I have a lot of respect for Val Staples, and worked with him briefly on some He-Man and She-Ra product, though I don’t even remember it all that well. I do know I was paid fairly and on time.

Val has had some serious career ups and downs, but he has been one of the people in the biz I’ve known who goes to great lengths to make sure things are resolved satisfactorily.

I thought this might be of interest: a link to a public statement Val has made about some of his dealings with a creator he hired to work on some He-Man and She-Ra product.

I’m not calling out the Dogs of War, I’m bringing this to your attention so you can see how complicated these semi-pro/fan/friend relationships can be, and what happens when things go sour.

An excerpt:

…fan sites only operate at the discretion of the intellectual property holder. This is why it is important for He-Man.org to be on good terms with Mattel and DreamWorks. It is not just a matter of having access to press releases, to talent for interviews, or for their participation in the community. It is a matter of content, and the ability to post any at all. Members of the forums at He-Man.org can and do post criticism on the message board, as they have in the past and as they will continue to be able to do so. But it is the role of an adminstrator to maintain a relationship with the intellectual property holder that allows the community to be a forum for self-expression. If one is unable or unwilling to do this then they should not be an administrator.

A run down of this epic post should give you some idea of the complex legal issues involved in this sort of thing. I hope it’s educational.