4.7.12

Removed from He-Man.org


It is with great sadness that I officially announce I've been removed from He-Man.org since early June, and I'm not responsible anymore for the site or the forum. For a number of reasons, myself and the powers that be found ourselves at odds over the way in which the website should be run for the fans. I've had a wonderful ten years working on the website and am now looking forward to having the creative freedom to work on new and exciting projects with The Power and The Honor Foundation!

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I did not officially announce this for almost a month, but recent discussions on facebook pushed me at releasing this today.

Since June the 6th, I've been removed from He-Man.org administrators against my will.
My access to Google Analytics has been removed.
My access to Printfection account has been removed.
Val Staples has blocked me on skype.
-UPDATED- My Adsense account has been replaced, and I've stopped receiving shares of the site profits from the advertisments ( Val Staples has still to complete paying his debt with me for the comic work I did ).
The Italian forum will be forced to migrate to another domain.
It was made clear that I'm not welcome at Power-Con unless I agree to certain conditions.

Previously, He-Man.org Server's password had been changed.
I had been removed from He-Man.org facebook page administrators.

I've received offerings for a different position on He-Man.org, at conditions for me impossible to accept, including agreeing or keeping these events confidential.
All my counter offers have been refused as well.

I was informed that all the graphics and logo will be changed and all I did for the site will be removed.

Reasons given  for these measures are my critiques about Mattel's representatives actions over the years. In general my removal should "set the right tone with Mattel" as my opinions are seen as detrimental for the good of the fan community.

He-Man.org has been part of my life for more than 10 years, in many ways, it's my creature, but was also my family, my home and the place where I met a lot of friends. All this has been taken away from me, and that hurts me a lot. Seeing the site changing and becoming something else than I envisioned, adds even more pain to the fact I'm being stolen of something that is mine too: my work, my time and my money.
I wish the community the best of luck, and a better future for He-Man.org.

Thanks for reading.

94 commenti:

Thomas's said...

I've been on visiting he-man.org a very long time and have always looked forward to seeing your work and posts. I don't follow all the arguing and BS on there but can't understand for the life of me why they would do something like this. I have recently had a similiar experience at work and realize that if you are not where u are supposed to be life will give u a big hit in another direction. I really believe even though u don't see it now, good thing are coming your way. Don't lose faith or hurt over this. You have a huge fan following and are extremely talented. We all think so highly of u. I have u on my Facebook and look forward to keeping I and touch with u.
Thomas K.

Anonymous said...

That's very disturbing that he-man.org has done that. It sounds very much like this big company silencing the little man.

I'm quite disgusted that he-man.org have sold out like that.

I've been on he-man.org for 10 years too, though merely on the forums.

Anonymous said...

This is rather messed up. Can you go into more detail about the events leading up to this? If not, I understand.

Given the praise that you have received on the site from both fans and even the other admin (including praise in the RGD podcasts even after you stopped participating), this is rather surprising.

Is Mattel throwing their weight around and threatening to shut the site down or something (if they can even do that) if the admins don't fall in line? Or are the other "powers that be" so desperate to get on Mattel's good side (despite the problems with them) that they are essentially "selling out" from an ethical/moral, rather than monetary, standpoint?

Either way, this rather sucks.

Anonymous said...

How can they "ban" you from Power-Con? Even if you can't participate in any official capacity as part of the show, how can they stop you from buying a ticket and going to Power-Con, a show that is freely open to the ticket-purchasing public?

Anonymous said...

Maybe some fans who will be attending power con should stage a protest in Emiliano's honor.

PJ Firestorm said...

This is really sad. I know you (Emiliano) and your wonderful work will continue to be seen elsewhere, but it does kinda represent the MOTU fanbase fracturing even more. And even though I don't think there's necessarily a "big bad conspiracy", I have kinda got the vibe over the last 18 months or so in that, even though more and more of us are becoming p----d off with Matty / DR's terrible QC and customer service, some of the higher echelons of the .org do try to play things "to keep Mattel happy". I really hope this situation can be sorted out. =(

Michael said...

It's a shame to see what Val and Mattel are doing to you. I've always thought Mattel were fools to not work with you. You are extremely talented and you seem to have your finger on the pulse of what the fans (Matty butt-kissers not included) really want from the MOTUC line. I was sorry to see you leave the RGD podcast and I always thought Val was a bit dishonest and vague with his explanation. It's a shame, I always thought you two were good friends and a good team. I guess that's just how it seemed outwardly; obviously, you would know better than I would.

I hope you are still able to do your He-Man artwork. You are the best artist there is. I would be a shame if you were forced to stop. I will continue to follow your blog as I see you as a voice of reason and I respect you quite a lot for standing up for what you believe is right, even though it resulted in you being ousted from the very site you helped bring into being. Just please believe what other posters have already said in that you have a large following by yourself and we'll all stick by you. I know it sucks right now but it probably is for the best. As we say here in America, "get out while the gettin's good". I hope you'll still stay active in the fan community. Thank you for everything.

Jettara said...

this isn't right. I only started going on the org because of your wonderful art and comics which brought so much life back to motu. It's not going to be the same without you. But you are meant for something better and I. Time you'll find it, good luck and keep your head high.

Anonymous said...

I had been trying to be a member of that site since around 1998. Even as far as back then they deleted posts and tried to force the members to post how they wanted. Of course they got a following of some fans willing to abide by any rules and ways to post. Most accumulated hundreds of thousands of posts that drove a name for themselves.

I just had to step away. Even with various issues the MOTUC figures have, for the most part I enjoy them. Heman.org was starting to make me hate them. Dealing with those people, not being able to have REAL fellow fans to post with. It felt like being in a situation with hypnotized people that had no way to think for themselves.

But yeah, I would say move on. Run this blog or start up a new one devoted to Heman talk. Anything else but just move forward. Don't worry about the past. I do think Val is slowly killing that place. More and more he only has that core of blind followers.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

That's alright, the site is somewhat socialist as it is, demerits for accidentally posting another post with the same topic as another, and all the BS behind the new points system. The site is full of cry babies, and is quite frankly the worst fan forum I have ever been on. TFW2005.com, is so much better and much more user friendly, and doesn't promote "I'm better than you because I buy a sub, and you don't" blah blah, screw the site frankly.

