Tag Archives: harassment

Stopping abuse in the comics industry: not just a few bad apples

Comics’ harassment crisis isn’t just caused by the names you’ve seen in the comics news. It is enabled by an entire system of employment and fandom built on exploitation. Good thing there are some brilliant and brave people joining me to talk about what we can to do create meaningful change in the industry.

Guests:

Jay Edidin writes comics, short fiction, and narrative nonfiction; covers culture, arts, science, and gender as a journalist and essayist; edits comics, transmedia, and genre fiction; and is half of the podcast Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men. Jay was named ComicBook .com 2017 Comics Person of the Year for his investigative coverage of harassment issues at D.C. Comics and his work to foster diversity and inclusion in comics culture.

Joan Hilty is a comics editor who came up in the 90s queer comics scene as a cartoonist, then had a 15-year editorial run at DC Comics/Vertigo, and now works with many of the Top 10 comics publishers in licensed publishing at Nickelodeon. She’s taught at Maryland Institute College of Art and is currently on the Cartooning faculty at School of Visual Arts. In 2014 she wrote about her experience with harassment in the industry for the Guardian, which was later a part of Jay’s Buzzfeed reporting leading to the ouster of a top editor at DC.

Kwanza Osajyefo: Author and creator of BLACK, a comic that asks: what if only black people had superpowers. Kwanza has been a part of the comics for nearly 20 years. Beginning his career as an online producer at Marvel before moving into other media roles. He later returned to comics and launched DC Comics’ digital publishing initiatives.

Referenced:

https://www.somanyofus.com/ : a website created by people targeted and manipulated by Warren Ellis.

Ray Fisher Says Joss Whedon was Abusive and Unprofessional on Justice League (Update)

A few days after actor Ray Fisher retracted his praise of director/writer Joss Whedon he went on to further elaborate why on Twitter.

The actor who played Cyborg in Justice League stated that:

Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.

He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.

Accountability>Entertainment

Fisher has been talking more about the film since the announcement that Zack Snyder’s vision for the film will be done for HBO Max. He praised Snyder and writer Chris Terrio for “empowering” him and giving him a seat at the creative table with input on his character for the film.

It’s believed that much of Fishers Victor Stone/Cyborg storyline was cut in Whedon’s version of the film. Whedon took over for Snyder on the film after Snyder had to step down due to a family tragedy.

Named as enabling Whedon in the Tweet are Johns and Berg. Both were producers on the film and have credits on numerous DC properties going forward. Johns shifted his focus from comics to DC’s live-action properties but still has handled high-profile DC comic storylines like the recent Doomsday Clock. Johns went from film to comics due to DC staffer Eddie Berganza who himself has a history of abuse. In 2010 Johns was named the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and he stepped down from his executive role in 2018. He launched Mad Ghost Productions to focus on film, tv, and comic book based on DC properties. He’s currently working on the Green Lantern Corps for HBO Max. Johns being named would be yet another DC executive accused of shielding abusive behavior by staff.

Whedon himself has been involved in comics with the relaunch of his Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel properties at BOOM! Studios.

None of the individuals named have made a statement regarding Fisher’s statement.

Update: Jon Berg has made a statement to Variety saying it was “categorically untrue that we enabled any unprofessional behavior.” He also said “I remember [Fisher] being upset that we wanted him to say ‘Booyaa,’ which is a well known saying of Cyborg in the animated series.”

It was announced today as well that Fisher’s co-star Jason Mamoa would be starring in an upcoming film produced by Johns and Berg.

Scott Lobdell Departs Red Hood as New Allegations are Raised

Scott Lobdell is a comic writer who has largely escaped allegations of harassment. Today, he announced that he would be exiting Red Hood and the Outlaws after the 50th issue wraps. He began writing the character of Jason Todd, aka Red Hood, since DC’s New 52 initiative in 2011 and has one of the longer current runs of a single writer on a character.

I’m stepping away from only remaining freelance work on Red Hood and The Outlaws, effective immediately” Lobdell wrote. “Issue #50 out in October will be my final issue. While I’m profoundly grateful for the last ten years on a book telling the story of a tragically flawed man in search of redemption, I depart certain that my vacancy will be filled by a dynamic new voice.

His statement makes it sound like Lobdell is stepping away from comics as a whole. He still is writing for Dynamite and is launching their latest volume of The Green Hornet.

