Hey- the maps are available- this guy Rick has them!”
Kinda like when you tell someone not to think about the color blue.
That said, I do have some good news to report! Finally!
It’s official. Lucasfilm is sending Rick Olney a Cease and Desist. He is to return both the remaining maps and any monies (haha- Rick’s fave word) that he collected back to me. Shazam. All the maps must be accounted for and any missing from the number I sent shall be paid for.
What exactly will happen once back in my possession is not yet ironed out, but I’m confident Lucasfilm will work with me to lay out a new plan to not only get the maps in collector’s hands, but more importantly, lock in a veteran’s charity first and do this right!
Thanks everyone here for your support and tolerance of my silly pride. Your ideas and guidance has helped more than I can express at the moment.
Since I don’t have time to write Rick personally right now, and I know he reads this daily, I’ll just share this here. Rick, we have much more than a difference of opinion. You have lied to me, cheated me, threatened me, and refused to send back my property even after you have completely deviated the circumstances of our initial agreement . I didn’t buckle under any bullies here to see how deranged you are. You did that just fine by yourself.
So, according To Bleeding Cool…
Lucasfilm Tells Rick Olney To Cease And Desist Over Indiana Jones World Map
This following was the news released on October 6, 2011. Unfortunately, NOTHING has been received on my end of this matter yet. ‘Course, it is Columbus Day and even Columbus had a tough time reaching his objective.
I should remind you all that it was not me that made this all a clusterfuck. Matt Busch, while a talent that I have long admired(and told the little snot so a few times) actually likes to play for the crowd. Well, okay, the peanut gallery then. This is what Rich Johnston quoted him as saying. And where did Busch supposedly say it!? Why… on the biggest piece of fabricated bit of gossip and troll-thuggery known to the lesser regions of the comics world.
It’s official. Lucasfilm is sending Rick Olney a Cease and Desist. He is to return both the remaining maps and any monies (haha- Rick’s fave word) that he collected back to me. Shazam. All the maps must be accounted for and any missing from the number I sent shall be paid for. What exactly will happen once back in my possession is not yet ironed out, but I’m confident Lucasfilm will work with me to lay out a new plan to not only get the maps in collector’s hands, but more importantly, lock in a veteran’s charity first and do this right!
Now, while the celebration is taking place still elsewhere … allow me to dampen the party a little with this following statement:
I have yet as to receive any such communication. As such, and due to the nature of this matter, and circumstances regarding its fabrication (aside from any involvement by LucasFilm, an entity that I highly admire and respect); I shall be seeking advise of legal counsel and taking any legal steps afforded me before simply complying with any such cease and desist order. I have never said that Matt Busch would never get his maps returned, but that I was holding him to the original agreement that he, himself, presented to me during the early stages of this matter being set-up between us. It was not me that made it public; nor was it my idea to suggest to him that he needed to lower his self image and respectability in the handling of this matter. I welcome contact from LucasFilm and I’m sure that an amiable solution can be worked out between their legal department and myself.
On Nov. 22, 2011 Matt Batch returned to the Gail Simone Forum and posted:
I can’t remember what was last spilled, but about 2 months ago, I had finally connected with the appropriate folks at Lucasfilm Legal about the matter. They weren’t happy with me that I let things escalate as much as they did, but they were (of course) infuriated with Rick’s actions. Immediately they sent out a C&D for Rick to return any remaining prints to me, as well as any funds he collected. I think that’s where I last left off.
So about a month goes by. Nothing from Rick. So I email him and ask if he’s seriously ignoring the C&D. He claims he never got one.
He does, however, say that he’s sold 10 maps so far, and that he will wrap it up on November 13th. He claims that by November 15th, the funds will be publicly donated for all to see, and the remaining maps will be securely shipped with a tracking number. He had been telling me about this intended date for a while, of course refusing to send the prints back at the time, but come November 15th- he’d send them back. If I’m not mistaken, I think he’d made public mention of that date on his blog as well- that the 15th is when he would follow through with the end of the deal he created for himself and finally return them to me as promised.
The last month has been crazy busy, and I hadn’t had much of a chance to follow up with Lucasfilm to see what the hold up was. But then, a week before the 15th, Rick emailed me out of the blue to let me know that he hadn’t forgotten his promise, and that he would be sending back the remaining prints no later than the 15th.
