An independent comic book publisher is considering bringing legal action against a comic book news site that allegedly reported libel as factual information.

Last Sunday, CBR.com posted an article discussing the departure of letterer Micah Myers from the Alterna Comics label. Myers left the Alterna Comics label after disagreeing with the company’s new social media policy, specifically because the new policy explicitly condemned the use of block bots/blind blocking/block chains.

The article’s focus is the following statement from Myers, posted to his Facebook wall, detailing why he has chosen to no longer work with Alterna Comics:

I need to get something off my chest. A few weeks back, I was forced off a book that I was lettering for Alterna when Peter Simetti [sic] told the writer that I had to unblock Comicsgate members or the book may be in danger of cancelation. I did this quietly and without hesitation. I was not going to put the writer’s and the artist’s book in danger and I wasn’t going to let these people back into my Twitter. I blocked all the followers of D&C and a few others because I don’t want that hate in my life. I have enough crap floating around my head to put me in a bad mood I don’t need anything else.

Now in the last few days, a lot of things have been happening with Alterna, and I remained silent. Even when Peter was subtweeting about my story a few days back and making me out to be the bad guy. So for my own mental health, I want to get this out there and move on. Also to help my mental health, I am adding a few more blocks.

-Micah Myers, 1 September 2018

Peter Simeti, Publisher of Alterna Comics, has taken issue with the false headline and assertion of CBR’s article on this subject. CBR’s article is titled “Creator Micah Myers Removed from Alterna Book Over Block Chain Ban”, and claims that Simeti “removed [Myers] from a book by Alterna Comics for apparently not meeting the terms of the company’s updated social media policy” and that “Peter Simeti, told the writer of the unnamed book Myers was working on that the book could be canceled if Myers continued blocking a potential audience.” These reasons, Simeti states, are verifiably false:

To @CBR, This is completely false. Remove this before I seek legal action. I have the emails to prove Micah’s tweets are false. I do not fire or hire freelancers. The fact that you published this article without getting a comment from us first, speaks volumes to your ethics.

-peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) 2 September 2018

Simeti continued on to post a series of tweets on his personal twitter page, stating that legal action could be pursued if CBR does not rectify the false information:

Simeti has recently found himself under fire from various opponents, not only for the aforementioned social media policy, but also due to the perception that Simeti supports the ComicsGate movement. However, in a livestream hosted by Simeti last Tuesday, Simeti has stated that he does not pay attention to division, but prefers to focus on producing quality comics as well as raising the level of discourse and civility amongst the comic book community. Simeti’s wishes are the same that many, regardless of ideologies, in the industry and community share. In his own words:

When reached out to for comment, Simeti provided Bounding Into Comics with the following statement:

“We are pursuing a retraction and an apology at this time via CBR’s parent company Valnet Inc..”

The publishing of false statements does nothing to help the comic book industry, but instead lends a hand in sowing further division and discord between creators, the media, and their audiences.

At the time of this article’s writing, CBR has not issued a retraction or an apology. They have only issued an update to the story (This update does not directly link to Simeti’s tweets, and thus does not provide full context):

UPDATE: Alterna Comics founder and publisher Peter Simeti has issued a response via Twitter in which he denounced Micah Myers’ allegation that he was removed from one of the publisher’s books for failure to adhere to the company’s social media policy.

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