Right and Wrong

There’s a lot of discussion going on (well, DISCUSSION might be too mild a term) about the subject of the CrossGen Comics company making late payments to freelancers. Some of the payments are supposedly VERY late. Quite frankly, it’s stirred up a real hornet’s nest of angry voices on both sides of the issue. Of course, anything that has the least taint of negativity becomes incredible fodder for the internet comics horde.

I’m not going to claim to have anything LIKE any kind of inside knowledge of the workings of CrossGen. The only dealings I’ve had with them is one fill in issue of MERIDIAN (I think it was issue #8). The CrossGen folks were friendly, prompt and professional. They called a bit too much to see how I was doing on pages (every other day)– but that’s no beef. They want to get their books out on time. I DO know one of the parties involved who has claimed to have not been paid for what is WAY TOO LONG a period of time. He’s a good person, and I know he wouldn’t mislead anyone about the facts of this matter. In fact, he’s rather embarrassed that his name has been added to the mix of this whole mess.

What it boils down to in my eyes–looking at it from the outside as I am– is something pretty fundemental and basic. This comes from a freelancer’s point of view, so you may consider me biased if you’d like. But here’s the thing: It is COMPLETELY WRONG to not pay a freelancer for work they have delivered. I don’t care WHAT the circumstances behind the late payment. I don’t care if you’re in the middle of securing a round of investment for your company; I don’t care if you’re on the verge of BANKRUPTCY– YOU DO NOT FAIL TO PAY A FREELANCER IN THE AGREED UPON TIME FRAME. It’s always completely amazing to me when a publisher who is delinquent in paying a freelancer becomes incensed when that freelancer makes that fact public. I’m sure if it were the “shoe on the other foot”, that very same publisher would be more than happy to make things public.

I’ve got a bold (but common sense) suggestion to the folks at CrossGen– and ANY OTHER publisher who can’t pay a freelancer for whatever reason: How about just not publishing the damned comic…..?????!!!???? If you cannot afford to pay for work delivered in a timely fashion, put the project on hold. It just makes sense to me that if you can’t afford to pay for the work, DON’T PUBLISH, SOLICIT, or HIRE FREELANCERS TO WORK ON YOUR PROJECT. And for CrossGen in specific– if you can’t afford to pay a freelancer to work on your ongoing titles, then put the book on hiatus until your in house team can produce enough work to get back on the schedule. As a company that “prides” itself on it’s public image, this situation has made CrossGen look very, very bad indeed.

Do the right thing, guys.


Comments are closed.