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I'll preface this post by saying I'm sorry I didn't listen to you guys, because now I feel like I'm in a mess.

From the original post:
Recently I was accepted to create content for a comic, but the lack of communication and hazy guidelines are becoming a concern for me. I'm looking for advice how I might move forward.
Here's a rough layout of the events... (read more)

The organizer sent out this mass email (all names have been omitted throughout this post)
May 21
Hello everyone,
I just wanted to let you know the state of----- right now. Currently 16 pages have been submitted, including the centerfold (2p) and the cover (not included). The minimum posting size is 24 pages. 32 is preferable. I'm still working to recruit more artists and get enough work in to publish. Hopefully soon! If you end up having more to contribute, feel free to send it my way.

 As of now, this client has really worked my patience with the lack of reasonable communication. The only time this client actually responded to my emails was to ask for alterations to the files I sent. I also emailed asking how my friends and I could preorder this book since we wouldn't be at the AC debut, and that email wasn't answered either. When they needed a centrefold, my friends and I managed to pool our resources together and get one done in less than 48 hours to meet this clients April 25th deadline (note the email mentioning a deficit of content wasn't dispatched until almost a month later).

I originally did this work as a side project with the encouragement of a friend, but now it's turned into a stressful hassle, and the pay isn't that great to make up for the stringent reproduction rules.
This is their current payment plan:
Money from ----- submissions are made by online sales through ------ and at-con sales by ----- and comic artists. Payments are sent to myself, and I divvy payment between the contributors. Money is split by comic, and to each artist by submission number. Pin ups pay less than comic pages. Otherwise, an artist is paid by their page submission/total pages of the comic (For example: submitting a 5 page comic out of a 25 page anthology would yield 20%). This is based off net profit, which is after a 5% cut is taken for the ------ organizers, to cover cost of shipping to conventions, table space, etc.
Payments are sent out twice a year, around October and May. Payments are sent via snail mail and check, or through PayPal. Any fees associated with PayPal are the responsibility of the artist/author. (Isn't this against Paypal rules?)

When I previously read the guidelines, I asked if I could sell the original of the works in the AC artshow (since the pay for the project seemed low). The original works are lacking the backgrounds and shading added digitally, but the client didn't answer and just referred me to a FAQ. Reading this over again, I feel really silly having agreed to this project, but I also feel like a jerk pulling my work when they seem to be desperate. At the same time, the lack of communication has me feeling like they might not pay me on time (or at all) either. What started as a labor of love has quickly become a labor of my patience.
I haven't signed anything, would it be out of line for me to withdraw my work from the publications?
Thanks for your help, guys, I feel like I've really dug myself into a hole on this one. :C

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
oceandezignz
Jun. 2nd, 2014 10:00 pm (UTC)
You do realize that you had fears about your "reputation" in the first post where you were told to pass; and now that the project's come this far backing out is going to hurt WORSE for you?

This isn't me telling you to NOT back out, but you have to realize you had a chance to get out when people were pointing at the red flags; but now your options are hazy.

You're likely to not get much out of this project; if ANYTHING. I mean has this client been promoting the book or anything else? They are obviously having difficulties obtaining additional content. Also if I recall correctly, AC is right around the corner and the book isn't anywhere near completion?

Gonna be honest. This book is probably not going to even get printed in time for the so-called debut. At least, not in good quality or in a quantity that'll net anyone profit.

So if you decide to actually back out; be honest with them. The shoddy communication, the fact that the progress of the book is at such a stage you doubt it'll be ready in time and no solid contract (just an FAQ? No.) means you're walking away.

Just be prepared for whatever tantrum they have up their sleeve for it.
morti_macabre
Jun. 2nd, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
I don't really think this deserves a blow to a reputation. It's not exactly the OP's fault that the curator of this project is an enormous flake.
I suppose it's the OP's fault for not taking more careful consideration, especially after seeking counsel and being warned to back out in the first place, but I can say the idea of having work published is appealing.
However, the OP delivered the content requested and if they're not going to be fairly communicated with and ignored, I don't blame them for pulling out.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:52 am (UTC)
The reason I went with the project against my better judgement was because I spoke with one of the artists that were on board previously and they vouched for the guy. Now I'm left assuming that artist is more popular (this matters in the furry world, unfortunately) and so they might have been treated more favorably.
The second person I spoke to sort of spooked me into staying on board, making it sound like if I backed out I'd be a massive jerk for not keeping my word.

Yes, I should have stood up for my gut feeling, I thought that since I'd spoken with another artist it would be okay. :/
poto_heart
Jun. 3rd, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
I honestly don't think backing out of a project as terribly put-together as this will hurt OP's reputation. In fact, it's likely some other artists have ALREADY backed out (which is probably why they're begging for content from the contributors that are left) and there's been no backlash anywhere that OP has seen it, so it seems unlikely that they would start slinging mud in public now.

