Mark Waid Launches Legal Defense Fund for 'Jawbreakers' Lawsuit

Comic book author Mark Waid has launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover legal fees related to lawsuit from Diversity & Comics YouTuber and writer Richard C. Meyer.

Waid started a GoFundMe campaign on Thursday to help raise $75,000 to cover legal fees against Meyer's lawsuit claiming "tortious interference with contract defamation" over Meyer's upcoming graphic novel, Jawbreakers. Back in May, Antarctic Press announced that they would be publishing Jawbreakers with the publication planned for August. However, the publisher later announced that they would no longer be publishing the graphic novel. According to Meyer's lawsuit, Waid is the reason why as he contacted the publisher to alert them of Meyer's problematic behavior. Meyer, who is part of the "Comicsgate" movement, alleges that phone call "bullied" the publisher into dropping Jawbreakers.

"Later that day, Waid spoke by telephone with one of the owners of Antarctic Press and convinced him that Antarctic Press should repudiate its contract with Meyer," the lawsuit reads. "Frightened for its very survival by Waid's threats, and primarily because of his unwelcome interference, Antarctic Press caved to Waid's pressure."

Waid, who is represented by lawyer Mark Zaid, admits that he called Antarctic Press -- he even posted about the call on his own Facebook page, noting that he left a message at that time -- but denies bullying them into dropping the title. Meyer is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and is also claiming that Waid's actions have caused him to be blacklisted in the comics industry at large.

Waid notes in the information about the campaign -- which at the time of this writing had raised over $46,000 with contributions from industry professionals such as Neil Gaiman and Jim Zub -- that he believes the lawsuit is "an effort to silence those of us who stand up publicly against bigotry and racism and who continue to defend diverse creators from harassment."

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"Even though I am confident that the claims made against me are entirely without merit, lawsuits are time-consuming and very expensive," Waid wrote. "Still, I have never backed down from bullies, especially those who denigrate my friends, colleagues and the values our community stands for, and while I am not a rich man, you have my solemn promise that I will fight this no matter the personal cost."

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