“We call ourselves ‘creators’; authors, pencilers, inkers, painters, colorists, letterers. Today, we stand together against the heinous actions of one individual. There is no more ‘individually’. We are all truly ‘creators’.”
Unscrewed! is a group of creators brought together in response to the reprehensible actions of one man. You are not required to have been “screwed” by Rick Olney to participate in the project. You are required to feel compassion for those who were and stand against this kind of behavior in the comics industry.
In the short month since Gail began this monstrous thread, over 7500 replies have been posted, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of what have become known as ‘Onley’s Orphans’ have been identified, and debts accrued by him are approximated between $60,000 and $100,000.
Then – something incredible happened.
A suggestion was made to redirect negative energies away from Olney and into something positive, something to help those who have little or no chance of seeing what they’re owed from him in the foreseeable future. A comic book anthology for the summer convention season alongside an on-going auction immediately sprang to mind. Offers of contributions to both began pouring in. Larry Dixon proposed the name ‘”UNSCREWED!”, in direct reflection of such heart-felt determination to ‘unscrew’ the unscrupulous actions of one man. Construction began on a website. Scott Shaw! and Sarah Beach have joined the editorial staff. Mark Waid has extended his generosity to front anyone’s legal bills against Olney. Ian Shires is assisting with the publication. Small press groups such as Lance Boucher’s InterFan organization are throwing in their support. Many convention-goers, convention organizers and retailers have already committed to promoting the benefit comic everywhere they go.
You can help, too. Contributions from professional-quality creators are still being accepted to both the anthology and the auction. Webstrips are being sought to help ease the tension with a touch of humor. A forum is running on the “UNSCREWED!” website for constructive discussion. Fans and retailers are invited as well – even if all you can offer is moral support.
You have before you a pair of concerted endeavors to relieve the financial bind so many of “Olney’s Orphans” are finding themselves in. This has truly become an inspiring event, despite its origins in deceit and deception. So many creators are coming together in the name of a good cause. We realize we cannot hope to match penny for penny the massive debt, but we will do what we can.