The Adirondack ComicFest for November being organised by Rick Olney with some mysterious unnamed backers has been a little troubled. A number of guests still listed by Rick as attending the show have pulled out. He recently ran a small piece after Dave Hoover died, stating that he'd been scheduled to attend. Scheduled, possibly, but not actually planning to attend, after he did some research on the controversial organiser.
But one person who has stood by him, if not actually attending, is Matt Busch, a comics creator probably best known around these parts for taping some phonecalls left for him by Steven Niles.
With LucasFilm's permission and licence, he's been creating the Indiana Jones World Map, a detailed painting showing the adventures of Indiana Jones across the world, in film, TV, comics, novels and games, and the artifacts he has pursued in the process. These were planning to debut at the show, to be sold to benefit the Disabled Veterans Association.
Well, this is what he posted on the Gail Simone forum a few months ago.
I suddenly had what I thought was a great idea (and I hope it ends up that way). Here is this pop culture convention, set in the historical community of the Adirondack Mountains, with a patriotic theme benefiting veterans… The Indy Map would be perfect for this. I spent so long working on it that I really felt like this was the perfect answer to a passion project I spent countless hours on.
Rick loved the idea, and so did Lucasfilm, who gave me the green light.
Since then, as you can guess, my inbox has been pummeled with email from colleagues warning me about Rick. So, sure, I've very wary of this and am taking extreme caution to make sure I don't get screwed, and my god- the Disabled American Veterans! I would go ballistic if all the proceeds don't go to them!
As for my dealing with Rick, I'm sorry if anyone here has been burned by him. That's business between you guys and something I choose to stay out of. So far, he has been legit with me. I hope that continues to be the case, and I don't return to this forum bashing him with you guys later. (I say that with respect to you guys, of course I'm nervous about this now.) I guess you'll have to ask me again when all is said and done.
I have since contacted the Disabled American Veterans personally to make sure they are aware of what is going on, and will take every measure possible to make sure they get what is promised and will not use their great name and cause in vain. Not if I or Lucasfilm has anything to say about it.
Oh man, do I owe everyone here a big apology. You guys were absolutely right about everything.
There were vaguely suspicious things going on with Rick at first, but I thought I was smart enough to make things fool-proof and be win/win for everyone. I thought for sure there was no way he could be THAT shady. Boy was I wrong. And I'm pretty embarrassed at how noble I thought I was asking you guys to give this situation a shot.
I don't know what to say, except for I'm sorry. I guess the smarter we think we are, the more we sometimes find that we are completely naive. Well, I feel like a douche and I hope you guys will accept my apology. You ARE the good guys- what the heck was blinding me from that? Pride? Who knows…
Anyway, for legal reasons that I am pursuing, I don't want to get into juicy details, but I am actively trying to get the maps back from Rick. He is refusing to return them and gleefully intends on offering them Online, which Lucasfilm has not granted him permission to do. So I'm contacting Lucasfilm, my lawyer, and the police department of Rick's home.
I know some of you have questions, but much of it will have to stay tight lipped with legal until something concrete is developed, and I can share more. In terms of how the Adirondack Comicfest funded the map, that was all press release jargon early on, and some while I was waiting for Rick to put the money forward. And as you can guess, he never paid a dime for anything. Not even shipping. See what a shmuck I am?
And then with a final flourish;
I thought you'd all get a kick out of this email I just received from Rick:
"Well, I had asked you nicely not to take that step. And, because you're so inclined I'll share with you that I intend on burning your maps tomorrow. I'm all done being manipulated. You think embarrassing me is a game. Lets see how you like learning a lesson.
I think it's safe to say he won't be burning the maps. Why miss out on an opportunity to profit at the expense of an honorable charity?
I can't believe how blind I've been!
Rick did not respond to emails asking him about the recent events.
Here's a video trailer for the print.