From my FB page.

Peter S Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, has been involved in a nightmare legal dispute with former manager Connor (Freff) Cochran whom Beagle has accused of fraud and elder abuse, among other things. To make matters worse, Cochran countersued, claiming Beagle was incompetent with dementia, and that Cochran himself had co-written many of Beagle’s later works.

It is bad enough to go through this kind of thing when you are young (and I did, many years ago – it was horrific to have someone try to hijack my life like this, but to then turn around and claim they created my work was another level of awful,) but Beagle is nearly 80 years old. Imagine what a toll this takes on an elderly man. It was crushing when I was a kid.

Last month, the court threw out Cochran’s counterclaim with prejudice, and ordered Cochran to fork over $25,000 in sanctions, which remains unpaid by Cochran.

Next month, Beagle’s suit against Cochran heads to court.

Freff used to be quite popular back in the day, and was well regarded in the ’70’s and early 1980’s SF convention scene. He stood out in fandom as someone who was cute, talented, and gregarious. I was still a kid back then, and never did any business with him though I do have some of this letters on file.

To be as delicate as possible, he’d had relations with two women I knew: one I liked, one I didn’t. The one I didn’t like was married at the time to another man and denounced Cochran back then (and now,) but never disclosed the nature of their relationship, which, I think, tainted her account. So I didn’t pay much attention to her or her husband who liked to play “Make our enemies your enemies and we’ll be your friend!”

Nah, I can dislike and avoid all of you.

The other woman I knew of who was close to Cochran was someone (now deceased,) who I held in highest esteem. She didn’t come away with anything good to say about him.

Cochran approached me about doing “The Last Unicorn” graphic novel some years back. He was pretty much hitting at every creator I knew about the gig, and I wasn’t in the mood to do samples on spec.

Regardless, my Spidey sense said “No Go,” and that was it. So, full disclosure, there it is.

I’m very sorry that this has gone on so long and done so much damage. The court speaks next month. Good luck, Mr Beagle.

FOLLOW UP:

So, this weekend I got an email from someone claiming the reason I am opposed to Connor Cochran in his dispute with THE LAST UNICORN author Peter S Beagle is because Cochran didn’t hire me to draw THE LAST UNICORN graphic novel. And I am totes not to print the letter without permission.

UM. Whatever. But I can talk about it.

Cochran did not make a firm offer on the job, just like he didn’t make a firm offer on the job to the dozens and dozens of other artists he also approached about the gig. Almost everyone I know got approached about this gig. I made no effort whatsoever to pursue it because I knew just about every artist who could draw breath was approached, and to be dead frank with you, THE LAST UNICORN doesn’t rock my world the way it does for some people. Lovely book, but the animated version was a real turn off for me because I’ve never liked Rankin Bass.

Maybe I just can’t forgive them for their version of Thranduil in THE HOBBIT.

I made no attempt to get the job, sent no art, nothing. And after Cochran unloaded his guns on what he thought of Mike Kaluta’s work on the project, I was touchy about having anything to do with Cochran.

Cochran used to be the hearthrob of SF, but he always gave me a bad feeling and I always avoided him upon first meeting him as a teen. And after his close, intimate, personal and professional relationship with a former client who Done Me Wrong, I long ago decided to keep my distance from that entire social circle. You know, like I’ve been doing for several decades now. And since Cochran is doing to Peter what they did to me (only Peter is 78 and I was a kid,) I am going to call that gut feeling a winner. I wish I’d listened to it about that former client.

Trust those instincts, kids!

I didn’t get the OUTLANDER graphic novel job either, and I was a huge fan of that. It was a firm prospect with discussions with agents and shit, and I don’t go around trashing Diana Gabaldon. I didn’t like the GN they produced though, still think I woulda done a better job. Maybe that’s just me. But I still watch OUTLANDER and enjoyed every audiobook while I was drawing Stan Lee’s life story, so there you go.

But hey, stranger, thanks for giving me another excuse to make the lawsuit between Cochran and Peter Beagle public, happy to help.