We start with some mixed news: last week, it was revealed that eight of the eleven defendants in the Cody Pickrodt case have been dismissed [Content Warning], leaving only Whit Taylor, Hazel Newlevant, and Morgan Pielli. While that’s good, this was largely on a technicality; those eight were outside of New York jurisdiction. The other three could still use help however, especially as Taylor has filed a counterclaim detailing Pickrodt’s specific assaults against her. You can donate to their cause here: https://www.gofundme.com/SPX-Support-The-11
More harassment, because I am never not writing about it: Lion Forge editor and former WWACer Desiree Rodriguez has penned a detailed account of a man who is stalking her. It is absolutely harrowing reading, so please exercise care, and Desiree: We’re here for you.
The fallout from last week’s Oni/Lion Forge merger continues; Oregon Public Broadcasting released an article in which Charlie Chu mentions that the folks left are “trying to fundamentally not change the taste-making and creative decision-making that Oni has historically had,” in defense of the layoff of…several of the most high-profile tastemakers that Oni and Lion Forge had.
In addition, after being pressured to sign NDAs in exchange for severance packages, both Scott Sharkey and Desiree Wilson declined, choosing instead to air even more dirty laundry. It’s true that this kind of NDA deal, while predatory as hell, is fairly standard in US jobs, but Sharkey opted to share details of the contract he refused to sign itself:
In addition, they gave me a contract that includes a "severance" contingent on keeping my mouth shut. Note: I was making peanuts there, but that's not anywhere near the two months pay the contract itself promises in the same sentence. pic.twitter.com/6Sd1jtsVul
— Slanderman (@evilsharkey) May 15, 2019
Based on my personal knowledge of living in the Pacific Northwest, $1,248 is a nearly useless amount compared against the cost of living in the area. Additionally, Sharkey raises the allegation here that it doesn’t even equal what two months of pay would be at his former rate, and points out that he essentially did the work to give them a functioning warehouse all by himself, including cleaning out a rat infestation. Oni has already listed that they’re hiring for the exact position they let him go from. It would probably be smarter to contact a lawyer who specializes in labor relations at this point, but I don’t think a fair working relationship with the publisher is what anyone’s after anymore. It doesn’t help that outlets such as Previews are callously downplaying the issue.
If you struggle with panic disorders; you’re not alone. Desiree mentions it in her article above, and Ivy Noelle Weir, co-creator of Archival Quality, has written her own essay about surviving it. It’s touching, moving, and eminently relatable. If the things she mentions here sound familiar to you, please reach out to a professional.
The late Stan Lee’s former manager, Keya Morgan, has been charged with five counts Elder Abuse for his treatment of Lee. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
• The third Creators for Creators grant has been awarded to Sobo and Shof Coker for their project Outcasts of Jupiter.
• WildCATS is back!
• SKTCHD is back.
• May 14th was the third anniversary of Darwyn Cooke’s passing.
• Michael Moreci has signed a new multi-project deal with Vault Comics.
• Also at Vault, Magdalene Visaggio’s comic Vagrant Queen has been picked up for a show.