Comic book colourist Rachelle Rosenberg has won a court judgement for $3530 against Devil’s Due Publishing. She wrote about the process here, but the news today is that, after travelling to Chicago for the hearing, the judge ruled in her favour
Bleeding Cool has covered Devil’s Due’s publishing woes extensively and while many people have resigned to waiting for ages for payment, or kissing it goodbye for good, Rosenberg doesn’t seem to be one of them.
There are those who think that if they cause a fuss or cause a scene, then they won’t get work. Rosenberg is proof that this is not the case, currently working on Cars for Boom! Studios.
UPDATE: Rosenberg writes for Bleeding Cool.
Well, I sued DDP. I have worked for them for the last year on titles such as, Barack the Barbarian, H/S Entry Wound and H/S Covers, and Spartacus. The money owed was for 6 H/S covers and two full issues of Barack, as well as, royalties due on the first two issues of Barack.
When I first started working for DDP, I heard the rumors. The rumors that they were “late” with payments or didn’t pay, or that they were going out of business. I still took the jobs, thinking, I would be that “one”, that they did pay. During that time, I was always asking when payment was coming and at the end of the year, I contacted Tom Stillwell with Unscrewed and he help me set up a game plan to get my money. At the beginning of the year I sent a notarized and certified letter to DDP, stating what they owed me and that they had 30 days to get funds or work out a payment plan with me. As soon as DDP received the letter, I got an email from Josh Blaylock, reminding me about their financial problems and issues with Diamond. I suggested a payment plan, since I wanted to work with DDP, but Josh said “I understand the request for a payment plan – our challenge is that there are over 50 people like yourself and sending out even $50 a month requires thousands of dollars. “.
As much as I understand everyone’s financial issues, at the same time, my contract with them does not stipulate that if DDP does not make any money or HAVE any money, that I do not get paid. I get paid based on the fact that I complete the work and that I do it in a timely manner. I had no choice but to file suit against them.
I came fully prepared to court. I had letters from both my editors on Hack/Slash and Barack the Barbarian. Both letters stated that I did the work and that I did it well and in a professional manner. and always completing it on time. Jim Lowder, the editor on Hack/Slash also addressed the court in his letter by saying “I can cite no cause stemming from her [Rachelle's] behavior or the quality of her work that would support Devil’s Due delaying or denying payment of contractually promised fees”. I also had all my vouchers with emails on when they were sent into DDP, as well as emails back and forth between Josh and I with the excuses I received on why I was not being paid. Even with all the preparation I made to present my case, Josh did not even show. Although he did file an appearance. The judge ruled in my favor.
I can’t say that it was the easiest thing I’ve done in this business. I was definitely scared, but I keep hearing these horror stories about how frustrated freelancers get from being owed thousands, so they just quit! I love my job, and I don’t ever want to get to the point where I’m frustrated enough that I want to quit. So with some friend’s advice and help, I took a stand. DDP isn’t the only publisher struggling to make payments. Zenescope owes me thousands of dollars, as well. I just don’t think this kind of behavior toward creators and freelancers is fair and it shouldn’t be okay.