Wow. Could it be true? Could Rick Olney be a man of his word? (Though completely deviating from any contract, promise or agreement previously.) Still, could we actually see Rick donating the money for good and shipping the maps back to the rightful owner on a date he promised?!
Of course not.
The 15th came and went. A few emails back and forth. Short- basic ‘yeah, yeah, I’ll be sending them back in a day or two, just wrapping up the details.’ Finally, today, he lays it on me. His new plan of action.
He claims that he’s still sold only 10 maps, and that all of the funds (that would be, what, $599.50?) will be donated soon to an as-of-yet undisclosed veteran charity.
He also says that, as agreed, he will be happy to send me back the rest of the maps… But ONLY if I bend a little and give… an apology.
An apology?! Turns out, he’s ONLY willing to send the maps back if I make a public apology on my website. One where I state that I was wrong about Rick Olney. That he’s a stand-up guy, a man of his word. That I purposely dragged his name through the mud and smeared his character. That I said untrue and outright lies about him. That I was weak and let troublemakers and trolls get the best of me. That I libeled and slandered him. I need to announce that the maps are in good hands and that he will be generously donating the funds to a good cause, and that he will surely be sending the remainder back to me, so that I can continue with the rest of the prints to create a new charity project with LF’s blessing.
If I publicly say all that, with no tricks or ill intentions, and leave that post up for at least a week, he will then (and he gives his word) send the remainder of the prints back.
Look, no one wants the maps back to make good on this and help disabled vets more than I.
But to that I say (and pardon my language) FUCK YOU, RICK OLNEY.
Rick, (because I know you read this) you’re purposely holding the prints RANSOM for ego, lies, and drama when these could be benefiting people who have been injured fighting so the rest of us can sleep easy at night. Words cannot describe what a scumbag you are.
On Nov. 27th, Matt Busch gives some more info, revealing exactly how many maps he sent to Rick Olney:
There are a total of 255. Lucasfilm has 5 of them for their records. I sold 27 of them to cover printing and shipping costs- a fee that Olney originally agreed to pay. When he wasn’t coughing up the dough (and well before I knew better) I thought I was doing a good thing so Rick could get the prints and sell the rest for charity at his show. Also- I made it clear with Rick that since I had the bases covered with both printing and shipping, he was to give ALL money he collects to charity.
In short, I sent Rick Olney exactly 223 Indiana Jones Wold Maps.
Some asked- why in the world I would send Olney all 223 prints. Well, originally, the agreement between Lucasfilm and I, and between Olney and I, was that I would send ALL 250. The charity project was limited to his Adirondack show. We (Lucasfilm, Rick, and I) were hoping to sell them all there. Rick was to pay for printing and shipping, and sales would go to the DAV.
There is an angle to this where I am in the wrong, though, and Lucasfilm is not happy about it. When Rick wasn’t coughing up the dough, I felt bad for him and took it upon myself to pay for printing, and sold the amount needed Online to reimburse myself. From my point of view (at the time) I had an (alleged) terminally ill vet who at the last minute couldn’t afford what was promised- and this was all going to a charity for disabled vets. My thinking was that if I contacted Lucasfilm to somehow amend the contract, (things don’t always happen as fast as I’d Like with various departments at LF) there might not be enough time to get it proper on paper. So I went ahead and paid for it myself, thinking it was for the greater good, and in the end, the proceeds would still be in exactly the same place- the hands of the DAV. I was just taking care of the proceeds instead of Rick.
Of course, at the first inkling that things were not going as planned, I should have contacted Lucasfilm. Period. They aren’t please about that, and as a result, I may never get another opportunity to do a cool charity project like this again. (Though it does sound promising that we can work something out to move the remainder of the maps for charity, once they are back in my possession.)
Lucasfilm DID send a C&D, and have asked me to stay out of it until further notice… But waiting and keeping my cool on this has not been easy.
So where we stand now is Rick has (allegedly) 213 maps left and nearly $600 collected. He is holding the maps ransom unless I write a false post on my website claiming what a legit, professional, and compassionate person he has been. That I have slandered him and I apologize. If I leave that up on my site for all to see for at least a week, he claims he will ONLY THEN send back the remainder of the maps and release info of where he is making a personal donation.
I call that BLACKMAIL, and doing such a thing is simply not an option for me. Further, it’s a pretty good bet that he still would not send them back.