I am sorry you ave been treated like dirt, by people you thought were friends, and have been kicked away from something you helped build.

slackrguy said...

I'm not going to lie, it sucks for you. However, the end of that is also a beginning for you to do your own thing.

You are arguably the world's foremost expert on the MOTU IP. I'm sure you can churn out some awesome comparison/contrast essays comparing different incarnations of the toy lines & media on your blog as well as your very well drawn MOTUC: Visions.

So chin up because you do have a fan base and this distance allows you to be the great and honest historian that many fans of MOTU enjoy.

However, I will still counter-point your work every now and again. ;P

Anonymous said...

Someone just mentioned that the fans who will be attending Power-Con should 'stage a protest in Emiliano's honour'. If we did that, I don't think that would be honouring Emiliano at all, and I don't think he would want that. Everyone should take the higher road on this one.

I'm sorry to hear about this falling out. I understand that there are always two sides to every story, and we haven't heard a peep out of the He-Man.org guys. Personally, I hope all of this can be resolved, as there is so much history between all the parties involved. It feels good to vent, sure, but I think it would be better if friendships were not affected by politics. At the end of the day, this is all about a toyline we loved as kids. That love should unite us; not divide us.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps instead of a true "protest," to avoid causing a scene while still making a point, perhaps some fan could design a T-shirt in support of Emiliano that other fans going to Power Con could wear.

It would be a good way of at least making a point without being disruptive.

Anonymous said...

"It would be a good way of at least making a point without being disruptive."

I disagree. I think a bunch of guys wearing t-shirts supporting Emiliano would be extremely disruptive. I go to Power-Con to see the panels and chat with friends, not to be part of a 'faction', which is what would happen. I could care less about the politics at He-Man.org. I would rather wear a shirt with Emiliano's fabulous artwork on it, then some t-shirt trying to make a protest point.

Sompeetalat said...

I'm very sorry to hear this. I always looked forward to have you as a guest on the 'Gooble Dinners' since your knowledge about MotU seems unsurpassed.

I'm president of a fanclub I cofounded myself so I know that loyalty towards an organization and project are worth a lot these days.

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Your presence on the he-man.org forums will be missed.

Anonymous said...

This saddens me even more then the Mattel/MVC fall out.
Even though you haven't posted much for quite a while now I'm still sorry to hear you've no longer on the .org team.

I really hope you and Val don't lose your friendship over this.

Anonymous said...

I always vallued your input very high and saw you as the voice for the realists on the org.
Every one can be a yesmen and I'm glad you stick with your own intelligence.
That you can't share that intellegence on the org anymore is a big loss for the org!

Grimbot said...

Don't they think they're freaking overreacting?! This is censorship of the worst kind - either shut your mouth or get out. Sickening.

Grimbot said...

I mean, everyone should have the right to express their opinion and NO ONE nor ANYTHING should be immune from criticism.

Grimbot said...

"TFW2005.com, is so much better and much more user friendly, and doesn't promote "I'm better than you because I buy a sub, and you don't" blah blah, screw the site frankly."

TFW2005 is a horrible cesspool. Most of the moderators are hypocrites and site owner once offered a money reward to fans for spamming the **** out of Roger Ebert's email because Roger dared to criticize REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

Anonymous said...

This definitely sucks. Val has always been too quick to kiss Mattel's ass to curry favor. I am not sure what they offered him but it seems as if he has indeed sold out.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Guys, thank you for all of your support :)

If I can ask it as curtesy, I'd like to leave other sites like TF2005 out of this, as I've never been part of that and I don't think it's fair to them to drag it in this conversation.

I also hope no one will stage any protest at Power-Con. of course it warms my heart reading it, but I wouldn't endorse it.
I don't want to create even more tension and starts a war or a campaign between fan factions (you know me, I hate factions).
I said what I needed to say, for me it's over.
If you want to express your feelings about this with Val, the best way is to do just tell directly him, in a polite and friendly way. We can all prove we're far better than what happened and I'd really love if all MOTU fans would still be the best an nicest fans around!

MOTU Portugal said...

Hi Emiliano.

As you maybe already noticed I'm a huge fan of your work, specially regarding motu. What they did with you is bullshit!! Forgive me for the bad word but it is what it is...
You can go to power-con, its a public and a non invite only event so they can't stop you and I think you should go, seriously...

I'm from Portugal so I won't be able to stand there by your side to show support but fans really should show up and show they're fully support to you..

WTF, its 10 years of your live with all the dedication and love that greatly helped he-man.org be the success it is today...

He-man.org lost a great admin and we all, motu fans all over the world, lost also greatly from your departure from the org.

Either way I'll be following your work as close as I can as a fan I am.

Thank you for your dedication to he-man world and to us, motu fans!!

TJames 666 Rulz said...

Been a fan of your Artwork since the Comic series a few years back. What a talent and an eye for everything MOTU. I hope somebody intelligent at Mattel latches on to you in the future for work. But knowing Mattels track record for ruining good franchises He-Man 200X series, Ughh and the comics, and the forcing of MOTUC collectors to have to buy POP vehicles, multi packs etc. Mattel just isnt even on par with Hasbro, and they have turned to crap lately as well. Anyway, enough ranting. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

The He-Man fandom is a bunch of idiots, it only took a matter of time that they would turn on their own. You were too smart for them bro, thus you CAN'T BE A HE-MAN FAN. Just the Transformers fandom or something....... He-Man ain't for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't believe they would lock you out like that. Whatever the reasons were for this, it sucks big time. I'm sure the majority of the He-Man community would say the same. The fact that biggest He-Fan there is has been made to feel unwelcome at Power-Con is an utter disgrace.

Anonymous said...

your work is awesome thats why I'm reading your blog, I agree with your comments about certain factors to do with the branding of MOTUC and wish you luck!

Orcbane said...

