160: So Many

Hullo.

So Many
Schedule

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This site went live on Monday.

It’s been constructed by over sixty people who set themselves a hugely difficult task, and created something remarkable. I’ll quote the opening of their statement…

“We are a group of over sixty women and non-binary individuals whose utmost concern is the safety and protection of others like us. Our aim is to dismantle the systems that allow people in power to abuse that power for the purpose of serial predatory corralling, emotional manipulation, and grooming. With this goal in mind, we are sharing our stories about a man who abused his power. This statement was written with the involvement of all who have signed it.

Warren Ellis, a New York Times best-selling author, comics writer, public speaker, screenwriter, and producer, has devised and continues to follow a pattern of emotionally abusive behavior documented across more than two decades.”

Read the rest here.

The statement is an intense, high level over-view, but there is a lot more here. The testimonies carry huge impact, both in specific detail and in illustrating the scale and repetition. However, the site is more than the powerful statements of the witnesses. It is talking about things which are extremely difficult, and tries to provide context, resources, and arguments. If there’s a concept you’re unaware of, there will be a link to an explanation. If there’s a common immediate questions or reactions, there will likely be a response in the FAQ. If you recognise this as have happened to you, there are resources which may help. It gives you as many as the tools as it can to start thinking about this, while also giving concrete ideas of What Next – both specifically in this situation, and for culture generally. For all the bleakness of this situation they describe, the site seems to be born of a belief that this need not happen and things can change.

Please put aside time to read and think about what they’ve presented.

I’ll also point at the Guardian coverage of this, which is unusually sensitive and centres the desires of the women and non-binary people involved significantly more than this type of coverage usually does.

Speaking generally, I am heartbroken and angry. I recognise myself in what Chip said yesterday, especially the line of Kelly Sue he quotes: “I did nothing but benefit from my friendship with Warren Ellis for years. I paid no price. And that incurs a debt. I don’t know if we can make sure this never happens again, but I can think we make it not as easy.” Working out what that looks like is the present problem for all of us in comics generally, and Warren’s orbit specifically.

The rest of this newsletter is just the alerts for the books that are out. If you don’t need a reminder, I’d suggest spending your time with any of the resources and testimonies above.

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Ludocrats 3 is out. This is the first issue written in a modern period – as in, 2019. It’s my favourite issue of the three so far, and includes some ludicrous stuff. There’s a preview here, plus links to all digital formats.

Once & Future 9 is out, which is a big action set-piece of an issue where I give Dan and Tamra a lot of space to really go to town. Go see a preview here and buy either from your local shop or digitally.

DIE 12 comps turned up. Out next week.

Kieron Gillen
London.
15.7.2020