The writer has found success with films like Happy Death Day which was released in 2017 and a sequel in 2019. He also was a writer on Critters Attack! which was released in 2019 and an attempt to reboot the classic horror franchise. His creator-owned comic series Ball and Chain is currently being adapted into a film starring The Rock and Emily Blunt.

Lobdell admitted to having engaged in harassment in 2013 and was accused of it last year again when he was announced as the writer of Flash Forward.

I myself witnessed Lobdell drunkenly making a woman uncomfortable, something she told me had happened multiple times before, at San Diego Comic-Con. A DC staffer stood next to Lobdell as if to make sure he didn’t get completely out of hand but was ok with general creepiness. A source also has spoken privately of unwanted inappropriate messages Lobdell would send over instant message.

With Lobdell’s announcement, numerous individuals have spoken out further about the creator leaving many to wonder if he’s getting out of comics before more is revealed threatening his movie career.

Artist Tess Fowler came forward about inappropriate comments Lobdell made to her.

Alex de Campi too took to Twitter to speak up as well:

And more individuals have come forward as witnesses to his behavior.

Numerous other individuals are coming forward with their own stories and screenshots of inappropriate messages the writer has sent.

Lobdell is a shining example of a known problem within the industry seeing no repercussions due to their actions and being protected by senior staff. And, suffering no accountability, is able to walk away on his terms.

Hellboy’s Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson Comment on the Recent Scott Allie Revelations. Rinse. Repeat.

Earlier this week, new revelations came out about the behavior of comic editor/writer Scott Allie including harassment, retaliation, and emotional abuse towards others in the industry. This is beyond the documented 2015 assault on a comic creator that happened at San Diego Comic-Con.

Hellboy Creator Mike Mignola and comic publisher Dark Horse were quick to distance themselves from Allie stating they would no longer be working with him. But, both Mignola and Dark Horse continued to work with Allie after 2015 despite his admission of the assault and concerns from staff, some of who have come public with raising concerns with management. It wasn’t until 2017 that Allie “left” Dark Horse though he continued to edit their top titles including Hellboy, which he would later pen some issues in that universe, and on Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy. He continued to work with the company on a freelance basis and his role became even MORE PROMINENT after 2015 as he began to write issues. Despite Allie’s reputation for abuse, he was still chosen to provide “oversight” on the Image benefit anthology after the Las Vegas shootings. He was replaced after the outcry.

The protection of Allie went beyond Mignola and Richardson and is a prime example of the industry unwillingness to put action to words.

While Dark Horse quickly made a statement that echoed their 2015 statement, yesterday, the company founder Mike Richardson spoke up.

As has been pointed up by so many, Richardson’s statement rings hollow. In 2015, he stated among other things:

Dark Horse agrees 100% with the EEOC Guidelines.

So are we to take his statement above that Dark Horse HASN’T been doing what’s legally required like no retaliation and zero tolerance? If Dark Horse, and Richardson, agreed with guidelines in 2015, what have they done in the five years since?

They “rehired” Allie as a freelancer.

Mike Mignola expounded upon his short Tweet from the day the news broke in a post entitled “I Believe and Completely Support Shawna Gore”:

About Scott Allie—

Scott was my second editor on the Hellboy series at Dark Horse. He was only meant to be my temporary editor, just for the one comic (THE CORPSE) and a more senior editor was supposed to take over after that. But, as the story goes, he saved me from making a rather big mistake on that one comic and I requested that he stay on as my regular editor, and we ended up working together for something close to 25 years.

From the earliest days I heard stories of his drunken behavior at conventions—stupid stuff like jumping fully clothed into fountains. It was joked about and I was not aware that there was anything at all more serious going on.

The drunken incident in 2015 made it clear that there was a much more serious problem that needed to be dealt with. I spoke to him about it. Others spoke to him about it. He agreed that the drinking was a problem and we were all led to believe he was getting help for that. And to the best of my knowledge he DID get help for the drinking problem.

