Yesterday, Action Lab Entertainment shared a number of exclusive covers for the upcoming New York Comic Con. Ivan, The Pervy Ghost ended up creating controversy on Twitter resulting in the company yanking the title from the event.
While the “pervy” nature of the cover hasn’t been called into question – Action Lab is one of the companies that we routinely discuss on the Dueling Review podcast regarding “risque” and “nude” variant covers – the sexual harassment (Cosplay is not consent) implications the cover brings to those about to attend one of the larger comic book conventions in the United States of America is a big deal.
Action Labe Entertainment’s publisher and CEO, Bryan Seaton, released this statement late yesterday.
“As Publisher of Action Lab Comics, it was never my or Action Lab’s intention to promote or make light of cosplay consent issues. We recognize that sexual harassment of cosplayers is a very real issue and particularly that it is one some of our own creators have spoken out on in the past. In retrospect, we agree that the cover of Ivan is ill-considered, and we will be removing this cover as one of our NYCC exclusives.
“As a publisher of creator-owned books, Action Lab doesn’t believe in censorship – but we do believe in respecting our readers, being sensitive to issues in our community, and owning up to our mistakes. In short, we made a mistake, we did something dumb, and we sincerely apologize. As part of the comics community, we appreciate your comments and feedback and we will continue to work to get it right. When we do something wrong, please call us out. We want to be a publisher where every reader feels welcome.
I would like to apologize on behalf of Action Lab and Action Lab Danger Zone for any and all rude and inappropriate tweets. We do not believe these tweets where done by any Action Lab staff but by a malicious third party. Passwords have now been changed and tweets deleted but damage has already been done and again we apologize.”
Good for Action Lab Entertainment taking action, instead of letting the complaints grow too big for the publisher to address.
Bottom line – even though variant covers continue to make money for publishers, fans are willing to stand up and speak when the cover goes too far. Again, i wonder what everyone thinks of the “nude”, “risque”, “luscious”, and “sultry” covers that smaller publishers use to sell comics…