Since joining He-Man.org I have always viewed Emiliano as someone who worked hard to salvage archival work, reach into the source of the original line and an artist whose deep love of MOTU has, in my eyes, made him as important as Mark Taylor and Roger Sweet. He kept MOTU on life support.
MOTUC would not have had Gygor, He-Ro, Megator nor any of the prototypical/conceptual references were it not for Emiliano doing the work, the real digging and keeping the more obscure corners of MOTUverse alive.
Goyturu stood on Emiliano's giants' shoulders, feigned knowledge won for him by Emiliano yet was curt, ungrateful and spiteful when Emiliano offered his services as a powerful advisory force. Val has chosen the wrong side by siding with a snakeoil salesman and when what was done to Emiliano is done to him and the .orgers, he'll only have himself to blame.
He-man.org has killed the golden goose and they all look mighty dumb, mighty ungrateful and mighty-
un-gentlemenly. Emiliano, you are best to be out of that ship before it crashes.
Yogrutu has already passed off Emiliano's research as his own casual knowledge (a laughable trait since 2008) has already claimed credit for siring MOTUC
style when it had already been showcased on the final MYP DVD release then began his lame PixelDan impersonations, using that whole style! Val and others have killed the golden
Goose, lost a great friend just for advanced toys and crumbs of half baked "news". No good can come of it.
Emiliano - you will at least come out of all of tgis with your pride and dignity - and major place in MOTU fandom, intact.

MegaGearX said...

I wish that Val and Emilliano could come to an accord. I'm afraid that this split seems like it'll split the fandom into two-more needless warring camps.

Eternian Dreams said...

Sorry to hear this, Emiliano.
I will keep following your blog and visions here and wish you the best with the power ad honor foundation :)

Anonymous said...

Another fan site goes the way of the asslickers and the hypocrites. Emiliano, you are a gentleman. Val, how ungallant of you.

@MegaGearX - sir, this goes beyond warring factions over whether Clawful should have a second head. This is about decency - and if there is any, no professional outfit will touch Val and his cohorts when word gets round about Emiliano's treatment. Nice going.

As someone has said already, the true fans of MOTU know your worth, Emiliano. I'm above buying anymore Matty trinkets if it means giving money to ignorant egotists. It'll be good to see he-man.org's fortunes falters too. Word will spread and action will be advised, fear not that Mr Santalucia!

cheoillustration JPares said...

*sigh*....now I get it. ;( Hopefully its a temporary thing, a grave misunderstanding, a passing conflict of interests. I hope that In time, after Mattel's "bigwigs" loose interest in Motu...again, friendships will go back to what they were before. My heart is with you paizano.

Ps
I still want a Power&Honor Catalog!!!;)

MegaGearX said...

You know me well, Anonymous. But I'm not talking about the Era Wars or the 200X heads that I'm always fighting for. I wouldn't want to see the MOTU fandom split into forum flamewars between Team Emiliano and Team Val.

Anonymous said...

What a load of bullshit. For once I can come someplace and actually share what I truly feel about something he-man related and not get censored to death by terrible new mods.

It's a shame. Emiliano has done so much for MOTU. To get the shaft from the weasel running the show at Mattel is one thing. To get the shaft from something you put so much time and effort into is another entirely.

In all the years I've been a member of the org, I thought I had seen it all. I was sadly mistaken.

Sad sad times for MOTU.

Anonymous said...

I love the org, but right now I'm disgusted and I'm not sure I want to post on that site much anymore. It's already draconian with their unbelievably ridiculous rulebook (I have never seen anything like that on any forum, EVER) but what I'm reading here is shameful. If you start a new forum, Emiliano, I will be glad to sign up.
All the best and thanks for everything you've done for the brand. And the MOTUC line. Gygor rocks.

slackrguy said...

lol'd @ "You know me well, Anonymous."

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Yeah guys, no Team and Emiliano and Team Val please.
All I wanted was letting people have all the informations.
I understand critiques to Val are just a natural consequence, and I accept it, because the problem is what happened, not me exposing what happened.

But I don't want this turned into a factions war.
More than ever, I think MOTU fans should remain united.

I'm thinking of a constructive way to continue the discussion, and I'll post it as soon as I have chance :)

Thanks everybody!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emiliano Santalucia said...

Sorry, I removed a comment by mistake. Wasn't my intention.
Please repost it, maybe avoid using vulgarity, I'd like to keep the comments civil :)

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry to hear it has come to this, but Emiliano is right. Don't split fandom into Pro-Emiliano and Pro-Val factions and start a civil war. That's just what the real villain wants, namely Scott Neitlich.
I'm sure he's the one responsible for Emiliano being kicked out and possibly ending his friendship with Val. Val just made the mistake of trusting our self-proclaimed Toyguru that things would get better because of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emiliano

make a new Forum!!!
I am in
refuse he-man org!!!
shame

MegaGearX said...

Mattel doesn't like criticism on their OWN forums. Many have said that the mods will censor you away if you say bad or negative things about the product.

I personally think Mattel can't handle Emiliano undermining them in almost every way. Storywise, history-wise, art-wise, even toy design-wise, as seen with the Sorceress' wings--if Mattel came up with it, Emiliano could do it better. An example of how they butt heads is when Toyguru mentioned that Hordak was created for MOTU in Hordak's blog entry and that he confirmed it with the original creator, but Emiliano corrected him by saying that Hordak was original created for POP and that TG really has no contact or connections to the original creators. TG has been silent on the topic since.

Anonymous said...

Well Emiliano you are your own person. I admire you & Val sticking to your guns in what you guys believe in. I hope we all can come together in the near future & figure things out. In the meantime I really really enjoy your blog. I really enjoyed your Modulok vision. Keep all your blogs and art coming. I'm sure other fans & myself still want to see your amazing work. Cheers...Jeff V

Anonymous said...

Yep - That jumped up salesman at Mattel needs his wings clipped. This is what a manipulative, lying creature does to anything they lay their hands on - divide and conquer. TG has indeed passed off Emiliano's research as his own, has passed blame and acrimony around everyone but himself when something goes wrong and has just plain lied about his contacts or fabled "higher ups" This guy is a careerist suit, just cos he dresses like your kid brother on Christmas morning don't make him any less a suit and Val's misjudgment of him is gonna cost him big time.
Mattel needs to know about this weasel and quick.

Anonymous said...

As a long time member of the .org, I have to say that this is some sad news indeed.

Though I've never been one to elevate our fandom's superfans to godly status as some do, I must admit I will miss seeing what interesting bits of information you continue to dig out that we are not aware of.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think MegaGearX hit the nail on the head with his last comment.

And I think the biggest problem is Mattel taking the point of view that Emiliano is "undermining" them in the first place.

