I’ve never objected to paying my taxes, and I do not object to owing the government money at the end of a year (which I probably will this year). What I do object to is former employers submitting their taxes late, never giving me my T-4 slip, and claiming they paid me more than they actually did, causing my taxes to be reassessed with higher wages earned, lower taxes paid and then dropping a slew of interest charges on top of it, meaning I have to dispute with RevCan how much exactly I paid and got paid a few years back with no paperwork to back it up save for sketchy (and moldy, thanks to the basement flood) bank deposit records.
She’s screwed me again, my ex-boss has. For a year in which I survived by being in debt making a paltry allowance, I now have to pay even more for. There goes my England trip money. Sonuvabitch.
My only hope is that RevCan audits their books and sees that nothing is really very copacetic..
In other equally unhappy news, local comics publisher Speakeasy Comics is closing its doors effective immediately.
As a comics fan, a Canadian, and a semi-pro comics reviewer, I certainly appreciated Toronto-based Speakeasy as a company and its output, even if I was mixed on the majority of the titles they published. What Publisher Adam Fortier was trying to do was admirable, respectable, but, invariably, somewhat flawed.
I got the chance to sit down with Adam for an interview last summer, and he’s an incredibly intelligent, personable and knowledgable man. We had a great conversation if it became only a relatively good published interview (which was pushed out the door a month later and a lot of information was already outdated). I kept on top of Speakeasy, and felt even a sort of allegience to the company, to try out the books even if I didn’t like them (which, to be honest, I rarely did).
Adam was running both Speakeasy and a production arm called “Hawkes Studios” which was responsible for the titles “The Grimoire”, “Beowulf” and “Spellgame”, and in late ‘05 he announced a deal with Adustry Entertainment that would change the face of Speakeasy’s operation as well as secure its future. The problem was that the deal never happened, unbeknownst to most until now.
It was this, coupled with low sales, too much output too soon, long delays between issues, and, as Warren Ellis pointed out on his “Bad Signal” mailing list, a sorry effort at marketing that combined to signal the end. The books, unless you were following closely, were rarely advertised or announced, and they hit the stands relatively undistinguished from all the other titles available.
It’s sad to me mostly because of my conversation with Adam. I have a pretty good sense of what he’s like as both a person and a businessman and they’re both top notch. Most other things I’ve read about him on-line confirm that (though some do have their druthers). I also knew what Adam was planning for Speakeasy and it would have marked a positive change for the industry, in terms of creator rights and equity, exposure, integration with digital distribution, and the potential for cross-media endeavours. I also knew a lot of projects in the pipeline that were leaps and bounds above the bulk of what Speakeasy had already published, which hopefully will find homes elsewhere.
Adam has stated he’s taking some time away from the industry (although I highly doubt he’s quitting it altogether), reverting to just being a fan again. It seems the progress he made in terms of creator’s rights were heaviest tax on him, which is unfortunate since they were ultimately philisophically positive, but will now be seen in a negative context by future independant publishers of creator-owned work.
I wish Adam the best and hope to see him around the shops sometime. Geek chat and beer (I’m buying) are a standing offer…