Leaked, A Private Correspondence About Bleeding Cool

leak-detection-1-1407wwUPDATE: I have been told that the group mentioned below was named after a deceased individual. I removed his name and apologise for distress caused to his family.

I understand the following was posted to a private Google group related to comics, before being forwarded to me. The only editing I have made was to remove personal e-mail addresses. It is best read bottom to top.

On Oct 31, 2015, at 1:07 PM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

He commented on your article an hinting that due to his refuting a piece of my Edmondson post, this is happening. At least that’s my reading of what he was saying.

What Rich doesn’t know, and off the record, I have leaked email from Image that backs up my reporting. I don’t report things without multiple sources or solid evidence.

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On Oct 31, 2015 4:03 PM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
You’re exactly right. When I was trying to explain who Rich was to a friend who isn’t aware of him, I described him as “The Piers Morgan” of comics. Rich is a goon and it’s starting to become a bad time to be a goon. Image interview?

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM, Gross, Joe (CMG-Austin) <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
Remember, folks, Bleeding Cool is basically a British tabloid in vision, sensibility and ethics.

Once one understands that, it makes WAY more sense. To me anyway.

Sent from my tricorder. Of course there are typos.

On Oct 31, 2015, at 1:53 PM, Emma Houxbois <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:

At one point he was trying to phrase HMS’ move as “going from Avatar to Dark Horse.” Why, I don’t know, but he’ll trot it out when he thinks it can get him somewhere.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 7:30 AM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
I think CBS does or did own a site too. Comicvine maybe?

Disclosure is not that hard. We did it all the time when I worked with the ECA which also owns GamePolitics. Any time they ran an ECA related story there was a clear line at the end saying the ECA was its parent company.

I think the Avatar/BC relationship is messed up since Avatar competes with the folks BC covers. There’s always a taint to throw a monkeywrench into things. Not to mention this mess. And Rich’s defense is so full of holes, since I’m pretty sure he ran a blind item about Allie and his behavior.

On Oct 31, 2015 10:18 AM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
I tipped Jude off last night so we can expect more from them soon. My favourite part of that whole thing is the exchange is the bit with JAM. Rich: Follow me. JAM: No.

I didn’t even know that, hell I didn’t realize that Fantagraphics owns TCJ until I read that Storify I pulled the Heidi MacDonald and Johnston tweets from. That explains why Nick Hanover guessed that I was reporting on Avatar when I asked him for that quote. Steve Morris reached out to me to let me know he’ll be writing a clarification of CA’s policy, so I’m pretty jazzed about that.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 5:59 AM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
Jude is hilarious. Good guy. That Storify is amazing. And Rich will likely be melting down all weekend.

When I write my piece tonight or tomorrow I’m discussing a lot that Avatar owns BC yet that disclosure is not consistently present. And then the other fun conflicts at sites.

On Oct 31, 2015 8:41 AM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
I know, right? I almost pissed myself reading the Storify that The Outhousers attached to their post about the hiring and Rich’s resulting Twitter rampage.

On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 5:06 AM, Brett Schenker <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
For once it actually is about ethics in journalism….

This is an issue that’s irritated me before I even started my site. Well done Emma.

On Oct 31, 2015 5:48 AM, “Emma Houxbois” <xxx@xxx.com> wrote:
Brett lent me a hand on this, couldn’t have done it without the guidance and inspiration I get from this group:


Brett Schenker was Special Assistant for Senator John Kerry, is an Email Deliverability Specialist and the founder and chief blogger of comics website Graphic Policy. Emma Houxbois is a contributor to Graphic Policy and writes for other sites such as the Rainbow Hub. Joe Gross is the Culture reporter/critic for the Austin American-Statesman. Jude Terror writes for The Outhousers. And I’m the co-founder of Bleeding Cool, owned by Avatar Press, just back today from a break in Brighton.

I added a few replies of my own below, just because, but feel free to ignore them. This is just a look at how the sausage is made.

That wasn’t what I was hinting, probably poor wording on my part, apologies. You got leaked e-mail too – can we see it? Why was that section removed from the article? Any chance of Ian Hislop for preference, or even Camilla Wright? But yes, unashamedly tabloid. No blind item about Scott that I know of. I like Jude too and I’m glad you were entertained. Not sure about this “journalism” lark, but getting responses from subjects of articles if possible is always a good thing, I think.

I will continue to try to write honestly and straightforwardly and in a campaigning fashion about comics and the comics industry. I will no doubt fail, and be called out on it but it’s the best way for anyone to learn. It just works best when said to my face.

And on that note, goodnight, and a happy Hallowe’en!

About Rich Johnston

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

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