Speakeasy has recently come under much criticism for … oh, a whole laundry list of things. Read my original post at the link for details.
Now Rich Johnston, Speakeasy creator, has interviewed Adam Fortier, Speakeasy publisher, in an attempt to get answers to some of the concerns raised. The piece (link no longer available) starts with a summary of Fortier’s resume, mostly high points and praise. After that, in response to valid questions, the answers are all maybes and “it’s possible… on the other hand” and in short, nothing’s his fault.
Marketing gaps are blamed on Newsarama and Wizard not doing interviews when asked and retailers not responding to mass emails. (Apparently, a general lack of awareness of Speakeasy’s titles is because retailers ignore spam.) Fortier “can’t guarantee coverage” when retailers and fans are “more interested in some [titles] more than others, it’s a simple fact of life”. Well, then, let’s just shrug and move on.
Creators should trust that Speakeasy isn’t going to cut sweetheart deals with partner Ardustry because “It would be the dumbest bloody thing to do,” although being dumb doesn’t seem to have prevented some of their other decisions.
Fortier’s responses aren’t followed up on by the interviewer. What about the perception by creators and readers that Speakeasy is flooding the market with too many titles? That question wasn’t asked. What about poor retailer reaction to the idea of finishing miniseries online? Nope, not that either.
Johnston then goes into a he said/he said between a creator who claims Speakeasy owes his studio $35,000 and Fortier, who says they were late and provided poor quality work. Fortier continues, “When they were fired I told them flat out I was going to use the initial money they were owed to pay the people that I had to bring in to fix all their f*** ups, and they would get paid out of the TPBs as we had agreed upon early on.” Which seems to be an admission that he didn’t pay them what he owed them at the time the work was delivered. Then comes a bit about he’s a standup guy who always pays his debts, yadda yadda, and implications that the people he’s arguing with are hypocrites.
Wasn’t that another of CrossGen’s tactics, calling people names when they asked for payment due?