Trouble with Comics

My Experience with Rick Olney

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 

The REAL Adirondack Comic Book Show

Please be aware that a rumoured “Adirondack ComicFest” is bad news, and Google its “organizer” Rick Olney for all the details on why. I live in the foothills of the Adirondack region, and as a resident it really grinds my gears to see Olney trying to ply his toxic wares in my backyard (literally; I can see the Adirondacks from my backyard). Tony Isabella often reminds people of why they should shun Olney and his many various fictional “shows” and “companies,” and his column today prompted me to add my voice to the choir, with a far better idea for anyone interested in comics that might have been sucked in to Olney’s latest scam.

You might consider attending the REAL comic book show of the Adirondack region, the Albany Comic Con. It’s run by honest people that I have personally dealt with for years, and features great guests twice a year, including Fred Hembeck, Joe Staton, Matt Smith, Ron Marz, Joe Sinnott, and this fall, Jim Starlin. Folks like Staton and Hembeck have attended twice a year for years now, so I assume they get paid and are happy with the show, unlike many people who have been victimized by Rick Olney in the past. I write this now in the hopes of preventing future pain to people who love comics. So forget Olney’s latest scheme and plan to attend the Albany Comic Con this October. Details are here:

The Albany Comic Con is only an hour or so from the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Park, so anyone who had been excited about Olney’s show before finding out the truth about him might want to consider coming to the October Albany Comic Con. Please note that the show is an occasional advertiser on this site, but even if they weren’t, I would urge you to attend because it’s a great show, a good time and a wonderful chance to see all the comics-oriented people in the upstate New York/Adirondack region; and I would still urge you to avoid anything at all that is connected in any way to Rick Olney.

Alan David Doane