Gabe Chouinard: Do Not Do Projects With Him

When several years back The Third Alternative hushed up the information that one of their cover artists had plagiarized from Dave McKean, I thought that was unfortunate because it meant that artist might be able to pull it over on someone else. When I caught a reviewer for a number of websites plagiarizing from other reviewers, I was reluctant not to go public but was convinced to just make those websites aware of the situation. (This did appear to take care of the problem.)

In both cases, I didn’t say anything publicly. To some extent, I convinced myself it wasn’t my business. But I have to say I favor transparency whenever possible, and for this reason I have to say that having observed Gabe Chouinard’s behavior over the years, starting with Fantastic Metropolis, it is important for people to know that (1) he never ever finishes a project he starts, (2) he knows nothing about PR and should not be given money to serve in that capacity, (3) he appears to have stolen people’s time and money, (4) he is unable to acknowledge that anything is ever his fault, and (5) he will repeatedly use the excuse of “family problems” to get sympathy and thus get out from under any hole he has dug himself into.

So, it’s no surprise about what happened with Scalpel Magazine. I guess I just thought everyone knew Gabe’s MO.

Because I think it’s well past time that Gabe stop abusing other people’s trust, I am posting publicly about this. Transparency is more important than a false sense of decorum.

Enough said.


16 comments on “Gabe Chouinard: Do Not Do Projects With Him

  1. Jeff,

    I admire your guts, but I hope you don’t get sued.. It’s all good, but point 3 is grounds for a lawsuit. That said, you’re doing the right thing, I just hope you don’t “take one for the team”.

  2. Larry says:


    Considering what I’ve read over at Frameshift about what happened to Gary Wassner and Chris Billet, I’d have to say that #3 is pretty spot-on. And in legal terms, “basically” is not the same thing as “exactly,” as it depends on how one defines that possibly fraudulent transaction. But sadly, the worst thing about all this is that Gabe gets his name mentioned all over the spec fic blogosphere yet once again, for the same old shit.

  3. vandermeer says:

    I think it’s important to be accurate, so I’ve changed the mention and linked to a relevant discussion.


  4. Much more prudent, and helpful too.

  5. Now I’m curious about what point three originally said!

    Anyway, thanks for this, Jeff. I utterly agree that what Gabe has done, still does, and will presumably continue to do needs to be well known. He is a liability to any that get involved with him on a business level, and I say that from personal experience.

    I second all the above, and my reasons for doing so are all in the linked thread somewhere.

  6. I do think there comes a point when people need to be aware of the rep attached to the “editor” or “collaborator” they’re working with, *especially* if there’s money changing hands. A lot of people put in a lot of time and effort into these failed projects; people who don’t know Gabe’s rep or who’ve just seen a few reviews here and there are sinking an awful lot of time into enterprises that were failed before they began.

    If people choose to deal with him even knowing he’s an unreliable blowhard, that’s great, but I’d hate to see anybody – newbie or pro – waste their time on a project that never got off the ground because it was run by a demonstrable idiot. If I was a newbie out there looking for a a way to get involved in the field, I sure as hell would want to know who the fuckups are who go around screwing over other people and wasting their time.

    “Personal issues,” my ass. Anybody with that many personal issues needs to sit down and sort our their life before making huge professional committments. If you have a rocky personal life, don’t keep starting up projects with other people that you’re just going to dump on them the next time your wife kicks you out of the house.

    I have my fair share of personal issues – you sure as hell don’t see me going out and starting a magazine.

  7. Kameron, I can’t agree with you more. There’s a big difference between “dealing with personal issues” and “having your head so far up your ass that you’ve become a walking Klein bottle.”

  8. Jonathan M says:

    Wow Jeff, you don’t pull your punches do you? I went public because I made a mistake and I wanted the facts known, beyond that I don’t feel any real venom towards Gabe… I’m not even sure he realises how he has mistreated people who trusted him. I really feel sorry for him. I dread to think what it must be like to be Gabe every day of the week.

    Mercifully, when he left me holding the baby we did not owe anyone any money and we weren’t backing out on any contracts or long term agreements with anyone (the biggest casualty was probably Adam Roberts who wrote a few columns for us up front). I suspect that if there had been financial complications then I would feel a lot more angry than I do. Mind you, I would have done a lot more digging and been a lot more suspicious if money had been involved.

  9. I think that after awhile, you get sick of hearing some blowhard screaming about how gritty and bloody “the revolution” will be once they’ve mustered up the willpower to get their ass off the toilet while you’re spending the same number of years out there in the fucking trenches doing actual work (come hell, high water, chronic illness, and relationship disasters).

  10. vandermeer says:

    I’m not angry. I feel a sense of community responsibility. As should we all.

    And what Kameron says is very true, too.

    Remember, I was involved in Fantastic Metropolis when Gabe C was involved with it, and I saw the behavior firsthand.

    I bear no ill will toward Gabe and I wish him only the best. But I do not believe he should be doing projects.


  11. Jonathan M says:

    Then I think wer’e of a same mind Jeff.

  12. I agree as well. He still owes me art for Hal’s chapbook, as well as other things. I shouldn’t be surprised about him ditching out on me, but I am. I wish I could’ve seen this warning when I first met him.

  13. Ben E says:

    Jeff – looks like Gabe has now managed to blow away Frameshift – I thought Chris had the keys to the system but apparently not. Pretty disappointing.

  14. joel says:

    I hope you guys can get together the paperwork and legal gumption to take it to small claims. It’s one thing to be shamboozled, it’s another to lose money doing it.
    I think he will keep doing this with new people in his little dream world where he’s actually relevant until the real world hits him in the face.

  15. Shevchyk says:

    Keep in mind, the latest poster to donate to the EZBoard also took a small financial hit.

  16. Marcos says:

    It’s hard to find well-informed people on this subject, but you sound like you
    know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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