It’s with extreme sadness that I announce that my webcomic, I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space!!!, will be leaving the web in a week. It’s going to be taken down on November 5th. (Edit: to clarify, just this comic is going away. All my other comics are 100% owned by me and will stay up indefinitely. Just LPFOS is going down.)
This is by my own choice, a very difficult choice. As you may or may not know, the rights to LPFOS were bought by Platinum Studios in 2006. In the years since I first became involved with them, more and more of their shady practices have been revealed, to the point where I can’t be involved with them in any capacity anymore. I tried to get the rights back through many different avenues, but there is nothing I can do.
Right now, Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space is one of the comics Platinum is most proud of. They can show it off to investors as a success that they created, despite not doing a thing with the property except for one small print run 6 years ago. I have not seen a dime from them since 2007. Once the initial 6 issues they commissioned were over in 07, I was “allowed” to keep working on the series, which I did because I enjoyed the characters, but I received no payment. I received no support in any other capacity. I built the comic up by myself and with some gracious help from Hiveworks. Platinum Studios did nothing but hold it back. I had plans for a 4th and 5th arc of the comic, but ended the series this past January when I realized things with Platinum would never get better and as much as I loved these characters, I was being taken advantage of by continuing the series.
So I have to take it off the internet. I won’t let my work be used to boost the reputation of this slimy company even a little bit. I’d rather see it disappear. This decision was reached after more than a year of trying to salvage the pieces of this portion of my career, and several fits of crying until I’m too exhausted to get off the couch. I want to give you guys some time to say goodbye to it, read it one more time before it goes away.
I had great plans for it. I was hoping to print three TPBs so people could have the books in print form, and even redrew most of the first six issues in higher quality so the books would look so nice. The image above is one of the new covers I painted for one of the issues in the books. I had a script for an old-timey radio show a la Thrilling Adventure Hour. Oh, and I had a script for a full length stage musical, with a kickass composer lined up. He wrote two songs before everything imploded. These comprise a good half of my “secret projects” for the past two years that I was just itching to tell you all about, waiting for when the time would be right to reveal it. I guess everything comes out at a funeral. Again, all of these things were done without the help of Platinum. I flew out to California in 2011 for a meeting with them about these projects, which they were all gung-ho for when I was there, but once I was back home, all support was cut before it was anything more than a handshake.
I can’t help but feel so foolish. To have sold the rights in the first place, even if I was just a naive kid. To have let them blow smoke up my ass for years. To have ignored the scandals happening all around them, with so many other creators bringing grievances against them. To have continued the series for so long under such circumstances. To have held out hope I would be different and not get bit by this snake.
Young creators, please know that “getting published” is not the be-all-end-all of doing comics. There are so many people in this industry who will take advantage of your eagerness to be a “real comic artist.” Yes, you DO need a lawyer, I don’t care how must you trust that publisher, how big or small. Every contract, every time. Don’t sell something for what you think is a fair price. Know what the fair price is. Know what your value is. Know what the industry standards are. If you can’t get a good deal, don’t take a bad deal and hope for the best. Don’t take a bad deal and tell yourself it’s better than no deal at all. There are so many other avenues.
Well. That’s about it, folks. Thanks for reading, thanks for all the amazing fanart throughout the years, and the cosplay, and the lively discussions. If there’s one thing keeping me from regretting ever creating Susie and the gang, it’s you guys. I will always keep those good memories.