Comics Creators Hit Out Against Indie Pub Ghosting Them


Freelance comic book writers and artists have accused publisher Scout Comics of not paying them for their work, in some cases not doing so (or communicating with them) for a year or more.

It all started when Jarred Luján, co-creator of the 2023 one-shot All the Devil Are Here, took to social media to claim he “got screwed” by Scout, and advised newer creators stay away from the company. In his Twitter thread, he alleges he hasn’t been paid for his work in “over a year,”and that he was met with hostility when he tried to get to the bottom of it. “The editorial director implied we’d be blacklisted for complaining,” said Luján, “[and the] CEO came in acting like he’d help and now he’s ghosting us too. If it’s like that at the top, you know why everything else sucks.”

After Luján’s thread, other creators chimed in with their own Scout experiences. Several, such as artist Christian DiBari and writer Brian Wickman, said their respective books ended because of similarly sour deals with Scout. DiBari revealed that he and other creators were met with unspecified “bullshit threats” from the publisher in 2021, and called them “the biggest scam going in terms of a publisher.” Matthew Erman, who co-created Long Lost with Lisa Sterle, revealed the duo managed to get their contract with Scout terminated, implying that process was an entire ordeal.

“[Scout] did the same to us on our titles too,” said Kiyarn Taghan, who co-created Tales Told in Technicolor Horror with DiBari. “[They] refused to cancel contracts and willingly sat on stock refusing to sell it and even removed it from the store. So bizarre. None of them know what they’re doing.”

For its part, Scout released a statement days after the initial allegations, stating it took full responsibility, stating it all stemmed from “internal miscommunication. We dropped the ball by failing to respond in a timely matter.” At the same time it acknowledged its “missteps,” it simultaneously argued “very few” creators had reached out with concerns. For those who wanted to voice concerns, it directed them to company COO Lesa Miller.

Scout’s statement is somewhat betrayed, however, by the fact that it turned off replies for this statement on Twitter and Facebook. Further, these problems appear to go back a while: Wickman’s Grit wrapped up after three issues in 2020, and he said Scout’s behavior are why him and artist Kevin Castanero “opted to call it quits” on the book. Luján also took Scout to task, pointing out that in his instance, CEO Brendan Deneen, Miller, and other executives were in “the same email chain across six months. […] I don’t need to be pissed on and told its rain.”

Speaking to Popverse, Deneen told the outlet it was working on an “amicable solution” with Luján. Their publishing contract is to be dissolved, though Luján said he won’t believe it “until the money deposits and the paperwork is signed.”

[via Popverse]

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