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The Phase

Today at the Comics Journal, Alec Berry has everything you need to know about what went into the $20,000 fund created by SPX to assist the 11 comic book professionals named in the Cody Pickrodt defamation lawsuit we covered a few weeks ago.

On Monday, August 27 Warren Bernard, executive director of the Small Press Expo, emailed a receipt to 11 different inboxes. A retainer of $4,750 was paid to the New York law firm C.A. Goldberg, PLLC — the same firm that represented actress Paz de la Huerta in 2017 after she accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. He wanted the recipients to know. The responses arrived soon after. They conveyed relief and thanks. It had been understood this assistance was coming, yet it was a different thing when it actually arrived. The receipt meant the matter was no longer insurmountable.

The retainer was the first expense made from a $20,000 special fund created and administered by SPX with consultation from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The aim of it is to help 11 members of the comic book community mount a legal reply to a $2.5 million defamation lawsuit filed in early August by small-press comics publisher Cody Pickrodt. In October 2017, he was accused of rape, sexual harassment, anti-Semitic remarks, and withholding royalty payments by cartoonists Whit Taylor, Laura Knetzger, Emma Louthan and Emi Gennis. Their stories were shared online via a Google Document, and the remaining defendants - cartoonists Ben Passmore, Hazel Newlevant, Tom Kaczynski, Jordan Shiveley, and Morgan Pielli; publisher Josh O’Neill; and comics critic Rob Clough - used social media to voice support for those coming forward and to denounce Pickrodt. Kaczynski’s business, Uncivilized Books, is also listed in Pickrodt’s complaint.

Following the announcement of the lawsuit, multiple parties linked to a partially truncated TCJ story from 2006 about the CBLDF's Executive Director, Charles Brownstein. We have republished the article in full, along with a new introduction by the author, Michael Dean.

Today's review is by Jason Michelitch. He's here to take a look at Perdy, the new graphic novel from Kickily and Image Comics.

Image now appears to be trying to make European comics art a more integral part of their publishing identity -- a recent promotional article on their website touts an Image-published "European Art Invasion," and while anyone not in Image's marketing department might crinkle their nose at the subtitle, "Channeling New Aesthetics Across the Atlantic," to say nothing of the article's clear implication that Image is on the cutting edge of integrating the legacy of Moebius et al. into the fabric of American comics, it's nevertheless a net positive for Image to be providing a new outlet for both original work and translations from abroad.


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