At most the consequences to reputation from ditching a project like this shouldn't be much worse than those of no longer working with any other difficult client, anyways. Even if lies are told, the truth will out eventually, and OP's dealings with other clients and people in general will speak louder than any insinuations or accusations by people running a project that will most likely fall apart.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
I did ask one of the other contributors if they had issues contacting the organizer and they said they usually answered within a day. It really looks like this client intentionally ignores me messages, which leaves me feeling more confident about leaving the project.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 06:03 am (UTC)
I opened this post as "I'll preface this post by saying I'm sorry I didn't listen to you guys, because now I feel like I'm in a mess." I don't appreciate salt in my wounds.

I mentioned in another comment that The reason I went with the project against my better judgement was because I spoke with one of the artists that were on board previously and they vouched for the guy.
The second person I spoke to sort of spooked me into staying on board, making it sound like if I backed out I'd be a massive jerk for not keeping my word.

Yes, I should have stood up for my gut feeling, I thought that since I'd spoken with another artist it would be okay. :/
celestinaketzia
Jun. 2nd, 2014 10:01 pm (UTC)
Run.

Run for the hills and fast.

They're treating this like work-for-hire with zero contract (have you signed a contract?), spotty communication, and a comical pay scheme.

You'll likely see nowhere near what your art is worth if you stay here, assuming the client is going to be truthful about the amount of sales at all.

Any fees associated with PayPal are the responsibility of the artist/author.

In this case you are the "seller" as the artist. The client is the "buyer". They are not liable for fees.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
I have not signed a contract, as far as I can tell, this client only has a FAQ (not even a TOS?).

I'm worried I won't see a cent of the pay, if they're this bad at simply answering emails... :/
celestinaketzia
Jun. 5th, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I don't think you will see a cent. These kinds of projects rarely do well. For your own sanity, bail.
ljmydayaway
Jun. 2nd, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
"Any fees associated with PayPal are the responsibility of the artist/author. (Isn't this against Paypal rules?)"

Nope, this is actually within Paypal's rules, otherwise they'd be sending it to you as a "gift", which Paypal would be against (since they'd lose out on a fee).

You can put your foot down and lay the line with this person. Tell them, "I need you to communicate with me, or I'm pulling my art. I have not signed a contract, and I don't feel comfortable with your payment schedule, your lack of communication, and the fact that I can't redistribute my art under pay-only methods. We need to discuss this, or I'm out."

If they're not willing to work with you in any way, then screw them and pull your art. YOU have the final say in where your art goes until you sign a contract stating otherwise.
tylociraptor
Jun. 2nd, 2014 11:28 pm (UTC)
Don't feel like a jerk- they're clearly willing to screw artists over, so why should you feel any obligations towards their publication!? Pull out and run for the hills.
purpurealuna
Jun. 2nd, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
Is this by chance a bondage related publication/magazine? I had very similar issues and bailed early on.
thaily
Jun. 3rd, 2014 10:22 am (UTC)
In the same line of questioning, is this vore related? I had someone approach me for a vore magazine thing, they were very disorganized and their proposition was full of holes (how long they were allowed to print, when artists were allowed to post/print/sell their submissions etc.)
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:59 am (UTC)
Yes, it is, and that sounds like the same project.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:40 am (UTC)
It's not them, but they did flake on my as well, luckily I hadn't gotten as far with them as this client.
houndofloki
Jun. 3rd, 2014 01:18 am (UTC)
They're actually in the clear about the Paypal issue (as the seller, you are liable for Paypal fees as per Paypal's TOS)

The rest of this, though? Run for the hills. I don't know that it sounds like a deliberate scammer so much as some guy who thinks this comic is just going to fly off the shelves and everything will be sunshine and daisies once that happens...but it won't. This kind of project is lucky to break even, much less make anyone money, and if you continue with it you're never going to get back what you put in.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:48 am (UTC)
It's strange to me, because this is the third comic in this series alone, and this person has published several others. You'd think they'd have these sorts of details ironed out.

I wasn't worried initially about breaking even for my submission, I did it more as a fun project. If the pay was bad but it was awesome to work with the person, I'd be all about staying on board. But when the pay is poor and you're treated poorly, it does make me want to bail.
snobahr
Jun. 3rd, 2014 08:57 pm (UTC)
Like everyone else is saying, Run. You can't take a blow to your reputation when the organizer is completely, utterly failing to organize. That includes communication and clarification. You have no formal contract in place, and due to the organizer's poor management, I don't see the likelihood of a formal, legal, binding contract coming into play, anyway. Take a deep breath, officially cancel your involvement, and have a glass of water.
metallik_hasse
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
I did wonder about the possibility that they just use my work anyway, claiming they didn't 'get the email' or something, since they don't really respond to any of mine.
celestinaketzia
Jun. 5th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
You never signed a contract formally, so you could theoretically take them to court if they do.
zzyzx
Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:35 pm (UTC)
If you want to be especially clear, send them a notice that they are not authorized to publish any of your artwork via certified mail to whatever mailing address they're using. If you want to be really official about it, you can have the notice notarized and keep a copy for yourself.
metallik_hasse
Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, I'll keep it in mind if they act like they might get difficult with it.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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