Comics Lowdown | Jud Meyers placed on administrative leave at IDW

Plus: News on SDCC, DC’s writing workshop and the winner of the 2020 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award.

Publishers: Jud Meyers, who was named publisher at IDW last week, has already been placed on administrative leave, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Jerry Bennington, who was named president of IDW last week, will assume Meyer’s duties in the interim. No reason was given for why Meyers was placed on leave. The Beat has more background, including information on a past lawsuit against Meyers by his former business partner, comics retailer Carr D’Angelo.

Conventions: The local San Diego news station KUSI looks at the loss of revenue to the city of San Diego due to the cancellation of the San Diego Comic Con. Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, the president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center, says the cancellation of the event meant a potential loss of $166 million to the local San Diego economy across restaurants, retail and taxes. He notes the convention center has had to cancel about 100 shows this year so far due to COVID-19.

Speaking of Comic-Con, Variety is calling the virtual convention “a bust,” based on the amount of activity on Twitter about the convention being down compared to last year, as well as the YouTube views of panels. The Beat points out that from a comic perspective, the YouTube numbers for “comics-based panels are way way above what they would have reached in person.” Also, almost a week later, those panels are still available for people who want to view them.

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Comics Lowdown | BOOM! asks for CBLDF’s FCBD anthology to be destroyed

Plus: News on 2019 comics sales, Joe Sacco, Cavan Scott, Grant Morrison, Mexican horror comics and more.

Following the controversy that has come to light recently about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and its former executive director, BOOM! Studios has asked for a Free Comic Book Day anthology they organized for the CBLDF to be destroyed, according to a report by Newsarama’s Chris Arrant.

A CBLDF Free Comic Book Day anthology has been assembled by numerous publishers over the years, and then published by the CBLDF for the annual event. This year’s event, of course, was cancelled in May due to the pandemic, but the comics are still being distributed to comic shops to be given out from July through September.

“In light of recent events surrounding the CBLDF, Boom! Studios asked that this year’s planned FCBD issue from the CBLDF not be distributed,” BOOM! told Newsarama. “Unfortunately, the issue was shipped out to retailers early in error (without being billed). We’ve requested the CBLDF and Diamond to ask retailers to destroy the copies they received, and a destruction notice should be sent to retailers shortly.”

CBLDF president Christina Merkler told the outlet that they respect BOOM!’s wishes and will leave it up to retailers whether they want to distribute the free comic.

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Comics Lowdown | More allegations against CBLDF’s Brownstein brought to light

Plus: News on Diamond, Art Spiegelman, Dragon Con and more.

Writing for The Comics Journal, Michael Dean has a long article detailing additional allegations against Charles Brownstein, the former executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Dean spoke with many former CBLDF, employees, including former Development Manager Cheyenne (Shy) Allott, who had been under an NDA about her time at the CBLDF until recently.

“My trouble with Charles started three days into my employment, at ComicsPro in Memphis, Tennessee,” Allott said. “Upon arrival at the show, I went to check into my hotel room only to discover that Charles had booked us in the same room together. I was instantly uncomfortable with this arrangement and for the first time, I saw Charles drop his charming facade and switch into an accusatory tone. He stated that it wasn’t fiscally responsible for me to have my own room, as we were a non-profit. I felt like I was misusing funds simply by asking that question.” Brownstein did not respond to TCJ’s request for comment.

The Comics Journal also sent questions to the CBLDF board, which CBLDF President Christina Merkler responded to. You can read her responses here, but one thing she addressed was whether CBLDF was still viable — a question many have been asking over the last couple weeks:

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Comics Lowdown | Geppi resumes duties as president of Diamond’s parent company

Plus: News on #BacktheComeback, TCAF, Heavy Metal, Thought Bubble and the first graphic novel to win the Wodehouse Prize and have a pig named after it.

Diamond Comics Distributor’s parent company has a new president, kind of. Stan Heidmann, the president/COO of Geppi Family Enterprises who took that role about a year ago, will depart the company as Steve Geppi resumes the role. Geppi has been serving as Chairman and CEO since Heidmann joined the company.

“Under my guidance, the executive leadership team will support a comprehensive strategic review to position the enterprise for future growth,” Geppi said in the message posted to the Diamond website. “I feel a tremendous responsibility to our employees and the industry, and I fully intend to set all Geppi Family Enterprise brands on a path for robust growth. I am confident we have the right leadership with talented teams in place and I see enormous opportunities for GFE.”

