Robot 6

Rick Olney passes away

Rick Olney, the comics advocate, publisher and convention promoter perhaps best known for his public conflicts with creators, passed away Friday at his home in Mohawk, New York. He was 58.

Founder of Organized Readers of Comics Associated (ORCA), Olney became a somewhat-notorious figure in recent years for his dealings as both a publisher and a convention organizer. He was accused by several creators of non-payment for their work for his company TightLip Entertainment, and misleading others about his conventions. No shrinking violet, Olney frequently responded to the claims online with charges of libel and harassment.

Olney, a former Marine and National Guardsman, is survived by his wife Barbara and five children. His funeral was held today in Whitesboro, New York.



I need help reacting to something.

Rick Olney was not a popular figure, and did a lot of things to ensure his bad reputation. But still, in spite of everything it’s hard not to sympathise with someone who lived their last days nigh-universally reviled and deep in debt. For anyone wanting to be glib or leave harsh parting words, try to remember that he leaves behind loved ones who are surely devastated by his death, so perhaps now is the time for compassion rather than recrimination. RIP Rick Olney.

Amen, John.

Rick Olney was nigh-univerally reviled because of his repeated actions over the past 6 years. And he denied being in any debt, claiming that he didn’t owe anyone anything. If the loved ones he left behind want my compassion, they can get it by returning the 250 Indiana Jones maps, which were meant to be sold to benefit disabled military veterans, that Olney has been holding for over a year, to their rightful owner, Matt Busch.
Until then, my response is:

Well said Chace Thibodeaux.

Guess those that were owed money will never get paid now. But then, they weren’t going to get paid by Olney anyway!

Oh… And if you feel the dead shouldn’t be spoken ill of, remember this:

“STEP ELEVEN: Once you are on Olney’s never-ending enemies list, there is no level he won’t stoop
to. He will insult, harass, threaten…he will use racist, homophobic and misogynistic language. He will
issue physical and legal threats. Just last month he posted a smug mocking taunt to a woman who
had stood up to him, over the DEATH OF HER HUSBAND AND CHILD. This is a man who will tell
you endlessly what an honorable Christian man he is. He delighted in telling an artist who trusted
him that he would never be paid, while that man’s angelic baby daughter was in the hospital near
the very end of her too-short life. He will try to embarrass and hurt you for daring to speak out
about his non-payment and bad behavior.”

I think that with his passing that most people will find that there was no money to be had from Rick Olney and that he most likely died poor and pennyless. There are large comic conventions that are not able to make a profit and those that do are in major markets (NYC, San Diego, etc.) and have huge tie ins with movies, games and other things outside comic books. A convention in the Adirondacks or any other part of Upstate NY is not going to make money and sustain itself. I feel bad for the people who got ripped off, but everyone to a certain extent has to realize that there was no way his endeavors were going to get people paid.

As I have told others about Rick’s death, it leaves me feeling very sad. Things obviously did not end on a positive note for him and his reputation in comics. I had really hoped this would have had a happy ending where Rick took a turn and worked hard to correct the mistakes of his past. Still, I feel for his family during this time.

I have to agree with Val Staples. I had my share of harsh words for Rick Olney in the past. But it’s always sad when someone dies with unfulfilled dreams and ambitions. I suspect most of those who were wronged by him have gone on to succeed in their respective fields, and probably no longer need the money he owed them. All the same, it would have been nice to see him at least attempt to make amends. I for one would have forgiven him any money he owed me if I at least knew he was making an honest effort to do the right thing.

Regardless, a man in debt is still a man, and when he dies he leaves behind a grieving family. I doubt my words would mean much to them, but if any members of Rick Olney’s family read this, you have my condolences.

Anyone that followed my early interview career knows I once conducted interviews for Olney via his ORCA site many, many years ago. His dealings with me were always fair (admittedly I never sought money for the interviews, I did them for fun…no really).

Despite my experience with him, almost from the start I encountered industry associates that had been unfairly treated by him, often times outright misled. I have never understood why he did not cross me. But once I realized the long track record of how he had wronged so many, I distanced myself from him. I never spoke badly of him publicly (because I had no firsthand experience) and also I just wanted to stay off his radar.

A year or so back, he started trying to reach me via FB. I ignored him. I will not lie, odds are if I had known he was dying I would have replied. I regret my cowardice, but my life has enough conflict and stress without opening that door. It is a choice I have to accept I made.

His family likely loved and now mourn him despite his faults that likely reared its head at home just as much as it did in the public. To his family I offer my condolences.

To the folks he wronged, I understand and respect your anger.

I respect Val Staples and Wil Radcliff for their restraint, especially considering that they were personally screwed over by Rick Olney, and therefor would have a better reason than anyone to not take the so-called high road in this instant. Nevertheless, death does not erase a man’s misdeeds in life. While a full-scale “Gail Simone”-style thread of insults may not be necessary here, a bunch of people posted “condolences to his family” is still more than he deserves. He got cancer, facing his own mortality, and instead of reflecting on his actions and vowing to do better, he just doubled-down on the scams, denials, and insults. That was his choice. So let him be remembered for that.

