Tag Archives: controversy

Action Lab Releases a Statement on Ivan the Pervy Ghost Controversy

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.

Cee Lo and Teen Titans Go!, a Musical Combination That Falls Flat

The Night Begins to Shine” by B.E.R. is some 80s-inspired electro-soul music that’s well know to Teen Titans Go!, the popular cartoon geared towards kids. The song, a favorite of Vic Stone aka Cyborg, is the heart of a four-part Teen Titans Go! special that kicked off on Cartoon Network this week.

To promote the episode, three new versions of the song along with two other B.E.R. songs heard in the special, are being released through WaterTower Music. One of those new recordings is by Cee Lo Green, a musical artist with a troubling past in actions and words, and one musician a show aimed at kids shouldn’t be embracing. The singer has had legal issues including drug charges, accusations of rape, and a defence of rape of which he had to walk back (and that was also to defend Bill Cosby).

In August 2014 the singer pleaded no contest to one felony count of “furnishing a controlled substance – a charge stemming from a July 2012 incident in which a woman accused the singer of slipping ecstasy into her drink.” He was ordered to complete 360 hours of community service.

But, that “controlled substance” charge was the tip of the iceberg as the woman he slipped the drug too also accused him of rape after waking up naked in the singer’s bed not remembering anything. The prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to file rape charges of an intoxicated person (some reports say the prosecutors found it to be consensual).

Then the singer defended the action Tweeting:

If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH implies consent. People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!

The singer then apologized for the Tweet with:

I truly and deeply apologize for the comments attributed to me on Twitter. Those comments were idiotic, untrue and not what I believe.

and

I do realize in retrospect that it was highly sensitive, what I tweeted – highly irresponsible. It did stem from emotion causing some involuntary action, and I do believe that, maybe just possibly, we could all give each other a margin for human error.

The year of those charges Cee Lo quit the popular television show The Voice to avoid being fired, which rumors indicate all revolved around his legal troubles at the time. NBC called it a “mutual decision.” He was booted from at least two concerts and TBS cancelled his television show The Good Life over the charges.

Flash forward to 2017 and Green is on a rehabilitation tour attempting to deflect from past issues and rebuild his career and that apparently includes providing music for a kids show. There’s something chilling and nauseating about seeing an accused rapist rehabilitate his reputation and career and partially doing so through a venue aimed at kids is even more sickening. We shouldn’t be enabling this as consumers and shame on WaterTower Music for being complicit in it all and allowing a toxic personality to be involved in something that’s for kids.

Drawn & Quarterly Decides to Not Publish Berliac’s Sadbøi

A few days ago Drawn & Quarterly announced that it would be publishing Sadbøi by Berliac. After becoming aware of some troubling and offensive comments the graphic novel publisher has changed their mind and announced that they would indeed not publish the publication.

In 2015 Berliac published an essay that compared “cultural appropriation and transgender people.” Drawn & Quarterly was unaware of the article and the “consequent public discussion about.”

In an apology yesterday, the company said they “do not agree with the essay, its defense, nor the tone and aggression he displayed in this and subsequent debates,” and that they did not do due diligence when deciding to work with the creator. After learning of the statements, they can no longer fully support the release and will not be publishing it.

You can read Berliac’s comments here as well as his follow up commentary about it.

Sadbøi is “seen as a statement on the treatment of immigrants—the challenge of being expected to conform to a society’s ideals in a world that prematurely condemns outsiders.”

Lebanon’s Economic Ministry Calls for a Ban on Wonder Woman

Spats between nations looks like a hurdle even Wonder Woman can’t deflect. Lebanon‘s economy ministry has asked the country’s security agency to ban Warner Bros.‘ Wonder Women which opens this week. The reason? Lead actress Gal Gadot is Israeli. The former request hasn’t been received as of this post.

Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and a decades-old law boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling or having contact with Israelis. The war has flared up on and off of the years with a devastating volley in 2006 that left hundreds dead and damaged Lebanon’s infrastructure.

Gadot is Israeli and like many of its citizens, served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). She has also spoken out against the group Hamas who is considered by many to be a terrorist organization.

The ban requires a recommendation from a six-member committee from the Ministry of Economy, but that process hasn’t begun. The film is slated to open Wednesday and would be shown in at least one theater in Beirut.

Some members of the BDS movement have also attempted to build a boycott of the film. The “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement condemns Israeli policy towards Palestinians calling it “apartheid” and “settler-colonialism.” Some see the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.