Rather than looking at him as the valuble resource that he is... a walking, talking encyclopedia of MOTU knowledge... they look at him as some sort of threat.

It seems as if Mattel has never taken to kindly to people like Val and Emiliano taking "ownership" of the property the way that they have. Not in legal or literal terms, but in terms of their love of the brand prompting them to become as knowledgable as they are and becoming leaders in the fan community. It's almost as if Mattel is punishing them for being such dedicated fans. Rather than taking the criticism as an insult, Mattel should realize and aknowledge that it is a result of passion for the brand. But they refuse to see it that way, and continue to "blacklist" Val and Emiliano for it.

Apparently, based on the information that is now known, Val desperately wants to change this, going so far as to terminate his friendship with Emiliano and have him take the fall as being the reason for all of the "problems."

It's more than obvious that some of Emiliano's fan art MOTUC visions designs have gone on to influence the final product. There have been too many similarities for it to be coincidental.

Emiliano shouldn't be punished or blacklisted for his knowledge of the property or his criticism of how the property is being managed. Mattel should actively want to use him as a resource. But the egos of the people at Mattel are too big, and they look at some non-employee having more knowledge of their brand than they do as kind of threat or insult. They need to get over themselves.

Fallen Eldor said...

This if the first I'm hearing of this. I've been away from the forums for a long time, checking in when I can, mostly lurking about, but hardly ever post. I can't fully understand what has happened to cause this schism. As time moves on and the gap between communications grow and even though we have never gotten personal, I can't help but feel a bond, a connection, a kinship. I hardly use the term "friend" as loosely as I did in the past, but I use it now in full recognition of it's meaning. You are my friend, and I feel sad for this thing that has happened between the two of you. The same goes for Val. This is horrible. I hate watching friends fight. I hate taking sides. Other people will choose sides. People will play favorites. The community will fracture. This is a situation in which everyone looses.
I hope and pray that in the future things will change, that everything will go back to the way it was before. I pray I make it to Powercon, I missed last year. I hope to see you there because I couldn't image what a Fan gathering would be like without you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about this horrible mess, and it's truly sad that Val believes that taking this measure will appease the increasingly bloated ego of a certain Mattel executive and protect the fans. It won't. It will only get worse, until the 'higher-ups' actually start paying attention to mess their sandbox is starting to become.

I have the highest respect for your art and your dedication to Masters of the Universe, Emiliano. One can only hope that things can work out for the best win the future.

Anonymous said...

This is truly a sad day... I truly love the passion you convey for the property in all of the artwork that you do. When the .org was financially strapped a large number of us came together and donated a fair amount of cash to keep the site alive. You and your artwork were one of the major reasons that I contributed. Now, I in no way expect you to honor this, but at the time, when you donated above certain levels, a portion also counted as credit towards commissions by you as soon as you were available to do commissions again. I was never notified if you did take on any of those commissions (I could have missed it), but if you didn't and you no longer have a relationship with the .org, then I think the .org needs to consider coming clean with those who donated and possibly pay some people back.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why any of this had to made public. People have always looked at Emiliano and Val as being community leaders in the MOTU community. I expected better from both parties then what amounts to public bashing on both sides. None of this benifits the fans, and airing out this dirty laundry in such a public way is a diservice to all of the fans. Emiliano, I have mad respect for you, but all of feels wrong. We fans don't need to know everything. This should have been kept behind closed doors. You guys are adults; act like adults! I feel like this is a bad casting call for "Toy Masters 2". Fans don't appreciate being made part of the in-fighting at He-Man.org. If this hurts the brand by souring it for the fans, you have only yourselves to blame for it.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

A: I was left no choice.
B: people have the rights to know who run the site and who doesn't run it anymore.

I just think there is no need to talk like you know what all fans wants and needs to know :)

I asked Val to give a proper announcemt weeks ago.
He refused, so I had to give it myself. I firmly belive in keeping everything always very transparent.

Anonymous said...

True, I don't know what all fans want, but I know that most of the ones I have talked to think this has been taken to an extreme. With you guys, it kind of feels like you are asking the "kids" to choose one parent over the other. None of us want to see you guys fighting. Obviously, I can't post these thoughts over at He-Man.org...lol..., so I'm sorry if looks like I'm picking on you, which I am not.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

I understand.
And I really never wanted anyone to pick sides (even if I know that is inevitable to some degree, but I take full responsability).

Still, the very fact that you can't post your tought about it on the .org should give you a pretty good idea about why this had to be public ;)

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Abotut the commissions:
I never took commissions since then. I had been lucky enought to keep busy with work, so I never had time to do commissions.

You are presenting me a moral dilemma though. Should I still honor all those credits since I just promised or the fact that I've been kicked out from the place those credits supported should absolve me from any duty?

I sincerly never thought about this, so I'll have to think for a bit.

Anonymous said...

I think Val and He-Man.org should be responsible for compensating the fans for the commissions that they never received, not you.

That was something agreed upon with you in an official roll at He-Man.org. While the website is not a business, if someone gets fired from their job, their employer doesn't call them up the next day to finish up some work that they never completed before they were fired.... they find someone else to do it or some other way to get it done. I think the same should apply here.

I don't see it as you not following through on your promises, it's the "powers that be" at He-Man.org acting hastily and not thinking ahead on things like this. The problem falls squarely on their shoulders, not yours.

And if this forces them to acknowledge this situation and make an official announcement, then that's for the better. Keeping this hidden and selectively deleting posts and disciplining members of the community who speak of the issue but are still following the rules of the site is not at all an appropriate way to handle it. With all due respect to Val, he needs to man-up and speak openly about this... not act like a combination between a spoiled child and a fascist dictator.

Anonymous said...

Personally I feel all of this has to made as public and detailed as possible. Imagine Emiliano just vanished without a trace. Questions would have been asked sooner or later and if only vague hints or palin silence would have been given as answers things would be running really wild. That would have led to the worst kinds of speculations, fans posting the most absurd theories or starting flame wars. It's better to be upfront and public with this, giving everyone who's interested the details. That way this will work out much quicker and with less fuss.

Anonymous said...

