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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Two CBLDF board members resign; one retires

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund loses three board members following the resignation of Executive Director Charles Brownstein.

In the wake of Charles Brownstein’s resignation from his position with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, two members of the CBLDF board have resigned, while another has announced his retirement from the board.

Both Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham have resigned from the board, and Paul Levitz will “retire,” according to a post on the CBLDF site.

“We respect the decisions that Paul, Katherine and Jeff have made to leave the Board. We realize it will be a long path to earning back the trust of our members, supporters and the industry. We recognize that it’s been our inability to react, or act at all, that’s been the cause of  pain in our community,” the CBLDF said in the post. “Even last week, when we took the necessary action in accepting Charles’s resignation, our communications were stilted and clumsy. To everyone who has come forward, we haven’t done justice to your bravery and we are truly sorry. We vow to be better.”

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Charles Brownstein resigns from the CBLDF

The move follows several days of creators saying they would no longer support the CBLDF as long as he was their executive director.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund board released a statement today saying that they have “accepted the resignation of Charles Brownstein as Executive Director.”

The move follows several days of creators calling for his removal on social media, which you can read about on The Beat. The push for his removal stems from a 2005 incident where Brownstein allegedly assaulted artist Taki Soma.

Here’s the statement in full:

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Mail Call | James Stokoe is doing a Clownhunter story for a ‘Joker Wars’ one-shot

Plus: News from Image, Aftershock and the CBLDF.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 is a collection of short stories that tie into the upcoming “Joker Wars” storyline in Batman. The 48-page one-shot will include stories by James Tynion IV, John Ridley, Guillem March, James Stokoe, Joshua Williamson, David Lafuente and more.

The artwork above is from Stokoe’s contribution, a story featuring the new character Clownhunter. In the press release, DC says this is “the brutal full debut of the mysterious new anti-hero known as Clownhunter.”

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Mail Call | AHOY Comics moves ‘Captain Ginger’ to digital only

Featuring news from AHOY, Quarantine Comix and the CBLDF.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

The latest issue of the Quarantine Comix guest series features Al Ewing and PJ Holden, telling a short story that’s a “riff on Animal Crossing and Wicker Man.” Proceeds for this latest issue will go to the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Visit the Quarantine Comix website for more information.

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CBLDF announces the Rory D. Root Comics Ambassador Grant

New program offers grant money to retailers to encourage ‘community building through the creation of events promoting comics as a valuable form of free expression.’

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has announced a new grant program aimed at “encouraging community building through the creation of events promoting comics as a valuable form of free expression.”

The Rory D. Root Comics Ambassador Grant is named for the beloved owner of the Berkeley, California-based comic shop Comic Relief, who passed away in 2008.

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Support free speech with these ‘retro’ CBLDF designs

Get shirts, hats, phone cases and more featuring artwork by Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Mike Allred, James Kochalka, Jim Lee and many others.

Over the years comic creators have donated artwork to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for use on membership cards, T-shirts and other premiums. Many of them quickly sold out and haven’t been available for a while — until now. CBLDF has launched a Threadless shop, offering shirts and other items featuring some of their “retro” artwork.

For instance, you can get a shirt featuring Mike Allred’s Lady Liberty drawing, which graced the cover of a CBLDF anthology in 2014. There’s also Frank Miller’s Defiant Fist, which would look great on a throw pillow. Or this patriotic Bone artwork, if you’re looking for something for the kids. Additional artwork by Cliff Chiang, Terry Moore, Jim Lee, Judd Winick and more can also be found on the site.

Proceeds benefit the fund, so head on over to Threadless to check them out.

#GivingTuesday: Support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (and get a pin)

On the official day of giving, the CBLDF offers a pin featuring artwork by Raina Telgemeier and an anthology featuring stories by Neil Gaiman, Jim Lee, Jeff Lemire and many more.

Today is Giving Tuesday, the softer, less crass sibling to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and to help celebrate the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a few special offers for contributors.

First up is a special pin featuring artwork by Raina Telgemeier, which can be yours for a $10 donation to the fund:

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