Last week, Ben Templesmith announced that he was returning to comics with Warren Ellis, finishing their long-abandoned comic book Fell, from Image Comics, as a graphic novel. There were considerable negative responses from comic book creators and commentators concerning a series of multiple allegations of sexual harassment and grooming made against Ellis and exposed en masse less than a year ago. The So Many Of Us website which had collated sixty-two experiences from over a hundred women added a new statement to their front page stating that "We called for openness, accountability, and growth, extending an offer of working with Ellis on some form of transformative justice. Since his public statement a year ago, to the knowledge of these authors, Ellis has still not taken direct responsibility for his destructive behavior nor attempted to tackle the circumstances that allow such behavior to go on unchecked both on and offline."
Prominent Image Comics creators had started to comment their disquiet as well, including James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder. Then last night, Warren Ellis finally addressed the issue, stating of the year-old website, "I was made aware today of the So Many Of Us collective's offer of a mediated dialogue, and have today asked their permission to enter that dialogue. Where that will take us, I'm not sure, but I know I want to make certain that I'm doing all I can to no longer be part of the problem or in any way still perpetuating the past. I hope these conversations will be ongoing and productive for all." So Many Of Us also stated that "Author Warren Ellis reached out to this collective for the first time today. We will update this site when appropriate as we attempt to begin a transformative justice journey. " And now Image Comics has now issued the following statement, which sees them state that it was not intended that Fell be announced so soon, but that they will not be working with Warren Ellis on anything further.
This week's FELL announcement was neither planned, nor vetted, and was in fact, premature. While finishing Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith's FELL is something we've been looking forward to for years, Image Comics will not be working with Warren on anything further until he has made amends to the satisfaction of all involved. It is our sincere hope that the conversations that are beginning now will result in positive changes for everyone. Please visit SoManyOfUs.com.
Bleeding Cool has clarified from Image Comics that "anything further" means "anything", including any planned publication of Fell, not just projects planned after it.