Artist Jae Lee is speaking out about writer Tom King's tweets late last week regarding Lee's perceived connection to ComicsGate as well as King's later retraction, calling the writer's tweets "irresponsible" and noting that things are "not all good" when it comes to the situation. Lee's statements come in a post the artist shared to Instagram on Sunday, part of a larger message in which he also paid tribute to his and wife June Chung's late dog, Loki.
In his post, Lee wrote that Friday had been meant as a day of mourning for himself and Chung only for that to be disrupted by the ComicsGate allegations.
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Two weeks ago, June and I took Loki to San Diego to see a specialist. He did not survive due to complications from the surgery. This past Friday was supposed to be a day of mourning. We were back in San Diego to pick up his ashes. We were going to take him to the beach and comfort each other by sharing our favorite stories about our little boy. Instead, a part of the internet I avoid like the plague came barging in. I had companies I'm working for calling me, friends reaching out to me. I'm seeing hate pouring out of strangers' mouths, accusing me of things I have no knowledge of. I'm seeing first hand how fast lies are spreading. Let me be clear, I'm not part of ANY group. We never made it to the beach. We spent the entire six hour drive back home on an emotional roller coaster. I'm writing this because I'm angry. These irresponsible tweets are not harmless. They do not just go away. They have real world consequences. They can take away your job. Your life. Your memories. June and I were robbed of a special day. So, no, we're not "all good." This isn't the start of a conversation. This is the end. So please, don't drag me into a world I never wanted to be a part of, nor will I ever want to be a part of. I want to honor Loki by going back to producing art made with love. For people who enjoy it for what it is. Something that hopefully brings joy into their lives. Mommy and Daddy miss you so very much, Loki, our love.
On Friday, DC revealed a variant cover by Lee for the upcoming 12-issue Rorschach maxiseries written by King. King then took to social media to disavow the variant cover, citing that Lee had previously done work on ComicsGate-related projects. In his tweet, Lee referred to ComicsGate -- a movement that blames the inclusion of people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community as creators and characters within stories for declining comics sales and a perceived decline in comics quality and has a history of social media harassment campaigns against minority creators and their allies -- as a hate group. King later followed up, retracting that statement, noting that he had spoken with Lee who does not have Twitter and that things were "all good".
For Lee, that is not the case. He noted that he and Chung had intended to spend Friday at the beach honoring their beloved dog but ended up dealing with the controversy instead.
"Instead, a part of the internet I avoid like the plague came barging in," Lee wrote. "I had companies I'm working for calling me, friends reaching out to me. I'm seeing hate pouring out of strangers' mouths, accusing me of things I have no knowledge of."
He continued by noting that he is not a part of any group, and while he doesn't mention King by name, he notes that "irresponsible tweets" accusing people of things have consequences -- and quotes King's retraction by noting that things are not "all good".
"I'm writing this because I'm angry," Lee wrote. "These irresponsible tweets are not harmless. They do not just go away. They have real world consequences. They can take away your job. Your life. Your memories. June and I were robbed of a special day. So, no, we're not 'all good.'"
ComicsGate has recently been in headlines following comics publisher Dynamite Entertainment's announcement of a crowdfunding campaign involving the movement. Dynamite, which has since cancelled the campaign, drew criticism from retailers, fans, and creators, several of which announced that they would no longer work with the publisher.
As for Lee, he concluded his statement noting that for him, the Instagram post is the end of the conversation.
"This isn't the start of a conversation," Lee wrote. "This is the end. So please, don't drag me into a world I never wanted to be a part of, nor will I ever want to be a part of."
Rorschach #1, by Tom King, Jorge Fornés, Dave Stewart, and Clayton Cowles, will go on sale on October 13th from DC's Black Label imprint and is rated as being appropriate for readers ages 17+. The cover price is $4.99 with card stock cover artwork by Fornés and a variant cover by Jae Lee.
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