In September, comic artist Timothy Yates plead guilty to distributing child porn. Yates was arrested in April and officers found “thousands of images and videos of child sexual abuse.” Yates studied at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art and was a creator on Anne Bonnie which was published through Blue Juice Comics.
Blue Juice acted quickly on the news removing the comic and Yates’ bio from the publisher’s site but his name remained on comics where he is credited as the colorist. The comics were still listed on digital comic services as of this post.
There were lingering questions as to the future of Anne Bonnie and Blue Juice has remained silent until recently (with good reason as explained below).
Blue Juice Editor in Chief Tom Mumme posted the following on their Facebook page addressing the charges as well as the future of the comic series:
Dear Blue Juice Comics Fans,
We have some disturbing news to share.
There’s no easy way to say this: Tim Yates, the writer and artist of our pirate series ANNE BONNIE, has been arrested for distribution of child pornography, and has pled guilty.
We first learned that there were credible allegations against Tim over a year ago, and were shocked and disgusted by the news, as we’re sure many of you are now. As fathers and family men, we were horrified by his actions. We immediately cut all ties with Tim, and stopped production on ANNE BONNIE. We have not spoken to Tim or worked with him since.
When we tried to alert other creators about the situation, Tim sued us for defamation (even though he had confessed his illegal activities to me personally). Due to this litigation, and the pending investigation against Tim, we were not legally allowed to discuss our knowledge of his crimes with anyone else until now.
Now that Tim has pleaded guilty and the verdict against him is a matter of public record, we are free to tell our side of the story.
The past year has been devastating for us, and among other things, has left the future of ANNE BONNIE in limbo. Blue Juice Comics retained the full rights to ANNE BONNIE, but the situation was obviously more complicated than that. Could the series move forward with such a dark shadow hanging over it?
After many long and difficult discussions, we decided to continue the story. We still believe in the characters and the world of ANNE BONNIE, and think it would be wrong for this world to be destroyed by the despicable actions of one individual. We hope that you feel the same way.
We have brought on a new creative team, and they’ve been hard at work for the past few months crafting new ANNE BONNIE adventures. Tim Yates is no longer involved in any way, and receives no profit from any comic sales or Blue Juice income.
We realize how upsetting this news may be to people, but we thought that everyone – especially our readers and fans who have been so incredibly supportive over the years – had a right to know. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts of any kind.
Editor in Chief
Blue Juice Comics