And I say this should serve as a warning for the other con-men out there. Let Josh Hoops and Rob Granito see this, and think to themselves: “When I die, do I want to be remembered the way Rick Olney is?” It may be too late for him, but for them, so change your ways.

And second the motion about the Indiana Jones maps, which this “former Marine and National Guardsman” has been holding hostage for over a year.. If his family is reading this, and don’t like people saying bad things about Rick Olney, then correct one of his greatest mistakes, and return them to their rightful owner, so they can sold to benefit our veterans, like they were meant to be.

I never realized who Rick Olney was or what he had done in the past. I had joined his ORCA Facebook Group and there were several supposed giveaways that he did. The reason I say supposed is because, as far as I know, no one ever received anything. Including myself. He was giving away copies of John Byrne’s Trio but I never received my copy.
What’s really interesting is the following post from him which I have copy and pasted here.

“Indiana Jones Limited Edition Signed & Numbered Maps by Artist Matt Busch, gifted to Rick Olney for the purposes of selling to benefit Veteran charity. Original print run was 250. Still plenty available! Limit 2 per customer, first come first serve. cost is $59.95 includes shipping & handling costs, along with signed receipt upon delivery.

As of January 1, 2013 the cost on these maps will increase to $75.00 each.

If interested, email me at:

This was posted on Sept. 24th.

The man obviously wasn’t well mentally, as well as physically. I hope Mr. Busch can get these maps back.

hearing so long about all the evil and how infamous rick is . i have to have sympathy for his family who now are mourning a love one. but also for those he screwed including vets who would have benifited from those inidana johnes map part of me like a lot of those who screwed proably are thinking yey rick now gets to have tea with the devil in hades. but like him or not rick was a human being and leaves behind a legacy of decite but also loved ones who have to learn to go on with out him. even if rick was a nasty con artist

Looks like you’re not alone, MARK S. When it came to promises for “swag” for members of that ORCA Facebook group, Rick Olney had a habit of making promises and failing to deliver:

You are all jerks. Why couldn’t you just leave it all alone. Why is there a need to say anything negative. Not one of you mention that there is always another side to everyone. Rick was a kind man, a good friend to many. IF, and I emphasize IF, his business dealings were not to your standards or liking doesn’t define him as a person. Get a life, be concerned with you and not others and stop trashing people you don’t know. Several of you mention you didn’t know him, had no dealings with him but yet you have to comment. You give condolences and claim to understand his family’s grief but yet you go out of your way to impose your hurt on them. I know his family knows the truth but I’m sure it still hurts to see it in print from you IDIOTS!!!!

Hey Lyn, read about the man who was desperate for money to buy food to feed his children, whom Rick Olney screwed over. There’s your “kind man, a good friend to many”:

Hey Jason

Do you believe everything you read! I certainly don’t because if I did I would believe all the classless comments from all you jerks. Did you even know him? Did you have any dealing with him personally?

Oh, boo hoo, Lynn.

I couldn’t give a rat’s arse re your opinion of the lowlife.

He ripped people off and threatened them with legal action when they tried to get what was owed.

The people who responded above are way classier than you in your defence of someone who has become one of the comic book industries most infamous cautionary tales.

Do you people have anything other to do then bash a dead person?Really!
You all probably have so many stories to share that for some reason you have to shrare it with the world too see..You all must live a very sad life to continue to bash my father..I feel sorry for your mother’s..

Chris Olney: Check the links. Absolutely everything said about your father is well-documented, with links that will show you HIS OWN WORDS.

That he died with at least two legal judgments against him, by artists who sued him for non-payment, that he refused to pay, is a FACT.

That at the time he died, he was still in possession of over 200 special Indiana Jones Maps which were meant to be sold to charity for disabled American veterans, that he had refused to return to their rightful owner (& at one point threatened to burn, just to spite the owner), thereby cheating veterans out of potentially thousands of dollars, is also a FACT.

These are just a few of the many, MANY reasons so few people outside of his immediate family have anything nice to say about him in death. You should be grateful that most people who were directly cheated by him have decided to just say nothing at all, the reaction could be much worse.

Maybe if instead of waiting until almost 5 months after he died to come forward an attack his detractors, you had actually come forward during the last 5 years of his life, while he was busy going online making so many horrible racist, sexist, and homophobic insults at people (all of this is documented), mocking the misery of people that he knew he cheated, as well as threatening dozens of people with fake lawsuits to shut them up, and stood up to HIM, and tried to convince your father to stop and actually try to make good on his debts, then the public reaction to his death would have been more restrained.

But you didn’t. So he gets this reaction when he dies. And this will remain his lasting legacy. Don’t like it? TOO BAD.

Now have a nice life.

Any update on Indiana Jones world map?

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives