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 | 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 | 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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Nominees announced for the 2020 Eisner Awards

Details on the awards ceremony will be shared at a later date.

Comic-Con International announced the nominees today for the 2020 Eisner Awards, which are traditionally given out in San Diego every July.

This, of course, is not a traditional year. While they still plan to give the awards out in July, details on what the awards ceremony might look like haven’t been announced yet.

“The judging process was very challenging this year,” says Eisner Awards Administrator Jackie Estrada. “Normally, the judges all meet in San Diego for four days in a room filled with all the submitted comics and books and they are able to interact with each other in person. With the country in lockdown, they all had to stay in their respective homes (as far away as Maine, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Kingston, Ontario) so had to communicate via email, a social media group and Zoom. Packages of books went back and forth all over the country. Fortunately, we were able to work with the folks at comiXology and many of the publishers to have digital versions of hundreds of submissions available to the judges.”

The 2020 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of graphic novel reviewer Martha Cornog (Library Journal), comics journalist Jamie Coville (TheComicBooks.com), academic/author Michael Dooley (L.A. Art Center College of Design, Print magazine), comic writer/novelist Alec Grecian (Proof, Rasputin, The Yard), journalist/blogger/podcaster Simon Jimenez (longtome Comic-Con volunteer), and retailer Laura O’Meara (Casablanca Comics, Portland, ME).

“The process took two months longer than usual, so the window for voting is significantly shorter than in previous years,” Estrada said. “We encourage professionals in comics to cast their votes as soon as they can.”

Voting for the awards is held online, and the ballot will be available at www.eisnervote.com. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The deadline for voting is June 18.

Check out the list of nominees below:

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Comic Con International in San Diego canceled for 2020

For the first time in its 50-year history, the San Diego Comic Con will not happen due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Comic-Con International has announced that the annual San Diego Comic Con has been officially canceled for 2020. The convention will not return until July 22-25, 2021.

“Recognizing that countless attendees save and plan for its conventions each year, and how many exhibitors and stakeholders rely upon its events for a major portion of their livelihood, they had hoped to delay this decision in anticipation that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer,” their page reads. “Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of California have made it clear that it would not be safe to move forward with plans for this year.”

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Comics Lowdown: MoCCA postponed due to coronavirus

Plus: News about WonderCon, Jim Lee, Webtoon, Dark Horse and more!

Events: New York’s MoCCA Arts Festival, originally scheduled for April 4-5, is the latest event to be postponed due to the novel coronavirus, which has now been declared a pandemic.

“While New York is not officially calling for events of large gatherings to be canceled, many have been and we do not know what the next few weeks will entail. We recognize the amount of work and finances our exhibitors put into their tables and are trying to minimize the burden on them,” The Society of Illustrators, who puts on MoCCA every year, said in a statement.

They added, “In the meantime, we have made the decision to move forward and continue to judge the Awards of Excellence. In addition to the cash prize and Wacom tablets for Gold and Silver medalists, the Society will feature the award winners in an exhibition at the onsite Gallery we build at MoCCA Fest.”

A new date for the two-day festival has not been announced. It joins the Emerald City Comic Con, South by Southwest, E3, the London Book Fair and countless other events that have been impacted by COVID-19.

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Jen Bartel covers this year’s WonderCon program book

Wonder Woman takes center stage on this year’s cover.

This year’s program for WonderCon will sport a “wonderful” cover, featuring Jen Bartel‘s vibrant rendition of Wonder Woman.

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2019 Russ Manning Award nominees announced

Annual award for the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ comic artist will be presented during the Eisner Awards in July at Comic-Con International.

The nominees have been announced for the 2019 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, named for the creator of Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrator of the Tarzan and Star Wars comic strips.

Presented annually since 1982, the award recognizes an artist who, early in his or her career, “shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics.” Previous winners include Dave Stevens, Eleanor Davis, Jeff Smith, Marion Churchland, David Petersen, Tyler Crook, Dan Mora and Anne Szabla.

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Comics Lowdown: Who owns Atlas Comics?

Plus: Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award recipients, Paige Braddock, Frank Santoro, Dr. Gene Luen Yang and more!

Who exactly owns Atlas Comics? That seems to be the question raised in two articles from The Hollywood Reporter. Earlier this month Steven Paul, producer of the Ghost Rider film, announced via a press conference that he had bought the rights to the Atlas Comics and planned to work with Paramount to turn the properties into movies. Not so fast, said Dynamite Entertainment, who followed up by telling THR that they own the name “Atlas Comics.”

Many of you may be wondering “What the heck was Atlas Comics?” while others might be thinking, “Wait, wasn’t Atlas the company that eventually evolved into Marvel Comics in the 1960s?” And still others are wondering, “Didn’t he learn his lesson after Ghost Rider?”

But getting back to Atlas, yes, there was an Atlas Comics in the 1950s that grew out of Timely Comics and eventually became Marvel Comics. It was owned by publisher Martin Goodman, and it put out comics in a variety of genres like horror, crime, espionage and even a few superhero titles featuring characters like Captain America and the Human Torch, who had previously been published under the Timely banner. However, this isn’t that Atlas Comics.

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