(via Al Jazeera)

Hero Within Launches Wonder Woman Men’s Jacket, Brings out the Haters

A few days ago, clothing company Hero Within launched their summer collection and one item in particular got folks talking… in the usual misogynistic walled off stereotypical fanboy sort of way, the Wonder Woman Denim Jacket. With a live action film coming down the road it makes sense for anything clothing line focused on superhero inspired clothing to include pieces inspired by or featuring Wonder Woman for individuals of any gender. The haters saw it different.

“Why is a man wearing it?”

“That’s gay… shouldn’t that be a woman modeling that… and be for women???”

“You’ll probably get bullied for wearing this.”

“It’s not a subtle logo it’s across the whole back of it I’m sorry but I can’t say that this is for men it is a Wonder Woman jacket you should have just went with a female model it’s just the way Society is and on one side of it it has nothing to do with you being masculine or not whether you want to wear it it feels like you’re trying to push this upon someone like if you don’t you’re wrong or sexist get out of here”

That’s a small collection of some of the brilliance responding to what is a cool design. The logo is subtlely worked into the stitching, a unique aspect if you ask me (It being a denim jack it is another thing. Lived through that once.)

What’s baffling was even the concept of this being a jacket FOR MEN seemed to be lost on many of them (see comments on how the model should be a woman) as if men couldn’t also be fans of Wonder Woman (who is a diplomat, bad-ass warrior, and tied into all sorts of mythology, what’s not to like?).

Tony B. Kim, the CEO of Hero Within, took to the company’s blog to call out the haters and keeps it simple in that fashion is a way to show support for your fandom and there’s no reason guys can’t wear clothing with Wonder Woman on it.

But, this is the latest example of the gatekeeping and backwords thinking that pervades geekdom (and businesses in general. Read Kim’s post for that). There’s no reason why a guy can’t wear anything with Wonder Woman or WW logo on it, just like there’s nothing wrong for a woman to wear something featuring Superman or Batman. If you’re a fan, wear your fandom proudly… I’ll just judge you if it’s a jean jacket.

The Wonder Woman Denim jackit normally $129 is on pre-order for $109.

Lucha Comics Releases Statement About James A. Bretney’s Islamophobic Comments

Lucha Comics is a small press company out of London, Ontario Canada and while you won’t find them in the pages of Previews, you will find them on comiXology and DriveThruComics. James A. Bretney is a comic creator published by Lucha Comics whose comiXology bio says:

An American film director, screenwriter and producer, James decided to pursue a career in the arts after 12 months with the U.S. Army in Iraq. James is an outspoken conservative and very active in politics.

Bretney is also Islamophobic spouting out enough reprehensible things to get his Twitter account suspended. While Bretney regularly posted anti-immigrant/conservative Tweets, two days ago he went after lawyer, author, and Harvard Islamic Studies Fellow Qasim Rashid telling him “go home. We don’t want you here” and “Qasim, your troll Army will not save your soul. Love Jesus or go to hell. You have been warned.”

Things exploded from there.

Tweets began to be directed towards Lucha Comics in protest and threatening boycotts. Yesterday the company responded to a lot of the Tweets generally responding it was a person’s “right” for the boycott and that they were looking into the issue “closely” so as to not make a “rash decision.”

Today Lucha Comics released a statement about the incident.

The company called the comments and content “disturbing” and “upsetting” but as an individual, it’s not something the company has control over. He’s not an employee but releases his comics through the publisher. They also emphasize the often repeated line that boycotts don’t just impact Bretney, but the “artists, cover artists, letterers, and more”

The company isn’t “cutting” him off as they feel that “does not address the root problem,” but they will be putting Bretney’s next two projects which have been written with no art on hold.

Lucha Comics will be “posting further thoughts” after a planned family vacation.

Punisher Logo with “Blue Lives Matter” Gets Removed from Police Cars

The Punisher is a vigilante who uses murder, extortion, torture, kidnapping, and threats of violence in his war on crime. He’s also apparently what some police officers look up to. The Catlettsburg Police Department in Eastern Kentucky added the Punisher skull logo to eight police cars with the words “Blue Lives Matter.”

The design was spearheaded by Police Chief Cameron Logan who worked with a vinyl decal shop on Louisiana to print the decals (was there no decal shops in Kentucky!?). A similar decal is being sold by David Klotz Enterprises out of New Jersey. There it’s listed as the “Thin Blue Line Punisher Skull Window Decal.”

The design was approved by the city council and Mayor Randall Peterman. One member objected, but he was elected after the approval. His criticism is over the cost, not the message. The idea was to “give back to the police officers.” Which begs the question what is this “giving back?”

The Punisher is a vigilante who breaks the law by killing criminals, making himself judge, jury, and executioner. A veteran, he’s exactly what the police are being accused of, abusing the rights of individuals. The police chief sees it as a “warrior logo.” Which makes one wonder if he endorses what that skull logo represents.

