First. A Tid-Bit~
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE.
In Business, it does NOT matter what perception is, or might be. Events, and experience are ALL that matter. Take all of them and bank them. I'm not saying hold a grudge, or live in the past. I am just saying don't forget how you got where you are, and what you did( good or bad) to get there. Most importantly, treat Folk as good as you'd like to be treated. Shit WILL come back at you. Good, AND bad. You might think about a lotta things over the years regarding work, a gig, or relationships you have with an Editor, or a Company. Don't be stupid. Be careful. Cross your "t's" and dot your "i's". That way, when someone tries to take a dump on you, it won't come as a surprise. Then you can deal with it rationally, and not emotionally. In other words, be a business man. Handle your business. The only place for a Fan on the professional end of Comics, is when your knowledge of the History of Comics comes into play within the context of a Gig.
So anyway, I got a job from a publisher through a key player in Administration a while back, and it didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped.
I had been sending covers to several guys in key positions at several companies ( as I finished assignments) in an effort to garner an ongoing Cover Gig. I figured if I sent actual Covers that I was contracted to do, that it would work on several levels with the Editors I was calling on.
1. The images were my MOST current work, and a perfect example of my particular skill-set.
2. It would show that I was gainfully employed, and still had a Creative Voice in the Industry.
3. It would keep me connected with a small group of Editors at several different publishers that I had either worked with, or wanted to work with.
So, that is what I did. So after a few covers were sent, I hooked up with ONE particular guy. He was grooving on the stuff, understood that I wanted to land a regular cover Gig and wanted to talk. We had been pals for years, like minded creatively and he said he thought I would be perfect for a job that had come across his desk. I looked it over, and after learning that I was the actual Editor on the Books FIRST choice, I said yes. This Gig was a big deal. At least that's what I was told. So I was offered a LOT of money for this job. WAY more than I get for a regular cover. But that was because it was an Event. So I got to work after I signed Pay Vouchers filled out by the Editor, with the promised amounts filled in, with his signature down below. I produced 3 covers, before I heard that I was NOT to be paid what I was promised, but that they could get me CLOSE to it. That happened no less than 3 times, all the while I am still producing work. I was told "this" guy, or "that" guy, who were important to the approval process for $$, would be back soon from vacation and all would be good. I kept working. By the way, after all these covers, and weeks passed by, I STILL had not been paid a single dime. I couldn't be paid, because my rate had not been approved by the publisher.
So, I had enough. I was more than patient and I sat down to do what my Attorney told me to do. Write a proper resignation letter, citing all the reasons why I decided to step aside. I did that, sent it off to my Editor, colorist, and The Editorial Admin rep who I originally connected with to get the gig in the first place. This did NOT turn out good.
I did not hear from my Editor, nor my colorist, but from - let's give him a name. I heard from CHIKLETT. He sent me a letter saying how shocked he was that I would pull such an unprofessional move. But really, he wasn't shocked, cuz whenever he get's together with his peeps to discuss the most unprofessional people in the Industry , evidently , according to his letter, my name ALWAYS comes up first. TOP OF THE HEAP. Then he tells me that I have been part of no less than 4 maybe 5 projects that got fucked up/screwed that he was directly involved in. So I asked CHIKLETT, " Exactly what are those projects you are referring too?" But not before I yelled back at him for calling ME unprofessional, whilst calling me names( and also copying these statements to other Editors at the company, which I am pretty sure is Illegal, oh yeh, AND slander). So, then CHIKLETT apologizes, and says that I am REALLY talented, but not worth the trouble, without telling what those Mysterious Books that I fucked up were.
So. Wow. This sucked. And I will tell you why. NOT just because of the shit he said. NOT, just because I was promised all this $$ and never got it. Not just because I was strung along with no information, whilst waiting to be paid after multiple covers had been produced and turned in.
It sucked because I "THOUGHT" that I had been friends with CHIKLETT for like, I dunno 15 years. Really, no Bull-shit. And he spun on me like a Black-plague-ridden-stranger. Then he tells me to do him a favor: "LOSE MY NUMBER."
Then I go to a convention, see some folks that I am friends with ( which happen to be mutual friends with CHIKLETT) So, I walk over, and give big hugs, and say hi. Knowing that he is standing just-Off-Sides, looking on. I turn to walk away, and I hear, " Hey, Tony." I know who it is, and I dreaded this happening, because I am NOT one to shrink from confrontation usually, so I was afraid of what I might do, or say. And also, because I figured THIS guy, speaking to me, was TOTALLY out of the question. So what could I do? He knew i wouldn't make a scene in public, so that's why he did it. I turned around on a dime, extended my hand and said, "Hi CHIKLETT." Then abruptly walked away. I felt like I betrayed myself by letting him control me. Like a fucking PUSSY. But that's for me to deal with.
So that's it. Story over. I still have to travel the same Circuit CHIKLETT does. I see him, and I am SURE he sees me. But that is OK. I remember that I am unaffected , and that I am a professional, the VERY thing he said I wasn't.