Johanna Draper Carlson Vs Valerie D’Orazio. Bring Popcorn.

It’s Occasional Superheroines Worth Watching!

In the red corner is Valerie D’Orazio. Famed for her editorial stint at DC Comics that peaked with sexual harassment and healthcare blackmail before reinventing herself as a major social commentator on comics and the comics industry withe Occasional Superheroine blog, now President of the female-friendly activist group Friends of Lulu, writing for Marvel, being courted by others and living with comics writer David Gallaher.

In the blue corner, Johanna Draper Carlson, long time online comics commentator and reviewer, worked at DC on their online side before most companies even had one. She currently writes Comics Worth Reading and is married to ex-DC editor KC Carlson.

And this time it’s war.

Johanna Draper Carlson was writing a piece on the tax status of certain comic book charitable organisations in light of recent changes in legislation, including Friends Of Lulu. She wrote to Valerie in her position as President and got a flurry of abuse back by e-mail.

I find it very interesting that someone who has done nothing (nothing) but put down Friends of Lulu’s efforts over the last several years now pretends to give a shit.

You are also one of the most hypocritical, pathetic, bitter human beings I have ever had the misfortune to run into in comics, far worse than the misogynists who at least are honest about what they are.

When a real journalist, not a sad bitter person with an axe to grind, contacts me, you can of course quote that interview in any further posts you wish to do pretending to give a shit about a woman’s organization you’ve done nothing but deride for many years.

I will also publish my response to you on my blog tomorrow morning.

A private e-mail that Johanna then chose to post on her blog (And I chose to repost!) and links to a possible reason for the post which I remember well, a post headlined “Bitter Much?” directed at Valerie. (Do check the comments, on that one, I popped in and out of there to various degrees of success.)

Johanna questions Valerie’s suitability as President of Friends of Lulu as a result. And now Valerie has posted back;

Earlier today I received an email from Johanna Draper Carlson (“who?”), seeking comment on a story she wrote feigning interest and concern in an organization she has done nothing but deride and put down for many years. Getting the email from Johanna was actually a good thing, because it gave me an opportunity to tell her how I feel about her. Which is that on the list of most unpleasant people I’ve met in this industry, she is #2 behind the man who sexually harassed me, way before people like Dan DiDio. Sorry, backstabbing “feminists” trump blustery bluster guy. At least with blustery bluster guy, I know up-front what I’m getting.

Anyway, she wrote back to me in her patented “very adult and reasonable” shtick and said she was so sorry to hear of the enmity I had for her, for she had absolutely no idea where it came from. Certainly it couldn’t have been related to such measured posts on her blog such as “Valerie D’Orazio Hates Women.” Oh, no.

She also recounted her constant and unwavering support for Friends of Lulu all these many years, which was pretty hilarious considering how untrue that was.

Johanna Draper Carlson, in essence, reminds me of the person who reports her next-door-neighbor for the kids being too loud, and then waits behind the blinds excitedly for them to get in trouble. She’ll wait all day behind those blinds. And brag about it loudly in church on Sunday. Kinda like Mrs. Kravitz from “Bewitched.” Johanna is like the Mrs. Kravitz of the comics blogosphere.

Anyway, Johanna expressed sadness and disbelief about me declining to have an interview with her. As a consolation, I said she could quote from an interview I did on the topic with a real journalist. Which I think I was fair.

Best of luck to you, Johanna. I’m sorry I stole your thunder by having a more compelling DC story than you. I know that was shitty. You were supposed to be the most wronged by DC, and I took it away. Then on top of that, I dared have different opinions than you did. Then on top of that, I was involved with an organization that you had a long-standing vendetta against. But life is too short to be consumed by hate. I’m sure if we ever run into each other at a comic con, we’ll just laugh and laugh. “It’s just comics.”

Sometimes you just gotta go twitch your nose and call it a day.

I’ve known Johanna online for fifteen years. Valerie for four. And I enjoy both their writing. Though something tells me I’m going enjoy watching the fallout even more.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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