Vault Comics, publishers of titles such as Heathen, Alien Bounty Hunter and Zojaqan has issued the following statement in support of Mark Waid’s recent reported comments.
Mistreatment of comics creators, both online and in other public forums, has reached a fever pitch. Creators have been subject to relentless online harassment, doxing, phone calls to their homes, public ridicule, verbal assault, and even death threats. These behaviors frequently rise to the level of criminal misconduct. More often than not, the perpetrators target creators who identify with one or more minorities.
This has to stop. We must do everything we can to stop it. Those of us in the industry who are less vulnerable to this mistreatment must stand up for those who are at risk. In particular, publishers and their parent companies, and other companies associated with the comics industry must make a public stand against this behavior.
We call on other publishers—especially those with the loudest voices—to unequivocally condemn harassment of comics creators, to lend legal and other support to creators who are targeted, and to publicly disavow the individuals who engage in such behavior. We must not allow them the feeble excuse of critical freedom. These individuals are not critics; they are bullies, and in some cases, criminals. Their behavior is not criticism; it is abuse. We do not need and do not want their business.
Beyond that, we call on everyone who witnesses mistreatment of creators and other members of the comics community to condemn the perpetrators, and stand beside those who are targeted. If you witness mistreatment online, report the behavior through the appropriate channels. If you witness mistreatment in public, intervene. And always check in with the individuals who are targeted. Let them know they are not facing this alone.
If the comics industry is to thrive, we must produce relevant art that reaches a diverse audience. To achieve this, we must foster an inclusive community of creators, who feel safe enough to do their best work. If we sit idle as members of our community are targeted by bullies, we will find the medium we love relegated to obscurity, alienated from its audience and creators alike. But if we stand up for our creators, and defend comics as a medium to which everyone is welcome, we will see our medium reach new levels of commercial success, and new heights of artistic achievement.
CCO & Editor-in-Chief
CEO & Publisher