Comics Lowdown: ‘Astro Hustle’ canceled after sexual misconduct allegations against Jai Nitz

Plus: Mark Alessi passes away; DiNKy award nominees and more.

Dark Horse Comics has canceled the final two issues of Astro Hustle after writer Jai Nitz was accused of sexual misconduct.

The allegations were first published on the Her Campus website by Hannah Strader, a University of Kansas student who met Nitz when he was a guest lecturer in one of her classes. Nitz, whose recent work also includes a Suicide Squad story for DC Comics, briefly deleted his Twitter account (which is now set to private) and bailed on his appearance at 2019 Planet Comicon last weekend.

“Dark Horse takes all allegations seriously. We have cancelled future issues of Astro Hustle,” the publisher said in a statement to CBR.com. “While we were unable to prevent our distributor’s shipping of Astro Hustle #2, we are also suspending our professional ties with Jai Nitz.”

Astro Hustle artist Tom Reilly addressed the cancellation on Twitter, saying it was “for the best” and showing support for the victim. And Nitz released a statement to Bleeding Cool, saying “I am stepping away from comics and public life. I am seeking counseling and trying to live a better life for my loved ones.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Seth on ‘Palookaville’ #23

The creator discusses the end of ‘Clyde Fans,’ the film ‘Seth’s Dominion’ and more.

In 2010 the cartoonist Seth revived his old comics series Palookaville as a series of hardcover volumes that come out once every year and a half or two years, in the smaller size and shape that Seth used in books like Wimbledon Green and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists. Palookaville #23 has just been released by Drawn and Quarterly and like the earliest volumes, it contains a few different elements. There is a large selection of paintings that Seth created for two different exhibitions in 2014 and 2015. There’s the third chapter of Nothing Lasts, a memoir that Seth began in earlier volumes, and perhaps most notably, the fifth and final chapter of Clyde Fans.

Clyde Fans began many years ago in 1997 in the original Palookaville series, a followup to Seth’s now-classic graphic novel It’s A Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken. The story went on hiatus along with the series, and finishing the series has been one of Seth’s primary projects in the revived Palookaville series. In the interim he has been keeping busy, with a series of graphic novels, New Yorker covers, design projects like The Complete Peanuts, illustrating the Lemony Snicket series All the Wrong Questions, and making paintings and models for various exhibitions. We talked about what finishing the story means to him, what he’s working on next and some thoughts on the film Seth’s Dominion.

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