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Eric Esquivel is Now Off Nightwing and Tweets a New Statement Addressing Accusations of Abuse

In early December, comic creator Eric M. Esquivel was accused of abuse, both physical and mental, by a former co-worker. Since then numerous other accusations have surfaced, his series Border Town was cancelled, and he was dropped by SBI Press. Now, he’s off DC ComicsNightwing.

DC Comics has informed retailers that Esquivel will no longer be co-writing Nightwing #58 which is to come out in March. He hadn’t yet been announced on the issue, as March’s solicitations are just being released. While his name will appear in the January DC Previews, he will no longer be involved. DC hasn’t update the credits though, so it’s unknown as to who will be taking over. The issue was thought to be a try-out for Esquivel on the series which he would then take over. That is likely not happening either.

While DC didn’t say why they made it’s change, it’s the latest fallout surrounding the accusations. Accusations that Esquivel addressed again December 19 after releasing an initial statement on December 14.

You can read his new statement from Twitter below:

Well-meaning entities in my life have discouraged me from saying anything in public. I’ve been told that the best strategy right now is to “hold tight, until this all blows over”…But I don’t want this to “blow over”. Either in my own life, or in Culture-at-large.

What I want, is to apologize. To serve as a cautionary tale to others. And to change.

Hearing my past behavior described to me this week has been the most surreal experience of my life. My perception of events, relationships, and personal dynamics are so far removed from the way they’ve been recounted, my knee-jerk reaction is to deny them outright…

…Both publicly, and to myself.

But the sources of these accusations are women who I not only respect, but who I genuinely love.

These are people whose presence in my life has changed me for the better, and who I am infinitely grateful to have known. People who I’ve kept in intimate contact with since the years we’ve been apart.

So it doesn’t make sense that they’d simply be making things up. They have nothing to gain, and everything to lose.

The odds suggest that I have a problem. Or, rather, that I AM a problem.

And, honestly, that’s something I’ve been at least peripherally aware of for some time. Everything I’ve ever written has been about a young man, operating at a deficit because he grew up without a father, trying his damndest to figure out what it means to be a “man”.

And that’s because I was pulling from my own experience. I grew up without any male role models. So I looked to Pop Culture for instructions. A lot of what I learned was useful: the sobriety I reverse-engineered from Batman, the compassion for animals that I aped from Aquaman,etc

But the stuff I learned about male sexuality– from James Bond, Arthur Fonzarelli, Gene Simmons, etc– were completely inappropriate.

(To be clear: I’m not blaming Pop Culture for my actions. If I didn’t grow up behind a library, I would’ve found other archetypes to emulate. Possibly even shittier ones)

I was, and continue to be, insecure in my masculinity.

In my twenties, I tried to combat that by doing everything I could to muster up external validation: getting into fistfights, pursuing the spotlight, and behaving extraordinarily promiscuously. Especially with other men’s wives and girlfriends.

It kills me that I have to say this, but: I never engaged with anyone who was unwilling. Not only is that downright evil, it wouldn’t have accomplished what I was trying to accomplish: which is to feel wanted and appreciated.

I became conscious of my own toxic behavior about two years ago, after a close female friend suggested that I examine myself from that perspective.

I’ve attempted to change the way I’ve lived since then. I’ve volunteered at various community-oriented charities, taught writing classes to formerly-incarcerated youth, used my platform in The Arts to amplify the voices of disadvantaged creators…

… but I never reached out to the women from my past, to make sure that I hadn’t unknowingly harmed them. Mostly because I am a coward, and feared hearing that the answer was “Yes, of course”.

I don’t know what to say about that. I don’t know how to make things okay. I don’t know how I can be of use to culture, going forward.

Is it by encouraging other men to examine themselves, and their behavior? Is it by documenting my recovery from sex addiction in public, to show that it’s possible? Is it by fucking off into the night forever, so nobody has to deal with me ever again?

Honestly, I hope it’s that last one. Because that’s the easy way out. &, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a coward.

…But I suspect that it’s not. I suspect that I’m not operating on a level of awareness that allows me to see the answer yet. But I’m going to try to get there. I promise.

