Pat Lee Returns With Widow Warrior From Dynamite. Yes, That Pat Lee.

I didn’t think I’d see the day.

Pat Lee, the man who used Alex Milne and others to ghost artwork for him, denied to publishers that he was using him and then, when discovered, chose not to pay Alex Milne for publishing Cyberforce and Superman/Batman pages.

Pat Lee, the man who with brother Roger Lee,  put Dreamwave Productions into receivership, but not before diverting income and assets to his new company Dream Engine, and making sure his parents were paid for their investments – left owing tens of thousands to individual creators each.

Pat Lee, who then did pretty much the same thing with his followup company Dream Engine.

Pat Lee who then left for Hong Kong.

Pat Lee, while all the time, ran websites spouting the concepts and ideals of personal integrity.

He’s back with a new series coming from Dynamite Entertainment.

And you know I have to question Dynamite’s judgment here. I know they are after market share, and bringing on projects that get people excited. But in this case excitement could take the form of crowds with torches and pitchforks.

Dynamite have had success rehabilitating the Dabels back into the comic industry, by taking on certain debts and serving as publisher for the controversial pair. It’s quite possible they could do the same here. But there’s a hell of a lot of debt, well into six figures, just to comic creators alone. The press release for the project describes it;

Written by Lloyd Chao and drawn by Pat Lee, Widow Warriors is a full color series that will be released by Dynamite Entertainment!  Based on the popular Chinese legend Women Warriors of the Yang Family, Widow Warriors takes place during the reign of Emperor Song Ren Zhong  (AD 1022-1064), a powerful barbarian tribe invaded the western territories of the Chinese Empire.  A brave clan of generals, the Yang, and their men fought bravely, but were massacred by the invaders.  Unable to convince the Emperor to send reinforcements, the widows of the family, also trained warriors, took it upon themselves, journeying west on a perilous mission to avenge the deaths of their loved ones and save a nation.

“I was pretty thrilled to be able to collaborate with a Chinese and international team on Widow Warriors, my first comic series after several years,” says Pat Lee.  ”The original story is so rich with historical characters that it was a real challenge to filter it down into an American comic format.   I wanted to blend my comic style with the richness we find in historic Asian art and culture, and we are pretty happy with the end result.  We are going to turn Widow Warriors into a film next, and I think a lot of the panels already have a cinematic feel to them.”

“Pat has grown as an artist, and we’re proud to be working with him on this project.  Looking at the art, you can see the depth he’s added since the beginning of his career.  We’re proud to be working with Pat on this project, and hope that this is the first of many projects together.” states Dynamite President Nick Barrucci.

I have to say I’m shocked and stunned. And I doubt I’m the only one. I covered the Pat Lee story intensively at Lying In The Gutters, he became a bit of a bete noire for me, so I may well still be biased. But damn.

Here’s some light reading for anyone who wants a quick catch up.

First rumours of Pat Lee’s “ghosts” begin to emerge.

More ghost allegations.

Creators started to sue Dreamwave for non payment.

Pat Lee removes Wiki evidence for non-payment of creators.

Rumours of Dreamwave closure circulate.

Evidence of the Dreamwave/Dream Engine crossover for paying work.

As Alex Segura Jr conducted a puff piece interview on Pat Lee for Newsarama, I ran the full list of creditors owed by Dream Engine in the bankruptcy, companies and individuals.

A proto-fisking of the Newsarama piece.

The big pre-bankruptcy Dreamwave article, as Pat Lee tells employees that they are going into receivership and that Lee is moving as much income as he can into new company Dream Engine so as to protect it from, well, people he owes money to including the outspoken John Ney Reiber.

Dream Engine sets up shop.

Pat Lee sends out a very strange letter from a non existent Dreamwave department announcing that Dreamwave is going into receivership. Creators Adam Patyk and James Donagh advise creators of legal options.

Simon Furman goes to town on money owed to him by Pat Lee and how he feels personally betrayed.

Taking the piss out of the Dream Engine site.

Creators scrabble for any payment in the Dreamwave bankruptcy proceedings.

Pat Lee drives round Toronto in his Dreamwave Porsche.

Exposure of Alex Milne ghosting for Pat Lee.

Pat Lee not paying Alex Milne for his ghosting.

Alex Milne confirming his ghosting for Pat and non-payment for Image and DC work.

Pat Lee moves into his new deluxe apartment.

Wikipedia edits over owed artists.

Dream Engine begins to collapse, artists start not to get paid.

Pat Lee runs to Hong Kong and sets up Pat Lee Productions.

Pat Lee returns to American comics at Dynamite Entertainment. Oh, that’s this article. Anyway, you’re all caught up.