Around this time I started to hear rumors of other past incidents—alcohol-fueled behavior that seemed limited to drunken, juvenile pranks. There was nothing specific and I never heard the names of any specific persons involved in these other incidents. I continued to write these off as just more of his stupid drunken episodes. I became aware that some people did not like working with Scott. While our working relationship had always been good I know his editorial style could be aggressive and off-putting and I honestly believed this, coupled with the past drinking problem, was the reason for the trouble. The truth of course is that after a very long and very productive working relationship I did not want to believe there was anything more to these stories. I was blind because I wanted to be blind and that’s on me and it’s something I have to live with.

After the news about Cameron Stewart and Warren Ellis broke last week, Scott’s name started to bubble up on social media again. Until yesterday I had never heard about Scott’s assault of Shawna. I wish I had known.  I understand there are many reasons why no one would approach me with something like that—the shame and embarrassment of course and, sadly the perception that Scott and I were good friends. Had I heard any of what I’ve heard in the last 24 hours I would have severed all contact with Scott Allie at once.

But where there is smoke there is almost always fire and after a while there was so much smoke—clearly I had to finally take a hard look at the situation, had to contact some friends and associates, people who had been close to Scott and find out what had really been going on—and I was horrified but what I started to hear. I wish I had asked this questions much sooner. After so many years I wanted to give Scott the benefit of the doubt—as the son of an alcoholic I wanted to blame the booze. I was fooling myself and I will regret that forever. My heart goes out to all his victims. And Shawna—I have known Shawna almost as long as Scott and have always considered her a good friend– and now to discover that she has been living with this all these years — I am heartbroken. And of course I am furious at Scott and at myself for not realizing what was going on so much sooner.

I’m writing this now because I need to address Scott’s victims. Their stories need to be heard. They need to be believed.

Comics need to do better. We all need to be more accountable. All companies need to have responsive HR departments. Companies need to recommend training about what to do when they hear about assault, harassment, or inappropriate behavior from co-workers or colleagues.

As a creator I need to do better, I need to set a better example, both in the stories I tell and the people I choose to tell them with.

M

As many have said, Mignola is part of the reason that Allie was allowed to stay around and his behavior was excused. There was a fear that if Allie was fired, Mignola would leave and Dark Horse would struggle. In other words, dollars mattered more than lives. Artist Amy Reeder spoke up to say exactly this:

You were the reason he still had a job, they feared repercussions from you. Maybe he manipulated you, I don’t know. All I heard is, they couldn’t fire him because it’d cause Mignola to leave and the entire company would fold. It was tough to hear that about a fellow creator.

Allie’s behavior wasn’t a secret, it was known to the point that Dark Horse made jokes about it publicly calling him “Bitey.”

Former employees have spoken up:Former editor Jim Gibbons Tweeted: 

Scott Allie is far and away the most despicable, abusive, and awful person I’ve ever worked with. The amount of trauma he’s caused the people who have worked with him is extreme.

Another former staffer wrote that:

Scott Allie’s continued abuse of staff was an open secret employees were actively discouraged from speaking about at Dark Horse. While head of editorial, he was not allowed to have women in his office w/his door closed bc he repeatedly shouted or otherwise harassed staff to tears.

Regular Hellboy colorist Dave Stewart has spoken out:

I am with @ShawnaGore. Scott Allie is and was a manipulator and liar. I stopped working with him a couple years ago when I found he was a predator using alcoholism as a cover for his bad actions. I found that out by digging around and asking questions.

Former Hellboy creator John Arcudi has some of the most damning statements. Not only does he mention learning of Shawna’s assault in 2017 but telling Mignola which then would go on to employ Allie until this past week:

Former Hellboy collaborator Guy Davis would indicate the toxicity of the Hellboy team went well beyond Allie:

regarding DarkHorse/BPRD~ I quit the series in 2011 because of the toxic behavior of Allie, Mignola, Arcudi and cut all contact. In 2015 with news of Allie’s assaults and DH “response”, I cancelled The Marquis HC from DH (which never had a contract for them to solicit)

To clarify my leaving BPRD in 2011, that was due to a toxic work environment with the team. I had no knowledge of Scott’s harassments until announced in 2015

The above shows there’s a rot that has infested Dark Horse for almost a decade (at least) and gone unchecked. Excuses are made and basic legal requirements not followed. What’s to believe that 2020 is any different than 2017 or 2015? Actions speak louder than words and in the five years since our initial reporting, all we’ve got is words.


