Thursday, May 29, 2014

No Credit NO problem How i got burried for my Chemical romance work.

Almost nobody knows that in 2009 I was called to work on the My Chemical Romance project "killjoys" there was no title or anything yet. I ended up doing a lot of storyboard work, working out a pace and a story for a video off a track (that never actually happened) and mainly design things.
What nobody knows is that among other stuff I came up with the design for the Laser Guns used in the video and everywhere else.
 I poured my everything in that work and around the end of 2009 if I remember correctly I got a call from Gerard elling me that the project is in infinite hold and that they fired Bob their drummer. (also the vid I was working on was pretty much STYLO from Gorillaz, so that might have played part too)

some of my designs, the bottom one was the one they went with.
and above, Gerard's drawings and product.

NOW, being that I was called to work on the project not by the company but from Gerard Way himself , and relying on the fact that we were in a friendly type basis , we had exchanged emails phone numbers and hanged out on multiple occasions , I took for granted that me and my ideas were "safe" .
Time passes with no word of the record/project/anything and in the summer of 2010 I get word from a friend that "my video was out" I was in China at that point, trekking mountains that no whitey has seen before and it took me some time to get around some internet and around that stupid Chinese "no google" wall thing. I saw the video with what it looked like my guns, and my costume designs. I was REALLY happy but kinda bummed that I had to find out that something so awesome that I helped create was out.
Note that in the developing stages I was assured that"my designs are awesome" and "people are going to see these" Hell , I thought due to the climate of me being at the studio in 09 that some sort of deluxe version will have my stuff printed in the booklet.
So I did what every artist would do, I googled my name to see what's up. What was up was no mention of me or anything. What I found out from interviews was that Gerard and Colleen Atwood did everything. According to an interview with Way , they went to a thrift store and made with what was available there.
And according to later interviews (easy to google) Way says he designed the guns too. It's all him he states. Great.
I was too sad to be upset. And when I became upset I was too furious to do anything. What are you supposed to do? Send this guy an email? Say what? The obvious? Tell the internet? I don't want to be on the receiving end of bully teenagers with too much time on their keyboards.
Who gives a fuck about the whiner right? These guys where making merch of my gun designs and I had to make a huge stink with some lawyer woman about at least getting paid for some of the shirts.
I signed some crappy paper, took 500 bucks for each of 3 shirts (note that the company printed more than 3 off my gun designs and there was a game of hide ans seek where some of the older shirts magically dropped off the website after my inquieries) and I shut the fuck up , boiling in my juices trying to be cool about it.
You have to understand that I worked my life and my ass off to get into the comics industry, so the last thing I wanted was to be "that guy".
But I AM that guy, and years after the fact I see my designs on youtube, in comics, and in random things I am still very VERY pissed off, about the fact that my designs were cool enough to be used, but too cool for me to take any credit.
One of my Jacket designs, as you can see every major cut and line was kept.
on the back you see the word "patch" as I suggested there should be a pill like Kaneda's jacket , or a goat head. (see gun handle)

Some of the color tests I did for my favorite design. As you can see yet again all the major elements were kept intact.Note the color scheme ans the sleeve cut. the high diagonal on the bicep and the long end of the sleeve among all the other elements, like the zipper that rides really high close to the elbow on the back of the sleeve.
Gerards' drawing and the finished product.
My initial sketch for Frank's outfit, my words were "think Yamagata from Akira a vest and some tights underneath"
Gerard's design and final product.

Some of my designs for the girl. My initial notes were "she has curly hair" That was it. Yet again all the main lines were kept intact, if you looka t the ski vest and the rainbow note.

Since this was supposed to be in the desert I had an idea of "desert breathing scarves" that also made it in the final product and were made into merch.
Pants and boots.

I remember showing Gerard my pages of my Hat's comic where a guy is walking in a city full of normal humans and he is wearing an oversized cat head as a space helmet like this one. I will find that page (2009 is a long time ago) and I will update.

