After Bleeding Cool ran an article regarding Joshua Dysart's difficulties getting paid by Valiant Entertainment, Brett Booth added his own commentary about not receiving royalties for Bloodshot #1 from Valiant. This was followed by fellow Valiant alumni Lewis LaRosa adding a since-deleted subtweet about a non-Valiant problem. He tweeted out a screencap of an article from Bleeding Cool that reported The Scumbag #1 by Rick Remender and LaRosa, published by Image Comics last year, as Rick Remender's biggest creator-owned launch ever. He positioned this next to a screencap showing LaRosa had been blocked on Twitter by Remender. And LaRosa's reply to Brett, "I hear you."
The inference was clear. Now, The Scumbag was launched as an ongoing series by Remender and LaRosa from Image Comics in 2020, though other artists took over drawing the comic since. LaRosa followed up his initial post, with further elaboration which also seems to have since been deleted. It was again clear he was talking about Rick Remender, with lots of other Image Comics creators offering their own shocked responses.
Image Comics generally deals with one principal comic creator on creator-owned titles to represent the whole creative team. In The Scumbag's case, that was Rick Remender. Image Comics also announced a new Rick Remender creator-owned title yesterday, titled A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance, which kicked off all sorts of other memes and scuppered an attempt at publicity for the book. Bleeding Cool contacted Rick Remender, who told us;
"The Scumbag is different from my other creator-owned projects because Lewis LaRosa, who was meant to draw the entire series and be co-owner, quit while drawing the first issue due to a bad back. As a fan of his work, I was disappointed, but had full sympathy. I told him I'd gladly wait until he was better, and paid him on the work he'd done, but he wanted to quit. A few weeks later the best solution I could scramble together to save the book was to bring in a different artist for each issue with all the money dumped into their upfront rates, instead of doing things the way I always have with an Image book. Lewis agreed to finish issue 1 but had to fit it in with the new Bad Idea book he was now working on. To date I haven't made a single penny on The Scumbag. The book is still in the red by tens of thousands of dollars. Every single penny went to pay the art teams. The way The Scumbag was put together is not how I would have preferred it to be, but Lewis LaRosa has been paid everything he was owed in his contract and more, and it was 100% his choice to quit. If you ask any of the many artists I've done creator-owned books with, they'll verify that they get an equal share of the profits and ownership."
We reached out to Lewis LaRosa for further comment, but he declined. He did, however tweet the following:
Re: Remender, I signed over IP rights & rights to royalties when I needed to leave Scumbag due to my long term health problems & was paid an agreed upon page rate. I wish no harm to him personally or professionally. Please continue to support him & his projects.
And that's a weekend in comic books on Twitter. I hope you can feel better soon, Lewis.