If you are a U.S.-based victim of sexual assault in need of help, contact RAINN at 800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Vault Comics No Longer Will Publish Myke Cole’s Hundred Wolves

Myke Cole has again been named in harassment and publisher Vault Comics quickly responded saying they’d no longer be publishing his comic Hundred Wolves. The publisher sent out a release with just one line:

Vault Comics will no longer be publishing Hundred Wolves from writer Myke Cole.

Cole was named in February 2018, accused of misconduct and he’d go on to apologize for making “unwelcome advances in professional settings.” He went on to use the same apology recently leaving many to question what has changed since 2018.

In the current wave of individuals harmed coming forward, Cole has been named again with individuals describing how he crossed lines including saying he wanted to “piss on” a fellow creator and attempting to pull her into his lap. That’s just one of numerous other stories about the author that have been revealed.

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d everyone get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The MNT – Empty Seats at Busy Tables: Comics Publishers Only See Men – A very good look at the exclusion of women at the creative table.

Kotaku – A Wave Of Sexual Abuse Stories Is Causing A Reckoning In The Twitch Streaming World – Not space we usually cover but boosting this for awareness.

Reviews

Monkeys Fighting Robots – Books of Magic #20
Comic Mix – The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide 1 Fascimile Edition

Books of Magic #20

Dark Horse Releases a Statement Regarding Scott Allie. Rinse. Repeat. (Update)

With new accusations levied against Scott Allie, Dark Horse has released a statement that they will no longer be working with Allie.

Dark Horse Allie Statement 2020

They went on to Tweet:

It is critical that employees feel safe, secure and supported in the workplace. They should feel safe in making these inexcusable actions known without fear of reprisal. Dark Horse Comics will dedicate itself to ensuring that this will not ever happen again within our company.

Does that sound familiar? It’s similar to what they said in 2015 when earlier accusations over assault were levied against Allie.

Dark Horse is committed to ensuring and maintaining a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans and we expect all who represent our company to behave in a professional manner. Disciplinary actions are handled internally at the company and we do not comment on them publicly.

Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson stated:

I applaud Ms. Asselin’s Intentions in dealing with sexual harassment in the comics industry.

I also want to make one thing very clear: Dark Horse as a company, and myself as an individual, take the kinds of inexcusable incidents reported by Ms. Asselin very seriously—doubly so when it involves one of our employees. In cases such as these, we have been proactive in our response, with a variety of professional services involved, all with the goal of changing behavior. Additionally, a number of internal responses are acted upon, including termination if such behavior continues. Under no circumstance is any individual “harbored.” In this particular case, action was taken immediately, though we did not, and cannot, perform a public flogging, as some might wish.

Secondly, there is no “us-against-them” attitude here. I have an open door policy and every employee, no matter where she/he sits in the company, is invited to come in to my office with any complaint or observation, at any time. I restate this policy constantly. I won’t go into the assumptions made here that are just untrue, because my intent is not to undermine the purpose of her piece, but no one here has ever turned a “blind eye” to these behaviors, not in this case, not in any case. With regard to sexual harassment, it is simply not tolerated. Dark Horse agrees 100% with the EEOC Guidelines.

Ms. Asselin turns her eye toward me. I have never met or talked with Ms. Asselin. If she knew me, she would learn that I am extremely sensitive on this subject, being the father of three daughters and having experienced first hand the effects of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. I have fought against that harassment, not just in a social environment, but also within our own publishing schedule. I have also fought for gender equality in our school system and championed social and racial diversity both in and out of Dark Horse, activities I am still involved with. Her assumption that my longevity somehow “embeds” within me an attitude of inappropriate permissiveness is not only wrong, it is insulting.

I agree that harassment of any kind, routine or not, is unacceptable. It always has been. We at Dark Horse will renew our efforts to make sure that our company is never again mentioned with regard to this type of occurrence. As quoted in the article, our goal has always been to provide a positive, safe, and respectful environment for its employees, creators, and fans.

– Mike Richardson

But, five years later, here we are with Allie up until today working with Dark Horse on books even after the previous revelation. Actions speak louder than words and so far, in our eyes, Dark Horse has failed that test. The publisher needs to come forward with what internal changes have been made to ensure something like this never happens again.

Update: Dark Horse Founder Mike Richardson has released a statement laying out concrete steps the company is going to take. Keep in mind, “no tolerance” is legally required and retaliation is also illegal at a federal level. Dark Horse has announced they are complying with the law.

