Saturday, August 23, 2003

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See, ADD, somebody used your banner!

So, apparently, at least two creators have delivered work to CrossGen, and have not been paid, and have met with stonewalling and excuses when they attempted to find out why. The publisher and his marketing director have resorted to namecalling and vague hints when responding to the allegations. The whole thing is summed up, so far, in typically succinct fashion by Dirk Deppey.

My take? While I understand that small publishers, like any small(er) business, have to resort to belt-tightening and can often have cash flow problems, still it seems like the creators in question have been dealt with in a very dodgy fashion. It reminds me of the last year I worked at WLOC in the early 90s (not to be confused with the WLOC where I work now...similar, but different and a long story). A small, family-owned station in a small town, WLOC had always depended on its advertising revenue from its daytime AM and FM programming to survive. It had a weak signal- sufficient in 1960, when the station was established, but hopelessly antiquated in 1992 and unable to get us out beyond a 25 mile range. When the owner died, previously existing cash flow problems got worse, resulting in several bounced and missed paychecks. When I confronted his youngest daughter, who had been running things, about getting paid (I was already owed two paychecks) I was told flat out that they just didn't have the money, and I should look at the big picture, "take one for the team", so to speak, and trust them to get me the money ASAP. Well, I couldn't go along with that...I love music as much as anybody on the face of God's Earth, and that station was a lot of fun, but I couldn't work for I walked. They shut down two months later, and I never did get all that money back.

The freelancers who are having the difficulties with CrossGen don't have that luxury; they can only hope to become squeaky enough wheels to where they can get some grease. I think it would behoove CG to scrape up the cash somewhere, pay these fellows, and reduce the amount of future damage control they'll have to deal with. Easy for me to say, huh!

Maybe I could be more charitable if I was a CG reader, but other than a halfhearted attempt to read Meridian a few months ago I've never acquired the habit. I'm just not all that interested in the sort of Marion Bradley Zimmer/Anne McCaffrey/Tolkein sort of high fantasy-SF stuff that seems to be the main focus of the CG line. If I was 12 years old, I might think different, but sadly, I'm I just don't care one way or another how the company fares, except that I would hate to see people out of work.