Peter David needs your help
I was going to post this tomorrow but then realized people might think it’s an April Fool’s joke, so I’m doing it today.
Pretty much everyone has private things that have happened to them that they don’t want to discuss publicly. Well…this is mine.
Many years ago I had a television series on the air called “Space Cases.” And I made a lot of money that year. I mean a lot. And I had a ton of money sitting in my bank account ready to send to the IRS on April 15th. It was all good.
And then the day that I was going to send the check, I swung by the nearest ATM to withdraw some cash and was astounded to see that half the money in my account was gone. Why was it gone? Because my then wife withdrew it in order to pay for a divorce lawyer, which was how I found out my marriage was dissolving. So the money never went to the IRS because I had to use the remainder to hire my own attorney.
Over the years, I never managed to land another project that would pay me that much. I had lots of people make promises–I even did the work for some of them–and none ever came up with the money. Meanwhile I tried to make payment arrangements with the IRS but they didn’t last, because throughout the year I’d send in the payments but then on April 15 I had no money to pay the income tax because I’d already sent them all my spare money.
Then they seemed to just forget about it. Which was great.
Except recently they now seem to have remembered. And they want all the money, plus penalty and interest, or they are going to financially destroy me.
How much? $88,000.
So I’m asking you guys.
I’d love to say that we want the money because we want to repair the house, which is in desperate need, but that’s not the case. Every cent is going straight to the government.
Is it possible? Well, I have 5000 Facebook followers. If they each sent $10, that would get me halfway. I have over 13,000 Twitter followers. If they each sent $10, I’d be in the clear with money to pay any taxes due on the new income. Any additional monies will be used to pay debts accrued while paying the IRS what income I had.
Do you want to get something for the money? Fine: Send a check to my PO Box, PO Box 951, Bayport, NY 11705 along with books of mine and a SASE and I’ll sign them and send them back. That’s something, I guess.
I’m sure that there are people out there who will be overjoyed that I’m having financial difficulties, but I’m hoping the rest of you will not judge me too harshly and help me out.
But the rest of you, the support has been tremendous. I cannot thank you enough.
At this point the total income is about $68,000, which is staggering, but unfortunately still not enough. I will definitely be endeavoring to negotiate, but I didn’t want to bet everything on it working. And donations have trickled down.
I do have one bit of bright news. I checked with a tax attorney who stated that, since these are considered gifts, this income would NOT be taxable. A gift is any money given by someone that is under $14,000. So that would keep me in the clear. Nevertheless, when I do start my Patreon.com account, that money will be set aside to cover taxes on anything else I earn. In fact, I could use some help on that: what would you want to see in a Patreon account? I’m unsure what you guys would want to see me provide and how much I should charge for things. So anyone who wants to provide some thoughts, I’d be happy to hear it.
As for the rest of the money, well, I have a very slight bit of breathing space: a month and a half until I have to settle accounts. At this point I’m hoping maybe some millionaire fans–a baseball player or insanely highly paid TV actor or someone–will say, “Sure, I’ll give him $14,000 out of petty cash” and this is done. In the meantime, thanks for spreading the word to anyone who will listen.
First off I want to say Thank you from all of us for all that you have done. Every dollar, share, retweet, article, blog entry, word of mouth, prayer, and kind thought has helped us immensely.
We are about three quarters of the way to what we need to make this long nightmare go away.
Some positives that have happened is that through some help and advise we were able to get the IRS to give us a little more time before taking everything away.
We still have the sword of Damocles hanging over our head, but the thread is a little stronger than it was giving us the chance to really get our act together.
We are talking to people who have offered us help with the issue at hand. I hope that we might be able to get a reduction but I am not counting on it because of things that have happened in the past where there has been no situational forgiveness or hardship allowance. We would really like to pay them the money and get ourselves back to an even keel so we can take care of our other finances.
A lot of people want to know how we are going to keep from falling back into the same hole that we were in.