My opinion is that this guy Rick is just a sad man that sits behind his computer with nothing better to do than stir up trouble and gloat in the fact that people actually talk about him. Even if it’s all negative, it’s at least something. He doesn’t want to be forgotten.
It’s an absolute shame, because if he would just let go of his ego, and the maps, they could be doing a good thing for our injured vets.
On Dec. 13 2011, Rick Olney posted the following on his Facebook page:
Okay — And for the official public record: I have STILL NOT gotten a C&D or any contact, official or other wise, from anyone at Lucasfilm regarding the Indiana Jones Maps and my requirement of Matt Busch to publicly apologize to me on his official Matt Busch website.
Just as soon as I hear from them, my attorney shall work out the details on where (other than Matt Busch) the maps shall be sent to with Lucasfilm.
NOTICE FOR LEGAL PURPOSES: Today is December 27, 2011. Contrary to what is being stated as fact upon the Internet:
I, Rick Olney, have gotten TO DATE NO CEASE & DESIST notice from Lucasfilm, which I assume to the best of my knowledge to be acting as agents for Matt Busch concerning a confidential business matter between us. I also publicly assert that TO DATE, I have NOT gotten a CEASE & DESIST OF ANY KIND from Matt Busch or (regarding the comic book entertainment medium ) from ANY artist or individual previously contracted to freelance/work-for-hire for me.
As such, Mr. Busch did then, after privately threatening me in private email, did with others (as yet unnamed) take to tactics to further compound the harassment and libeling of my good name which has been an ongoing attack against me during these previous last six years.
UPDATE ON MATT BUSCH & THE INDIANA JONES
To date, January 14, 2012 — I, Rick Olney, have received NO CEASE & DESIST notice(s) from anyone associated with either Matt Busch or Lucasfilm, who I prefer to deal with. NONE. NOTHING. NO MAIL, NO CALLS, NOT A POSTCARD IN SIGHT. AND, NO EMAILS.
In the event that I ever DO hear from a credible source to resolve the matter TO MY SATISFACTION, I shall act accordingly, and follow the legal outline (engaging an attorney, if necessary) to satisfy the parties involved. But, I WILL NOT work with, or have ANYTHING to do further with Matt Busch.
By the way, the maps are still available for sale. Interested persons/parties can always contact me at my email: email@example.com Serious inquiries only.
On Jan. 28, 2012, Rick Olney posted on his blog:
NOTICE FOR LEGAL PURPOSES: Today is January 28, 2012. This blog post is CONTRARY to what is being stated as fact upon the Internet:
First, NO MAPS were stolen from Matt Busch. This was/is a matter of personal and professional compliance, based upon Mr. Busch offering me the maps to sell on behalf of benefiting a veteran’s group of our choice. Those plans are still in motion from the date and time of the understanding and transaction.
I, Rick Olney, have gotten TO DATE NO CEASE and DESIST notice from Lucasfilm, which I assume to the best of my knowledge to be acting as agents for Matt Busch concerning a confidential business matter between us. I also publicly assert that TO DATE, I have NOT gotten a CEASE and DESIST OF ANY KIND from Matt Busch or (regarding the comic book entertainment medium ) from ANY artist or individual previously contracted to freelance/work-for-hire for me.
As such, Mr. Busch did then, after privately threatening me in private email, did with others (as yet unnamed) take to tactics to further compound the harassment and libeling of my good name which has been an ongoing attack against me during these previous last six years.
On Feb. 18 2012, Olney posted a new blog entry, once again offering the maps for sale (an mentioning another attempt @ organizing a convention):
You can order one right now! Maps are $59.95 (includes shipping, handling & insurance) with a limit of three per customer. Personal checks are not accepted.
Payment can be made by sending a (USPS) United States Postal Service Money Order made payable to Rick Olney, Adirondack ComicFest, 147 West Main Street, Mohawk, New York 13407- 1034. Maps Questions can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our goal is to sell 100 maps before our 2012 Adirondack ComicFest! The remainder of unsold maps shall be available there. ALL PROCEEDS from the sales of these maps are being donated to a Veteran’s charity to be announced under full disclosure on April 15th. Details shall be provided where at a later date. Help support a worthy cause and get yourself a piece of Indiana Jones history! Thank you.
No full disclosure was announced on April 15th, no mention anywhere of how many maps he has sold, or where he plans to donate the money.
