I recently warned readers about avoiding an Adirondacks-based comic books show being organized by the comic show organizer wannabe Rick Olney. It occurs to me that I should put my own Olney story out there so you know why I personally don’t trust or believe in the man. If you Google his name, you will find many stories worse than mine, from real people who suffered real injury to their ability to feed their families because of his alleged business practices.
My very first exposure to Rick Olney was an online screed he wrote about me (now apparently removed from the internet) deliberately snubbing him at the 2003 Mighty Mini-Con in upstate New York (one of the few Olney-organized shows he DIDN’T have to cancel, before word had gotten out about his true nature). He made a huge deal out of the fact that I went to the show, which is true enough; I was there with my family, interested in exactly three things, meeting comics writer Tony Isabella in person (here’s his 2003 account of the show), buying comics, and having a nice day trip for my family. What rankled Olney was the fact that I did not have the decency to introduce myself to him. Of course, I only even knew who Olney was after he wrote his outraged screed; I had no idea who was running the show and was a paying guest (four, actually, counting the wife and kids). I had never heard of Rick Olney (if only I could say that today!). It was one hell of a way to be introduced to the guy, and I have been extraordinarily leery of him ever since. Since we are both in upstate New York, he later tried to get me to endorse his efforts, the most recent time trying (to the point of aggravation, after I had said no multiple times) to pay me to line up guests for his convention, even going so far as to admit that he couldn’t do it himself because of his reputation, but realizing neither the irony involved there, or the fact that, whatever reputation I have, I didn’t want it soiled by associating with him and his notorious shenanigans.
For more information, read Tony Isabella’s recent post about Rick Olney. And remember, if you’re interested in attending a comic book show in the Adirondack region, The Albany Comic Con is a great show run by ethical people, a terrific alternative to Rick Olney’s “Adirondack ComicFest,” which, even if it comes off, is already tainted by accusations of questionable charity associations, and by Rick Olney’s well-deserved reputation as a shady character.
— Alan David Doane