This morning, DC Comics posted the variant cover to Rorschach #1 by Jae Lee. The cover credit was solicited last week, but it appears that writer Tom King did not read the fine print. He just posted on Twitter;
Today DC put out an alternate cover to Rorschach by Jae Lee, who has also done covers for comicsgate, a hate group. DC does not consult creators on alternate covers; I reached out to them to express my deep disappointment. Far as I'm concerned this is the cover to Rorschach #1.
Longstanding comic book creator Jae Lee, known for comics including X-Men, Hellshock, Inhumans, and Before Watchmen, has drawn a variant cover for Ethan Van Sciver's Cyberfrog comic books and also drew Cyberfrog images for Harris Comics back in the nineties.
It's not entirely clear what Jae Lee's awareness of Comicsgate is, and he doesn't appear to be on social media. These days I can see the appeal. But, whatever the circumstances, it is quite a thing for a lead creative to speak out publicly against his own publisher's marketing and content. The only comparable example I can think of in recent history was when Cameron Stewart, Brandon Fletcher, and Babs Tarr spoke out against a variant cover of Batgirl #41 by Rafael Albuquerque that went against the tone and the message of the Batgirl comic book they were creating. Rafael asked for DC to withdraw the cover.
UPDATE: It is as we expected, Bleeding Cool has learned that Jae Lee didn't have a clue who or what Comicsgate was until more recently, at which point he declined similar cover requests.
UPDATE x2: Tom King has just posted on Twitter
I spoke with Jae. He's not on Twitter, didn't know comicsgate existed, and doesn't support hate of any kind. We're all good. Best possible outcome.
Couldn't it have been avoided in the first place?
Bleeding Cool tried to glean some information from what the Jae Lee cover portrayed earlier today, but if this is the first that Tom King has seen of it, it may well have no relevance whatsoever. Could this be The Curse Of Alan Moore one more time?
written by TOM KING
art and cover by JORGE FORNéS
variant cover by JAE LEE
blank variant cover
ON SALE 10/20/20
$4.99 US | 32 PAGES | 1 of 12 | FC
CARD STOCK COVERS
DC BLACK LABEL | AGES 17+
It's been 35 years since Ozymandias dropped a giant interdimensional squid on New York City, killing thousands and destroying the public's trust in heroes once and for all. And since that time, one figure in a fedora, mask, and trenchcoat has become a divisive culture icon. So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as an assassin trying to kill a candidate running against President Robert Redford? Who is the man behind the mask, and why is he acting this way? It's up to one detective to uncover the true identity of this would-be killer—and it will take him into a web of conspiracies involving alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystic visions, and yes, comic books.
Writer Tom King joins forces with artist Jorge Fornés for a new miniseries that explores the mythic qualities of one of the most compelling characters from the bestselling graphic novel of all time, Watchmen.