Recently cartoonist Tess Fowler recounted in a series of tweets an experience she had at a past San Diego Comic Con with a then-unnamed comic book professional. Here are the tweets:
Fowler has now posted on Twitter that the person she was referring to in the previous tweets was comic book writer Brian Wood:
So why did she now, some three weeks after the original Tweeter barrage, name Wood by name? Because according to Fowler, since she originally posted about her experience, other women have contacted her by email and expressed to her that Wood did the same thing to them.
It’s important to note that when Fowler first posted about this on Twitter, a lot of people connected the dots and guessed she was referring to Brian Wood. At first, Wood was quiet about the matter. Even after Fowler named him by name, Wood waited three days to address the matter. Here is his statement, posted to his website:
For the last couple weeks I’ve been accused of a lot of very serious things. I feel I have to speak up for myself and for my friends and colleagues who are finding themselves under a sort of scrutiny they don’t deserve. This situation has reached the point where it is affecting people who in no way deserve it, up to and including my family.
Tess Fowler is correct about this: I did make a pass at her at SDCC Hyatt bar roughly 8 years ago. But when she declined, that was the conclusion of the matter for me. There was never a promise of quid pro quo, no exertion of power, no threats, and no revenge. This was at a time in my career when I had very little professional power or industry recognition. The pickup was a lame move, absolutely, and I’ll accept the heat for having done it, but that’s all it was: I liked her, I took a chance, and was shot down. I immediately regretted it, and I apologize to Ms. Fowler for the tackiness and embarrassment of it all.
I’ve kept quiet for these last couple weeks because this is a problematic thing to address without unintended blowback. While I believe she is as incorrect as she can be about what my intent and motivations were, I don’t want to encourage any negative opinion directed back at her.
I think the larger issues of abuse in the comics industry are genuine and I share everyone’s concerns. As a father to a young daughter showing an interest in making her own comics, I do really care about this stuff. So I don’t want our difference of accounts to take attention away from that industry-wide discussion that needs to happen.
Wood is right about one thing: there’s clearly a difference of accounts between what Fowler has said and what he is now saying, some three weeks after the original tweets on Twitter.
Fowler responded quickly to Wood’s statement with one of her own, posted on her Tumblr account. It’s detailed, thorough, and in my opinion, completely believable. In other words, the complete opposite of Wood’s statement. I find it strange that in an incident between an artist and a writer, it’s the artist that comes off much more believable when both write about what happened. One might think that the writer, someone who makes their living putting words down on paper, has the advantage when it comes to writing about a shared experience.