Former Red Sonja writer Gail Simone announced she will no longer work with Dynamite Comics.
Simone had previously been publicly pressured to make a statement by Black writer Kwanza Osajyefo earlier in July after Dynamite Comics promoted an IndieGoGo campaign for a variant cover for Vengeance of Vampirella #1 titled “Cecil’s Big Cover” by Donal DeLay.
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Simone had previously responded to Osajyefo writing, “I am not being silent for career reasons. I’m not being silent at all. I’m taking a minute to process something personally very disappointing and sad.”
She added, “If I’m not doing that on your timer, don;t know what to say.”
Now, Simone has come out with a much lengthier statement announcing she is no longer working with Dynamite Comics and that has apparently ended her friendship with the company’s founder Nick Barrucci.
Simone began her thread writing, “All right, I promised I would talk about Dynamite. This sucks, I’d rather not, it’s extremely unpleasant and draining. I didn’t post much earlier because the whole thing blows.”
She continued, “I know a lot of people were angry at me for not jumping on this by their timeline, but I say again, sometimes it takes me a while to fully articulate my feelings. It just does.”
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Simone then claims that she had previously considered Dynamite Entertainment Founder, CEO, and Publisher Nick Barrucci a friend, but apparently that has changed.
She then explained, “This is a morass for me because I considered the guy running Dynamite to be not just a publisher, not just a friend, but damn near family. I don’t have a lot of biological family, so having a guy you really trust that you really like, it’s like having a brother.”
“I believe a publisher can publish who they want. I believe if freelancers can make a choice what to do at that point. It’s a personal choice. And I believe almost every publisher has made mistakes, I know most freelancers have. I CERTAINLY have,” she then wrote.
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Simone then expressed her disappointment over “all of these alleged connections.” It’s unclear what connections she is referring to.
She wrote, “But finding out all of these alleged connections was very disappointing to me. I know this is just going to end up being mocked on all sides, but when you have someone you care about and this happens, I really just can’t articulate how much it sucks.”
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Despite indicating that she was no longer friends with Barrucci over the canceling of “Cecil’s Big Cover,” Simone detailed how he offered to help her after her home was robbed.
She detailed, “There’s two things going on, the public and the personal. The public thing is what it is. The personal is that this was a publisher I liked, who, when my house was robbed, immediately wrote to offer to loan me money if I needed it (I didn’t, but that was stand up behavior).”
She then hints that Dynamite Comics might be on the verge of folding due to the canceling of “Cecil’s Big Cover” and the social media campaign she was involved with in the first place that led to the canceling.
Simone wrote, “Second, I want there to be a path out of this kind of shit, I want to believe that there’s a way people can step up and make it back into the light. I don’t want publishers to fold, that just makes everything worse. I don’t know what that way is. But I want it to exist.”
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She would eventually announce that she was no longer working with Dynamite, “I’ve read a bunch of people saying, “Oh, she doesn’t want to endanger her paycheck.” Which, no. I am not working with Dynamite and am not going forward with a charity book to benefit comics shops we talked about.”
She then writes that her not working for Dynamite is not a big loss to the publisher, “I worked at Dynamite because I liked the people, I love the characters, I always have fun there. They have routinely asked for more work than I can do. But I don’t NEED them and they certainly don’t NEED me. It sucks, but it’s the truth.”
The lengthy thread continued with Simone writing, “So for those of you who think I was being quiet for paychecks, you are mistaken. Since I have routinely commented on bigger companies that I was working for, I would think that would be pretty obvious.”
Simone then claims she has not talked to Barrucci although she alleges he has called her several times.
She elaborated, “I haven’t spoken with Nick since all of this went down. First I was too upset and later, I didn’t really know what I could say. He’s called several times and I have put off answering just because even thinking about the whole situation is depressing and I don’t have any answers.”
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She then goes on to talk about her disappointment with other people in comics like Warren Ellis, “I have been disappointed by comics people before, this whole thing with Warren Ellis is just intensely awful. But again, this is someone I really cared about and it just plain took the wind out of me. That’s all.”
Simone then states she does not want Dynamite to be cancelled, “As for what happens in the future, it’s not for me to say. I don’t see any benefit to canceling a good publisher that employs a lot of good people and produces a lot of good books. I hope Dynamite comes out of this stronger and better.”
Shen then adds that Barrucci contacted her again, but she still has not spoken to him, “Lastly, people make mistakes, they trust the wrong people. Nick did contact me today. We still haven’t spoken. But I do believe he’s heard a lot of what people here have had to say. I don’t know any details beyond that.”
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“I feel like the story’s still unfolding. I know a lot of people want me to be angry. But mostly I just feel sad. I’m an optimist by nature. I hope for the best. That’s it. Have a good day, everyone,” she then wrote.
Finally, she concluded the thread writing, “Actually, I will add one thing. If anyone WAS going to wash this stuff off their shoes, I would think Nick would be that guy. I mean that in a good way. PS. It was a blast to write Red Sonja. And Swords of Sorrow. And Red Sonja/Conan. And Red Sonja/Tarzan. and the rest.”
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Interestingly enough, Simone would take to Twitter a day later to indicate she’s not doing as many comic projects anymore.
She wrote, “People keep asking what I am working on. Most of it right now, sadly, is outside comics. But comics-RELATED. Most of it is in formats and media in which I have little experience. And some are the biggest projects I have ever worked on. Fun, but scary. Hope to have news soon.”
She then clarified, “And the fewer-comics thing was not intentional, I just got offered a bunch of new challenges I found impossible to turn down. Still love comics the most, that’s never going to change, because I am a nerd.”
What do you make of Simone’s lengthy announcement that she is no longer working for Dynamite Comics?