How would you feel brother/brotherette? Does it feel good? Is it okay to pull shit like this? Is it "forgivable"? I got paid 1500 for all of my work seen here. So you know I did not do it for the money. In my head it was a cool project to mash up Akira with Tank Girl and Mad Max. And I wanted to be recognized for my awesomeness . I could have gone with no pay and just the credit, because this was something really cool looking that would get me some serious biz . I actually went a bought the record in hopes that I would get a "thanks" like when bands list 100 people for pretty much anything , I felt like I was being hidden away for some reason.

Bottom line... WHY THE FUCK? The emotional stress of this thing over the last couple of years was way too much fuck this, and fuck everybody that thinks it's cool to pull shit like this.
Most of my designs are up on flickr for a long long time.
The complete storyboards are up there too along side a lot of designs and characters.


  1. :C
    fuck man this IS enraging...

  2. It's such a shame you have to feel bad about wanting credit for what you've worked towards and it's absolute bollocks. I was a massive fan of the whole look when it all got released. I hope you get something sorted and at least proper recognition.

  3. Anonymous10:37 AM

    I was a huge fan of the aesthetic and concept when the videos were released, and I even added you on facebook at the time after I found your albums on flickr via google. I recognised some of your pictures on the booklet, but I never realised it had been done this way and that sucks. I hope you can get this sorted out!

  4. Anonymous11:09 AM

    Fyi, Way does mention your role in the creation of rayguns:
    "...I brought Vasilis Lolos out to work on storyboards with me. He actually conceived the gun ..."

  5. Anonymous12:44 PM

    He did thank you for creating the raygun in twitter back in 2010. but if he did take ideas from you they should have been credited more widely. icky situation

  6. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Wow....i am a huge fan of the band and Gerard &loved the whole look & feel of the record it bums me out if this truly went down this way

  7. Anonymous1:43 PM

    I feel like there was a miscommunication on some end. I dont think gerard is fully to blame. That being said I would be as pissed as you if I worked that hard and got little to no credit.

  8. Total Bullshit bud.

  9. Hey man, I know it may not be much, but some of those fans know that you're the guy behind the look.

    Last weekend I was selling some of my excess comics at a market, and one teen gal was going to buy Pixu solely because she recognized your name on the cover.

    "He did a ton of stuff for MCR, and MCR is my favorite thing ever."

    That filled me with a lot of pride, 'cause you've been one of my favorite guys since I was in high school. I wish you hadn't been so boned on this one. That's just rough.

  10. Anonymous4:43 PM

    I'm a big fan of MCR and Gerard Way's work, but that doesn't make me blind to this kind of stuff and I hope that other fans of the album and the band will be able to recognise that this isn't right.

    But... no matter how believable this shit is, it's still money/pride based. That's where this stuff gets dodgy and where it starts getting unbelievable. Anybody who's smart enough will be able to recognise that. You're shovelling yourself into shit man.. AND GOOD LUCK WITH THAT SHIT TOO!

  11. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Dude, that sucks major ass. That would rip me up until I got satisfaction for this major offence. I didn't know anything about you until now. I'll be supporting your work from now on. Name's Ben, by the way. Keep on doing what you're doing, home boy.

  12. Lilybell7:08 PM

    Aww man...I had no idea about any of this. It really bums me out. I have always been a MCR fan but Danger Days made them huge for me. It was what got me into reading Way's comics and respecting him as more then a singer but a artist. So to find out it was not his work and he did not give credit...just really makes me rethink my whole perception of them. And that sucks. I'm so sorry you are getting screwed out of credit. I sincerely hope you all can work something out so you can get some closure. Good luck man.

  13. Anonymous7:41 AM

    I remember seeing some of these drawings on your DeviantArt shortly after Danger Days came out and thinking they were incredible. I had really hoped that you were going to be the one creating the comic, and I had always looked for a source for your concept artwork somewhere through the MCR official loop--I had only found them buy searching keywords on DA. The MCR fanbase is unfortunately rabid when it comes to defending the band members at all costs, but it is very clear that you are responsible for so much of the work put into the Danger Days project.

    I hope that your pursuit of justice isn't dampened by the band no longer being together, and I hope you can gain some legal settlement for merch profits made on a lot of the older shirts that ran DD images connected to your designs on them.

