Wow. That was out of nowhere.
So this means the major news breaking tonight that Jimmy Broxton (in realit the nom de plume of artist James Hodgkins) has been fired or removed from the book and is no longer associated from the project is something we feel we should cover.
Ashes is/was a book from writer Alex De Campi and artist Jimmy Broxton that raised $32,000 through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter – full details here.
This is all from James Hodgkins’ Facebook stream earlier tonight, presented without comment on the specific case:
“BREAKING NEWS: Jimmy Broxton has been fired, and his services are no longer required on the Ashes Kickstarter graphic novel project. This has come as a bolt out of the blue, you will be hearing a lot about this, but you heard it here first. Blimey….”
And later on in the comments, a little more from James:
“Hi all, I’m sorry this is not a joke, Jimmy (you all know who he really is) has been fired, and will be replaced on the book, naturally I’m not at all happy about this, but I have no control. I have posted this here on FB to start the process of presenting my (Jimmy’s) side of the story. I sincerely hope it doesn’t get too ugly, but I have to try and protect his reputation. I’m incredibly sorry that this has happened, and feel strongly that a lot of people who have shown tremendous support (to say nothing of actually giving money to pre order the book) are being let down. I acted in good faith, you all acted in good faith, this is a mess, make no mistake. Jimmy worked for 6 months off and on (unpaid) preparing the project, and he has not, and will now not receive a penny of the $32,000 raised a s part of the Kickstarter campaign. I hope to be able to offer more information soon, I’m waiting to hear from Kickstarter themselves, I only found out about this a few hours ago. Please feel free to contact me privately, I can say more off the record. Thanks all.”
And further on, text from the Ashes Kickstarter Updates page posted in the Comments of James’ Facebook (Updates from Kickstarter are only visible to backers):
“Update #14: A Major Change for Ashes
For backers only, Posted 15 minutes ago
Hey, Ashkickers. Alex here. I’m sending this update out because I want you to find out from me rather than social networks and/or news sites.
It’s been a hellacious week. Jimmy and I have had an irreconcileable split over creative differences, with the result that yesterday evening I asked him to leave Ashes. I have no desire to hang out dirty laundry in public so I hope you don’t mind if I leave the explanation at that.
Where does that leave you and me? Well, I’d appreciate if you can give me a couple weeks to look for a new artist. I have been struggling to get this book made for five years, and although this is a heartbreaking, devastating setback for me, it is not the end.
If you only pledged for the book because of Jimmy, or if this announcement otherwise colours your desire for the book, please contact me to say so on firstname.lastname@example.org with your kickstarter backer name and I will refund your pledge immediately and in full.
Likewise, once I find a new artist, if his or her work is not a style you like, you may also contact me and be immediately refunded for your pledge.
Folks, I am so committed to making this book. I am so sorry for this drama, and I hope you will find it in your heart to bear with me for a little longer while I straighten this out. Please be aware that the money you have pledged is still YOUR money (none of it was ever going to me anyway, it was all for art and print/reward fulfilment) and I will be respectful of your wishes as to where it will go.
Once again, please accept my apologies for this disruption in plans. I wish it did not have to be so.
And a final response from James:
“Gary, it does hurt my feelings, as I have done nothing wrong, all I have done is work my ass off for 6 months, for no pay, only to be fired once the money is in the bank, because I’m told “I’m impossible to work with” by the writer (but not so impossible that I can’t help to raise $32,000), I have not received a penny, I need to consider my legal position, please be aware, I did not walk, I was fired, and not asked to leave as the writer states, asking implies a choice, I was left with no choice. This is not good, but the situation is not of my making, I hope folks believe me.”
Gosh. Not good. Not good at all. This looks like being one of those things that will drag on and on, serving no good to anyone.
It does raise several problems regarding Kickstarter and such fundraising ventures if it involves more than a single person raising funds, and the importance of getting everything locked in tight on contracts foreseeing every possible circumstance. Obviously more on this as it develops.