Today Action Lab Entertainment fell in hot water over one of their New York Comic Con exclusives, Ivan the Pervy Ghost One-Shot which some saw as promoting harassment of cosplayers (and harassment in general). That comic was being released under the Action Lab: Danger Zone imprint. Danger Zone is an “adult” imprint focused on mature material.
The exclusive comic by Bryan Seaton and Dan Mendoza was not to be offered in print again. A digital release was to come out later this year. The comic was being in sets of 1 Regular and 1 Risqué cover with a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. Retailing for $100, $50 from each set sold at was to go to help Hurricane victims of Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
When issue over the release was raised online, Action Lab: Danger Zone tweeted less than professional responses in return to which “the hack” excuse was dropped. In fact the account was not hacked, a person who should not have had access had indeed had access.
In response, Action Lab’s publisher/CEO Bryan Seaton released the following statement:
As Publisher of Action Lab Comics, it was never my or Action Lab’s intention to promote or make light of cosplay consent issues. We recognize that sexual harassment of cosplayers is a very real issue and particularly that it is one some of our own creators have spoken out on in the past. In retrospect, we agree that the cover of Ivan is ill-considered, and we will be removing this cover as one of our NYCC exclusives.
As a publisher of creator-owned books, Action Lab doesn’t believe in censorship – but we do believe in respecting our readers, being sensitive to issues in our community, and owning up to our mistakes. In short, we made a mistake, we did something dumb, and we sincerely apologize. As part of the comics community, we appreciate your comments and feedback and we will continue to work to get it right. When we do something wrong, please call us out. We want to be a publisher where every reader feels welcome.
In response to the Twitter controversy that spawned from the critique of the cover, Seaton went on to say:
I would like to apologize on behalf of Action Lab and Action Lab Danger Zone for any and all rude and inappropriate tweets. We do not believe these tweets where done by any Action Lab staff but by a malicious third party. Passwords have now been changed and tweets deleted but damage has already been done and again we apologize.
We’ve asked for clarification if the comic will be available with a different cover and plans are still to release it digitally in the future.