Can Scandals Sink Spec?

Cameron Stewart revealed to have been grooming 16 year-old girls and his career is done.

Warren Ellis revealed to have engaged in questionable behavior considering the power dynamic with women in their 20’s who viewed him as a mentor and then he started making it sexual.

Stewart is sunk, Ellis may very well weather this but as a huge fan of his, I’m pretty disgusted and still processing it. It made me wonder though, can scandals sink spec?

I’ve not noticed it before, but I know sometimes if folk have autographs from creators they’ll want to sell it fast and cheap if they learn unsavory stuff. What about keys creators worked on who are then revealed to have done questionable things?

NOTE: I’m not wanting to get into an argument about how, “Guilty,” or, “Innocent,” Stewart or Ellis are as I know opinions have varied widely, I’m just strictly talking spec and how its impacted by scandal and wanted opinions.

Definitely time to sell

Mattina’s copyitisis destroyed any spec on his covers and store exclusives.

Brian Wood I will never buy or support myself. He just needs to switch industries. I was happy when Dark Horse dropped him entirely. He used his position to belittle women in the industry so I hope this industry shuns him for good. I think we call that karma right?

I’ve also heard not so good stories about Paul Pope, who’s artwork is great but now I question buying his stuff myself.

Do scandals hurt spec and certainly artists? Yes, yes they do and they should. This is the first I’m hearing about Warren Ellis. As I enjoy most of his work, I’ll have to see if any truth of it all comes out with mounting evidence against him (I haven’t read any of it myself).

Roc Upchurch I think is a very talented artist and I was disheartened when I heard about his domestic abuse issue with his wife (this happened around the peak of Rat Girls). But as several years have passed by, from what I’ve gathered, he got counseling (probably court appointed but it’s still counseling) and I’ve heard no other stories about any domestic abuse, I’ve given the guy a second chance.


Dark Nights: Metal 3 virgin cover still gets a pretty penny…despite lifting it from a recalled/never published batgirl 41 comic…

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Border town was gaining momentum until Eric M. Esquivel had his own scandal…book was immediately cancelled.

Will Batman’s Grave suffer the same fate…


I think, given the references of other creators above, that history tells us that while this may not immediately sink any spec, it definitely does not help in the short or long term. Monopoly is right. Sell now. M2c.

I think they’ll finish Batman’s Grave, but cancel anything they had planed for the future with Ellis, if he had more planned. That’s my guess. Ellis may be too big to fail in some ways and his allegations are creepy but not as bad as some who were grooming teenagers or such. It still sucks, though.

Soooo many accusations out there that until any concrete proof comes up I rarely take any of it at face value. That’s probably not the pc way to look at it, but I just need evidence before I jump on the “lets ruin someones life” bandwagon. I’m not directly commenting on those brought up here because I haven’t been following what has been going on with them, just giving a general comment. If something serious is proven to be accurate with part of a comic creative team, then yeah, I can see it having implications on a books value.

For the sake of argument let’s say old timey, grainy home movies came to light where Stan Lee was shown attending multiple clan meetings in full dress, enjoying cake and ice cream. I could only imagine how that would negatively affect the tens of thousands of books he has signed over the years. I need to stress to the easily fooled or writers from “We Got This Covered” That Stan Lee was never in the Clan. Ever. I was just using that scenario as an extreme example. I made 100% of it up. From what I know he was born and died a practicing Jew, so I think that would disqualify him. I’m pretty sure he liked ice cream. Take that as you will.

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Yeah I hear that as well. Brian Wood I saw and read enough evidence to know that guy needs to go, which is sad, I really liked his writing.

David, I think by making the topic you’re opening the door for people to weigh in on whether they think the charges have merit. Just sayin’. Regardless I wouldn’t start any topic from the premise that a person is guilty as a foregone conclusion that everyone will share.

As far as sinking spec, I don’t know, it seems like the chosen people are always the ones whose books benefit in price; the ones who stay in the margins drawing boring Ed Brubaker crime comics or Image sci-fi or whatever that never move usually seem to be the ones who always get into trouble.

I’m going to have to read up on Ellis as he’s one of my favorites. Innocent until proven guilty and scandals can sink spec immediately.

I do have a question. Someone was grooming teenagers. What the hell does that mean? Is he shaving them or mentoring them? It has to mean something else.

DC canceled an Ellis story in an upcoming one-shot…

And, @bandrew, people are welcome to debate if someone is falsely accused, I just didn’t want any name-calling arguments or victim-blaming to occur. This is a pretty laid-back group, however, so perhaps I worry too much. Although Ellis has basically admitted to his behavior in his newsletter he then said he’ll be stopping releasing with all this going on.

@ToddW when used the way it is, “Grooming,” is when adult predators basically are careful to prepare minors for being sexually preyed upon. Make them feel special, indebted to the predator, etc. That’s how I understand it. There isn’t any literal combing of hair or anything.


Got it, thanks for taking the time to explain it.

Think of like what R Kelly did… he groomed all those underage girls… made them feel special, they got to hang with a celebrity singer, live with him, travel, etc… I don’'t think most comic creators could go to that level in their “grooming” but they can certainly make someone who wants to enter the industry feel “special” to take advantage of them.


Please know that I believe these are serious issues & more important than comic books.

But I’d also be lying if I didn’t state disappoint if Batmans Grave is cancelled as Stephen Platt decided to do the cover B & I’m a huge fan since my early days of collecting back and his Moon Knight issues.

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Mattina at it again…


I’m surprised he still gets work


Because its more of him stealing the poses… Not the actual work itself since he’s altering it enough to claim as his own. Frowned upon though… Yes. Id imagine someone with his talent shouldnt have to take exact poses from other works to use in his own…


I don’t have any issues with borrowing poses. I mean at this point they’ve all been done.