The Image Comics twitter account appeared to issue an official statement regarding Michelle Perez’s threats against military veteran and comic critic Diversity & Comics. While the account didn’t mention Perez or Diversity & Comics it does address the company’s stance when it comes to their freelancers.
Just a reminder: Creators are not employees of Image. They are independent and speak for themselves.
— Image Comics (@ImageComics) March 29, 2018
It’s a pretty fair stance and echoes what Image Comics co-creator Erik Larsen had previously stated independently.
However, a number of fans said they would not support the publisher who is publishing Perez’s upcoming book, The Pervert. They also didn’t buy Image Comics’ reasoning that the creators do not speak for the company.
Just a reminder, we don’t have to support a brand that publishes books from creators that spread lies and hate.
— Captain Frugal (@CaptainFrugal) March 29, 2018
— Edwin Acevedo (@EddieAce413) March 29, 2018
Just a reminder: No creator forces @ImageComics to publish their work. Silence regarding the reprehensible behavior of one of your business associates is implicit support of their activities and speaks louder then your company can imagine.
— Wes Jay Dee (@WesJayDee1) March 29, 2018
You can say that but they are still the face of your company
— Jake Reynolds (@ChatterJaw) March 29, 2018
But by publishing their work you implicitly endorse their actions and words.
— Bacon FatBug (@BaconFatBug) March 29, 2018
The simple answer is this policy is unacceptable. You need to hold them accountable.
— Bryan (@RichRiderNova) March 29, 2018
yes,,,and then you PAY THEM MONEY to do work for you…. this is a sad try. you CHOOSE to pay people who say these horrid things….YOUR CHOICE.
— bernard getts (@reverend_glass) March 29, 2018
Others called out Image Comics for hypocrisy after they publicly apologized for Howard Chaykin’s Divided States of Hysteria.
Then why did you apologize about “Divided States of Hysteria”?
— Pixel Girl (@toxicavengergrl) March 29, 2018
Still damage controlling for Michelle Perez?
This would be fine if you didn’t throw the guy who wrote that crappy ‘United States of Hysteria’ comic under the bus. You only care when these comic creators offend the left. Hypocrites.
— Ryumoau (@Ryumoau_Juno) March 29, 2018
Some fans also pointed out that creators are promoting themselves under the Image Comics brand and suggested Image Comics change their policy to make it crystal clear that freelancers are not employees of the company.
Good to know, maybe they should be independent of your name in their bios (to get the signal boost/promotion)? Perhaps a company policy on that so that these little misunderstandings are avoided in future?
— GoingSane (@Going_Sane) March 29, 2018
Exactly. They put Image Comics in their bio, they represent Image when they attack fans, they say Marvel in their bio, they represent Marvel when they attack fans. They obviously WANT people to know who they represent and should be called on it when saying stupid things online.
— GreenMachine👽 (@DeanMachine16) March 29, 2018
However, their words while working for you, independent or not, reflect on you. Possible you should be more choosy about who creates for you.
— Elenti (@ScarletElenti) March 29, 2018
Diversity & Comics said he received a personal email from Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson about the threats of violence against him. He indicated Image Comics’ tweet and the email were “good signs of progress.”
Publisher Eric Stephenson emailed me today to personally respond to my emails regarding the defamatory accusations and violent threats of Michelle Perez, whose book THE PERVERT is being published by Image next month.
That email and this tweet are a good sign of progress. https://t.co/kdnHA5lhCN
— Diversity & Comics (@DiversityAndCmx) March 29, 2018
While on the surface, I agree with what Image Comics is stating and that their freelancers are not employees of Image Comics and they act with their own free will, Image Comics is still associating themselves with Michelle Perez at this juncture. They still plan on publishing her book and are engaged in a business relationship with her. They also aim to reap whatever profits may come of Perez’s book The Pervert.
And as I’ve previously stated, I believe Perez’s entire attack against Diversity & Comics was to promote her book. It would allow her to claim a victim status and state she was being “harassed.” By being a victim she would draw defenders to her cause that would support her by purchasing her book. We’ve seen this strategy employed quite often in the political world. Planned Parenthood and the National Rifle Association are prominent proponents of this strategy.
Thus Image Comics could directly profit off of Perez’s antics. They have a vested interest in not disciplining her because the more she attacks Diversity & Comics the greater the chance of people flocking to Perez’s defense when Diversity & Comics counterpunches. It potentially boosts sales. In fact, in her first wave of attacks against Diversity & Comics, The Pervert was the #9 book from Image Comics and the #13 book in Educational & Nonfiction. It was also the #1 book in Amazon’s Gay & Lesbian category. Overall the book sat at 5,924.
Today, the book is #91 on Amazon’s Gay & Lesbian category. It’s #296 in Educational & Nonfiction and #499 in Biographies & History Graphic Novels. The book is not in the Top 100 from Image Comics anymore. Overall the book is now #416,267.
It appears the tactic might not have worked out for Michelle Perez and Image Comics and this could be why we are seeing Image Comics finally making a statement about their creators.
What do you think? Do the sales numbers have anything to do with why Image Comics is contacting Diversity & Comics and making public statements about their creators? What do you think about Image Comics’ statement?