Eric M. Esquivel Releases a Statement About Allegations

Border Town #1

Earlier this week comic creator Eric. M. Esquivel was accused of abuse, both physical and mental, by a former co-worker. Since then, the other creators working with him on his Vertigo series Border Town quit. SBI Press cut ties. And Border Town‘s next two issues have been cancelled and the four issues released have been made returnable.

But, we haven’t heard from Esquivel who deleted his social presence beyond a Twitter account which is now private and almost all Tweets deleted.

Late today, he released a statement to iO9:

I was recently accused of misconduct by a former romantic partner. Not recent misconduct. Misconduct which allegedly happened many years ago. Out of respect for her and our prior relationship, I will not publicly name names.

I’ve taken a few days to respond, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t talking over anyone. We’re in the midst of a very important cultural conversation right now. One I wholeheartedly believe in.

Never in my life did I expect that I would become one of the accused. I will not speculate as to her motivation for making these reckless allegations, but I want to make it clear that they are false. Though our relationship was unconventional, we always treated one another with dignity and respect.

I heavily encourage, and will fully cooperate in, any forthcoming independent investigation of these claims, which I am confident will show that I have been falsely accused.

I have been notified that DC Vertigo has canceled the book I was working on. My heart breaks for the book’s supporters, and my creative collaborators. They don’t deserve to be negatively affected by this unfortunate situation.

DC Cancels Border Town and Makes Previous Issues Returnable

Earlier this week comic creator Eric Esquivel was accused of physical and emotional abuse by a former co-worker. Esquivel was an up and coming writer with a recent hit series in Border Town, the lead launch title from the newly refocused Vertigo imprint from DC Comics.

While DC hasn’t had an official statement we now know that Border Town is officially cancelled. A cancellation notice was sent to retailers and fifth and sixth issue of the series will not be published. On top of that, all previous issues are being made returnable.

This isn’t too surprising as Esquivel’s two collaborators on the series quit after the accusations became public and they found out about them.

Esquivel has also been sacked from SBI Press with whom he was writing a series.

Esquivel has still not commented on the accusation and has deleted his social media presence except his Twitter account which he has made private and deleted all Tweets other than two.

SBI Press Part Ways with Eric Esquivel Over Accusations

This week, comic creator Eric Esquivel was accused of physical and emotional abuse by another creator. You can read about that here. At the time of the initial article, we reached out to publishers he currently works with to see if they had a statement. Tonight we heard from SBI Press for which Esquivel writes the series Fantasmagoria.

So sorry to not get back to you sooner. We’ve been understandably distraught over what has happened and what we have learned. In light of what we have learned we are halting publication on Fantasmagoria and are not working with Eric Esquivel on any publications or in any capacity going forward. 

– SBI Press official statement

While we had heard that the publisher would be parting ways with Esquivel and had just been awaiting an official word.

We’ve heard there will be a statement coming from DC Comics whose imprint Vertigo Esquivel publishes Border Town. Two of his collaborators on that comic have announced they would be parting ways from the project.

Comic Creator Accused of Sexual Assault and Emotional Abuse (Updatex4)

A new allegation about a comic creator was laid out a few days ago. Cynthia Naugle took to her blog to discuss the abuse, both physical and mental, she experienced by a comic creator while they both worked at a comic book shop.

You can read about her experience and the allegations (warning it is traumatic). The creator is accused of sexual assault and emotional abuse while the two worked together.

She doesn’t name her abuser (and our debate on how to proceed to cover this due to that caused the delay in an article) but it’s easy to figure out exactly who she is referring to:

  • He was a guest at Tuscon Comic Con 2018
  • He’s from Tuscon
  • He recently had a series launched at Vertigo

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who the individual is, Eric Esquivel, the writer of Border Town for Vertigo and series like Fantasmagoria and Gregory Graves for SBI Press.

Since Naugle has come forward, others have recounted their negative experiences including incidents at Heroescon and accusations of unsolicited text messages. Naugle’s own post hints at multiple others that she has spoken to.

