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Because I'm Chicken

I'm not posting this on tumblr, where people who are active in comics fandom will find it. But I've been stewing on this all day, and it's been a rough one (for completely unrelated reasons) (and also completely petty ones - rough - eh, more just long, and annoying).

Recently, comics creator Alex de Campi posted a very illuminating and thought provoking essay on the comics industry: http://alexdecampi.tumblr.com/post/129003838049/you-can-only-find-the-best-version-of-wonder-woman

While, as a conservative, I do not find a lot of her post matches my own model of reality or values, I absolutely agree from what I've heard that there's a lot of harassement, office power games, and general wickedness in all comics publishers. People are people (and if you're a Calvanist Baptist like me, you think they're pretty darn bad).

Confirmation of de Campi's analysis of the industry, particularly of the major harasser in the Superman editorial office, has come from all sides in the industry, including some who are dimetrically opposed to de Campi politically. I am therefore inclined to believe that there is, indeed, something rotten in the state of Metropolis/Smallville.

While doing some googling to see what other people who love comics are saying about de Campi's essay, I found that Brian Wood had weighed in on the general situation in a newsletter (which he eventually reposted publically, with an additional essay at the top attempting to clarify) - http://tinyletter.com/brianwood/letters/funeral-at-sea-brian-wood-sep152015-1

I know of Brian Wood for two things: he wrote the last major Star Wars series for Dark Horse comics before the reboot and the reversion of Star Wars as a comics property to Marvel, and he was accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment in 2013.

I really disliked, if not outright hated, Wood's Star Wars comic. It ignored continuity, played around in the inter-trilogy era, and was incredibly mediocre in terms of writing, characterization, and worldbuilding.

At the time, because I disliked Wood's work, I was inclined to believe the accusers. Not a good reason for believing them, but it was mine.

However, this time around, I looked a bit more deeply into the issue, and found out that the accuser has a pattern of making these kinds of statements in other situations - situations in which the role of wrongdoer is reversed - http://tim-byrd.com/2013/12/29/tess-fowler-why-she-is-no-longer-the-artist-for-doc-wilde/

It's all he-said, she-said - but the patterns are there. My own current estimation of the 2013 situation is that Wood did harass the artist in question, but she chose to exaggerate his wrongdoing to garner sympathy.

In the current context, Wood talking about this subject without referencing his own past at all does kind of scream "It happened to me!"

However, I hate the way the comics fandom has jumped on the angle that Wood is justifying actual wrongdoing. No, Wood is saying that we should be reasonable people, and examine evidence, not hearsay and mudslinging. If someone is guilty of harming others, they should receive the just consequences of that wrong choice. If they are not, and instead or guilty of disagreeing with you, you should not jump to the conclusion that they are indeed guilty or as good as guilty of all you can think of hurling at them.

In the end, I still hate Wood's run on Star Wars. However, I think based on his newsletter that he is trying to become a better person. As a conservative, I appreciate a progressive who is willing to say, "I used to treat conservatives like dirt just because they disagreed with me, that was wrong, I'm trying not to do that, even though I still think conservatives are dead wrong."  Does that mean I think Wood's spotless or wise here? No. But I think he's saying things I don't hear enough from comics fandom.


Yup. I don't allow anonymous questions (at least, I don't think I do), but I admit that fear of making enemies does keep me from posting on things like this there. :)


Interesting read. This is one story I wasn't aware of at all.