Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Rick Olney’s at it again.  Because I’m convinced this vile person
gets some perverse pleasure from his name being mentioned in even
the most unflattering of terms, I hate writing about him.  But, in
a comics community that includes too many good and trusting souls,
guys like him have to be exposed.

I’ve been writing about Olney for several years, but I don’t need
to refresh your memories as to his many past assaults on comicdom.
You can learn everything you need to know about him by just doing
a Google search on him.  I can pretty much guarantee that you will
be horrified by what you find.  He’s been doing bad stuff for too
long and people haven’t been shy about reporting it.

Google Rick Olney.  In fact, do Google searches on anyone who wants
something from you or to do business with you or who seems to be
offering you the opportunity of a lifetime.  Now that we live in an
era where such information is found easily, doing Google searches
should be considered simple due diligence for anyone who considers
themselves a comics industry professional.  I have dodged several
bullets through such due diligence.

Olney currently claims he will be putting on a comics convention on
Veterans Day weekend.  It’s called the Adirondack ComicFest.  He’s
constantly changing the details of this almost certainly imaginary
event, but his claims have included partners he’s never identified;
charities that have not given him permission to use their names and
good reputations; and, of course, the usual threats to sue those of us
who warn prospective guests about Olney’s past transgressions. 

Digression.  I never kept track of when Olney first threatened me
with legal action or physical violence, but in all the years that
he’s being making these threats, he’s never been able to pull the
trigger on either threat.  There’s two reasons for this. One, he has
no legal representation; he’s lost a number of lawsuits with nary an
attorney in sight. Two, he has no balls.  He’s a bullying coward.
I stopped being afraid of his kind in grade school.

End of digression.

Olney has signed several guests to his alleged convention.  He had
them sign a contract he found online and which he tried to alter to
fit his needs.  It’s a contract created by a band for the venues in
which they perform.  It’s almost totally one-sided in favor of the
band. There are no penalties if the band fails to live up to its
various obligations.  The only obligations carrying any weight are
those of the venue to the band.  The band can pretty much walk away
when they choose. Surprise, surprise, as some of Olney’s announced
guests learned more about his past, they canceled their appearances
at his imaginary convention.

Equally imaginary is the company/corporation/organization/whatever
which is named in these contracts.  Just as no one has been able to
find any evidence of Olney’s partners in this convention, there is
no evidence that Olney’s supposed company - one of its recent names
was “Adirondack, LLC” - actually exists.  There is no record of any
filing for the company within the state of New York.

In typical Olney fashion, he has refused to remove from his guest
list those who have canceled their appearance.  He’s trying to use
their good names and reputations to lure others into his imaginary
convention.  However, given the contract itself, the dubious status
of the alleged organization running the event, and the likelihood
that Olney still doesn’t have any actual legal representation, the
guests are not only within their rights to withdraw from the event
but risk no penalties for doing so.

Rick Olney.  Legal genius.

By the way, lest my readers assume I make any claim to such legal
genius, let me set me you straight.  Some of the guests and some of
us who warn folks about Olney have had these contracts evaluated by
actual lawyers.  What I’ve reported above is based on the summaries
we’ve received from these good people.

How is Olney recruiting guests for this alleged event?

Olney is offering his guests a sometimes hefty appearance fee along
with airfare, hotel, and meals.  It would be a good deal for these
guests if Olney’s long and unpleasant history didn’t put the smart
money on his inability or unwillingness to deliver on his promises.
His debts are considerable and he expresses no sincere interest in
paying these debts.  Indeed, he often mocks those to whom he owes
money, even when they’ve won judgments against him. 

Olney is also appealing to the desire of his guests to do something
for our military veterans.  However, as with previous Olney events,
real and imagined, he doesn’t contact legitimate charities to get
their permission to raise money for them nor is there any evidence
that the various charities, whose good names and reputations he has
used, have ever received money from him.  In the case of this new
convention, he’s named several veterans organizations as recipients
of his largess.  So far, not one has verified that he has contacted
them or that they have given him permission to use their names and
symbols.  He currently claims his event will benefit “non-specific”
veterans charities.  I’m not buying it.  Are you?

At this time, the venue where Olney claims his convention will take
place doesn’t show his event on their calendar, though there is one
conference room booked for one evening of the alleged convention at
another venue and by a different company name: Olney Enterprises.
More reasons to be wary.

I’ll end by repeating a warning I’ve given often:

If you’re approached by Rick Olney or a representative of this man,
if you are approached by Olney or anyone else representing entities
known as The Mighty Mini-Con, TightLip Entertainment, ORCA, or any
other Olney event or organization named in this blog, I strongly urge you
to run in the other direction.

Run like the very wind.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. Well said, Tony. As someone who made the mistake of attending one of this man's conventions, I will state for the record, it was the ONLY such event where I regretted attending and wish I'd never even HEARD of the organizer.


  2. It is fascinating that Olney can still get anyone to 'guest' at his conventions

  3. Here's a good alternative for anyone interested in attending a comic book show in the Adirondack region: http://www.albanycomicbookshow.com

  4. Interesting read. I can see you're very passionate when speaking/writing about Rick Olney. As a reader of your blog I would be interested in reading how he wrong you, if you wanted to share.

  5. I can't say he wronged me as much as annoyed me. I was also a guest at the show Gail mentioned. I had a great time that weekend and it had nothing to do with the show per se. I made the trip with my son, got to introduce him to industry friends of mine, and then took him to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Olney promised me mileage and motel. I don't know who paid for my motel, but it wasn't me. When I saw how lousy the attendance at the show was, I told him to donate my mileage money to the charity (St. Jude's) he falsely claimed to be raising funds for. I also donated auction items for the charity. Neither the mileage money nor whatever the auction items brought was even donated to St. Jude's. They never heard of Olney.

    No, what has me determined to put Olney out of business is the way he's cheated and abused so many comics people over the years. His legal and physical threats against me are utterly meaningless to me.

    I don't believe comics people should stand idle when a blight like Olney cheats and insults our fellows...and I'm acting on that belief.

  6. Thanks for sharing. He certainly sounds sleezy. If I ever see is name appear north of border, I'll sound the alarm.

  7. I followed the Rick Olney debacle closely after discovering Gail Simone's mammoth (and by turns maddening and hilarious) "Rick Olney--Fibber or Mega-Giganta-Fibber?" thread at CBR (started five years ago, if I'm not mistaken). After the first year or so of following the drama I assumed Gail and Tony and the other members of the Olney Crusade were on the verge of rendering the miserable little rat inert, so I left the theater early, so to speak. Shows you what I knew.

  8. It amazes me that Olney keeps trying to stage a "comeback." Without making the slightest effort to do right by the people he wronged. Maybe he figures he can outlast us, but the Internet is forever. :)

  9. It may help you to know, Tony, that my friends who work in the comics biz (like Dan Parent) have told me they know to steer clear of Olney thanks to you personally, so keep up the good work.

  10. Thanks, John. I'm hardly alone in this effort (Gail Simone deserves huge props), but I'm happy whenever I hear our work is paying off. As for Dan, he does great comics. I'm looking forward to meeting him at Mid-Ohio-Con.