Comic Creator Scott Allie is Again Named in a Sexual Assault

Shawna Gore has come forward with a story of how she was “assaulted, harassed, and retaliated” against by, at the time, fellow Dark Horse employee Scott Allie.

Gore talks about behavior that occurred over a 14 year period that went unchecked. Shawna’s story includes physical assault, workplace harassment, sexual harassment, retaliation, and more.

You can read her full story below (WARNING: Triggering):

This isn’t the first news about Scott Allie’s behavior. In 2015 we ran the story about Allie assaulting two people at San Diego Comic-Con while was the Editor-in-Chief of Dark Horse Comics. It goes on to recount that Allie’s behavior was known with the company joking about Allie on their website and beyond. Dark Horse refused to act on the behavior according to employees at the time.

Allie eventually left the company but has found work in recent years, often with Dark Horse series. He has worked on Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy and worked with Mike Mignola on some of his Hellboy Comics co-writing. Mignola has spoken up Tweeting:

I believe Shawna Gore.

Given what I have read today, I will be discontinuing working with Scott Allie.

Dark Horse retweeted Mignola stating stating the below and no mention of the people assaulted by their former employee:

Dark Horse supports Mike Mignola and this decision.

More to come.

There are far more stories to come from many more brave individuals about too many individuals in the industry. It’s beyond time the industry stopped Tweeting and making empty statements and actually acted upon their currently empty rhetoric.

Multiple Individuals Accuse Jason Latour of Harassment

Jason Latour is the latest creator to be named regarding harassment accusations. The incident that kicked things off occurred at the 2017 Thought Bubble Festival.

Shared on Twitter/Twitlonger, artist and designer Lauren Tracey recounted Latour approaching her at a bar during the first day of the festival and his pursuing her throughout the festival:

This is my story of when I met Jason Latour. This is not about a rape or assault, but rather about harassment in the industry and the toxic environment surrounding it.

In 2017 I attended Thought Bubble in Leeds where I met Jason. Our first meeting was on the first night of the con, at the bar where everyone from the convention mingled. He approached me and asked me did I know who he was, and when I said no he asked me did I know any of the titles he worked on, including Spider Gwen. I said I really didn’t know who he was and he responded by saying he would give me free comic books if I came to his hotel room with him. I declined, and after a brief conversation went back to the group I had been sitting with originally.

I was a little shocked when this happened. Jason was twice my age while I was in my very early twenties at my first international con. I tried not to think too much of it as I didn’t expect to see him again after this, and joked about it with the people I was with even though I was uncomfortable. The next day when I went to the con I passed by his table, and although he was doing some signings he put up a sign saying he was on a break and approached me (this kind of thing would continue to happen throughout the con). He said he had been a little drunk the night before and offered to get me a coffee. I accepted thinking the whole thing would blow over and I appreciated that he attempted to make amends.

When we went for the coffee he asked me for my email, my number, etc. and said he wanted to be friends. He said he could introduce me to whoever I wanted, that he was good friends with my favorite comic artist and he would introduce me to her, and he said he would still like to give me some comics. He mentioned he was sleeping with a girl in England casually, and that he was in Ireland quite a bit for conventions as he liked the Irish scene there. He suggested he could come see me if he ever came to Ireland.

When we got back to his table he gave me a few comics, which I ended up giving to friends at the con who admired him instead of reading them myself. I started to avoid the side of the con he was on as I knew he’d approach me if he saw me, and at the bar in the evening he would also be looking for me. Another woman who was in the group I was hanging out with at the convention told him to leave me alone and stop harassing me and later a comic artist intervened when he approached me at the bar. The people I was with knew he was a pest, and did their best to help me avoid him when possible. I spent my days at the con having the group ask if he had approached me that day yet, when I should have been focused solely on having a good time and connecting with people.

