Comics have become so popular that seemingly every week brings reports of another comic book convention taking place. Unfortunately, every week also brings reports of inappropriate behavior taking place at these venues. Be it the creepy ogling and unwelcome photographing of cosplayers, the insinuation from seasoned professionals to would-be creators that sleeping with them night lead to publication, or more serious accusations of groping, fondling, and blatant harassment, a long overdue movement has been created to make comic conventions a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees, rather than just slightly overweight straight white males.
Unfortunately, if reports from this past weekend's London Super Comic Con are accurate, then conventions are no longer safe for slightly overweight straight white males, either. Even more disturbing are the reports that this latest incident involved Spider-Man and Silver Surfer scribe Dan Slott harassing Bleeding Cool's head writer Rich Johnston.
According to one witness, Johnston was waiting patiently in Slott's line to get an autograph. He was reportedly nervous due to Slott repeatedly taking him to task online for posting spoilers on Bleeding Cool, in direct violation of Marvel's policy of allowing Newsarama and CBR to publish spoilers first. By all accounts, Johnston was polite and humble when he finally reached the front of the line. Slott then suggested they put an end to months of lingering online resentment by taking a picture together -- and that's when things went terribly awry.
Several attendees report that Slott grabbed Johnston's hand and pulled him down, forcing the journalist to sit in his lap. When Johnston protested, Slott repeatedly slurred, "You've been very naughty this year. Now you have to sit on Santa's lap."
There is some confusion as to what happened next. We reached out to Johnston, but he refused to comment, citing spoilers. There is, however, photographic evidence of this unfortunate encounter, and the fear and discomfort in the victim's expression is all too clear.
(Photo copyright Bleeding Cool)