On Monday, Action Lab announced their 2017 New York Comic Con exclusives, including the Ivan The Pervy Ghost one-shot, which comes with two covers by Dan Mendoza. The regular cover sees Ivan between the covered boobs of knockoff Princess Leia and knockoff Harley Quinn.
The risqué cover sees Ivan between the uncovered boobs of knockoff Princess Leia and knockoff Harley Quinn.
The two covers are only sold in a set and Action Lab is only printing 100 copies. The set will run you $100.
Action Lab received criticism for the cover, which included that the cover and concept could encourage harassment of cosplayers. To which Action Lab replied:
Many publishers have separate all-ages and mature readers imprints. We wouldn't want the wrong material to be seen by the wrong audience.— Action Lab Ent. (@ActionLab) October 2, 2017
Action Lab's Danger Zone imprint, their "adult" imprint, then tweeted and deleted:
In response to that tweet, Action Lab's main account claimed they were hacked.
We would like to point out that our Twitter account was hacked earlier today and we would like to apologize for any confusion as a result.— ActionLabDangerZone (@ActionLabDanger) October 2, 2017
Action Lab then released a statement, which included that the publisher was pulling the cover from its NYCC exclusives.
After releasing Action Lab's exclusive NYCC covers, the IVAN THE PERVY GHOST ONE-SHOT received notable backlash. In response, Action Lab's publisher/CEO Bryan Seaton released the following statement:
"As Publisher of Action Lab Comics, it was never my or Action Lab's intention to promote or make light of cosplay consent issues. We recognize that sexual harassment of cosplayers is a very real issue and particularly that it is one some of our own creators have spoken out on in the past. In retrospect, we agree that the cover of Ivan is ill-considered, and we will be removing this cover as one of our NYCC exclusives.
As a publisher of creator-owned books, Action Lab doesn't believe in censorship – but we do believe in respecting our readers, being sensitive to issues in our community, and owning up to our mistakes. In short, we made a mistake, we did something dumb, and we sincerely apologize. As part of the comics community, we appreciate your comments and feedback and we will continue to work to get it right. When we do something wrong, please call us out. We want to be a publisher where every reader feels welcome."
In response to the Twitter controversy that spawned from the critique of the cover, Seaton went on to say:
"I would like to apologize on behalf of Action Lab and Action Lab Danger Zone for any and all rude and inappropriate tweets. We do not believe these tweets where done by any Action Lab staff but by a malicious third party. Passwords have now been changed and tweets deleted but damage has already been done and again we apologize."
Luckily for anyone who wants to get off to ghosts and naked women, the internet exists. Save yourself $100 and look online.