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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Diamond halts new comics shipments for April 1 and beyond

IDW and others react to the news.

The COVID-19 epidemic that has shuttered comic shops and forced the postponement of conventions around the country has also affected Diamond Comics Distributors, the sole major distributor to comics retail shops, and today, Diamond co-founder Steve Geppi announced that they will be shutting down shipments of new product:

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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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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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Idaho school bans ‘The Walking Dead’

Despite a committee vote to keep it at the school, the district superintendent calls for the removal of the popular Image Comics series.

Wallace Junior/Senior High School in Wallace, Idaho has removed The Walking Dead from its library shelves following complaints from a teacher and parents.

According to the Shoshone News-Press, a teacher saw a student reading a volume of The Walking Dead during the 2018-2019 school year and objected to the content, including the “graphic language, violence and sexually explicit content.” Upon discovering the school library had several volumes of the comic, he took his concerns to the school’s principal, Chris Lund.

The principal then formed an 11-person committee that included students, staff and parents to review the material and vote on whether The Walking Dead should be removed from the school library.

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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.