Opened up the inbox to a triplet of posts via Google Alert today –

[1] [2] [3]

– about one of the comics industry’s more recent notorious deadbeats.
I personally don’t know his work well, not being a big reader of the genres he’s published in so far. He’s “Acclimated” I hear from his press for revolutionizing Transformers. May be, rabbit, may be. When he draws his art is snazzy enough. But in my experience as an artist in the business, amongst several of our peers Pat Lee is known as someone who stiffed many, many fellow artists while he drove a Porsche around Toronto – now a classic of cautionary tales.
With news of his return, The Beat read the most sympathetically to Pat, but Christopher Butcher posted a biting suggested edit in the comments as follows.

Continuing the biography:
“Then, a combination of shady ethics and poor company management turned the company into a massive sinkhole. Sensing the end was near, Lee transferred as many assets of the company as he could to his parents. He lied to the artists working for him that they would eventually be paid, then declared the company bankrupt. He never paid anyone and this led to severe financial hardship for many of them.”
“To this day Lee has never expressed even an iota of remorse about his awful behaviour or financially damaging a number of people whom he called ‘friends’.”
“Lee’s most recent work in comics was taking credit for the illustrations of another artist on the Image relaunch of Cyberforce. When the artist came forward and exposed that Lee was penciling a little under 5% of the pages he was receiving credit for, the Lee had no comment and went into hiding for 2 or 3 years.”
“It is frankly shocking that he has returned to comics.”

Snap. After going to ground for about two years since his last scandal – getting busted using Alex Milne as a ghost artist for the majority of ‘his’ work on Cyberforce and not crediting him – Pat’s back, working with Dynamite studios to do a period piece called Widow Warriors. The art, assuming it’s his, looks alright – lots of it to see via the links in this post. No word outside of the press releases if the book is any good, probably not at the reviewable stage. Right now mostly people are dealing with the shock of having him around again.
Rich Johnston of Bleeding cool has the most data on the storyline so far, with a long list of past posts about the scandals Pat has left in his wake.
Personally I’m all for redemption and second chances. No question. But I do think this Mr. Lee is due for some quality mea culpa time it sounds like. If even only half the story has been told, claims of integrity without acknowledgment of clear failures rings pretty hollow.
My bias of course? – Having been screwed out of payment for work myself I feel Pat has committed one of the cardinal sins of freelancing.
How about a long still B&W shot with Christopher Butcher chewing him out in the voice-over? It’s a start. Paying people what he was supposed to would be better.

For our own archive of posts on the subject,
see the following searches.
Pat Lee + Dreamwave.


  1. Max, I like your careful take on this latest controversy. It’s easy to get riled up with stories like these.

  2. Author

    Thanks Hervé. Is it a controversy? I haven’t heard anyone suggest he didn’t stiff all those people…? More like a scandal. At any rate, I’ve no interest in fanning anything, just the facts and my two small cents.
    @Bryan, thanks for the added links. yeah, we have so few up and comers in the publishing category too, everyone whant’s to see our own make good. It would be good for the local economy to have more native mainstream and license based operations i think, it’s really too bad Dreamwave was wormy.

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