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March 29, 2012 / Stuart Mears

It seems the smiling assassin has stabbed someone else in the back!

Many of you will be aware from recent posts on this blog about how and why Jazz Publishing and myself have been the subject of a social media “hate” campaign. Much of the activity started when Neil Dalleywater and Alex Guest (then-editors of Skin Deep and Tattoo Master magazine) left the company under a cloud of unexplained events and behaviour.

I recently met with Alex (ex-editor of Tattoo Master) and his partner Zoe in a pub. We spent a few hours talking about things that have happened since the very public leaving from Jazz Publishing of him and Neil Dalleywater from their roles as editors on two of our titles.

Alex very kindly agreed to put his side of goings on, on my blog. It’s always interesting to hear other sides of a story – it’s hugely important. I am very grateful to them both for being so open and honest. Firstly, for apologising to me in person; secondly, for being courteous enough to tell me information I was not aware of. I wish I knew more people like this. Thank you, both.

Here is Alex’s comments taken from his blog:

Divine Karma Publishing, TRM Publishing and Tattoo Revolution Magazine: Nowt to do with me, pal…

Hi. I’m Alex Guest. You may remember me from publications such as Skin Deep, Tattoo Master, The Tattoo Bible and for a while, I was the editor of Tattoo Revolution Magazine. I’ve also written for the good folk of Total Tattoo. Then I disappeared altogether. 



If you do remember me, this may interest you. Or it may not. Either way, I’ve no doubt this will ruffle a few feathers but frankly, I really couldn’t give a fuck who it upsets. I’ve written this because I want to make it clear that I have zero involvement with Tattoo Revolution Magazine, Divine Karma Publishing or TRM Publishing. Many people are under the impression that I’m still at Revolution yet I haven’t been a director of Divine Karma Publishing since April 2011 and I haven’t worked in a freelance capacity for Tattoo Revolution Magazine since September 2011. I’m doing this now because of Stuart Mears’ blog post here: So .. this is the new and more ‘ethical’ future of tattooing, is it?

Let me quote him here in his entirety:

“On 15th March, just as I was leaving work for the day, an email (a very interesting email) appeared in my inbox. I have since spoken to Dean at Imagery, the printing company this email was from and he is happy for me to show you what he wrote to me.

Hi Stuart,

I have recently read a blog from your regarding our mutual friend Divine Karma Publishing. We printed four issues of Tattoo Revolution. Two of which we have been paid for. Then in Jan Mr Dalleywater tells me sales have not been that great and he can now not pay us the £ 12,000 he owes us and further more has sold the magazine. However he seems to have sold it for nothing but magic beans.

Or what is more likely just transferred it to a different name leaving us up a certain river without a certain paddle. We are sending the matter to our solicitors today. If you have any information on the wonderful Mr Dalleywater I would appreciate it if you could let me know.
He paid his first issue upfront and then his second on thirty days and seamed a very nice chap. It appears all is not what it seams

Thanks

Dean Booth

Commercial Manager

Imagery

In my conversation with Dean he also said that when Neil Dalleywater, whilst acting very friendly and nice (as he always does!), was asked who he had sold the magazine too, said he “did not know their details”!  Dean also told me that from his research, Neil had set up another company – called TRM Publishing Ltd. whilst Imagery was printing his magazine for Divine Karma Publishing Ltd. – suggesting Neil knew that he was never going to pay their print bill.

It seems that Tattoo Revolution is now being published by TRM Publishing Ltd. It also seems that Dean was right, Neil Dalleywater may have sold his magazine for magic beans, to himself! For Neil Dalleywater is the sole director of TRM Publishing Ltd.

WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO WAKE UP TO WHAT’S ‘REALLY’ HAPPENING HERE? HOW MANY TIMES CAN THE WOOL BE PULLED OVER YOUR EYES!?!

I have since had a conversation with Andrew Jones. Andrew is the Group Managing Director of Stephens & George Print Group, who printed the first few issues of Tattoo Revolution for Neil Dalleywater of Divine Karma Publishing Ltd. Andrew informs me that they too have not been paid for the printing of Tattoo Revolution Magazine to the sum of £5,800.

It would seem that the magazine was moved to another printer, in this case Imagery, when they could not pay the bill, it would also seem that someone else is now printing Tattoo Revolution Magazine, in the wake of the two previous print companies that have not yet been paid.
I am strangely starting to believe in Karma… :)
..and as for this “ethical” tattoo venture …. don’t make me laugh!”

