Bleeding Cool has run a number of articles on problems at Devil's Due regarding paying its creators. Citing issues with increased returns from Diamond Book Distributors, publisher Josh Blaylock has stated that his income has been slashed and creators have born the brunt.
One was Tim Seeley, a Devil's Due employee and creator of the Hack/Slash comic book. He was estimated to be owed thousand of dollars by Devil's Due and, in addition thirty thousand is owed to the artists on the book – which has seen delays as a result.
Tim's dilemma has been this – does he take Hack/Slash away from Devil's Due to a publisher that may give it the push it needs, but in doing so risk never seeing those tens of thousands of dollars again, and possibly doom Devil's Due by taking away its best selling title? Or does he keep the book at Devil's Due and use it to pressure the company to pay up?
He's been hemming and hawwing for some time. But this weekend it was announced that he's taken the plunge and pulled Hack/Slash to Image.
But what about all those unpaid artists? Tim Seeley has told me he's taken out a loan to pay off the unpaid artists, owed money by Devil's Due. It's not his debt, but it's one he feels responsible for. The money owed by Devil's Due to Tim has been cleared in exchange to Tim taking the comic away from Devil's Due before the contract period is up. And taking on Wildstorm work should see him able to pay that loan off sooner, while he waits for Image money to come through, or the possible trickle from Devil's Due.
It's a tough decision, it's a brave and honourable approach and it's something to be admired in an industry of snake oil salesmen.
Here's to you, Seeley.