But then comics hit a new low, as October flowers brought forth October showers. Yes, it was time for an (alleged) abuse scandal.
So, remember how by the the end of September, it had all been made very clear that comics definitely doesn’t have a problem with looking the other way when it came to alleged employee misconduct? That everything’s just fine?
In October, Graphic Policy published “Enough is Enough: Dark Horse’s Scott Allie’s Assaulting Behavior”, an investigation by Janelle Asselin into Dark Horse Comics, and its policies towards its Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie (whose position was changed to “Executive Senior Editor” in the weeks before the article’s publication). At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, an apparently inebriated Allie was witnessed grabbing a freelance comic writer’s crotch and was also seen licking faces — conduct that was allegedly not a one-time thing, but part of a multi-year series of misbehavior that included punching co-workers and “biting people.”
But despite reports that “his misbehavior goes back decades” and claims that “several staff members have gone through internal channels to stem the behavior and have been met with assurances that the problem is being properly investigated and taken care of,” Allie was the company’s Editor-in-Chief until September and Dark Horse’s own website seemed to make (joking) references to his behavior in 2006: “Daring. Visionary. Nervous. Watch out, he bites. These are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe Scott Allie.”
The story raised numerous issues, including whether a--
But anyways, none of this mattered. Dark Horse Comics President Mike Richardson immediately issued a statement about Mike Richardson’s feelings, and how Mike Richardson’s feelings had been hurt, and how great a guy Mike Richardson thinks that Mike Richardson is.
Richardson’s statement began by patronizingly applauding Janelle Asselin’s “intentions.” But the love-in didn't last long: “Ms. Asselin turns her eye towards me.” It’s hard to seem sincere in applauding someone’s “intentions,” when you then immediately make them sound like Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies. Why does Mike Richardson think she only has one eye?? If it was because Scott Allie was yelling about “one-eyed monsters,” he was probably talking about something else...
Richardson continues: “I have never met or talked with Ms. Asselin. If she knew me, she would know that I am extremely sensitive on this subject, being the father of three daughters.” Oh, the semen in his little penis fertilized an egg and failed to provide it with a Y chromosome, you guys! We’ve all got this whole story entirely wrong! He has daughters!
Isn’t it obvious that as soon as Mike Richardson gazed down on his little dick-babies erupting out of their mothers -- without male genitalia!-- that on that day, Mike Richardson became a manager whose company is impervious to questions about their Human Resources practices? He fucked a lady so hard that tiny, helpless Human Shields spurted out of her ovaries-- what more does it take to convince you that a company hasn’t enabled a decades-long hostile work environment?
Comics people use their daughters to promote themselves the way that other people use business cards. All the time with the “I didn’t realize that women were human beings but then I had daughters.” Do comics pros with sons look at their sons and just yell, “You’re a disappointment, boy. I could’ve promoted my career in comics better if you didn’t have that disgusting lump of flesh hanging between your legs. Put on a dress! You put on a dress-- you’re a girl now”? On a scale of 1 to Silence of the Lambs, what kind of tragedy is going on in the households of comics pros who didn’t luck into having beautiful newborn daughters to exploit??
Richardson added that “I have fought against [sexual harassment and gender discrimination] not just in a social environment but within our own publishing schedule.” And sure enough, a careful review of just one comic that Allie edited, B.P.R.D., shows that Michelle Madsen was the colorist of a one-shot for B.P.R.D. in 2004.
Okay, as far as I can tell based on their Wikipedia page, no other women cartoonists have had any role in the creation of the interiors of B.P.R.D. in its fourteen years of publication. But luckily, all the women who never got hired to draw B.P.R.D. had Mike Richardson fighting for them, a losing fight that he was too weak to win, probably because he was so exhausted from splurting daughters into the world. All of his life force had been pounded into some poor woman’s baby-oven-- each daughter may have elevated him onto a higher plane of spirituality from the rest of us, but also diminished him physically. Someday, Mike Richardson is going to be nothing more than a daughter-having wraith escaped from the pages of an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Parenting & Monster Manual.
To be fair, Dark Horse just hires the best person for the job. For example, when Scott Allie had to hire a co-writer for Abe Sapien, he looked at who the best person for that job would be, men and women, and then I guess hired himself to be the co-writer. (Asterix: During Abe Sapien’s eight-year publication history, they seem to have managed to hire one woman, Alise Gluškova, to draw one issue, in October 2015. So, progress.)
Richardson then attacked Asselin for "insulting” him: "Her assumption that my longevity somehow 'embeds' within me an attitude of inappropriate permissiveness is not only wrong, it is insulting." And let’s remember who the real victim of Dark Horse editors (allegedly) biting people, grabbing their crotches, and (allegedly) verbally and sexually harassing them is: Mike Richardson. We have all wronged him! How can he ever forgive us for our trespasses?! Can ... can we give him other people’s daughters? Is Mike Richardson a Rumpelstiltskin-like creature of fairy tale, who will accept daughters as recompense for this grave injury we did him? How many daughters would be enough to satisfy his daughter-thirst? Are there daughters enough in the world? Must man venture to the stars to find star-daughters?
Asked for comment, DC Comics, who didn’t have anything to do with this story, nevertheless issued a statement that read, “Quit wheezin’ on the juice, ninjas, and join us in a mosh pit filled with broken glass and Faygo bottles half-filled with turtle urine. Because middle-age Juggalos need to know that when Aquaman totes gets raped in the pages of DC comics? One - Something's got to give. Two - Something's got to give. Three - Something's got to give. Now Let the bodies hit the floor Let the bodies hit the floor Let the bodies hit the flooooor.”
We also asked exciting new comics talent Handsey McGrossuncle for a comment on this story, but he became so upset, so unbearably upset, that he threw himself into an active volcano. It was like a roman candle watching him burn-- if only CrossFit had been there to save him! RIP, Handsey McGrossuncle! You were the best of us!
Finally, in December, Dark Horse was ready to put all this behind them, and proudly announced a brand new project from a writer they were excited to be working with:
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