Trump, the Obvious Broke-Ass Man

Dear #notmypresident refuses to divest his interests or release his tax returns.

A couple months back, I floated the theory that he was broke. It’s not a big leap: NMP’s been bankrupt repeatedly, and he has a lifestyle that would be difficult to maintain. He puts his name on anything. He’s $1.5 billion in debt to banks in the the U.S., Germany, Russia, and China. (Which is why he told China to keep a drone they snatched–so he could later say, “Hey, I don’t owe you anything. You kept one of my drones.”) He’s always working an angle to get more money or to not pay someone. He’s a bum.

Now I’m sure NMP is broke. He’s not making money, he’s hemorrhaging it, and selling ornaments and influence to shore himself up.

NMP has to charge for his New Year party, raise his rent at Dump Tower, and try to make his plane Air Force One so he can soak us  Americans, his employers, a premium rate for its use.

NMP doesn’t want to divest because he’ll lose the paltry (relative to his million- and billionaire cabinet picks) cash trickle he has. He also knows his businesses are worth functionally nothing and no one will take or buy them. He’s got a giant split up the back seam of his pants and thinks his dumb MAGA hat is hiding it.

NMP doesn’t want to release his tax returns because the truth will be definitively out: he’s a crook, a paupered con man who doesn’t even have the glamour of success. The truth makes NMP swell up and squeak on Twitter because he’s allergic to the stings of reality.

(Or it could be he’s not filed taxes for years. Nothing to see there, folks. Nothing at all.)

Letter to a #notmypresident Elector

Today I’m the lucky recipient of a letter from the proud MAGA*-waving Kansas elector Kelly Arnold who was proud to proud vote economic prosperity blah blah in response to me (and many others) asking for him to vote for an actual leader, rather than an orange bigot. Here’s my response:

I hope it’s become abundantly clear to you that Trump will lead no one but his cronies to prosperity, that he’s patently dishonest and disrespectful of the office and our current president, and despises anyone who is not white and male.

Most of all, he is hurting his employers, the American people. I hope you consider that I, and many hard-working people like me will definitely suffer and may die without healthcare. That my friends will be incarcerated for being Muslim, black, poor, or Jewish. That my gay friends will again become people with zero rights.

If, at some point, you see that you’ve not voted for a competent and intelligent conservative, but rather than a broken and venal autocrat who believes this world is his to pillage, please reach out again.
Perhaps I’ll believe you really see Trump for who he is, perhaps that you see your fellow Americans as your respected brothers and sisters. Perhaps I’ll believe that you’re genuinely sorry.

As for right now, I’d be happy to see you and all Trump voters in your own awful country, away from people who voted for clean water, economic justice, and other human rights. Where you can try to make do without kindness, wisdom, and community, as many under Trump will. And all while having your pockets picked to threads by, to quote Don Henley, “This tired old man [you] elected king.”

I leave you with the out-of-context but appropriate words from Nick Cave regarding zeal, “I truly do and say thank you and again I say thank you but no…no thank you.”

Good day,

Lea Hernandez

*Which certainly means “My Awful Goblins Ate”

On Not Paying Creators

imageI’ve been a comics pro for thirty years now, and watched many companies come and go. A lot of the companies that went had one or both of these things in common: they either didn’t pay their bills, or they insisted that the road to respect was papered with a contract that required a creator give up most or all rights.

I’m writing about this today because of this story: “Billionaire” Trump Can’t Pay His Transition Team’s Salaries.”

Good ol’ Orange Dictator has a habit of not paying for things. He’s ripped off countless small businesses, refused to pay the caterer for one of his weddings, and so on. And he’s about to be president of the United States. (#notmypresident)

If one of the most visible people on the planet is crappy about paying his bills and treating small business owners like vending machines he can shake for a free soda, why would a comics company no one outside of comics has heard of worry about paying a creator or giving them a fair deal? OD’s transition team was well aware of his habit of not paying, they just thought he didn’t dare to not pay them.

Don’t kid yourself that you have the magic or the pull to get paid or get a good deal from a unscrupulous publisher. Don’t assume that yours will be the property a crum-bum executive won’t exploit.

While bad apples in comics aren’t easily identified by having orange skin and flapping yellow hairpiece, your gut should be a reasonable guide. If it sounds to good to be true, it is. If a company keeps going out of business and coming back, there’s trouble. If you find yourself casting about for a “second-best” idea to pitch to a company, you don’t trust them. Run away. Orange skin and bad feelings are how nature says Do Not Touch.