Emiliano,

I'm very sorry that all of this has happened to you. Not sorry that you've been "erased" from the org because we all have our opinions, and the org tends to take things too far sometimes. For the fans, about the fans is what the org says it's about, but anymore it's been all about the money. I'm just sorry it had to end like this. You pour your heart and soul into something, and that something ends up smacking you in the face. It's not fair to you.

You don't need them, Emil. You have talent, love for MOTU and the fans... that's what you'll be remembered for in my mind. You're the most passionate person about MOTU that I know - not to mention the nicest most talented artist as well. You just choose not to gloat about it. I met you at PowerCon last year, and was very impressed. You never stop giving to the fans - that's what I love.

You'll move on from this just fine. My kids love your artwork, and I'd love to see you at PowerCon, but if that doesn't happen I understand.

Good luck to you my friend!

Anonymous said...

Emiliano

With respect to commissions... as the other Anonymous said, "... He-man.org should be responsible for compensating the fans" and I agree. The donations were to support He-man.org. The original terms were very explicit that commissions were only when Emiliano once again offers commissions, so all it would take in my mind is an email from He-man.org acknowledging that because there is no more relationship, this won't be offered.

Triklops said...

Before all this came to light I recently emailed val and asked him if there were any new projects coming out. I told him I was a fan of his and Emilianos comic series. He seemed almost chastizing in his reply saying Emaliano wasnt the only artist he worked with. Just thought he would say thanks for the compliment lol

Emiliano Santalucia said...

That is really petty but not surprising. I can understand Val being really frustrated at me at the moment.
Still, I didn't downplay his role or the good he did for MOTU at any time, and never I will.

Anonymous said...

Given what I know for a fact about Val's behavior over the years regarding certain business practices involving MOTU fans, I'm not surprised that it's finally come to this, Emiliano. A common thread throughout it all seems to be that promises are made upfront, only to be negated later on, and said affected parties are somehow supposed to be OK with that.

As far as I know, some serious broken promises, business-wise, with Val have been going on for at least almost 10 years, since the sadly short-lived 2002 MOTU revival. Everyone deserves another chance, but it's sad to see it's all still going on after all this time, without the affected parties coming to an amicable agreement.

Historically, Val has been very cagey about criticism of himself and about how He-Man.org has been run. A classic example would be the bungling incident involving the unauthorized use of Scare Glow in one of the 200X MOTU comics which led directly to the license being terminated by Mattel. Brian Cronin's Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed column once did a non-malicious expose on the details leading to the license termination, complete with *actual* quotes from Val that someone supplied. The article wasn't up for long before Val requested its removal, presumably to keep up the pretense of he and Mattel always having a cozy relationship, which clearly wasn't the case.

All in all it's a sad and sorry situation, but contrary to his public persona, Val has consistently proved himself someone who has been very, very difficult to do business with, so my heartiest sympathies and support go to you Emiliano.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Well, I'm always chamopioning reporting facts and telling the truth, and what you said about the Scare glow issues is not entirely correct. You may just have the wrong info though :)

Our first license agreement gave us perimssion to use ANY character from any media and any incarnation of MOTU. But that was never put on paper, and when the team in charge of the license at Mattel changed, the new people completely discared what the previous team told us.
As far as we knew, we didn't need any permission to use Scare Glow.

As far of the license's end, the license was never "terminated". It just expired and both parties had not interest in renewing it. There was no fall out with Mattel, no fight, no issues. We just decided that with at time current sales and restrictions on characters use, there was no reason for us to keep going :)

We surely had some issues, but I can confirm the relationship was very smooth and we had all Mattel trust. The only issues were of legal nature about the use of Treadmarked names, and even that came out of the complicated situation of MOTU and POP rights that were all over the place :)

Anonymous said...

Val Staples even sold off his entire He-Man collection to keep the site alive and help pay back the debt involved with the comics. Meanwhile Emiliano sits with his storage rooms filled with MOTU/POP merchandise and asks for donations so he and his partners can essentially own rare concept art, etc. Emiliano seems like the greedy one here, not Val. Plus, I don't see Val running his mouth off. Some take the high road, some take the detour.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

You know why I approve EVERY comment?
Because we can run in hilrarius ones like this.
And it's also one of the most stupid and uninformed one:

A: Val Staples, to this day, hasn't completed paying my debt, but that was okay, because I was hei friend and I could wait and never ever complained. Neither I will now.

B: I had no debts, so I didn't need to sell my collection. When needed, I even helped Val. Accusing me of being greed because of that is not only ridiculous, it's just plain stupid.

C: Me AND VAL, have asked for donations. Those donations have been used to pay for the site overhaoul. The other half of the site cost, not covered by fans' donations, was paid out of out pockets by me and Val.
None of the donations ever went in mine or Val pocket, and subsequent donation, recieved by Val (I don't recieve donations), have been saved or used to pay for serve costs, plug-ins, software upgrades, and maintenance.

My "partner" was Val, and we run all that in the most transparent way.
If you have doubts of questions about how that money was used, you need to address both me AND Val.

My current "partner" was never involved in He-Man.org and paid for rare artwork with his own money, same for me.
If you want to try to defame me, at least check your chronology and facts dude and make up something more believable :)

Michael said...

Sounds like the poster above Emiliano's last comment is either a He-Man.org mod or one of Val's circle of friends. They're the ones who have been the most vocal as far as criticizing Emiliano. Not saying Val has any involvement their comments, but it's obvious where their affiliations lie.

Personally, I'm glad this is out in the open. I like to know what or who I'm dealing with. No one who is not involved personally with this issue has the right to tell Emiliano not to go public with this, or to tell us we shouldn't be commenting on it. We have a right to think for ourselves, just as the aforementioned ridiculous poster does. The sad part is that Val tried to bribe Emiliano to keep his mouth shut about it. From what I've read, this is one of the "attractive options" (someone else's words) offered by Val. Some offer. Kicked off his own website, at least in an administrative role, and then an attempted bribe to keep his mouth shut. I commend Emiliano for not selling out for a few bucks.

