A recent blog post by a former Sensation Comics writer revealed incidents of sexual harassment gone unpunished at DC Comics and other comic publishers.
Alex de Campi, a writer for the now canceled digital Sensation Comics starring Wonder Woman, opened up on the book’s untimely end and the unlikelihood of any of its achievements being duplicated again at DC Comics.
Sensation is edited in a special projects/digital office, an office which is sadly under-utilized in the internal turf wars of DC and faces shutdown/restructuring as a senior male staff member finds it unnecessary… despite the plaudits its books (including Sensation) have achieved.
The main Wonder Woman comic is part of the Superman office. Now, the Superman office allegedly employs no women, and a cursory glance over the mastheads of several Superman titles and Wonder Woman seems to confirm that allegation. The reason, I’ve been told by several people who work or used to work at DC, is because one of the most senior editors is a sexual harasser with multiple incidents on his HR file. I don’t use “alleged” here because at least one incident (grabbing a woman’s breasts) happened publicly at a corporate social gathering with multiple witnesses. There was also something about sticking his tongue down an artist’s girlfriend’s throat when the artist was in the bathroom. Again, public gathering.
It is not known to me whether the no-chicks-in-Supes-office diktat is the preference of the harasser, or whether it’s the HR department crossing its fingers and hoping to Jesus they don’t get hit with a liability lawsuit so big it’s visible from space. This guy was kept in the move to Burbank despite his record – allegedly because he has blackmail on one of DC’s most senior staff members.
DC Comics is not the only publisher singled out in the blog post. Marvel Comics is listed as another publisher that hires/protects well-know harassers in its business.
I’m also talking about it because man, I am sick to death of corporate comics telling me they caaare about me and my lady-dollar as a reader, and then continuing to employ / protect known harassers. Kids, there are five known big-name, vindictive harassers in comics, and about three bad drunks. Two harassers are writers employed by DC; one is a DC editor; two are writers employed by Marvel.
Campi made sure to mention indie comic publishers are just as guilty as the Big Two, citing past work for a “Bad Drunk” who would harass men at social gatherings.
She also realized that by speaking up about misogynistic tendencies at DC, Marvel and other comic publishers, she will likely be blacklisted. While the known offenders will continue to pollute the work environment.
The irony is that nothing will be done by DC and Marvel about these harassers, but I will be blacklisted (even more than I already am) at the Big Two. And I do not care. While I have great affection for some of the characters owned by these companies, and love many of the creators and editors who work there, these corporations have repeatedly shown to me over 2015 that their senior management’s values and priorities are not a good fit with my values and priorities.
In an earlier paragraph, Campi mentioned one of the harassers at DC is able to remain at the workplace, because he apparently has enough blackmail material to keep his position safe. This is significant because Bleeding Cool alluded to this in late August:
Which comic book editor has risen through the publisher, despite an HR file the size of Belgium, is commonly gossiped to have blackmail material to preserve their position?
Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool also spoke up in support of Campi.
I have known Alex De Campi for over fifteen years. Not only is she a very fine writer and innovator, her passion for the medium and creativity is evident in the way she cares about it all. She has a very annoying tendency to be right about most things but, as with Cassandra, it doesn’t always turn out well for her. If you are smart, you employ her, if you are even smarter, you listen to what she says. And then you read her comics and feel clever, amused, moved, dirty, turned on, whatever she wanted you to feel that particular morning. Whether it’s her own characters of trademarks for toys, there are few better writers in comics right now. All these are reasons to hire her, not to blacklist her.
There is current speculation on Reddit about who are the accused sexual harassers at DC and Marvel.