Tag Archives: online harassment

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.

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.

Brendan Wright Releases a Statement Regarding Harassment Accusations

Last week, editor Brendan Wright was accused of harassment and crossing boundaries with another professional within the comic industry. The revelation resulted in Wright being removed from numerous current comic projects as well as individuals distancing themselves and saying they wouldn’t work with him further.

Wright had remained silent and today released a statement regarding what happened.

You can read it in full below:

I am sorry to Bekah Caden for hurting her by disregarding her boundaries. My recollection of events isn’t different enough from hers to be worth arguing. What matters is that my behavior toward her was wrong, and I wouldn’t have acted the same way toward a male editor who had impressed me the way she did.

I first crossed a boundary when I told Bekah I was interested in her. She was clear to me about the nature of our relationship, and I convinced myself there was mutual attraction anyway. We later started working together, and I assured her I understood she didn’t share those feelings and that I could put them away. But it is clear I was lying to myself about how I felt and what was appropriate, and while I fooled myself, I didn’t fool Bekah. A few months into our editorial partnership, Bekah told me it would have to come to an end. Instead of hearing her when she talked about my disrespect of her boundaries, I reacted with disbelief.

I spent the rest of that year rethinking the time we’d known each other in light of the pain I caused Bekah. I started learning how not to lie to myself about my behavior so this couldn’t happen again with any woman. But one thing I never did was apologize. I always felt it would be another unwanted invasion of her space. Hopefully this setting is less invasive.

Bekah, I am truly sorry that when you set boundaries with me I broke them. I am sorry that I brought up my attraction to you a second time when you had been clear it was not reciprocated. I’m sorry I wasn’t honest with myself about my feelings after that or about the effect they’d had before deciding things could just go back to normal. I am sorry that my failure to respect your boundaries brought my belief in your talent into question. I’m sorry you were put in the position of therapist on top of friend. I’m sorry, years ago when you told me what I’d put you through, that I didn’t believe you. I’m sorry for any lasting effects this has had on your life and career. I’m sorry this apology didn’t come much sooner. If you want or need this apology extended to you directly, I will make that happen however you are comfortable with, and if not, I hope this one helps heal some of the pain I caused.

As time passes, I will reject any opportunities to turn to bitterness and aggrievement to minimize my culpability. Making amends requires me first to remember that this situation is a result of my actions and to remember the remorse I felt at the pain I caused even before those actions were public. To do my part in making everyone safer, it also means continuing to actively believe and validate people who have been hurt by anyone.

Editor Brendan Wright is Removed From Projects After Being Named in Harassment Accusation

Editor Brendan Wright has been removed from numerous projects after being accused of harassment and stalking another individual within the comic industry. Wright is a former Dark Horse Editor and the former Executive Editor and VP for SBI Press.

Wright has been dropped from numerous projects including the Shots Fired benefit anthology which was recently Kickstarted. Numerous other individuals and publishing teams have announced they have parted ways with him as well.

Suspicious Behavior Productions released the following statement:

White Cat Entertainment also announced they would no longer working with Wright Tweeting:

We have terminated our relationship with Brendan Wright, and as of now he will no longer be working on Rise of the Kung Fu Dragon Master.

Starburns Industries Press, his former employer but Wright was still working on projects with them, also released a statement:

Wright met the accuser at a party where she provided him with her information in hopes of building out her connections within the industry.

She went on to describe Wright as “calling/texting constantly, showing up at my then day job” and even showed up outside of her apartment building.

She would go on to Tweet:

Brendan would remind me all the time that he knew more people than I did, that he could get me on projects if he was feeling generous, all the while telling me how much he was in love with me and how badly he wanted to fuck me.

After he quit DH we started working together freelance. Once, in a bar (I always insisted on meeting in public), while we were going over notes on a script, he again told me that he was in love with me.

I asked him to stop saying that and he responded with what he considered a joke saying, “Even though I want to fuck your face?” He laughed. Loudly.
Another time at a work meetup, I drank too much and ended up having to crashing at his place (I’m going to stop you here if you’re thinking this is my fault. I drank too much. It happens. I didn’t want to drive, the buses had stopped running, and this was before ridesharing).

He let me sleep in his bed with him on the couch. I locked the bedroom door and was so uncomfortable that I kept waking up to check that it was still locked.

In the morning he asked why I’d locked the door. I asked why he’d been trying to get into a room where an intoxicated person was sleeping. He then made another “joke” about the sweats I’d borrowed to sleep in “smelling like pussy”.

I allowed our acquaintance to continue because I’d convinced myself that my career was worth it. I wasn’t picking up very much work at the time and he approached me with projects that were already green lit and getting published.

When I finally cut contact, all of my work went with him. I didn’t work for months.

These are just two of many memories I have of him.

Brendan Wright used his position of power to torment and harass me in an attempt to satisfy his own obsessive sexual urges.

We’ll add to this article as more individuals come forward. We’ve asked for a comment from Wright but have yet to hear back as of the time of the article’s release. We’ll update it if any is received.

When the Anti-Harassment Bodyguard is the Harasser

One of the most omnipresent images of this year’s San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) wasn’t a big comic book announcement or a still from a movie trailer. It was the fact that Eisner Award winning Batman writer Tom King needed a bodyguard because of death threats about his handling of the wedding between Batman and Catwoman in the recently published Batman #50. This bodyguard was David Wray, who has provided security for Stan Lee in the past. Wray became somewhat of an Internet darling during SDCC posing for pictures with King and other creators, and some fans even wanted his autograph or for him to have a cameo in Batman or another Tom King comic.