As far as donations to the site, it's not as if they were ever mandatory. If Val sold off some of his belongings to cover site costs, that was his choice. Everyone else doesn't have to follow his lead. And everyone who donated got upgrades to their account. It's not like they were giving something for nothing. Although, I'm sure some of them would have if it meant keeping the site running.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

I honestly don't believe that poster is a He-Man.org mod or Val's close friend.
All the mods there and Val's friends are very decent people that I believe would never say something like that. Both me and Val are making clear our positions, but so far none of us tried to lie about each other and kept it within civili bundaries. Which will be what I'll keep to do regarless, evne some of the facts reported may sound harsh.
Plus, the post was very uninformed and unaccurate, and that alone exclused all HM.org mods: at least the know the full story and would never make up facts like that :)

Michael said...

You're right, Emiliano, I shouldn't have made that accusation. It just seemed to me that a lot of people who have expressed their dismay with you publicizing this have been connected to Val or the .org in that way. I guess other, less informed individuals are chiming in now. Not that I'm the most informed either, but I try to keep my thoughts civil and my posts constructive. ;)

Emiliano Santalucia said...

I respect Val's friends for standing up for him. I really do and respect that kind of loyalty.

I have my suspect about who is the poster above, as he sounds like a certain troll that likes to threw stupid, made-up accusation that makes zero sense. The tone and the crazy made up stuff surely sounds very similar :D

Mr. Shokoti said...

I find this news sad not only as a fan of Emiliano's but as someone who has spent a great deal of time on his former website over the past few years. I'm not going to attempt to take sides since I have no idea what has transpired behind closed doors. I will say it always stinks when friendships/partnerships are ruined, but it's got to be even harder when it's done in a public setting over something near & dear to one's heart. Whatever happens in the future Emiliano, I wish you luck. I'm happy that you'll still have your hands in the MOTU mix with the Power & Honor Foundation. Between that and any potential projects you might be a part of in the future, I'll definitely be there.:)

Anonymous said...

Emiliano,
Just thought about throwing in my two cents... I know I'm just merely a reader, a fan without any personal ties or involvement with you or Val, or any of the projects you are part of.....

... But I'm just really sad and bummed this is happening as the .org is something that I have recently discovered and adopted as part of my everyday life.

What bums me the most is that you guys were not able to find a happy medium so none of this would transpire... Life is full of compromises and sometimes people have to give in a little, that's how successful partnerships lats... Nobody can expect to agree on everything 100% all of the time...

I have been involved in numerous projects in my life and I will never forget in one occasion, one of my business associates said something that will sure stay with me for the rest of my life... He said: "Do you want to ALWAYS BE RIGHT, or do you want to HAVE FRIENDS???"

Of course I have no idea how things went down between you two, but since I can understand the need to stay closer to the corporate brand to create a better relationship thus provide better content to the fanbase (and hopefully one day work together again) I wish you guys could've found a happy medium...

Since you have your own blog where you can always express your own 'uncensored' opinions... Would it have been possible to stay at the .org in a more administrative capacity and leave your own forum for your personal thoughts???

Anyway, I'm a big advocate of diplomacy and I wish none of this would've happened as I strongly think, right or wrong, this indeed stains what you guys have accomplished so far as fans, professionals and more importantly FRIENDS.

- Marcos (aka 'Kissero' on the forums)

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Hi Marcos :)
See, I don't see the same need to stay closer to the corporation. The site content is provided by us and the fans, never by Mattel. If anything, a closer relationship would lead to less content. Mattel was never interested to help a third party site and that makes sense to a certain degree. It was them cutting bridges to start with, so all the bad stuff I'm accused now, was us (not just me) defending ourselves and trying to understand why that relationship was being abandoned. Things happened in this order, not the other way around, but it seems like it's all forgotten now.

Still I believe that, to remain objective and to preserve its users' freedom of speach, a fan site is better off remain indipendent. But that is just my idea, I understand others have a different idea :)

About your question: no, all I was saying was questioned, no matter where I expressed it. Being it on facebook or on the forum, I was in many ways He-Man.org. So that reflected on the site. Which is true. Never denied that. I deny that it reflects "negatively". That is a point of view. To me fighting for people's right to express their opinions and give honest feedback to Mattel reps is a positive things, not a negative one.

Trust me if we got to this point, all possibile resolutions had been explored with no results. I just want to strees that it wasn't me making an hostile move first. When the server password was changed, I had stayed silent and quite for almost 3 months, as all the harassement and I had to to go thorugh really silenced. I started talking again once I know there was no coming back and the decision (about my own home) was taken without me.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

I hate that I can't edit my comments here.
I make too many spelling mistakes.
This sentence for example, was meant to read as:
"...as all the harassement and I had to to go thorugh really silenced ME"
:-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding Emiliano....

I absolutely understand everything you say. I even think agreeing or disagreeing is beyond the point, specially when sometimes two different points of view can still be 'right' according to how one perceives things...

The question is, what to do when that happens.... If you really tried to negotiate and work things out, if posting on your own forum under your exclusive name still wasn't an option.... Then I have to think no attempt was really made by the other party to find that 'happy medium' I was referring to before...

In that case I'm sorry you had to deal with a very one dimensional point of view..... I hope things can still be worked out at some point.... It doesn't help any MOTU fan that you guys are divided and I really want to believe neither of you is a 100% happy with this outcome...

In any case, I thank you tremendously for your passion and dedication to MOTU and I will continue to support your endeavors as they are always pure quality!

- Marcos (aka 'Kissero' on the forums)

Anonymous said...

Emiliano! Man I can't believe this!! I know I'm a bit late to comment here, but I gotta know... What would it take for you to return?

The .org will not recover from this rift as long as it stands. Is it strictly because of your criticisms aimed at MOTUC or your work for other competitors that's causing this?

Also, can you please explain what kind of pressure Mattel is placing on you and/or the site? Is it strictly between you and Val?

Tell me there's some hope Emiliano!!

Emiliano Santalucia said...

A very brief reply as I'm going to bed.
I honeslty don't think there is any chance of me returning. Val has taken his path, stealing what was mine while doing that. I could agree on a settlement where the site content and profits are split more equally, but I know it won't happen. But I don't expect anyone to change their minds about what the chose to pursue. Just to understand that it wasn't just their decision to take.

If we want to be idealistict, I'd start with completely rewriting the forum rules.
Make them much shorter, and make them so new users feel more welcome. Not write them around the infraction system .That maybe can be used differently, more just as an aid to the mod and not as such a deterrent and punishment tool. (but since I have no access to the admin control panel anymore, I can't explore what the software options are)

That would be a big step for me: stopping assuming "people are stupid" and try to keep them comfortable on the forum, not forcing them to be conmfortable.