I left the bar on the last night very stressed. I had Jason on one side at the bar, and another guy I didn’t know on the other side who was also trying to start a conversation with me, saying he knew me from the con when he clearly did not. I found myself crowded in at the bar and started to panic. A comic artist came over and took Jason’s attention away from me, and I left and got a taxi back to my hotel. Jason text me asking why I had left early the next day. He said sorry if he made me uncomfortable. I again tried to brush it off, appreciating that he apologized. I also made sure to let him know I wasn’t interested in seeing any guys in my messages. He asked if we could stay friends, to which I said yes. Despite me telling him I wasn’t interested, he still text me on three separate occasions, once asking if he could sleep on my floor in Ireland and other times asking if I could come visit him at cons, joking that he would lend me the money to come when I said no to him. The last time he asked me about coming to a con, he text, ‘Last chance for you to come hang out. (Actually it’s not).’ I stopped replying to him altogether after this and blocked him on some social media platforms. At that stage I knew his apologies weren’t real and that he wasn’t actually interested in any form of friendship with me.

I had spent my first international con feeling uncomfortable, having to avoid a guy while I was at the convention itself and also while I was relaxing at the bar with my friends afterward. I had a few small bad run-ins with different guys at Thought Bubble, but Jason’s is the one that sticks out in my mind the most. When I first arrived at Thought Bubble I was bright eyed and excited to network with people in the industry. When I left, I felt thoroughly disillusioned with comics and decided it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. It seemed to be a place where this type of behavior ran rampant, and everybody knew about it but you just had to deal with it. I felt like I had seen behind the scenes of how the comic community actually worked, and there wasn’t a place for me there. I dropped my dream of being a comic artist shortly after and fell into a depression while I tried to figure out how I could have my future still be art related. I’ve hardly read a comic since.

I originally wasn’t going to name Jason or mention any of this, but the reason I’m posting it is because a statement Jason wrote about recent allegations against Cameron Stewart came up on my Twitter timeline, and he said some things that really got to me. He said he had been in situations with girls where he thought the ground was level, but failed to realize at the time that it was not. How can the ground be level when you’re approaching a young girl asking her to come to your hotel room for free comics, based solely on your name and your works? He also mentions how women want the time they invest in the comics space to be rewarding, and then goes on to say that sometimes they are looking for love, intimacy and casual sex out of it. I feel he completely missed the mark on why people have been coming forward about the problems that are happening in the comics community and is also putting the onus on women. Women aren’t coming forward right now to fight for casual sex in comics. They’re coming forward to fight for their right to be respected as equal coworkers and not to be seen as mere sexual objects to their male peers.

I’m not writing this with any intention to ‘cancel’ Jason or harm his career. I’m writing it to bring awareness to the fact that young girls are coming into the comics community and being treated like this by people who are more powerful than them and have more leverage in the community. There has to be a complete overhaul of this kind of behavior in comics. We need to look out for each other and put a stop to bad behavior instantly when we see it. There’s no place in comics for harassment, sexual or otherwise. And the men in comics need to shape up and take responsibility for the fact their actions have a far more negative impact on women than they realize.

Thank you for reading,
Lauren.

Latour’s statement referenced is one he made concerning the recent allegations made against Cameron Stewart.

Latour attempted to apologize and took responsibility in now deleted Tweets.

Numerous other individuals spoke up about encounters and experiences with Latour.

Latour joins other recent individuals within the industry who have attempted to use their position and influence over women.

Charles Brownstein is Out as Comic Book Legal Defense Board Executive Director

CBLDF logo

The writing was on the wall and rumors swirled all throughout the day but Charles Brownstein is officially out as the Executive Director at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund “effective immediately.”

The calls for Brownstein’s removal were raised again last week after the numerous revelations of abusers and harassers in the comic industry. Brownstein’s issues stem back to 2006 and that event along with other criticisms of the organization, some justified and some not, continued through the weekend until today’s event and change in leadership. Brownstein began with the organization in 2002.

Creators in the comic industry began to speak up how they would no longer support, or weren’t supporting, the CBLDF over Brownstein’s employment.

Read the CBLDF’s statement below:

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has accepted the resignation of Charles Brownstein as Executive Director, effective immediately.

Our organization exists to serve the comics community and the First Amendment, and we can’t do that without an open and honest discourse. We believe our organization’s management and staff should be representative of and responsive to the community they serve. As we move forward, it will be with a renewed focus on accountability and transparency. And as we plan for the future with new leadership in place, we will work with our staff and human resources experts to continue developing policies that will make us a stronger organization.

We hear and understand the concerns of our community and recognize that this is only a first step in building greater trust and understanding regarding our mission and how it is carried out.

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