We’ve reached out to DC and SBI for comment and will follow up with updates. Esquivel has not made a statement. He’s deleted his social media presence other than his Twitter account which is now private.

Update: Though no official statement has been made yet, an employee of SBI has said they will be parting ways with Esquivel saying the “behavior described is reprehensible.” The official statement by SBI.

Update: Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain have announced they are leaving the comic.

Update: DC Comics has announced Border Town is cancelled and the released issues are now returnable.

Update: Esquivel has released a statement.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What are folks excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below.

Cynthia Naugle – X, my experience with my abuser – We respect Cynthia’s decision to not name the individual and have not done so ourselves due to that but there’s enough clues here (Tuscon Comic Con 2018 guest, from Tuscon, recent Vertigo series) to figure out the individual.

The Comichron – November 2018 comics sales estimates online: Uncanny X-Men tops 176,000 copies in U.S., Canada – For those that enjoy the horse race.

CBR – The Walking Dead: Frank Darabont’s AMC Lawsuit Heading to Trial – This should be interesting.

Reviews

Comic Book Bin – Ao Haru Ride Vol. 2
Talking Comics – Shazam! #1

Preview: Border Town #4

Border Town #4

(W) Eric M Esquivel (A/CA) Ramon Villalobos
In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Racist high school bully Blake has become that which he hates the most: a figure of Mexican legend! Transformed into a walking, talking Dia de los Muertos skeleton, Blake’s possessed by the spirit of Santa Muerte herself, who compels the tortured young man to undertake a most dangerous mission: open the border between worlds-permanently.

Border Town #1 is Going Back to Press and Getting a Second Printing

DC Entertainment has announced that the recently released Border Town #1 from DC Vertigo is headed into a second printing. The first issue debuted to incredible fan response and critical acclaim.

Border Town from writer Eric M. Esquivel and artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain is an ongoing series based in the fictional town of Devil’s Fork, Arizona, as a crack in the border between our world and Mictlan unleashes monsters from Mexican folklore. As the residents of the small border town are plagued by shared nightmares, otherworldly radio transmission, and mysterious goat mutilations, racial tensions will become supernaturally charged.  It’s now up to the new kid in town, Frank (Francisco) Dominguez, and a motley crew of high school misfits to discover what’s really going on.

Border Town is the first of a new line of creator-owned series from the recently rebranded DC Vertigo imprint, led by Executive Editor Mark Doyle and dedicated to creating modern, socially relevant, high-concept stories appealing to readers of all genres.

The second printing of Border Town  #1 will arrive in local comic shops October 10, with Border Town #2 available on October 3.

Preview: Border Town #1

Border Town #1

(W) Eric M Esquivel (A/CA) Ramon Villalobos
In Shops: Sep 05, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Don’t miss the start of this all-new ongoing Vertigo series by writer Eric M. Esquivel (Gregory Graves, Ricanstruction) and artist Ramon Villalobos (Nighthawk, America).

When a crack in the border between worlds releases an army of monsters from Mexican folklore, the residents of Devil’s Fork, AZ, blame the ensuing weirdness-the shared nightmares, the otherworldly radio transmissions, the mysterious goat mutilations-on “God-dang illegals.” With racial tensions supernaturally charged, it’s up to new kid in town Frank Dominguez and a motley crew of high school misfits to discover what’s really going on in this town torn between worlds.

Advance Review: Border Town #1

For those attending San Diego Comic-Con 2018, they got a chance to get an early copy of Border Town #1, one of the new series that’s part of DC Comics Vertigo relaunch.

When a crack in the border between worlds releases an army of monsters from Mexican folklore into the small town of Devil’s Fork, Arizona, the residents blame the ensuing weirdness—the shared nightmares, the otherworldly radio transmissions, the mysterious goat mutilations—on “God-dang illegals.” With racial tensions supernaturally charged, it’s up to new kid in town Frank Dominguez and a motley crew of high school misfits to discover what’s REALLY going on.

Out September 5th, the series is by Eric M. Esquivel, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillain, Deron Bennett, Andy Khouri, and Maggie Howell.

You can pre-order the comic now from your local comic shop now! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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