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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.

Review: ¡Fantasmagoría! #1

HBO has had a history of delivering excellent shows with amazing talent that pushes boundaries. The network often told stories that most mainstream outlets rarely touched or even cared to. They wanted to introduce a new standard of prestige television and it did exactly that. One of its most memorable features was the Hudlin Brothers’ Cosmic Slop as it touched on subject matter affecting persons of color. Since then, not much content has came out that resembled anything near to the impact that feature had. In SBI Press’ newest book ¡Fantasmagoría!, we get an echo of yesteryear with a Latinx twist in what horror fans can relish.

In “El Corazon Negro,” one veteran Lucha Libre has an epic brawl with Death himself, but not everything goes as planned. In “The Flying Coffin,” one man makes a deal with devil only to be outsmarted by Hell’s Angel himself. In “Put A Little Chile In It,” one woman consults a witch for a love potion only to leave the object of her desire, literally in flames. By issue’s end, each story has the reader on the edge of their seat and leaves them little creeped out.

Overall, it’s an excellent first issue in what is landmark series that gives the world a series of horror vignettes that will both entertain and scare. The stories by Eric M. Esquivel and James A. Fino reminds me of how episodes from Tales From The Crypt used to make me feel. The art by the creative team more than compliments each story. Altogether, it’s an astonishing debut that will both thrill and frighten in the same breath.

Story: Eric M. Esquivel and James A. Fino
Art: Julieta Colas, Victor Moura, Fernando Pinto, Trevor Richardson, Beli De La Torre, Kote Carvajal, Henry Barajas
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Starburns Industries Press Tag Teams With Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia. Get the First Two Issues at Rose City Comic Con

Starburns Industries Press, the new publishing division of the studio behind Rick and Morty, has partnered with the creators of Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia for Rose City Comic Con. SBI Press will publish the no-holds-barred, action-comedy sci-fi series from writers Matt Entin and Ed Kuehnel, artist Dan Schkade, colorist Marissa Louise and letterer Dave Lanphear.

Inspired by the colorful days of 1980s pro-wrestling, the six-issue mini-series kicks off when disgruntled professional wrestler “Rock ‘n Roll” Rory Landell declares himself “galactic champion of the universe”, which a hostile planet of wrestling aliens takes as a declaration of war from Planet Earth.

Fans at this year’s Rose City Comic-Con can grab issues 1 & 2 of Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia thanks to a small print run available at the Starburns Industries booth (#649). Writers Kuehnel and Entin will be signing copies throughout the con while artist Dan Schkade will be at the booth Saturday from 1-3. Stop by booth #649 for this and more books and swag from Starburns Industries this weekend!

It’s Comics Comics from Starburns Industries Press on Kickstarter

Starburns Industries Press has launched a Kickstarter for their Comics Comics anthology which is completely written by stand-up comedians.

Backer rewards include the comic in print and digital, two Kickstarter exclusive editions, Starburns swag, our other comics, retailer tiers, and even a tour of the studio that produces Rick and Morty, HarmonQuest, and Animals.

Comics Comics is an ongoing collection of original stories with each issue containing at least 48 pages of brand-new stories written by headliners, cult favorites, and newcomers drawn by artists from every corner of the comics world.

Comics Comics features such voices as Patton Oswalt (MST3KHappy!), Paul Scheer (How Did This Get Made?The League), Sam Jay (SNL), Jackie Kashian (The Dork Forest), Quinta Brunson (BrokeUp for Adoption), Megan Koester (Coming to the Stage, Corporate), Sara Benincasa (Real Artists Have Day Jobs), Carolyn Main (Pitch, Please!), Eliot Rahal (New Comic Book Day), Rose Matafeo (Funny Girls), Nick Giovannetti (Bad Guys), with more announced throughout the campaign.

The comedians have the freedom to write whatever they want in any genre resulting in comics featuring slices of life, flights of fancy, and journeys into genre.

Teaming up to make these stories into comics are such comedy fans as Troy Nixey (Vinegar TeethThe Black Sinister), Robert Hack (Chilling Tales of Sabrina), Evan Dorkin (Milk and CheeseBill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book), Rick Altergott (ViceCracked), Brent Schoonover (Gregory Graves), Sarah Burrini (Nerd Girl), and more, with double threats like comedian/cartoonist Carolyn Main writing and drawing! A set of Kickstarter-exclusive covers are painted by cartoonist and HBO artist Richard P. Clark (The BoysHouse of Gold & Bones).