Short version is that we are going to start, after we get our debt to the IRS paid, a Patreon account where we will be publishing new work and work that we have that hasn’t seen the light of day. We are going to be doing behind the scenes entries and Peter’s writing process. All the money from that is going into an account that is ear marked for taxes only, both federal and New York State including the insane worker’s comp tax that Peter pays which he will never see a dime of but has to pay anyway but that’s a rant for another day.
We are so close but we do need your help getting that last quarter of the money that can save us from losing everything.
This was hard for us to do. It is something that we have been carrying around with us in our heads for going on 20 years now. We have tried so hard to take care of it ourselves and we fell short.
You have given us hope that we haven’t had in years and that means a lot not only to Peter but to Caroline and myself.
So I thank you for your support so far and ask for your help in getting us to the point where we can take care of this mess once and for all.
It helps that I have some incredibly generous friends. George Takei, JMS and Wendy & Richard Pini each donated $1000 on GoFundMe while George Perez donated an astounding $5000.
Meanwhile I went to the PO box today for the first time, wondering if I would find anything to autograph. Instead there were simply half a dozen letters (and one card) with checks enclosed. They weren’t asking for anything; they were instead thanking me for the years of enjoyment they’ve derived from my work. I assume because they sent checks they want anonymity, but one fan–you know who you are, Susan–sent a check for $2000. It’s astounding.
You have to understand that being a writer (or an artist for that matter) is fundamentally a lonely life. You have no coworkers in your office typically. It’s just you and the computer screen or art board, and you do your work and toss it out there and hope that maybe, just maybe, people like your work. If this endeavor to get myself out from under has proven anything to me, it’s that you guys are terrific. It makes my life’s work seem worthwhile.
I am also taking very seriously the people who contend that I should allow for the notion that the IRS is going to want taxes on the $88,000 on top. Furthermore, my critics (there are always critics) have declared that I should just work to earn the money. One guy declared that when Willie Nelson ran into tax problems, he made a record and all the funds went to the IRS. On the surface of it, that’s an idiotic comment. There is simply no project I can generate on my own that can raise that sort of money, and I doubt recording a cover of “On the Road Again” would do much in terms of income. But on the other hand, I very much prefer the notion of working for money rather than just asking for it.
I’ve found out about the fact that there is a revival of the patronage system of a couple centuries ago. There is a site called www.patreon.com that is designed specifically for that. For a monthly fee, fans can support artists that they appreciate. Colleen Doran has one, as do a number of writers. So when this is done, I’m going to set one up myself. For varying monthly fees you’ll get all kinds of neat stuff, including new works, behind the scenes stuff, neat pictures, etc. And every cent from that will go into a separate bank fund that will be maintained exclusively for taxes so I don’t find myself behind the eight ball next year.
Also, remember Colleen Doran is having an auction on eBay? For the Hulk page, right here? Well, I decided to add something to it. DC Comics just sent me my author copies of the upcoming Young Justice trade paperback which will hit the stores the end of April. So we’re going to add a copy to the auction, which finishes in two days. I will send a personalized copy of it to the winner, who will undoubtedly be the first on his block to have a copy.
And lastly, I haven’t forgotten. We are uploading the never-before-seen Space Cases, Season 2 blooper reel. A couple of historical notes: For you folks who never saw the show, yes, the young lady with the rainbow hair is Jewel Staite. Also, during the green screen sequence that features Rosie’s parents, the woman is in fact the mother of Paige Heuser who played Rosie. Enjoy.
So, just as I promised, the story "Memento Morrie" has been posted onto the Crazy 8 website. Which means that we can now focus on the next level of $55,000. I was wondering what to make it and decided to start turning my attention to what started it all: " Space Cases". So my daughter Caroline has been going through all my old video tapes from when the show was in production, and has turned up some gems. When we hit level $55,000, I will put up on Youtube the never-before-seen gag reel from the second season of Space Cases. Walter Jones, the Black Power Ranger, as our lead Harlan. A teenage girl named Jewel Staite as our engineering genius (yes, we reached through time and space and ripped off Joss Whedon ten years early.) Plus the rest of our wonderful cast who brought each script to life. Watching it brought back all manner of pleasant memories of the series, its cast and crew and my collaboration with the immortal Bill Mumy.