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Comics Lowdown | Cameron Stewart dropped from projects after sexual misconduct allegations surface

Plus: News on the Eisner Awards, new dates for Free Comic Book Day and more.

Multiple women this week accused artist Cameron Stewart of sexually preying on them, including one who was 16 at the time.

Artist and model Aviva Maï said Stewart groomed her, which is when an adult befriends a child to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. She said this started in 2009, when she was 16. Following Maï’s post on Twitter, many other women, including creator Kate Leth, made similar accusations against Stewart.

As a result of the allegations, Bleeding Cool reports, Stewart has been removed from an unannounced project from DC Comics. In addition, Martin Morazzo, artist of Ice Cream Man, said they will no longer use a planned cover by Stewart for the comic’s 20th issue. “We will be donating the commission cost of the cover to Safe Horizons,” Morazzo said on Twitter. He also revealed the replacement cover, which features a parody of The Cat in the Hat cover:

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Comics Lowdown: Can Disney stop cops from using the Punisher symbol?

Plus: News on Al Jaffe, Uncivilized Books, awards and more.

With police brutality once again in the public eye, many fans on social media have called out Disney/Marvel to put their litigious muscles to work and prevent cops from using the Punisher logo — a popular emblem with some members of law enforcement, despite the fact that Frank Castle is a criminal and a killer.

First, you can find some history of both the character and its popularity with police here. That piece’s writer, Brian Cronin, is not only a contributor to CBR, but also a lawyer, and he offers his thoughts on why he doesn’t think Disney would have much success in an article titled “There’s Not Much Marvel Can Do About Cops Using Punisher’s Logo.” Cronin writes:

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Comics Lockdown: Publishers react to COVID-19

With news from Marvel, Dark Horse, Humanoids, Vault Comics and more.

Marvel offers some suggestions on how to support local comic shops, along with a list of stores that are still open and what services they provide.

Christina Merkler of Discount Comic Book Service discusses the effect of the Diamond shutdown on the Collected Comics Podcast.

UK comics blogger John Freeman rounds up resources and links, including free comics sites, information on UK stores that sell by mail order, and stuff to keep homebound kids amused, at Down the Tubes.

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Comics Lockdown: The latest on comics and COVID

Featuring news from Valiant, Archie Comics, MICE and more.

As the news that Diamond Comics Distributors is putting shipments on hold as of April 1 reverberated throughout the comics industry, reactions came from many quarters. Here’s a roundup of as many as I could find, with more (I’m sure) tomorrow:

Let’s start with some perspective: At Comichron, John Jackson Miller looks at the history of the comics retail market and offers some hope for the future.

At ICv2, editor, comics market analyst, and former distributor Milton Griepp gives his perspective.

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Comics Lowdown: Standing behind retailers during the coronavirus

Plus: TCAF canceled, BookExpo postponed and more coronavirus news.

As the threat of the coronavirus continues to spread, and federal, state and local governments take action to try and stop it, “shelter in place” and social distancing orders inevitably harm small businesses, like comics retailers. Many retailers around the country have either closed up for a time or have moved to a mail order/”curbside pickup” system. In his weekly newsletter today, writer Cullen Bunn shared some tips for supprtoing your favorite shop during this time:

…SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP as much as you’re able. 

Running a comic book store can be difficult, even in the best of times. Right now, shops are taking a hit. The absolute last thing I want to see—as a reader, a fan, and a creator—is for comic book stores to disappear. It is vital that we all work together to support comic book stores as much as possible and help them get through the coming weeks. When comic book stores suffer, so does the comic book industry. A lot of stores are offering new services during this time of isolation and social-distancing. Some things you can do to help…

  • Inquiring about curbside pickup.
  • Inquiring about mail order or delivery options. 
  • Purchasing any books that are in your pull box.
  • Purchasing gift cards/gift certificates for upcoming birthdays, events, and holidays. 
  • Following your local comic shop on social media for updates on: curtailed hours of operation, events, special accommodations, and cleaning policy. 
  • Tagging your local comic shop on social media & posting photos of the comics you’ve purchased to read during self-quarantine and social distancing.

You can find a comic shop offering “safe services” during the pandemic by using this map from BOOM! Studios.

Image Comics, who issued a letter asking other publishers to help comics retailers during this crisis, also had Alex Cox, Skottie Young and Nate Piekos create a short comic on how fans can support their local shop:

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