The Comics Comics Kickstarter runs through September 19. Backers can get copies of the comic in print and digital, an exclusive hardcover version, prints, and more.

Starburn Industries Launches SBI Press on Free Comic Book Day and Announces New Staff

Starburns Industries, the production studio that brought you Rick and Morty, Anomalisa, and Harmonquest, is expanding beyond film and television development with Starburns Industries Press (SBI Press), a publisher of books, comics and specialty cassette tapes.

SBI Press’ talent includes Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty), Dino Stamatopoulos (Moral Orel, Community, Mr. Show), and the vast network of comedians, writers, and podcasters affiliated with Starburns Audio.

The new imprint has signed a distribution agreement with Diamond Comic Distributors the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture products, and its book trade division, Diamond Book Distributors.

The new division is founded and headed by Starburns production executive Simon Oré, who will serve as President of SBI Press. Joining Oré to build the division are new hires Brendan Wright, formerly of Dark Horse Comics and New Arab Media, who comes on board as SBI Press VP and Executive Editor, and Trevor Richardson, formerly of Diamond Comics Distributors, who fills the role of SBI Press VP of Acquisitions. The staff is rounded out by Editorial & Production Assistants Ross Clark and Paige Dowling, and PR and Marketing Manager Cassandra Church, with Starburns Producer Casey Rup (VICELAND’s Party Legends, Ricking Morty) serving as producer and consulting editor.

SBI Press becomes the first publisher to debut through the comics industry’s annual Free Comic Book Day event with the showcase Starburns Presents on the first Saturday of May. The anthology title will preview the SBI Press’s 2018 slate, headlined by a short story from comedian and writer Patton Oswalt, artist Troy Nixey, and colorist Michelle Madsen.

Coinciding with Free Comic Book Day, the May edition of Diamond’s Previews catalog will include the company’s first launches: Dan Harmon’s biting take on supervillainy, Gregory Graves, cowritten with Eric M. Esquivel, and illustrated by Brent Schoonover, Ted Naifeh, and Rebecca Nalty; Dino Stamatopolous and Leah Triscione’s graphic novel Trent, “a lighthearted tragedy with music”; and the company’s first series, Hellicious, a family comedy set in Hell, written by Alan C. Medina and Mina Elwell and illustrated by Kit Wallis and Jio Butler.

From there, the first wave of titles in 2018 continues with Comics Comics, teaming fan-favorite stand-up comedians with leading comic industry talent in an anthology series, Oddwell: The Frog of War, a fantasy-adventure comic series from writers David A. Clarke and Walter A. Bryant III and artist Acacia T. Rodarte; and The Crawling King, an illustrated dark fantasy novel by award-winning filmmaker and animator Einar Baldvin.

Hellicious By A.C. Medina, Mina Elwell, and Starburns Industries Press

Written by A.C. Medina and Mina Elwell, with art by Kit Wallis, Hellicious is a family comedy set in Hell.

Cherry, the Devil’s prankster granddaughter and the cutest grim reaper in Hell, is honestly just trying to have fun and make new friends. She just keeps getting derailed by the fact that human beings are flammable.

Don’t Torture Yourself — That’s Her Job…

She loves everything about Hell – its burning landscapes, its horrific inhabitants, and especially her demonic mother and grandfather – but she’s lonely. There’s nobody to play with, and anyone who tries ends up being defenestrated or digested or otherwise destroyed.

There’s only one mortal who Cherry thinks might be a good playmate: rock star and goth icon Briggy Bundy. The bad news is, he isn’t dead…Yet.

Being published by Starburns Industries Press, you’ll be able to get your first look during this year’s Free Comic Book Day before it goes on sale July 2018.

Starburns Presents for Free Comic Book Day

Starburns Industries, the company that brought you Rick and Morty, Harmonquest, Anomalisa, and so much more, will debut SBI Press, its new publishing division, in Spring 2018. Beginning with its Free Comic Book Day 2018 offering, Starburns Presents, the company’s newest venture will include tales penned by known stand up comedians, Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon, podcasters from the Feral Audio Network with millions of listeners every week, comic industry alums and new, diverse voices.

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