This is the latest example of the mainstreaming of the Punisher who debuted in 1974 and has starred in numerous films and appeared in the second season of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil with his own solo television series soon debuting.

The character is the antithesis of the law and order police are supposed to represent. He has in fact murdered police officers in his “one man war.” Not to mention the irony of appropriating intellectual property without permission. You know, theft.

This isn’t the first time controversy over police using the logo has arisen. A Georgia SWAT team used the logo in a video showing off their militarization. The military has often used the symbol in units. If the Punisher is someone that police look up to, it’s no wonder so many citizens are being murdered by police.

(via Lexington Herald Leader)

Marvel’s Perlmutter Cuts $1M Check for Trump’s Veterans Fundraiser

marvel featuredThursday saw the latest Republican Presidential debate, but this one was controversial as candidate Donald Trump refused to attend due to his rampant sexism misogyny fear of Fox News‘ Megyn Kelly who was one of the moderators for the debate and he felt was mean unfair to him in the past.

Instead Trump held his own rally raising money for wounded veterans during the same time of the debate. It’s unknown WHAT charity that Trump’s fundraising will benefit, but that didn’t stop Marvel’s CEO Ike Perlmutter from committing $1 million to the fundraiser, which raised $6 million according to Trump himself. That was mostly from a small group of wealthy donors, including some felons. As far as folks can tell, the donations will go to the Donald J. Trump foundation, which has no history of being involved with veteran groups.

You can watch Trump announce Perlmutter’s donation a little after the 1 minute mark:

The Hollywood Reporter said when they broke the news:

“One of the great, great men of our country in terms of business and talent,” Trump said.

A rep for Perlmutter said: “The Perlmutters are thrilled to support their friend Donald Trump in his efforts to help veterans.”

The Perlmutters also donated $2 million to Marco Rubio’s campaign this season.

This isn’t the first time Perlmutter has been involved in Presidential politics. He also donated to Rudy Giuliani’s failed Presidential bid.

perlmutter_donations

Earlier this week Marvel announced their teaming up with the Wounded Warrior Project to help raise awareness about issues facing veterans. That has issues unto itself, which we laid out, as the WWP has been accused of wasting money raised and benefiting employees.

So, when it comes to veterans and Marvel this week, they’re 0 for 2.

LEGO Changes Policy After Art Controversy

LEGO_LogoAfter some controversy, The Lego Group has said that they are changing a policy and would no longer ask customers what their plans are when purchasing bulk amounts of Lego. The company saw some controversy when it denied an order by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whose work has often been critical of the Chinese government. Lego said they didn’t endorse the use of their toys in conjunction with works that had a political agenda.

In their statement, the company said that by asking what the bulk orders were for opened them up to being inconsistent. Now it asks those who display their creations in public to make it clear Lego does not endorse the project.

Ai Weiwei wound up using cheaper knock-off bricks made in China for his eventual project after collecting some Lego through donations made in support of his effort.

More Fallout and Reaction to the Grand Prix at Angoulême Nominations

Yesterday we brought you the news of a call for a boycott over the Grand Prix at Angoulême nominations that featured 30 men and 0 women. D Egalite (a group that shines the spotlight on sexism in the French comic community) called for a boycott of the award. Fantagraphics and Daniel Clowes had harsh words to say towards the nominations and supported D Egalite with Clowes declining his consideration. Riad Sattouf also withdrew support and also withdrew from consideration.

More show of support as well as a response from the organization behind the awards has come out since yesterday.

Comic Book Women, a collective of over 250 comic book professionals from the United States, Canada, and Europe has come out in support Women in Comics Collective Against Sexism (D Egalite) in its initiative to boycott the International Festival of Comics. More nominees have withdrawn or joining the boycott beyond Clowes and Sattouf including Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Riad Sattouf, Joann Sfar, Milo Manara, Pierre Christin, Etienne Davodeau, Christophe Blain and Brian Michael Bendis. Here’s a good rundown on those various statements.

Franck Bondoux, the chief executive officer of the FIBD, told Le Monde :

Unfortunately, there are few women in the history of comics. It’s a reality. If you go to the Louvre, you will also find few female artists.

This guy is in charge? No wonder there’s an issue with an attitude like that. One of the best selling comic creators of the last few years is female, not to mention the long list who have contributed to the industry since its inception. It’s clear Mr. Bondoux is either ignorant of comics history (which questions why he’s in charge), or he’s horrible at spin (same question).

As reported by The Beat, the Festival of Comics of Angoulême has said it will be adding more names to the nomination list in a statement that’s anything but professional claiming the festival can’t “remake (the) history of comics.” It might want to learn some first.

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