What happened is all about this kind of criticims and my criticims for Mattel's rep (totally coming from my need to defend myself and their attacks to the site, not the other way around as it has been said). My work for Hasbro never had anything to do with that. Mattel could have me at any time, they chose not to and blocked me with the 4H and other licensees.

Funniest part, Mattel is no placing any pressure on me, Val or the site. It all come internally for this desire to reastabilish a close relationship with the brand owners.
But what the site has to gain from this relationship is a question many of us asked and still couldn't get a good reply.

Okay, it wasn't that short for a reply ;)

Anonymous said...

And just the other day I was listening to Gooble episode 76, 77, 78 and Val and Danielle were clamoring for Emiliano to be hired by Mattel for MOTUC. Oh how times have changed!

Well, I am somewhat of a newcomer to He-Man.org, but not very new. I have been listening to Roast Gooble Dinner since you were part of it, Emiliano. I was at Power-Con last year.

But I must say, Emiliano and Val (if Val even reads this), this whole episode *is a complete turn-off* for me from the fan community. If you guys behave like this, what example do you set? How can we expect the others to behave if the leaders respond like this?

I know any desire I had to donate to He-Man.org AND the Power and Honor Foundation has evaporated because of this episode. Not that my donations are needed. I am only one. But my morale is very low right now.

It is your full right to do what you did, and only you all will know the complete story enough to know who is right and wrong, but this is a shame, and that is a fact that I as a MOTU fan am saddened by.

Finally, while on forum rules/infractions, I know I am VERY less likely to trade or buy from the Org marketplace. It'll take longer to understand the intent behind the rules than to sell on eBay. On this, Emiliano, I agree with you completely.

Anonymous said...

As a long time he-man.org member I just wanted to show my support for Emiliano here.

What was once a fun place to hang out and talk MOTU slowly turned into a place where you had to tiptoe around stuff for fear of your post disappearing without notice.

This behavior was increasingly offensive to me because like most of you, my free time is limited, and to take out time to compose thoughtful remarks (free of vulgarity, accusations, etc) only to have them removed without explanation, out of fear of offending someone's fabricated sensibilities really felt like a betrayal. Especially considering the financial contributions made by myself and other fans to keep the site going. If we're donating money to the site, shouldn't freedom from unfounded censorship be the very least one could expect?

Anyway, this pretty much seals the deal with my future .org involvement. What a shame.

Best of luck in future endeavors, Emiliano, and keep up the amazing work with the Power and Honor Foundation, the TRUE honest work of TRUE fans!!!!

Mr. Shokoti said...

Emiliano, you mentioned that the Italian forums would have to be moved to another site. Since I don't speak or read Italian, would you have an English section if you ever did that or is this blog the only thing you want or have time for now?

Emiliano Santalucia said...

To the last anonymous post.
You bring up a very important thing, and that alone should be the answer to everybody that is thinking I shouldn't have made this public.
We asked our users to donate money. I strongly believe it's then a very ethical thing to remain completely transparent, especially in light of asking and receiving donations.
I think it's donor's right to know exactly who are donating to and what are the motives of each of the person in charge

That doesn't mean donations have been or are being handled in any less than transparent way. But I feel donor needs to have all the informations, since they are/were trusting me and Val with their money.
-------
Mr. Shokoti:
Yes, it has been requested to me to move the Italian forum out of He-Man.org and I'm helping with that.
I won't be in charge of it anymore thouhg, I'll have admin power to help with the technical side, so it won't really be my site, but more AlessandraF's and all the others Italian fans'.
If they decide to have an English section, I will surely partecipate and help, but it is up to them. Right now, I'm really tired and too disappointed by the turn of events to really willing to build a community on my own, even if I'll do my best to help anyone that want to try.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply! I'm going to have to look those old RGD episodes up. Aside from more questions (sorry!), one comment:

On the business level, no one on the outside is really in a position to take sides here, but... when you say "stealing" that's very strong language! I hope you can see how this contradicts with your intent on keeping things civil. Besides, the the main reason that both you and Val are citing for the falling out is differing views on what direction the site should be going. The business issue might be a valid one, but it has the potential to make you look bad as well. For example, why not draw up a contract if it wasn't simply a labor of love? If the there was a legal agreement of some kind and it wasn't being fulfilled, was your professional relationship with Val such that you decided not to hold him to those terms until after you had a major disagreement? Those are matters best left to Val and yourself. We as a community cannot possibly be expected to advise, fix, or take sides on that.

What you said about Mattel was relevant though and an object of concern for any fan. When did you first realize Mattel was stonewalling you? Did it start before your criticisms were made known? Did they hold you as partially responsible for the ultimate failure of the 2002 push? Did they ever give you a reason for not wanting to work with you? I don't blame you if you don't know, I can't think of a reason either. Your stuff was always top notch!

In what way did they block you with the 4H? Before you answer that, how do you know for sure they were using them to keep you out?

Back to the org for just a second. Would it be accurate to say that Mr. Neitlich spending more time at Matty's forums and less time checking in at the org precipitated this new push to reconnect with Mattel? That's the major shift that first made me take notice.

Lastly, if there was a time when you felt Val recognized you as a true co-founder at the .org, when was it made clear to you that Val really had the last say? Was there ever an agreement or understanding between you two, verbal or otherwise, that might have led him to believe that you accepted this new positioning with Mattel? It has been four years, why has this become such an issue now? Did having SDCC right around the corner change anything?

So many questions! Sorry to unload like that, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. Thank you for taking questions on such a difficult subject Emiliano.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Yes, stealing is a strong word, but I don't think it isn't civil.
For me it is fact: I invested my money, time, and work in teh site. For years, we've been splitting costs and shares. I designed the CMS software and graphics, helping on a thousands other things.
It was never said that I was performing this job for Val or MVCreations. There is no contract to prove that, Val never said such.
The moment I have no access to all this, and my shares of the profits are taken away from me, I call it stealing.

