Darkzel Petition & Scholarship

Two things.

First, while it has been a couple of years now since my friend Zel’s death (Zachary Harris) the court case around his death rumbles on and compensation relating to it is still being disputed. I’ve done what I can to help by offering my testimony and perspective, but another way in which his family’s lawyers have decided to try and pressure the court (who only want to pay out on a beginning freelancer’s salary) into acknowledging that Zel was a talented young artist with a bright future who could have and would have made a lot more as time went on.

So, that said if you appreciated the art in anything Zel worked on for me (Blood, Cthentacle, Hentacle, Final Straw and others) PLEASE sign the petition to show your support.

That petition can be found HERE.

I would also appreciate support for the DarkZel scholarship, which is my way of honouring Zel’s memory by doing for others what I did for him in helping a bright new talent get through education with a little less trouble and stress. The link to that can be found HERE.

Thank you in advance for your help, and if you are a young artist or an artist living in reduced circumstances, please consider making an entry to win the scholarship yourself.

Public Statement Re: Mongoose

I am disappointed today to discover that Mongoose Publishing, with whom I have had a professional and personal relationship for around a decade, have caved to pressure from a libellous petition against me.

The text of their statement will be appended below.

I am certain there are more people out there who support me and my work, the principles of free expression and who understand satire and comedic exaggeration.

I need your support and I need the support of your friends. I think we should be easily able to outdo the amount of support this person’s petition against me garnered.

Just from amongst my friends, my family, my acquaintances, those who know me to even the slightest degree there should be enough people to make this incident and this woman’s petition look ridiculous. When you include my customers, it should be dwarfed.

I understand you might be afraid of sticking your neck out and being associated with me, purely because of the manner of accusations being made against me. They remain untrue, have never been true and will never be true. So please don’t let that hold you back.

If you need reassurance you know how to contact me. I have tried to be reasonable and open about every aspect of this incident since the start. Not that it has done me any good.

A line has been crossed here and it is a very dangerous one.

Someone has set up a counter-petition in support of me (not the other, silly petition that has also been doing the rounds). You can find it here, please sign.

Counter Petition

Many of you will be aware that over the past couple of days Mongoose has been caught up in a controversy regarding a blog post of a freelancer we once hired.

We would like to make clear that we have, and have not had, any plans to hire this freelancer again for any future projects.

We understand that some people have found his previous material upsetting, despite all intentions for it to be humorous. This book will therefore be allowed to lapse out of print, and we will not actively promote it in any way. It will never be reprinted.

Like other publishers, we have a deep interest in publishing a greater amount of female-positive material, and would welcome any discussion of such on our forums.

There have been a few comments raised about an unfortunate phrase that was chosen for a temporary project title on our forums. It was used without sufficient thought as to its implications beyond a reference to a film. It was immediatly deleted as soon as this was pointed out.

We regret any offence given either in private email by myself or on our forums. Our actions throughout this situation, while obviously not a picture of perfect PR, have nonetheless been motivated by a genuine desire to try to understand the other’s point of view and see if any kind of compromise or reconciliation could be reached. At the end of the day, I am a gamer and ex-computer engineer who has found himself running a company – what I know of PR could be written on a postage stamp. However, as I say, the motives were genuine. 

Finally, it has been reported that some… individuals (I would hesitate to call them people) have been sending threats of violence to others. We have nothing to do with that, condemn it utterly and, frankly, those individuals should be ashamed of themselves. There is nothing big or clever in what you have done.

Matthew Sprange

I Need You: Anti Censorship

This is reaching the proportion of Kafkaesque nonsense. Or possibly life mirrors ART.

I have never condoned or excused rape. I don’t say it’s a good thing. Never have.

I defended its use as a story element and largely because I have been concerned about things being written off on the basis of the character of content, sight unseen and unthinking.

I think anything should potentially be open for dramatic interpretation

Anyway, I would appreciate the assistance of those who know me, who know better, who have actually absorbed what I genuinely think and say to go against this nonsense.

There’s a human rights petition, which would be lol-worthy were they not serious.

Also a poll at Mongoose Publishing.

If people want to calmly and politely ask me about any of these issues and asks in good faith, I’ll happily field your questions and clarifications.