On April 22, Rick Olney posted a new blog entry advertising the maps for sale:
We have over 100 of the entire original first print run of the 255 limited edition STILL AVAILABLE FOR SALE.
Note: Anyone placing their order BETWEEN April 25, 2012 and May 25th, 2012 saves $20 dollars off the per map price of $59.95 — limit of 3 maps per person — that’s one map absolutely free should you order a total of three!
On April 28th, Rick Olney was interviewed on a podcast, as was reported by Rich Johnston: Rick Olney Interviewed by…Artful Angie
The interviewer claims that after the interview, Olney spoke some more about the maps:
I flat out begged Rick on the drive back to his house to return the maps. He stated he doesn’t HAVE to until he gets a judge to make him do it. I tried to make him see that THAT is exactly why people have a problem with him. I gave him the best advice I could give him: Just do it because it’s the RIGHT THING TO DO. He went on an on about how everybody’s “out to get the monster! Slay the monster!”, the monster being him. My exact words to him was “Then make everybody shut up about how you’re a monster that’s going to do XYZ, and then you go ahead and do XYZ like they said you would. Try Q for a change and surprise the hell out of everybody!” I told him if he returned all the maps then I would even come on to all the sites and say how proud I was of him for doing it.
He then segued into a very bizarre statement about how he isn’t even sure Matt Busch sent him all the maps to begin with! When pressed for what he meant, he stated that he doesn’t know how many of the 255 maps he received from Matt. Kelly, my girlfriend who was along for the ride, asked really the simplest question in the universe in that regard. “How long have you had the maps?” Rick: “Since Semptember”. Kelly: “Aren’t they numbered?”. Rick: “Yes”. Kelly: “Have you tried counting them??”
He also made references to his threat of burning the maps, since Matt “gifted them” to him. He repeatedly used the term “They were gifted to him by Matt”, but then I would make him clarify that Matt “gifted them” to be sold at the con, and his original statement of them being returned in mid-November. Rick’s newest excuse for this is that, since Matt drank the Gail Simone kool-aid and went the way of all anti-Olney-ites, it was now perfectly reasonable for him to just change the rules and keep the maps for himself to send.
*It should be noted that Olney gave two maps to the interviewer, who has since pledged to send those two back to Matt Busch.
As of May 1, 2012, that is where this stands. Rick Olney still has the rest of the maps (& any money from the maps that he claims he sold) in his possession, and is refusing to send them back to Matt Busch like he initially stated publicly several times that he would.
If you scroll down to the comments, there is some further info from “Ric Ollie” about Olney’s later statements regarding the maps. But, frankly, I’m getting tired OF documenting Rick Olney’s antics about this. It’s now been over 6 months since Matt Busch said LucasFilm was taking action, and nothing seems to have been done. So, @ this point, action doesn’t seem likely. I guess Olney won this round. He’s got the maps and can do whatever he wants with them. It’s sucks, but that’s what Matt Busch gets for sending all those maps to him like that in the first place (talk about a dumb-ass move) But there’s not much need for me to keep updating every single time Olney says something anywhere about the maps. It’s time for me to lock this post.
The reason I started these posts in the first place was just a resource for new people who may get involved with Rick Olney. Years ago, when I was actively participating on the Gail Simone forum(s) about this, people always used to say we need to warn people, tell them to “Google Rick Olney”. But the problem was, to me, that it seemed inadequate. @ the time, if you did Google “Rick Olney”, it would take you to the Gail Simone Thread first, which was just too damn long for anyone to really look through. Even just pointing to the Rich Johnston Bleeding Cool articles, it’s easy for Olney to try to dismiss them. I wanted some specific posts that could be shared, where you could see step by step over the years all the contradictions and lies that Olney has said, so people could see for themselves, in his own words, how Olney behaves.
This is another great example of that. Even after Busch repeatedly stuck up for Olney, and was naive enough to trust him with all that valuable merchandise, this is how Olney repays him, with theft. THAT is Rick Onley, the “honorably discharged Marine” for you.
So if you (yes YOU) are one of those new people, maybe you’ve been contacted by Olney for some new business venture he’s planning, and you searched him and it’s brought you to these posts, seriously reconsider before signing anything, or agreeing to anything with him.
UPDATE: ON DEC. 28TH 2012, RICK OLNEY DIED