We’ve all had time now to digest the fact that Warren Ellis was back making comics at Image. Yep, was is the correct verb here. See for yourself over at The Mary Sue. This is a decision that I’m fully behind, people who use their positions in abusive ways like he did shouldn’t get to come back after a hand wavey half assed apology and a few months of staying out of the spotlight. Jay Edidin probably said it more elegantly than I could ever hope to pull off.

The decision for me was easy, I wouldn’t have bought this book. I still won’t knowingly read anything from him. There is enough good content out there for me to enjoy that I don’t need to read anything from Ellis to get my enjoyment.

This was such a quick and easy decision for me that I quickly had my thoughts drift into what would happen to the rest of the Image books I’m already getting and any that might come up in the future. Short runs that are almost done, ones that take a hiatus and then come back for another series, ones that have just started. And if my brain is going there I have to think that creators are thinking the same things.

Most of what I’m getting from Image right now are from newer creators. I find it hard to pull my support from them because of things that are out of their control. I’ll admit that I haven’t written anything, but I think it’s a fair guess that taking a series away from a publisher just wouldn’t be an easy task. Especially with a short run series. And even if they could take it to another publisher, is taking issues 4 and 5 of your series to another publisher even worth the effort?

Don’t get me wrong publishers have to be held accountable for the people they chose to bring into their operations. It seems like a simple concept to me. Someone does horrible enough things, they don’t get hired. I realize that line will be different for everyone. But when the horrible person is able to go basically anywhere and still sell books? Yeah, you’re not going to be stifling anyone’s voice. Mistakes can happen, but not when someone has been given every opportunity to do the right thing and just refuses to do it.

In the end I think it’s the other creators that will have the bigger impact. Can you imagine if [Insert big name here] told a publisher “No, because you keep bringing on horrible people and I’m not cool with that and you know damn well I could sell these books out of my basement and be perfectly fine.”? I’d love it.

Chris Osborne

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