    Really disappointing to read about all of this stolen work, but unfortunately I'm not surprised, either.

    1. these are not the comments I was expecting.

  14. This douche bag fucked me over pretty damn bad. You can read all about it in Bloody Disgusting. I know all about being attacked enmasse by a bunch of whinny teenagers who don't know shit about their "hero" in real life.

    Sorry to see he fucked loads of people besides myself, but then, that's what assholes do, they shit all over everyone.

    Hart D. Fisher

    1. Anonymous10:33 PM

      I wish I had seen your story years ago. I can't believe I respected and admired this jerk for so long. BTW I'm so sorry about all the fans that attacked you, your company and wife. I thought the fan base was better then that but I was so so so wrong.

    2. Anonymous7:15 PM

      Just out of curiosity, how long before Black Parade (concept album about someone with cancer) did you get into contact with Gerard? After this BS, you see why I wonder.

  15. Anonymous10:22 AM

    well, that sucks. MCR have been my whole life for some time, and helped me through so much, but seeing sh*t like this just makes me want to throw myself out of the window.

    Gerard used to be my hero, but after reading this and Hart D. Fisher's interview over there, I don't even know anymore.

    I really hope this somehow reaches Gerard and he gives the proper credits to you guys who undoubtedly deserve the recognition, and I've never been so disappointed in my life. Or so angry.

  16. Anonymous12:06 AM

    Can I ask you: why are you telling this now? Why you didn't this 2010?

    1. Better late than never.
      Why did Woody Allen's daughter came out now?
      Why not?

  17. Because it would not go away, only got worse.

  18. I am extremly saddened by this.
    First of all, I like to think of my self as a normal mcr fan. Discovered them in 2004, loved their albums, and althoug DD was not my favorite, I still enjoyed the fact that they had put a lot of ideas and concepts to the album.
    To be honest, I rarely check on the drama that is always going on with them, but by randomly searching MCR on tumblr, I found out of this. I was not aware that other people had worked in the art(not even in interviews), and most of all I was completly UNAWARE that the designs were made by other person than Gerard Way. This is really disrespectful to you as an artist, but also to the fans who've always believed in them and. To me, GW doing the art or not, would not have changed anything about the album. I enjoyed the Umbrella Academy comic book, and though that the story line was neat, he obviously can write and from randon drawings I've seen, he can obviously draw.
    I don't think anyone would have find 'stupid' for MCR to hire an artist to make the visuals of the album, actually, if your name had been made public in the interviews, they would have actually earnt more respect from the artist community.
    I do however, take into consideration that all the blame should not be thrown at GW, but also the rest of MCR(and whoever else was involved in the creation of the DD album), because I am pretty sure that as a part of the band they were at least informed as to where did the concepts come from.
    In my eyes, unnecesary. Stupid even.
    It will definitly change my views on them. They were never my heroes, but I respected them as the creators of music I still love. I always liked to respect their private life, thus did not get myself involved in the mcrmy rage that happened in the TBP era(who doesn't remember?). But this piece of information should be made known to everyone. Whoever you are, you cannot steal from another artist.
    At this point, with millions earnt with your art, I think an apology would not be enough, but it would be a beggining.

    1. This is just a cautionary tale so artists, writers and such , can learn to handle their business better than I did , so they can protect their ideas and not spend years feeling like I do.
      I don't want anything, and I certainly don't want any money or some weak shit like that.

  19. Anonymous7:08 AM

    "I found everything at a thrift store. Ugly things can be beautiful. Im such an artist" sounds a lot better than "I got someone else to design every aspect of this for me, then had everything carefully tailored based on those designs." Im a huge MCR fan, but if Ive noticed anything, its that Gerard attempts to work "as an artist" into everything he says. Giving you credit would ruin that facade hes built up. Gives more credence to Manson calling him out for ripping him off (I looked that up as well. I can find Manson wearing everyone of Gerards iconic outfits or makeups years before. As well as the Kennedy/Jackie with his GF he ripped directly from Coma White.) According to Gerard, Manson was just trying to sell his new album. Marilyn Manson needed Gerard Way to sell albums, apparently.
    The Used have called them out on Teenagers basically being Achy Breaky Heart, and the new song from the Greatest Hits you can find as another song - lyrics, tempo, instruments and all.

