Comics Lowdown: Berganza aftermath

Reflections on the industry after the firing of Eddie Berganza, plus trouble ahead for Wizard World and new manga licenses from Anime NYC.

Sexual Harassment in Comics: Buzzfeed’s exposé of DC editor Eddie Berganza’s history of sexual harassment, followed by DC’s swift action in firing him (seven years after his actions were first brought to the attention of their HR department) has brought on a round of commentary in comics circles, where this story was well known and discussed for years. Strongly recommended: Caitlin Rosberg takes the broad view with a look at the structural of the comics industry and how the current power shields harassers and makes creators vulnerable. She goes beyond gossip to address the real issues. And if you’re still not clear on what we’re talking about here, BookRiot’s Jessica Plummer takes a look at the January DC, Marvel, and Image solicitations and names the harassers—with links.

Art by Amy Chu from the Poison Ivy miniseries

Women Write About Comics looked at Amy Chu’s Poison Ivy miniseries, which alludes to sexual harassment at the office and was inexplicably canceled despite selling at least as well as some of DC’s headline comics. When Chu signed on to the book, Mark Doyle was the editor, and it was transferred to Berganza without any consultation with her, a fact she discusses at the end of the article—although she also notes that the story was written and approved before that. At Bleeding Cool, Molly McIsaac talks about her own experiences with Berganza, which ultimately led her to leave comics.

And finally, Martha Thomases tallies the human cost at ComicMix:

I don’t mean to sound like I’m gloating about Eddie losing his job. There are hardly an instance when that’s an unequivocally good thing. A man his age, and with his now-damaged reputation is going to find it difficult to find another gig.

However, the women who were denied work because they wouldn’t have sex with him, the women who left comics because he was so unpleasant to them, the women who never even got in the door because DC would rather protect their boy than tempt him, also had their livelihoods threatened. Actions have consequences, and Eddie and DC management were the ones who was able to choose how they wanted to act.

The Biz

More Manga: Four manga publishers arrived at the first AnimeNYC convention armed with plenty of new licenses to announce, including a Star Wars manga and spinoffs of Fruits Basket and My Hero Academia.

Interviews and Profiles

Tezuka Time: Translator Frederick Schodt talks about the time he spent with Osamu Tezuka, as a translator and as a friend.

Conventions and Festivals

Losing the Magic: Wizard World is in the red, posting operating losses of $4.5 million so far this year, according to its third-quarter financial report, which also states that “…there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern through November 2018.” The third-quarter report showed an operating loss of $1.3 million and a total loss of $3.7 million for the third quarter alone. ICv2’s analysis is that the costs of putting on shows is going up while attendance is going down, in part because they are not bringing in the celebrities that draw people in.

Reviews, Roundups, and Commentary

Stone Heart: The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

Best of the Year: Michael Cavna posts his picks for the 10 best graphic novels of the year at the Washington Post.

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