Tag Archives: sexual harassment

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.

Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain Leave Border Town after Allegations Levied at Eric Esquivel

We brought you the story yesterday of the allegations made by Cynthia Naugle of the physical and emotional abuse she suffered while working with Eric M. Esquivel.

In the post, Naugle doesn’t name Esquivel and refers to him as “X.” Due to clues she leaves, it’s clear it’s Esquivel, one of the creators behind the recent Vertigo series hit Border Town.

Today, his collaborators on the project, Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain have both announced they would be leaving the project. Bonvillain makes clear there are more issues than this one. It’s unclear if any of them are in regards to other accusations that have come forward in the days that Naugle has gone public.

Bonvillain said that DC has wanted to keep the focus on Eric and have been waiting for him to speak up, but he remains silent. Villalobos and Bonvillain informed DC they’d like to speak up due to the silence and DC gave them permission.


DC Comics/Vertigo have not made a statement, and declined to make one at the time when when we reached out, but SBI Press is parting ways with Esquivel as well.

Without his collaborators, it’s still unknown as to the future of Border Town and Esquivel’s role at Vertigo.

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

Stan Lee Accused of Sexual Harassment But Responds That It’s a “Shakedown”

Stan Lee is the latest comic industry professional accused of sexual harassment and misconduct against the nurses who worked at his Hollywood home.

Allegations include Lee groping women, requesting oral sex, and strolling around in the nude on front of them.

The nursing company that employs the women is in a legal dispute with Lee but no police complaint has been made and no lawsuits filed.

A lawyer representing Lee has said that Lee “categorically denies” the “false and despicable” allegations and intends to clear his “stellar good name.” There’s also hints that the accusations are part of a shakedown.

An anonymous source said:

Stan is an old man who has seemingly lost his way.

He doesn’t seem to care what people think of him, he’s lost his filter. There has been a stream of young nurses coming to his house in West Hollywood and he has been sexually harassing them. He finds it funny.

He walks around naked and is vulgar towards the women, he asks them for oral sex in the shower and wants to be pleasured in his bedroom. He uses the word p***y and f**k in their presence.

He’s also very handsy and has groped some of the women, it’s unacceptable behavior, especially from an icon like Stan.

The owner at the nursing company has openly said to people that Stan has sexually harassed every single nurse that has been to the house. That got back to Lee and sparked this whole thing.

It appears the owner, who has nursed Stan herself, eventually decided enough was enough.

The nursing company ended their relationship with Lee towards the end of last year.

Lee’s attorney Tom Lallas sent a cease and desist to the owner of the nursing firm in December.

In a statement, Lallas said:

Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character.

We are not aware of anyone filing a civil action, or reporting these issues to the police, which for any genuine claim would be the more appropriate way for it to be handled.

Instead, Mr. Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media.

Mr Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong.

A new visiting nurse firm working with Lee and has said he has been “polite, kind and respectful” as well as “it has been a privilege to care for him.”

We’ll continue to update as more is learned.

(via the Daily Mail)

Stories of Nathan Edmondson’s Behavior Begin to Come Forward (Updated)

A little over two years ago we covered the allegations and rumors regarding comic writer Nathan Edmondson. Harassment, sexual harassment, unprofessional dealings with other creators were all recounted either first or second hand directly to us and since we ran that original article more accounts have been told to us of negative first hand dealings.

The difficulty of reporting in that original article was the second hand nature of the behavior and the first hand accounts weren’t inclined for their stories to be told or included. Things look to be changing.

Writer and editor Stephanie Cooke has stood up with her account and has gone on record with her interactions with Edmondson at a convention in North Carolina “several years back.” Those interactions can only be described as toxic and predatory.

Read her account below:

Writer Elizabeth Amber Love responded with her own encounter with Edmondson.

Both of these accounts are in line with what we’ve been told over the years and ends the hearsay and rumors with first hand accounts.

We’ve reached out to Edmondson for comment.

Update: Comic writer Joseph Keatinge corroborate’s Stephanie’s account.

Around the Tubes

It’s Thanksgiving here at GP HQ and not to sound too cheesy but thank you all for visiting our site and helping keep it going all these years. We have a full day of news coming at you, no rest for the holiday! And we’re kicking that off with a fresh round of news from around the web.

The Beat – Marvel Watch: Joe Quesada steps in to smooth Cebulski transition, including interviews – Except an interview with us. No way that’ll happen. Publishers are scared for us to interview their CEOs and EICs.

The Beat – Five more women accuse Berganza of sexual harassment – The tip of the iceberg.

Kotaku – Marvel Heroes Developer Gazillion Apparently Lays Off Everyone On Thanksgiving Eve – What assholes.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Aquaman #30

CBR – Doomsday Clock #1

Newsarama – Doomsday Clock #1

Atomic Junk Shop – Illuminati Transport

ICv2 – Riverdale Vol. 1

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