In the meantime, enjoy Memento Morrie
It's a shame that people could still troll someone who is dealing with problems. I have been reading your stories and blogs since you started writing and donating what I could is little compensation for the years of pleasure I had from your stories. So screw the haters.
Peter please ignore the negative posts. You and your family don't need them. It is no shame to ask for help and you are not forcing anyone to donate or share. I am proud to do my little but to help. I'm looking forward to reading the new short story. Keep the faith, there is magic in the night!
I am on SSID and may very well be losing my home in the next few months. Even though that is the case, some of your work has brought me some of my greatest hours of reading in the past and it is my very happy privilege to send whatever I can when I get paid in the next day or two. It won't be much, but please know it is sent from the heart. I wish you and yours all the best Peter!
WHY? Why would you bring politics into this? Why would you assume that the only people who support you voted the way you did? The idea that everyone who voted for Trump is "evil" is Left-wing biased nonsense. I don't assume the opposite is true. I was more than happy to donate to this campaign. Not only that, but I'm still planning to put up a blog post about this in a few minutes. That said, waking up to this feels like a slap in the face.
Back in early '90s, I was a total X-Men fanatic. As much as I loved all of it, I knew X-Factor was the best-written of them at that time. You helped me discover that Quicksilver and Multiple Man were my favorite characters. (I picked up the first 4 years of the reboot too, I remember a few introspective pages of #28 really floored me). Thanks again. They should do an Omnibus and give you a fair cut... but enough on that - just hope you can happily move on from this situation asap.
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Advice countless parents have said over the generations... and just as relevant today. It took an incredible amount of soul-searching and courage for Mr. David to reach out and bare his personal issues - if you're not willing to help, at least walk away and leave him in peace.
You know, I have been under the hobnailed boot of the CRA (Canada's IRS) for years but I still manage to find a little cash to help out a talented author who has produced work that I have enjoyed over the years. For all those who shared your negative thoughts and opinions about this campaign, I would like to offer you a small suggestion. Please take your negative comments, rotate them laterally and vigourously and repeatedly insert them into your colonic cavity. I am pretty certain that if you were in the same situation that you would be screaming from the rooftops for some assistance. The stress of the IRS is responsible for the loss of another great author, Robert Asprin, and if a a couple bucks out of my pocket saves someone from that stress ... then I am all in.
Seems kinda messed up to beg fans for money like this. I mean, he made lots of cash and squandered it all, mismanaged it all. Everybody has to pay taxes, it sucks but you set up your life with that sort of thing in mind. If his friends and colleagues wanna donate that seems ok but if you are some struggling fanboy or just some guy trudging through life with a 9-5, maybe skip this one.
Not to be a bore, but I hope you realize that the IRS taxes gifts of over $14K at 40%. If you collect the $88K you are seeking, subtract $14K, giving you $74K subject to 40% tax. That new tax amount is an additional $29,600. So in order to clear the $88K you're seeking, you need to collect closer to $143K in order to cover both your old tax debt, and the new debt incurred from the gifts. As one writer to another I wish you success in this effort. The IRS is a difficult task master.
Chris, Andy, Carl, Dale and Katie -- what in Hell are you doing here? Save the trolling for body-shaming sites or political sites-- could you be here because you were "fans?" If so, go somewhere else to be fannish. If you're here to kick someone when they're down, keep it at home.
Wow. Listen. I really respect you and your career. You wrote a lot of great comics and even introduced and were an advocate for lgbt characters. However, my partner died last year of cancer suddenly. I didn't not pay taxes because I had something else going on or needed the money for something else. I'm sorry you had a bad marriage, I feel for you, but c'mon man! Seriously! Can't get another novelization of movie? Also, Space Cases was that high paying?
It is our choice who we give money to. I gave more to a wolf pack in New Mexico last month. If I chose to give a small sum to animals and authors, it is my business. My money, my business. The reason good fiction can rip us apart is because good authors tend to be highly sensitive people. I can tell Mr. David was pained to have to ask. I can tell he felt abandoned and forgotten and this was a last resort. His letter was sincere and heartfelt.