Stuart’s not an idiot when it comes to publishing and libel laws; these statements are indeed verifiable. I guess you can see quite clearly why I want the tattoo world to know that I’m not involved with Neil or the magazine in any context. When I was edged out of the business, the printers were paid upfront for the magazines and credit was not an option whilst I was part of the company. The first priority was always to pay the printers and get the magazine out, and frankly I think it takes the piss that these print companies are now out of pocket. TRM Publishing has sprung up as the publisher of Tattoo Revolution Magazine, but Stuart was torn to shreds over his dealings, and I’ve yet to hear a murmur of objection about Neil’s handling of things. What kind of bullshit double standard is that?

Now we’ve established that I’m not part of the Revolution any longer and why I’m so disgusted at what’s gone on, let’s get to why I ceased to be part of Tattoo Revolution Magazine.

The week before my daughter was due to be born in April of 2011, Neil met with me to collect some magazines from my house and then out of the blue informed me that the Divine Karma Publishing could no longer support us both. He had brought with him the termination forms required by Companies House to rescind company director appointments and asked me to sign out of the company. I had no stake or liability in Divine Karma Publishing’s financial affairs so this just left one question: what was to be my involvement with the magazine? Neil told me I was to remain as editor on a freelance basis and articles I submitted would be considered on top of the basic editor work (i.e. proofing, copy editing, etc). We agreed that we’d come to a join statement announcing my departure and it would be something upbeat and positive.

I read in the first Tattoo Revolution editorial following my termination as director of Divine Karma Publishing that I’d left the magazine to spend more time with my family and pursue freelance work. I had no say in the content of that statement, and it’s a flat-out lie. I mean, how many people do you know can afford to decide to suddenly drop out of a full-time roll in a venture that they’d committed career suicide for? Doesn’t make sense, does it? You might allege that the whole ‘agreement’ about remaining as editor was a porky pie used as leverage to ease my signature onto those termination papers.

I was removed from the magazine contact section as editor by the very next issue and my editor ‘contract’ lasted just one month before I was again told “the business couldn’t afford me”. I wrote a total of three articles for Tattoo Revolution Magazine, and I chose to bring this to an end for three reasons. Firstly, because payment for my last article was way overdue and took a lot of chasing to secure. Secondly, because the look and feel of the magazine wasn’t what I identified with or wanted to be a part of. Thirdly, because my new full-time job demanded all of my time and attention, time that apparently should have been spent with my newborn daughter.

The question I’m sure anyone reading this will ask is “Why did you wait so long to put this information out there?”. That’s simple: I told two groups of friends what had happened at the time of these events and there was barely a raised eyebrow amongst them, let alone any show of support towards me. That told me all I needed to know about where loyalties would lie should I go public. I was still green in the tattoo world by comparison and I wasn’t part of the crowd that makes its voice heard above all others. I colluded to a lie by keeping quiet and fading away without a murmur at the time because I really didn’t see how anyone else would care what had happened. If your friends don’t take your side, then who else do you look to?

I’m sure others will decry all of this as lies, and you’re of course welcome to your opinion if you think I’ve made this up. You’d be wrong, but again, welcome to your opinion. Ask yourself this: what would I stand to gain by lying about it now? I have no stake in the tattoo world in any guise and nor do I intend to reprise a role. Sorry to piss on your bonfire, but there’s simply nothing in it for me to go around making stuff up after a year of keeping it quiet. All of this is the truth, albeit an undoubtedly inconvenient truth for some people.

I’m doing this now, making my story public now, because I’m not the only one who has been affected by either Neil Dalleywater or Tattoo Revolution’s ‘ethics’. This isn’t about whether or not people will believe me or about starting up the next battle: it’s simply about disassociating myself from Neil and Tattoo Revolution because businesses are now being affected by their collective dealings, and I want everyone to know I had no involvement or prior knowledge of any situation that would lead to a default on future debts.

In September of last year I took a step back from the tattoo world, deleting my Facebook and relinquishing the freelance work I occasionally embarked on with Total Tattoo (to whom I’m extremely grateful). I was tired of seeing sycophantic posts and remarks from people who had no idea as to what had gone on and knowing full well that trying to correct the misconceptions and fallacies on Facebook would be as productive as pissing into a hurricane and hoping to stay dry.

As 2012 dawned I took stock of all that had gone on and realised there was an irony in that I’d spent so long trying to destroy one person’s place in the tattoo industry when I ultimately lost my own. If that’s not karma, I don’t know what is. I don’t seek sympathy because this is the outcome of the risk I took, and I knew full well that losing my career was a possibility. The situation just is.

In seeking to redress the balance, I met up with Stuart earlier this year to put an end to our feud. We apologised, shook hands and left with what I think was a sense of closure on the situations we’d put each other through. I’ve no doubt that will get the rumour mill churning and have people questioning my motives for this post, but I again refer you to my earlier disclaimer: I honestly couldn’t give a fuck what anyone’s opinion of me may be. My conscience is clear. I wonder how many others can say that with hand on heart?

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