DC officially cancels Border Town following allegations against writer [UPDATED]

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In an announcement to retailers, DC made it official that they are cancelling issues #5 and #6 of Border Town, the Vertigo mini series by writer Eric Esquivel. 

Esquivel has been hit with allegations of sexual misconduct, including incidents going back many years, as reported yesterday by The Beat. As the serious charges circulated Border Town’s artist and colorist announced they would be quitting the book.

DC also announced that they are making issues #1-4 of the series returnable.

Border Town launched earlier this year with much fanfare and garnered strong reviews from many quarters. It was also the lead launch from a rebirth of the Vertigo line.

I’m told that inside DC this is seen as another blow against the “mature themed” wing of DC – Black Label, a mature line featuring the main universe superheroes, was already on shaky ground after Batman’s nudity caused concern in the C-suite. I’ve heard many reports of Vertigo titles being toned down to avoid attention. That a talent at the company has been accused of being a serial sexual predator won’t help matters, I’m sure.

But it’s good to note that DC did do the right thing by cancelling the book entirely.

UPDATE: Esquivel has released a statement denying all the allegations:

I was recently accused of misconduct by a former romantic partner. Not recent misconduct. Misconduct which allegedly happened many years ago. Out of respect for her and our prior relationship, I will not publicly name names.

I’ve taken a few days to respond, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t talking over anyone. We’re in the midst of a very important cultural conversation right now. One I wholeheartedly believe in.

Never in my life did I expect that I would become one of the accused. I will not speculate as to her motivation for making these reckless allegations, but I want to make it clear that they are false. Though our relationship was unconventional, we always treated one another with dignity and respect.

I heavily encourage, and will fully cooperate in, any forthcoming independent investigation of these claims, which I am confident will show that I have been falsely accused.

I have been notified that DC Vertigo has canceled the book I was working on. My heart breaks for the book’s supporters, and my creative collaborators. They don’t deserve to be negatively affected by this unfortunate situation.

Naugle, the original accuser, has also noted that she has a lawyer in a tweet:

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. The returnability is very welcome to the retail community which was trying to figure out what do do with the now hard-to-sell stock. This is a classy move by DC, and not something they were obligated to do.

    -B

  2. So, I assume everyone happy about this would support the removal of Pablo Picasso’s work from all museums everywhere?

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/art/artists/pablo-picasso-women-are-either-goddesses-or-doormats/

    Not that “Border Town” has much in common with “Guernica.”

    And before anyone starts…NO, this is not meant as a defense of this Esquivel knob and whatever he may have done. But considering that we just saw Chris Hardwick almost lose his career over similar allegations, it’s probably time to stop reflexively cheer leading and start thinking a little harder about how we’re going to deal with this issue.

    Mike

  3. Mike, I get the idea no one reacted out of haste. His fellow creators abandoned the book. Comics are already a fragile business venture, so there was literally no other course of action but canceling the book when the artist and colorist left. Add in the fact the writer suddenly became persona non grata, and you have a dead venture not even worth mourning.

  4. I think it’s pathetic that Eric won’t own anything, including preying on and grooming teenage students. That’s a big part of the story that’s being glossed over.

    Black Label is too problematic and unnecessary. It wouldn’t be a huge loss if it went away. It’s not a direction mainstream comics needs.

  5. It’s funny how everyone is about innocent until proven guilty until the accusations are against someone they don’t like. No one cares how you feel about Eric’s work, what matters is if his guilty of said misconduct. And because these accusations are recent no sound minded person would think he already been proven guilty when these allegations it’s barely been a week since these allegations surfaced.

  6. It’s funny how everyone is about innocent until proven guilty until the accusations are against someone they don’t like. No one cares how you feel about Eric’s work, what matters is if his guilty of said misconduct. And because these accusations are recent no sound minded person would think he already been proven guilty when it’s barely been a week since these allegations surfaced.

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