UPDATE – The check has arrived!
Forgive the repetitive sentences. I wanted to give google enough ammo to find this post. A year, two years, three years or more down the line someone might be thinking of doing work for Chaosium and decide to do a search before agreeing to do the work. If you can think of other search terms just let me know and I’ll be happy to add to list. Feel free to email me anonymously if you want.
I’m writing this mostly as a way of putting this behind me. It’s a new year and I’ve got enough on my plate that I don’t want to spend any more time chasing it. I’d almost rather just forget about it but I feel like if I did I’d be like someone who failed to put a warning sign after he discovered a patch of quicksand.
I turned in the last of my illustrations for Strange Aeons 2 on Halloween 2009. I’d agreed to a reduction in my rates in exchange for Chaosium agreeing to pay me upon completion of the work rather than on publication. We’re now winding down to the end of January 2011, the book has been out since March 2010 and I haven’t been paid. My emails requesting payment or clarification or acknowledgment have, for the most part been ignored. I know they’ve been received. That’s where the “most part” comes from – I’ve gotten responses from other folks at the company, just not Charlie Krank. Charlie is the guy who pays the bills. A fellow contributor to the book handed a copy of a letter from me to Charlie at MythosCon a couple of weeks ago.
This is only partly about the money. Mostly it’s about promises broken and communications ignored. I had a great time doing the illustrations. I wish I could say it wasn’t about the money at all but, until the Evil Socialist Conspiracy takes over, I have to pay attention to things like getting paid.
This was the sixth project I’d done for the company. I’d been looking forward to doing more work. There aren’t a lot of opportunities to do the sort of pulp fiction illustration that role playing games use. By the time I started working on SA2 I’d started hearing stories from other writers and artists, about how they no longer did work for Chaosium because they hadn’t gotten paid. At that point, if I had been smart, I should have at least rethought how I delivered the art. At that point I should have done some more research. I would have found this.
But I didn’t. And now I’m one of many folks that the company has stolen work from. There are other folks who worked on SA2 who are also awaiting payment. I’ll let them name themselves if they feel comfortable.
If Chaosium comes through with what they owe me then I’ll be happy to update this post. Even better, if I start hearing that they are paying off all the other folks they owe money to I’ll do a happy dance and wave a flag. And update this post. For now, however, the sign reads BEWARE! QUICKSAND AHEAD!