Comics Lowdown: Chuck Wendig says Marvel fired him because of negative tweets

After posting a controversial interview, Bleeding Cool gets a new editor in chief! Plus Steve Ellis, Alex Ross, MAD Magazine and more!

Comics writer and novelist Chuck Wendig says he has been fired from Marvel “because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark [Paniccia], the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.” Wendig had just been announced as the writer of Shadow of Vader, with artist Greg Smallwood, and said he had another as-yet-unannounced Star Wars comic in the works.

In addition to various Star Wars comics, Wendig also wrote Star Wars: Aftermath, a novel that included LGBT characters and was one of the first books published after Lucasfilm ended the “expanded universe” Star Wars books. After it was published, Wendig said he received “TONS” of harassment online — “harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube. Some of it was bot stuff, obviously, or sock puppets, but some of it was pretty creepy, and very personal.”

This story has been reported on widely, with stories from Deadline, io9, the Verge, Vulture and more. Update: Wendig has a post answering many of the questions he’s received since he went public with this news.

Controversy: Bleeding Cool has removed an interview with alt-right activist and comic publisher Vox Day, which apparently has caused a regime shift at the website. In an apology to readers for posting the interview, Kaitlyn Booth announces that she has been appointed editor-in-chief of Bleeding Cool, although it isn’t clear who exactly she is replacing. Over at the Beat, Heidi breaks it all down. Bleeding Cool founder Rich Johnston comments on his new boss.

Passings: Cosplayer Leah Delaney, also known as Callie Cosplay, passed away after a very long series of illnesses. The announcement was made Oct. 5 by her mother on her Facebook page.

Interviews and Profiles

Profiles: Black Veil Brides lead singer Andy Black talks to Altpress about his upcoming comic from Z2 Comics, The Ghost of Ohio.

Interviews: Gabe Fowler, owner and operator of Desert Island Comics in Brooklyn, talks to The Comics Journal about his store. “I try not to sustain annoyance. There’s a lot of regrettable beating-of-dead-horses in comics, and the horse-beaters need to grow a brain or get out of the way. Let me say this: if you look at comics history or comics present and are troubled by problematic material or problematic creators, THAT’S GOOD. When you spot a problem, that’s the world telling you it’s your turn to correct it. This is literally why I run a store. All the other stores were full of stale garbage, run by assholes, had no sense of style, and were always playing shitty music. I realized it was my duty to address these problems and try to find a better way.”

Profile: Artist Alex Ross discusses his work, comic book movies and his Chicago roots with WTTW, the local PBS station.

Profile: America Chavez writer Gabby Rivera recently spoke at Bates College, and the school’s paper covered the visit.

The Biz

Hiring: Drawn & Quarterly is offering a five-month publishing fellowship for winter 2019.

Festivals: The BBC talks to three comic creators — all under the age of 15 — who tabled at this past weekend’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Events: Comic-Con International will host a free event at their museum in San Diego on Nov. 3. SAM: Storytelling Across Media is described as “a one-day symposium for aspiring writers and artists, as well as professionals, interested in the art of storytelling.” Guests include Jim Lee, J. Michael Straczynski, Julie Benson and Shawna Benson.

Commentary and Criticism

Commentary: The New York Times highlights a recent comic strip in MAD Magazine’s Halloween issue that has gotten several kudos for its relevancy.

Commentary: Artist Steve Ellis gets a byline at Entertainment Weekly as he shares the story of where The Only Living Boy, his graphic novel series with David Gallaher, came from.

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