Rumors about Marvel Comics writer Nathan Edmondson kicked into high gear again today after Edmondson was announced as the writer of a new Red Wolf comic. If you're reading this, you likely fall into one of two groups. One group is unwilling to consider that any of this could be true without being presented with specific accusations or evidence, and while that's fair - there has been no proof presented anywhere in any of this to the public - then this is probably not the article for you.
The other group believes that where there's smoke, there's fire. If you fall into the latter group, you'll probably be pretty concerned by all the smoke that hit the comics Twitterverse today. And that's the direction we're going to explore today. Keep in mind, that doesn't mean the things being tweeted are true. At the same time, none of the people quoted below are known to be liars, and some are respected journalists. You'll have to consider what people are saying and decide for yourself what to believe.
What seemed to kick things off and end up retweeted a lot were comments from Laurenn McCubbin:
Well, it's complicated, as Kot himself knows. Though Kot says that he reported what he knew to the appropriate authorities and implies above that he left Marvel at least partly because of it, he cannot or will not blow the whistle, at least not publicly.
Why is that? Journalist Nick Hanover can begin to answer that question:
Heh. We wish we'd written that line.
Janelle Asselin elaborated further, claiming to have stories about harassment and sources (though it should be noted she does not name Edmondson specifically), if only there were a website brave enough to publish them:
So these are the things are being said, publicly, but also vaguely. What can we, the concerned and confused readership of comics, do now to get to the bottom of it? The frustrating answer is, not much. Without sources willing to publicly come forward (and there are good reasons why victims do not always come forward), and without a media outlet powerful enough to demand answers willing to do so, we're all in the dark and left with a tough decision to make and very little info to make it with.
So why are websites allegedly so afraid of Edmondson? Well, the rumor about the rumors, unconfirmed of course, is that he's notoriously aggressive about protecting his image, and despite calls from Kot earlier this year for journalists to investigate, not much has turned up in the public eye that constitutes proof. We know he was involved with a conservative organization called The Leadership Institute, but that in itself isn't a crime. Other than that, Edmondson's history on the internet is squeaky clean, aside from these allegations.
Oh, and the time the Augusta Chronicle reported that he was arrested for credit card fraud.
But other than that, there's nothing that a web search can turn up. So where else can we get answers? The next logical step, if you believe these rumors to be true, and if no one is willing to come forward, is to ask about them. Take Hanover's advice and start asking Marvel about the allegations, which we're told above that Axel Alonso personally knows about.
Of course, Marvel won't answer to us. We're industry pariahs.
But they would answer to CBR, or a similarly-sized or larger site, and CBR has asked some sort-of tough questions recently, to their credit. Big websites won't ignore a story if it's driving web traffic elsewhere, so if just one reported on it, they all probably would follow.
So you can ask your favorite major comic book website to address these questions in the next publisher-sanctioned fluff interview they do with comic book executives. You can tell websites to ask Edmondson while interviewing him about his comics. You can contact publishers and management directly and let them know you want them to comment if they know something, or to go on record saying that they don't. We can't and shouldn't force victims to come forward, but we absolutely can and should ask Marvel (or other publishers) to comment on allegations like this.
Through all of this, do keep in mind: Edmondson could be completely innocent. If so, maybe he should address what's being said in an open and honest forum.
Whether you believe what's been alleged based on the information available is up to you personally, but I think we can all agree that we deserve some answers, from somebody, about something.
If you have information on this story that you want to get out there, even anonymously, send it to The Outhouse. We may not have the resources to survive a legal attack, but the evidence shows we're just too stupid to care.