Monday, May 14, 2007

Another Talislanta Publisher Disappears

[UPDATE from Morrigan Press head dude Scott Agnew available]

People on the Talislanta e-mail list have been making noises lately about the absence of Scott Agnew of Morrigan Press, current publishers of Talislanta. Nobody seems to be able to contact him. Including people who sent him money and are waiting for their copy of the brand new edition.

Tal groupies are understandably antsy, having been stung before, when David Bollack of Pharos Press had the rights to the title. A lot of money was sent to Pharos Press in pre-orders of the 10th anniversary edition of Talislanta (which had to have its name changed to the 4th Edition when the 10th anniversary of Tal's publication came and went), and no such edition of Talislanta ever emerged from Pharos Press, as time dragged on and on and on...

In the end some deft maneuvering by Tal's creator, Stephan-Michael Sechi, rescued Talislanta from Pharos. If my memory serves, and it may not, so don't quote me on this, Sechi quietly allowed Pharos's license to Talislanta to lapse, and then surprised them by refusing to renew it. During this time he had been working with the Shooting Iron web design company (John Harper & Jonathan Elliott) -- who hosted the Tal website -- to put together a new edition themselves. As soon as the rights reverted to Sechi, he and Shooting Iron published the new book, and there was much rejoicing.

John & Jon didn't want to be publishers forever, though, and so the rights were handed off to Morrigan Press, which has done a great job publishing & supporting the game, and which has just put together a really nice even *newer* edition of the rulebook, with a Burning-Wheel-esque character creation system.

I know this book exists; I have held one in my hands; Joe ordered it and received his copy already.

But it looks like Agnew's "low profile" was not without some unfortunate significance:

From the mailing list:

According to the province of New Brunswick, the status of Morrigan
Press changed on Feb 5th to "Intent to Dissolve"

See morriganStatus.GIF in the new area of the Files section for a copy
of the info I bought from the government for $3 or so.


I don't know what's gonna happen next but I don't think we're going to have web designers swoop in and save the day this time.


John Harper said...

Well. Frak.

I was just telling someone what a great job Morrigan was doing with the license.

Who will next brave the snapping steel jaws of Talislanta publication?!

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the pissy little girl in this conversation, but I've kept this shit to myself for far too long. Of course, I'll regret typing it out here, but what the hell, right? ;)

I saw this coming. It was one of the two or three reasons I quit. The man still owes me (an average of) $250 per book with my artwork in it. PER BOOK. He had an interesting tendency to buy a piece of art at quarter page, then blow it up to full-page once he got it.

It not only made my art look bad (well, worse than usual), it effectively stiffed me out of $75.

And I still haven't been paid for the Windship and Harak texts. Probably never will. Sad that I'm not the only one, either.

Here's my take on it (and it's not pretty): At least Bolack had the sense to not print anything because he couldn't afford to pay his artists and writers. He didn't just publish it anyway, then ignore the people he owed money to.

And that's all foot I'm gonna eat on this subject. I've said too much already. Well, except for one thing:

I miss you, ShootingIron dudes! You ever pick up the license again, you make DAMN SURE you get ahold of me. I'm all yours. ;)


--Adam Black

Anonymous said...

P.S.: That should say "all the foot", not "all foot" in the second-to-last paragraph.

I should learn to type at some point.


Anonymous said...

I have to say I saw this coming - Morrigan seemed to have an awful lot of pies with not very much in them, so to speak. Tal was supposed to have an extensive product line (I wrote the piece on Imria two years ago - I think Adam did some pictures for it looking at his site), High Med had a long line of titles due, as did Atlantis. I think Morrigan got far to ambitious - great when the games sell well, but not when they don't as was the case. I bought one of those subscriptions too - I think I got one tal book for my money. Blast.


John Harper said...

We miss you, too, Adam.

You rule.