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Beware: Wraith/MSFHWraith (resolved)

All right, here goes. I've been debating about posting this one for a while, but I figure I've got to put this out there.

I did a series of card illustrations for Wraith over November 2010, the agreement being that I'd do this in exchange for a share of the profits from selling the cards and copies of them once they were printed.

To be brief, I still have not received the cards, and since Wraith has been approaching other artists to do more of these illustrations I think this needs to be made public. I will gladly update this if he does end up sending me the cards, but since it's been nothing but excuses since the cards were ready to print in December 2010, I'd like other artists to know to be wary of making a deal with him like this, since he's shown to me that he won't uphold his end of such a transaction.

Wraith on DeviantART: MSFHWraith

Wraith's website: MSF High

Online store where the cards are being sold: MysticJoJo Studios at The Game Crafter

Here we go:
I hope I've been clear so far. I drew the illustrations for Wraith over November 2010, and he agreed to send me a copy of the cards that would be made from them. The cards were laid up and finished early December 2010. Despite repeated reminders from me, he has not sent me a copy so far, but has given me a number of excuses about being too busy and not having the money. I asked him many times about sending me the cards, and he always brushes me off with some combination of "I've been busy" "I don't have the money" "I'll do it soon". Because I work with Wraith to draw a webcomic, I've been keeping in very consistent contact with him. However, the entire agreement was done over MSN, and I have changed computers since then so I don't have any log files of the older conversations.

At the time of the illustration work, I was living in Canada. For the first half of 2011 I received repeated assurances from Wraith that he would send me the cards before I moved to Australia, which I was planning to do over August/September, something that I kept him extremely well-informed of, since it meant I would be missing comic updates.

In early August 2011 I talked to Wraith again about getting the cards sent out to me in Canada (Wraith lives in the USA), since I was definitely going to be homeless for half of September travelling the continent, and I wouldn't have an address until I arrived in Australia on around the 17th. He informed me he wouldn't be able to send me the cards, but promised it would be 'soon' after I was landed.

Needless to say, it's now 2012 and I'm still waiting for those cards. Wraith has my current address and keeps assuring me he'll send them out "when he has time", but after this length of time that assurance rather loses its lustre.

He does have a set of the cards for himself (he's posted a video of himself playing with the cards on his youtube for promotion, but I'm not sure if that's kosher to post here), and he tells me he's sent out a set of the cards to a game reviewer. But I'm still waiting on my set, and really doubting that it will ever arrive.

Kind of blurry and hard to see, but on the left is one of the illustrations I did matching on the right one of the printed cards that Wraith was showing on YouTube.

Because I did not have any of the older conversation logs saved, I took a log of the most recent conversation I had with him about this. It's over here, though his screenname has been changed because he uses his real name and I'm not sure if I'd be allowed to post that. I'm really sorry that apart from the art itself and the cards up for sale (here and here), this log is the only hard proof that I have at the moment, and I really hope it's enough for artists_beware. I doubt I'll get my cards, but I hope this lets other artists know that you can't trust this guy.

I based the layout of this post after one supremevictory did earlier because I found theirs very readable, hope that's OK

Update 17th February: The cards arrived today, which was rather surprising. Not all of the artwork was used, which would have been nice to know about beforehand but oh well. Ignoring everything else that's happened, I'll say since the cards arrived in the end this is resolved.

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
Approved, but I'd just like to clarify whether you received any payment or not for your work since this was a financial agreement as well as one for the set of cards and it's a little vague on that point.
Jan. 20th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
I'm not actually sure if there is anything you can do.

You will probably never see any money from him, nor the promised cards.

You still have work with him? Don't do it. Unless he has already paid in full, don't do anything for him. I doubt he'll end up paying you at all for it.
Jan. 20th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
He probably hasn't paid you a share of the profits because he's sold two decks (one to himself and one to his mom) and he probably hasn't sent you the cards because he's doing print-on-demand and has no money to order them for you.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but always charge a commission fee (not royalties) for these indie projects (be they cards, RPG books, comics, whatever) and always get least a half payment upfront. The hard truth is that 99.9% of those projects go exactly nowhere and never end up generating any money to pay royalties on
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2012 03:44 am (UTC)
That may well be true, too.

It doesn't excuse his behavior, it's just a caution for the future.
Jan. 20th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
This, so hard. I used to do this type of work with the sparkly promise of royalties (on net profit no less, sigh) because I didn't know better. It always worked out to me never seeing a dime AND never even getting the copy of my card (in one case, the company DID sell a lot of decks, and I had to end up buying my own card on eBay).

Royalties are... okay.. if you are working with an established company with a good reputation and a history of good sales AND a known buyer base, but even then it can require a lot of prodding of the company and not much earnings, depending.

Royalties, when it comes to individuals or small indie companies, are (with very few exceptions), going to suck or not exist at all. :(

It's a hard lesson learned. Doesn't excuse the behavior at all-- trust me-- but it is a very common and reoccurring theme.

Edited at 2012-01-20 03:21 pm (UTC)
Jan. 21st, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
First of all, I'd ask again. Say that he can use a flat rate box to ship it to you without ever leaving home. The box itself is free, can be delivered to him, and the postage can be paid online. (I'm actually sure most postage can be paid online. Yes, he'd have to guess the weight, but it's not like he can't put extra postage on it for safety.)

The other thing I'm noticing is that you are never firm with him. You never say "I want my cards now, give me a date when they will be shipped." Get a date from him and say that if he doesn't ship them out by that date he is infringing on your copyright as he is not meeting the terms of the agreement. If you need to, report him to where he's getting the deck published.
Jan. 22nd, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
You can get to the Post Office by vehicle. A BUS. :\ Seriously, where does he live in the US that he can't get to the PO by bus even? Unless it's in the next county or something which I guess it's understandable -- if he hadn't kept making excuses. *shakes head*
Jan. 22nd, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
There are plenty of towns and areas where no public transport exists. In my hometown it was a 20 minute drive to any sort of civilization, and it was pretty unsafe to just dump one's mail in the box for the carrier to pick up.

With that said, there's no way of knowing if the guy lived in that sort of area. But even that's moot now a days as the USPS apparently does home pick up for free!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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