WHAT: Digital art, comic.
WHEN: November 2nd 2012 - ongoing
PROOF & EXPLAIN: In the LJ cut!
I had hoped not to have to post here... but here we go!
Otterman89 posted a thread on FAF looking for an artist to do a comic series for him. It appears that out of the people that posted their prices, mine were cheapest so I got a note from him on the mainsite even though I asked him to email. (I prefer email because Gmail keeps it threaded and I can open the entire convo at once.)
His note, asking a few questions about what I will do, confirming price and asking if he can do it in spurts of a few pages at a time (while still getting the lower rate) since he doesn't like to spend a lot of money at once. ... At 20 pages, the project would be $200.
My return note, answering said questions and showing him my comic process.
He then sent me his already scripted out (very clearly and easy to follow) comic. It was indeed 20 pages and didn't have any content that was too weird for me.
I give him a little more information and confirm that he wants me to do it.
He chooses for a Saturday release when he gets pages. This wouldn't be EVERY Saturday I understood, but only when he gave me the go-ahead for more pages.
I asked how many pages to do and he said a cover page and the first two pages. I asked again for his email address and said I would send the sketches of all three pages by Friday (Nov 9th) for his approval. He never did send me his email address, so on Nov 8th I send him a note containing a link to the sketches and ask a couple of questions as to the title of the comic and if he wants handwritten text or computer text.
He appears happy so far, so I go ahead. We have a little back and forth about when he should post the comics on his gallery. I like to space it a little so that it can possibly increase the amount of people viewing it.
Here I should have waited until he actually paid me before finishing the pages, but since I wanted to make good on my promised release date, I went ahead with them.
I email him on the agreed date to let him know that the pages are ready and I will send them once I am paid. I still haven't heard from him by the next day so I send him a note with links to the finished pages.
Shortly after I get a note saying that he can't pay me for a week because suddenly this other artist he wanted a commission from had an auction going and he decided to bid on it. Nevermind that the work he wanted from me was ready to go. In the interest of keeping peace, I just thanked him for letting me know and said I will be looking forward to next weekend. I did not post the finished pages or give him the pages. He only got to see low res, watermarked copies.
Two hours later he mentions a change that he hadn't during the sketch stage. That the characters are actually supposed to be the same height. It hadn't occured to me to ask this, but I had gone through his gallery looking at other drawings of these two and they seemed to be of different heights so that is what I did. It was my mistake though. We agreed to change it for later pages, as in these ones it was only thee panels that showed the difference and not such a big deal.
Two days later he changes his mind and asks me to fix it. I get it done. (not pictured in the screen shot is the note from me on Nov14 saying okay and his on the same day saying thanks.)
I sent him a money request on the 17th. I didn't hear from him so on the 18th I sent a reminder note and on the 19th I resent a money request using the 'invoice' tab. On the 20th he responds and says he hasn't seen it. reminder, invoice screenie
He pays the invoice on the 20th and apologises for the wait. Also says that he will be looking forward to this weekends pages. Emailed the sketches two days later as he indicated on the 20th he wanted more pages for the 24th. I don't seem to have his approval of the sketches saved, but I know he did.
I didn't hear from him that weekend, so on the 26th I sent him a note with links to the low res watermarked files to prove they were ready. And an invoice which I dated for the 14th just in case.
My mistake was probably saying "They are ready for you whenever you are ready to pay," as this is when the real trouble for me starts. As I was completely ignored until 4 days later when he sent me this note about how the game expansion he wants is on sale so he wants to buy it while he still can. I am miffed at this point, but send back an understanding note saying that my sister is into that game so I understand that he wants it and to keep me in the loop about what he is up to. He sends a note saying "Kk :)" then the next day tries to placate me (I guess) with this note.
So the weekend of the 8th goes by and I get nothing from him. No update notes or payment or anything. In the time from when I sent him the invoice on the 26th up until the due date on the 14th, I sent him two reminders.. I am not sure of the days since I don't know if PayPal keeps a record of that. I was very annoyed at this point, so I sent him a note about it. He tries to tell me that he wasn't ignoring me (though he was) and gives me a tale about how he is addicted to art and everyone offers such great deals at this time of the year that he can't help himself. Also about how he should be getting more hours at work but isn't. Excuses... but then says twice that his goal is to pay everyone by Jan 1st 2013. ... Okay I will not get mad at him, because I would like to see this money. I reply and leave it at that.
While all this time of him not paying me is going on, I see him on the FA forums making threads about getting more commissions so it is ticking me off that he has me and apparently a bunch of other artists to pay still and is STILL commissioning more art.
Wanting a ref pic...
Wanting some kind of fanart...
Wanting a WoW pic...
Wanting a Lion King pic...
Wanting a 2ft plushie made...
I restrained myself from posting in any of those threads. Keeping myself professional and not calling him out.
On the 17th I got another note with another excuse as to why he couldn't pay me. This time I ignored him because I couldn't trust myself to stay polite. I decided to just wait and see if he would pay me by Jan 1st as his goal stated.
Meanwhile, I check his FA page a little and see he is uploading an awful lot of art, although if any are gifts/freebies, I don't know. Forty-eight pictures between the day he commissioned me and today (Jan 2nd). None of them being the pages from me that he did pay for. However, one is a LK picture (he posted looking for one on Dec15th and this was uploaded Dec22nd) which makes me wonder why he could pay that artist who was commissioned after me but not me. Some of the other pictures may have been those other artists from December that he owed, but I have no way of knowing.
So on Jan 2nd I sent him another note asking how the payment was coming along and he now promises by this weekend.
I really shouldn't have let it drag out this long (although it is not nearly as long as most of the stories here), but I was afraid that if I rocked the boat, I wouldn't see anything at all... but that is what I am seeing now. I sure hope I see that money on the weekend. In either case, I decided several weeks ago that I will not be working with him further on this project but wanted to wait until he paid for the current batch of pages before telling him. I also wanted to hold off on the A_B post until he at least paid me, but I am afraid I won't so I chose to go forward with this post.
Beware of Otterman89. Do not do anything (he typically only asks for two types of drawings... tongues tied together or private parts locked together) until he pays you... which I mean, that should go without saying already. Live and learn I suppose.
Update- While waiting for this entry to get approved the following has happened...
I waited over the weekend and heard nothing from him. In the afternoon on Monday the 7th I sent him a note telling him that I can not work on his project any longer. This is what I already intended to tell him, even if he had paid me. He sends a note back one minute later saying that he was just about to send the money. Personally, I don't believe him, but I am firm about not working with him any longer... though I would still like to get the money.
caps of that exchange
After that, he asked for my PP address again and FINALLY paid me. So, I guess this is resolved. Now I just have to convince him that I won't do any more pages... at least that I won't do anything until the batch is paid for in advance. No sketches or anything.