Bedside Press shuts down

The Canadian publisher shuts down operations after publisher Hope Nicholson admits to sexual misconduct.

Hope Nicholson, the publisher behind Winnipeg-based Bedside Press, has announced she’s shut down the graphic novel imprint. The closure came a few days after she admitted to sexual misconduct involving unwanted kissing against another creator.

According to the Twitter post, Bedside Press publications currently in distribution will remain so for the near future. “I will try my best to find publishers to take on future reprints of these titles,” Nicholson said in her statement. Books in production “will be assigned to new publishers before print.”

Some creators who were working with Bedside Press have offered updates on their projects. Samantha Beiko recently wrapped up the Kickstarter campaign for Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures, which was going to be published by Bedside Press. Beiko said on Twitter that she plans to personally “still see it through entirely to completion, printing and fulfillment.”

Ryan Harby is the creator of the Honey Dill webcomic, and its first collection Awkward Pause, wraps up its Kickstarter campaign a few days from now. It was also supposed to be published by Bedside Press as well:

Harby also clarified on Twitter that he and many other creators decided to part ways with Bedside Press before Nicholson shut down the imprint. “At this point it might seem moot, but I think it’s an important part of the story that so many creators made the decision to take their business elsewhere while the choice was still theirs to make,” he said.

Amanda Deibert is the writer of Works for a Million, which had its own successful Kickstarter earlier this year and was to be published by Bedside Press. She said on Twitter that she and her fellow creators are looking for a new publisher.

“Steenz, who was our amazing editor has stepped away until it moves elsewhere. She’s been amazing to work with,” Deibert said. “I have been assured your kickstarter will be fulfilled and that we will be able to do so without you feeling you are supporting assault.”

Bedside Press was founded in 2014 and published a mix of both new and reprint material, including The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, Fashion in Action, Polka Dot Pirate, Window Horses, and A Minyen Yidn, among other projects. This past summer Nicholson announced a mentorship program for new creators; I’m guessing that will be shuttered as well.

Note: Although the victim first posted his side of the story on the Huffington Post a year ago, he did not name Nicholson in that article and has attempted to distance himself from the story since Nicholson made her (now deleted) admissions on Twitter. So I chose to leave his name out of this piece. Shuttering Bedside has left many talented creators and their projects without a home, so I wish them well in finding a new avenue to release their projects.

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