In the wake of Charles Brownstein’s resignation from his position with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, two members of the CBLDF board have resigned, while another has announced his retirement from the board.
Both Katherine Keller and Jeff Abraham have resigned from the board, and Paul Levitz will “retire,” according to a post on the CBLDF site.
“We respect the decisions that Paul, Katherine and Jeff have made to leave the Board. We realize it will be a long path to earning back the trust of our members, supporters and the industry. We recognize that it’s been our inability to react, or act at all, that’s been the cause of pain in our community,” the CBLDF said in the post. “Even last week, when we took the necessary action in accepting Charles’s resignation, our communications were stilted and clumsy. To everyone who has come forward, we haven’t done justice to your bravery and we are truly sorry. We vow to be better.”
Brownstein left the CBLDF after working there for almost 20 years. His resignation came after several days of creators calling for his removal and saying they would no longer support the organization as long as he was still there. Those calls go back to a 2005 incident where Brownstein allegedly assaulted artist Taki Soma. Another former employee of the CBLDF, Mike Scigliano, also accused Brownstein of harassment:
And Kris Simon, a former employee of Jim Valentino’s Shadowline imprint, detailed her own allegations against Brownstein from an incident that occurred in 2006:
“We’ve begun the search for a new Executive Director,” the CBLDF’s statement continues. “We’re going to look both inside and outside the comic book industry to find the best person to run the Fund and fix what’s broken. We are taking steps to expand our mission to make sure that we are best serving the industry’s needs. We have a responsibility to our community, and that means listening and responding to your concerns.”
Finally, cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, who has been on the CBLDF board for two years, also issued a statement about continuing to serve on the board: