Harassment in comics fandom hits home

For the past week or so, there’s been a storm brewing in comics fandom regarding Star Wars writer Brian Wood being accused of harassment by another comics creator, Tess Fowler. There’s been much written about this (on high-profile outlets like The Beat, The Mary Sue and Doctor Nerdlove; Wood himself has released a statement) but for those who haven’t been following, I found the most helpful roundup to be Beccatoria’s.

The incident Fowler writes of may be fairly low key by harassment – if not ethical – standards, but it’s still extremely skeevy and far, far from uncommon. Bad, drunken passes happen all the time, above and beyond conventions. And that’s the problem.

That kind of behavior is not acceptable. Whether it’s from a noted professional or just a random dude off the long boxes.

Feel free to give Wood the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know Tess Fowler; I’ve never met Wood. I certainly can’t vouch for her story or his response. But I’ve heard stories like this far, far too many times to instantly doubt that she’s telling the truth. (And when it comes to naming – or not naming – harassers, there’s simply no way to win.)

Awareness of harassment and harassers is important to fandom – all fandoms. All conventions. The more people talk about harassment, the more visibility we give it, the less we pretend that these things are isolated incidents, the more people won’t be afraid to speak up when it happens to them. To talk about it. To name names. To report. To, if nothing else, stand up and say THIS IS NOT OKAY.

Because it’s not okay.

Period.

UPDATE: Anne Scherbina, a former D.C. employee, has detailed more inappropriate behavior from Wood. And in Star Wars fandom, both Brian at Tosche Station and Tricia at Fangirl have weighed in.

EUbits: Get a glimpse of Razor’s Edge

razors-edge-crop2Razor’s Edge. Fangirl has some exclusive art of the book’s cast, plus an interview with artist Magali Villeneuve. (Follow the link to see the whole thing!) Author Martha Wells chats with This Blog is Full of Words, Geek with Curves and Jedi News. (I’ll have more Razor’s Edge links later in the new release post.)

The blogside. At the official blog, editor Jennifer Heddle talks about the process behind Kenobi, while Bryan Young discusses the cinematic influences behind some of the books. Meanwhile, on my personal blog, I wrote a guide to the Expanded Universe for casual fans.

Street date shuffle. Can we still call it ‘street’ date for an eBook? The enhanced eBooks for Making of Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars have been pushed back to October 22, Star Wars Books has announced. The hardcover Making of Return of the Jedi will still be out on October 1.

Interviews. Suvudu had the transcript of John Jackson Miller’s Facebook chat, plus Shelly Shapiro and Brian Wood. Eleven-ThirtyEight chats with Jason Fry, Star Wars Union with Alan Dean Foster, and Target Audience magazine has Timothy Zahn.

Reviews. James was impressed with Dark Times: A Spark Remains #3.

EUbits: Well’s Leia novel moves up, Essential Characters moves back

Empire and Rebellion: Razor's EdgeStreet dates. We got the cover and now Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge – the Leia novel by Martha Wells – has moved up from October 15 to October 1.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about The Essential Characters, but it’s popped up in Random House’s Edelweiss catalog with a brand new far-off date of October 7, 2014. Will it stick? Probably not! (We’ll see.) Pencil it in.

Out now. Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void came out almost a week ago, and author Tim Lebbon has been making the interview rounds with Suvudu, Jedi News, Star Wars Action News and Roqoo Depot. Meanwhile, there are reviews at Tosche Station, Fangirl, Jedi News, Knights Archive (x2) and Roqoo Depot.

The blogside. Tor’s Emily Asher-Perrin has a list of what Episode VII could lift from the Expanded Universe. I haven’t covered a ton of these sorts of posts, but hey, it’s Tor and she made Mara #1, so. And speaking of… Bria has reached Legacy of the Force.

Audiobooks. Timothy Zahn’s Allegiance and the Hand of Thrawn duology (Specter of the Past and Vision of the Future) are coming as unabridged audiobooks.

Comic reviews.James reviews The Assassination of Darth Vader, Brian Wood’s Free Comic Book Day story, as well as Fire Carrier #4 and Star Wars #5.

May the 4th is also Free Comic Book Day, which means free Star Wars comics!

Free Comic Book Day - 2013 - Star WarsThe Force has conspired to have Free Comic Book Day on the same day as the big celebration of Star Wars on May the 4th. So hop on down to your local comic book shop and May the 4th be with you as you get your hands on this year’s free Star Wars comic by Brian Wood, featuring Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Also, Dark Horse Digital has two great super bundles for sale this weekend, with a preview of J. W. Rinzler’s The Star Wars.

At your shops for Free Comic Book Day, Dark Horse has two free comic books, each containing several stories, and the all-ages book has the 2013 Star Wars tale written by Brian Wood with art by Ryan Odagawa. Entitled ‘The Assassination of Darth Vader’, Darth Vader finds himself in the sights of someone who wants him out of the way, and collateral damage is no issue. But what is Boba Fett’s role in this plot? Put both of Dunc’s favorite characters into one story, and she’ll explode with delight! Note that this book has a flip cover: one side has the Star Wars artwork by Doug Wheatley, while the other side has the cover for the Avatar: The Last Airbender story (and in the middle is a preview story for the upcoming Captain Midnight series).
Continue reading “May the 4th is also Free Comic Book Day, which means free Star Wars comics!”

EUbits: Did George Lucas have Anakin Solo killed?

Anakin SoloMythbusting. Tosche Station got Pablo Hidalgo to dig into his notes to clarify one of the most widespread rumors about the New Jedi Order series. Did the almighty George Lucas order LucasBooks to kill off Anakin Solo? Turns out… Not so much.

Forthcoming. Jeffrey Brown, the author of Vader and Son and next week’s Vader’s Little Princess, told the Full of Sith podcast about his next Star Wars project, Jedi Academy. In a hurry? FOS co-host Bryan shares the relevant details.

Comics. Brian Woods’ Star Wars gets a new artist, Ryan Kelly, for the new arc that starts with issue #7. Meanwhile, Cosmic Book News interviews Wood.

Excerpt. Just a little one from Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void.

Reviews. James is glad the action picks up in Star Wars #4 and thinks the story gets off to a fast start with a very intriguing foe in Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #1.