Wray has been a managing partner at the Cincinnati Comic Expo since 2013. According to Expo administrator, Matt Bredestege, he also has had the position of Comics Guest liaison and travels to conventions to personally invite guests to Cincinnati Comic Expo. This role gives him a good deal of authority in choosing guests for the Expo.

However, Wray has exhibited behavior towards women online that could be considered harassment and allegedly refused to invite a prominent female comic book creator to the Cincinnati Comic Expo because she was a “feminist.” He has also made a homophobic joke about Tom Hiddleston at an Expo executive committee meeting implying that he was gay because of the way he looked.

I spoke with Megan Goodier on the phone about David Wray’s actions and her interactions with him both online and offline. Goodier was a volunteer at Cincinnati Comic Expo from 2011-2015 and a member of its executive committee in 2015 until she stepped down because of health reasons. She has known Wray since 2013 and worked closely with him on the executive committee.

At an executive committee meeting, Goodier brought up the fact that the Expo had not invited many female comics creators as guests. Guests are paid an appearance fee and have their travel and lodging covered by the Expo whereas artist alley creators pay for their tables/exhibition space at the convention. She brought up writer Gail Simone (Batgirl, Wonder Woman) as a possible guest, but this was immediately shot down because she talked about being a feminist a lot. Goodier mentioned that she self-identified as a feminist, and Wray responded by saying, “I will never book her for my show.”

In response to the claim of not booking Gail Simone because she self-identifies as a feminist, Matt Bredestege stated that:

We have never disqualified any guest for their personal beliefs or ideals… No one’s thoughts and opinions on sexuality, religion, politics, science, or whatever has ever been a factor in having them appear or not appear at the Cincinnati Comic Expo.

He followed up by saying that Simone had been invited as a guest to the Expo on “several occasions” and that would he “would provide copies of the communications of the communications between (them).” However, when I asked for these emails, my request for comment was not returned. We followed up with Gail Simone’s agent, Ari Lubet, and asked if she had ever attended or been invited to Cincinnati Comic Expo, but did not get a response.

In 2016, the Cincinnati Comic Expo booked actor Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck) as a media guest even after, in 2014, he helped popularize the phrase and Twitter hashtag “Gamergate” and participated in the harassment of female game developers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu and journalist Anita Sarkeesian. Baldwin’s actions and the mobilization of his large Twitter following to attack these women definitely went against the Cincinnati Comic Expo’s conduct policy of “providing a safe and harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion“.

According to Matt Bredestege, the Cincinnati Comic Expo organizers were “not aware” of Adam Baldwin’s connection to Gamergate and booked him in “late 2015/early 2016” because fans wanted actors from the popular 2002 science fiction show Firefly to attend the show. After the announcement, a fan did bring “the allegations to [the Expo organizers’] attention” online, but they “….already had a binding legal agreement with [Baldwin] and his agency” and kept him as a guest.

As well as booking a known enabler of online harassment towards women and saying he would not book a prominent comics creator because she was too feminist, David Wray has also made unwanted advances toward multiple women over Facebook Messenger. (See below image gallery.) In a 2015 Facebook conversation, Wray told Megan Goodier that he “would do everything I can” to get comics creators Matt Fraction (Hawkeye) and Chip Zdarsky (Jughead) to attend Cincinnati Comic Expo if she got him a date with a woman on her Facebook friends list that was much younger than him.

Goodier said that she had not contacted the woman in years and told Wray to back off, but he still messaged the woman even though he admitted that it made Goodier “uncomfortable.” He even mentioned Goodier to the woman although they hadn’t talked in a while. Along with admitting he messaged the woman after Goodier told him not to, Wray threw in some additional creepy comments about the “crazy/hot scale” and turning down strippers.

Following this up, Wray contacted another woman on Goodier’s friends list, who she had volunteered with at Free Comic Book Day and whose picture he had found on her Facebook profile. Again, Goodier told him to back off and even mentioned that “she is even more feminist than me”. This led to a rant a rant criticizing “radicals” and “shit stirrers”, including those who protested Rafael Albuquerque’s 2015 Batgirl variant cover, which was an homage to Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke where Barbara Gordon was crippled and sexually assaulted by the Joker. Albuquerque later requested that the cover be cancelled because those protested it were getting “threats of violence and harassment”.

Even though Cincinnati Comic Expo has a strict anti-harassment policy, its own managing partner David Wray harasses women online. Megan Goodier also states:

There are other women in the area who have had bad experiences with him, who have chosen not to step forward or say anything. I don’t have receipts. These women don’t want to publicly step out  about what happened to them. I know of them, but I cannot prove it. You mention the name David Wray to women who have worked, especially in the convention industry or even in the comics shops in town, they know exactly who you mean. And he does not have a good reputation.

Matt Bredestege, an administrator at Cincinnati Comic Expo, responded to these accusations towards David Wray via email by saying:

We have no comment on these allegations at this time. The allegations are new to our attention. We have reached out to see the alleged messages and no copies have been provided to us.

However, Megan Goodier provided another Facebook Messenger conversation from July 26, 2018 where Cincinnati Comic Expo founder and director Andrew Satterfield and “marketing partner” Jackie Reau offered to talk with her either in person or over the phone about David Wray’s actions. Goodier said she was “not comfortable having any meeting that would create further my word against his situations…” and offered to send screenshots of her chats with Wray that are in this article. Both Satterfield and Reau read her message and didn’t respond.