He’s the author on the first all-female X-Men title in Marvel Comics’ history and has helped foster the careers of many women during his tenure as a writer on Conan the Barbarian, Northlanders, and other titles.
And yet, others have shared stories of similar treatment at his hands. In fact, this behavior – ranging from the sleazy-but-legal to out and out – has been part and parcel of the comics industry for quite some time.
And the few people who know about it consider it to be my fault for “falling for it” when he feigned interest in my work.
In my pursuit of doing this work professionally I ran a gauntlet of this sort of thing.
I’m lucky to be friends with a lot of insanely talented people in all walks of the comic industry, from up and coming talents, rising stars and established names, writers, artists and publishers… Some people have been open about their treatment in comics.
One name that comes up over and over again is Julius Schwartz.
And considering the people involved, the idea of using feminism as a way to advance one’s career has a certain poetry to it. Which is why the comics industry Because as much as I love the geek culture as a whole and comics in particular, there are times that I’m reminded that for all the progress we have made, it is still profoundly regressive and ass-backwards in the way it treats the people who take part in it. The pro in question – who has serious cred, working on some of the biggest titles being published at the moment – claimed to be interested in her work and invited her back to his room under the pretense of “getting to know her better” and possibly helping her with her career.
Tess understood exactly what was being said here – this was a casting couch scenario; play ball (as it were) and perhaps it might get her somewhere, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.The Asian-American creators may tell you about the creator with a self-confessed “yen for Orientals” about how Asian women are so much better than white women because they know how to treat their men.She might tell you about the creator who pushed and pushed at the idea of her having a threesome with him and his wife, or the time she had to share a room with another professional only to find him standing over her bed in the middle of the night with a condom in his hand.She might tell you about the boundary-pushing behavior, the multiple “How about dinner? Maybe breakfast then, heh heh” come-ons, the constant “I’m only kidding, don’t take it so seriously… She might tell you about the creators who would grab her ass during an otherwise “friendly” hug or about the co-worker who insisted that if he was going to keep working with her, she had to be “nicer to him” as he leans into her personal space.The cosplayers may tell you about the big-name photographer who keeps pushing for a “private” photo session.Everyone may know about it, but nobody’s willing to talk. This behavior is enabled by an overwhelming culture of silence, especially when it comes to bad behavior amongst pros.