    I dont think there was a calm way of handling this, really. If he can brazenly call Marilyn Manson of all people 'just trying to get sales' then what chance did you have. Hell he somehow hid an entire comic, friendship, and TV appearance as the dudes correspondent.

  20. Anonymous12:45 PM

    Hopefully this posting will spread out, enlighten people, and give you better credit- and any "backlash" you get, may it be minimal. It's better that you waited till now to write this, when things appear to have calmed down (although that comment you made of it getting worse sounds ominous).

    I have to say I'm pretty stunned to hear this - I assumed Way looked at the list of who worked on PIXU and said "I want this team to do everything on my creativity campaign, from music video to comic", but I did not assume that he would go as low as to skip out on a proper contract and giving basically no credit (proper credit is printed on the acknowledgement section of albums or after a film- not offhandedly in one interview). Sounds like he's a walking, talking Hot Topic store- I'm sorry to hear that you have an artist/writer/creator cautionary tale (there seem to be so many).

    Side note- you were in China trekking mountains?

    1. "proper credit is printed on the acknowledgement section of albums or after a film- not offhandedly in one interview"
      I KNO RITE?!
      Call me crazy but I agree with that and it IS a point for many artists working for projects/people/whatevers. Nobody is going to get "enlightnened" though , because most people think that they are "smarter than that" you know who else thinks like that? Junkies, junkies think when they start off that it will never happen to them, then they get hooked good. My point? I've seen people that get a heroin high by hanging with "famous" people and they don't realize how stupid they look and how desperate they look to "be cool"
      In MY opinion (insert lawsuit deflector shield here) Way is like that too with Grant Morrison.
      Yeah fuck this shit, I don't get it.

    2. Also yes China, mountains, 1st white guy and all that National Geographic stuff.

    3. Anonymous7:04 PM

      I shan't call you crazy, because its a legitimate point. I always assumed you got proper credit but that was just because I was only aware of what MCR was up to from you and other comic artists. Fans, write this mans name in your MCR/Way albums and comics (or in any copies you see on store shelves if you're bold enough)

      And that's a pretty dead on analogy you gave for junkies + "famous" people + other creatives. I'm going to remember that if I'm ever in a room of "famous" people, although I'm not sure who/where that would be... a Starbucks or mountains in China? (badum-ching)

      It gets a bit weird when someone's name becomes a brand (of sorts); its a tricky balance beam in remembering that a person's work and a person as a person are two different things, and that one should keep their admiration in check. Hm.

      I guess for certain types of people their logic is that you can't wear a person, so you have to hang around them to "be cool"- and you can't hide that weird logic under the guise of "networking". That guise slips the moment people gush about how they're hanging out with or met so-n-so. The flip side of all of that would be it's not "cool" for brand-name people to have collaborations/contributions at concept stages cause looking like you did it all yourself is so much cooler, or so Way thinks, I assume. Anyway, I'm sorry you had to go through all that with that junkie.

      And never did I think I'd ever google Way + Morrison at the same time but lo, it turns out there's a lot. This had better be a two way street with Morrison releasing an album or something.

      Also, do you ever do observational sketching (ie. National Geographicesque mountains in China) as that'd be interesting to see. Anyway- keep it up champ, do what you gotta do and other slogans of encouragement!

  21. Thank you so much for writing a lot of this good information! I am looking forward to reading more.

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  22. Hi man!
    I seen this video and fall in love with those blasters (guns) you are cool man! Thank you for your idea and imagination! I am not fanat of "my chem rom" and i think this was a freaking shit move to do your work invisible.

    Be cool and interesting! Good luck in other your projects!
    From Russia!

    1. dude read the followup email garry send me at the time. with my annotations , comedy gold. its on the blog. hiiilarious

  23. Anonymous6:41 PM

    I'm very sorry to hear about this. I love MCR and Gerard, but this ruined my image of them somewhat. I really hope he makes up for it one day because it hurts knowing one of my favorite people did something as fucked up.