About your other questions:
We had a weird feeling about some stuff going on with some Mattel reps (not the entire company) since the days we were working on the 2002 DVD, which was a living hell for all involved.
Yes, most of this predates my criticims.
Mattel never hold me or Val responsible for any 2002 problem. We were just a licensee for the comic.
No one ever gave me any reason to not wanting to work with me. Excuses have been trhown out, each of them being different or contraddicting the previous.
just a few examples: not being able to hire external contractors except sculptors - wrong, tons of freelance work with Mattel, including designers and illustrators exactly like I do with Hasbro; Me non being on a preapproved list of vendors - how can I be added to that?; No need for me as they already have a team of experts.; Being an administrator of a Fan site....
Just say you don't want me, I'd have much less to complain if I had got that honest reply.

I was providing the 4H reference material (mostly coming from Mattel own products), and legal dept told them they cannot receive any reference that isn't coming directly from Mattel and they cannot discuss anything MOTU related with me.
The tone was generic so it couldn't read that was specifically about me, but it clearly was (like many things happened after that)

About the question about Scott, no, I don't believe that is the reason.
Me and Val aren't the co-funder of HM.org. Matthew R and Adam Tyner are. For me and Val, there was never need to discuss that. We always felt like equal partners, or at least that is how I felt and I had no reason to feel differently (especially because of the financial part). But recent events (I mean last year) showed me that I was starting to not have equal say anymore.
This hasn't happened just now. Like Val said, this has been bulding up for over a years behind the scene. But I never accepted this shift toward Mattel.
Two things I'd still like to stress once more: this doens't mean Mattel is bad. I just think fan sites should remain indipendent, that's it.
And, appealing to Mattel wasn't our only disagreement. New rules, infraction system, the way my work and ideas where handled were also a big part of our disagreement.

Mr. Shokoti said...

I can imagine not wanting to get involved in starting your own forum again after recent events. I'm just happy you haven't sworn off MOTU/POP in disgust. As someone who has bouts himself of being a "bitter old fuck", I can see myself wanting to do that if I went through what you have. Besides the great designs you have shown on this blog(I just found out about it & need to look at all of the older entries too), I'm happy you are still a part of the Power & Honor Foundation. That first book of their's is one of the best MOTU related things to have ever come out.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this, and I hope this turns out well for everyone in the end.

It's a shame we can't all enjoy He-Man through the eyes of kids again, and without the negative junk and politics :(


I just recently started listening to the Gooble Podcast and loved your knowledge and enthusiasm for something that has brought me pleasure since I was a kid.


Keep up the good work and great art, and thanks for all you've done in the past!

bowspearer said...

Honestly this doesn't surprise me at all. A few months ago I asked Val for an exception to the rules about other forums as the Mattycollector mods were censoring criticisms of TGs soundbyte copouts, coupled with Matty CS being useless, which he refused claiming that there was still Mattel CS to call (like that was going to do any good).

Honestly, Val's "defense" has only served to confirm your story. It really is a sad day when a fan forum owner thinks sucking up to a company will get them any kind of meaningful relationship with it - to the point where they stab their own friends in the back and steal from them.

Still it just means he'll learn the hard way and deserves every ounce of the pain he gets when the reality of how the corporate world operates sends him crashing to the ground in a rather painful manner after being used and discarded.

Anonymous said...

I've only just heard about this (I've been lurking on the .org on and off for years so much of the politics pass me by) and I've not had the opportunity to talk with you often, but I've always appreciated your posts and your contributions to the site. I think you're a great artist and a good guy, so it's a real shame to see you treated this way.

Though I don't claim to know everything that's going on or understand all aspects, I think it's a shame to think that your contributions might effectively be white washed from the .org and your voice silenced.

Masamune

Anonymous said...

Hey Val, sorry to hear about this. I just wanted to share with you that I too had my own terrible experience there with a certain person you named. It all came about when I started petitioning and trying to rally fans to join the cause for Mattel to create an extension for the MOTU200x cartoon. I was made an outcast for a series of very complex reasons by the person you mentioned. It was then that I realized that as long as he was there, the forums would be MADE to reflect his own views on the brand. I truly appreciate the frustration you are feeling as I know how controlling and strange the tactics used on the site can become to the most logical user.

Emiliano Santalucia said...

Hum, okay, but I'm Emiliano ;)

Anonymous said...

Okay, at first I thought you stopped posting at the org because of Mattel's involvement and Val's choice taking their side, but after your blog's post about the P&H foundation being blocked from attending the Power Con, I started to contemplate for what the real reasons were behind all this drama, and I finally ended up here!

Now I have a clearer picture of what's really going on with you and with the org, especially after having a couple of my own posts being completely deleted by the mod (Dorrmann) sometime ago without any warning simply because they've mentioned the "LT. Spector" figure in a sarcastic way or another when displaying him! (As I recall, I said I'm going to have the mask covering his face all the time!) "Scott" wasn't even in the picture at all!
The censorship was and still is somehow uncanny and a bit of an overkill IMO. Now, you either praise Toyguru's flip-flop comments or you better shut up!
I just can't fathom how Val just treated you like that especially considering all the great work you've done to the org, to community, and even to the brand itself over the years! My deepest sympathies to you Emiliano, but don't worry man, many of us have your back now bro, and will give you all the support you need if you wish to start a new community. :-)

Anonymous said...

santalucia, you will always be one of the best he-man artist of all time, In my oppinion, along with a friend that I could never leave out, Killersha. or Sha. I'll always envy your art, and you encouraged me to collect all the motu 200x comics, all covers including the GrahamCrackerComic Exclusives.. I hope all goes well with you, and wish you the best of luck, and hope to see you doing he-man, art in the future.. Thanks for everything..

Shawn

Anonymous said...



val staples is a fucking nazi ! He has been a massive censorship machine for years and continues to this day feeling like he is a perfect model of a person! Well, read this JVS3 you are the worst kind of the person to be trusted power to, you do not accept opinions and criticism, the way you handle critics and different opinions is by erasing them and making it look like as though no one ever said a thing !

You are disrespect for any online community, it's a real shame you still have anything to do with he-man.ORG

Emiliano, you are much bigger than he-man.org, my best wishes and stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I could tell something was up at the org lately. I dared to post my dislike for what Scott said about Mattel using ANY complaints as an excuse to cancel the line and Val jumped on me. He chastised me for making things up but I was actually quoting Scott! It was right there! Seems like anyone who criticizes Mattel is the bad guy there. I guess I understand now. Too bad.

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