Official Press Release
Unscrewed! (www.unscrewedcomic.com), the collection of creators, publishers, retailers, and fans which banded together at the beginning of the year to take on an immoral and unethical publisher/convention promoter and provide financial assistance to those victimized by his company, ended its third week of auctions, bringing the total raised from all auction to a little over $3000.
The most notable of the last auction's items was rarely-available custom art by James Owen. The piece, a one of a kind item in which the winning bidder will have James Owen illustrate whatever they desire, sold for $700.
James Owen had this to say about the issue this publisher not paying freelance help.
"In the comics industry, the barrier of entry is relatively low. Even so, it's easy for a publisher to get derailed by external circumstances, or market conditions, or even just dumb mistakes (and often a combination of all three!) And when that happens, usually the best thing that can be done is to apologize and then try to resolve whatever obligations remain as honestly and forthrightly as possible.
What happened with this 'publishing company' is irrelevant, because it never published anything. What happened after, though, is significant - because the 'publisher' not only refused to try to
honor his obligations, but then began to insult, threaten, and belittle the very people he owed. And that's just not right."
Unscrewed! has begun to disperse auction funds to freelance creators in need of financial assistance.
The fourth week of Unscrewed auctions has begun and there is bevy of cool items listed to dazzle comic fans and benefit freelance creators.
Legendary comic writer Tony Isabella has generously donated original page art from DC and Marvel comics. Fans of Black Lightning and Hawkman will want to check out there gorgeous illustrations.
Art Diva Lea Hernandez graces the auction with a full color Rumble Girls sketch.
Chuck Dixon gives us the tales of a dying Joker and his creator-owned Iron Ghost.
Greg Rucka displays both his generosity and versatility with trade paperbacks and novels. Wonder Woman aficionados should pay close attention to the Wonder Woman: Mission's End trade signed by Mr. Rucka.
The auction can be found at the following link:
Donations to Unscrewed! can also be made directly via www.paypal.com using the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address or e-mail the same for alternate arrangements.
Why is Unscrewed! taking on the enormous task of helping freelancers get a fair shake in the comic industry? Freelance artist Jim Taylor sums it up best.
"When you put your effort into a project, especially on a new project, not come aboard to something existing, you feel a sense of ownership in the work. This is new, this is going to attract someone, this might be the thing that makes me stand out to others, so that they hire me. Lots of thoughts go through your mind. So perhaps you try to put an even stronger effort into the work than you might normally do.
Then when you find out you're not going to get paid for the work, after all the effort, time involved, the 'outside life' that you put on hold to create this work, it just crushes you. You seriously start to reconsider the industry as a whole, your involvement with it, and whether or not you should ever do it again. Lots of thoughts go through your head; anger, confusion, a sense of loss of power and control as far as what you can do about the situation. Death supposedly has five stages to go through, but being shanked by someone for hard work you've done, can involve even more.
Then you finally meet similar-minded folks like at Unscrewed!. You start to network with serious people, who really do want to make a project work, and you realize it sometimes takes a bad event or even a series of them, to bring you around to what you originally were aiming at in the first place."
We'd like to thank everyone who has donated and supported Unscrewed! in our efforts. Hopefully someday we won't be needed anymore.