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Charlie K

Defend Fantagraphics Against Harlan Ellison

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Now there's an inflammatory title, eh?

 

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/02/27/help_...d_fantagra.html

 

Help Defend Fantagraphics & The 1st Amendment

 

Writer Harlan Ellison is suing Fantagraphics, the world's greatest book publisher, for libel.

 

First, in the history-of-Fantagraphics book WE TOLD YOU SO: COMICS AS ART that we serialized on the Comics Journal blog last year, Gary told two brief anecdotes about Ellison’s conduct during the infamous Michael Fleisher trial. We are defending ourselves by arguing the content of these anecdotes are a) opinion and b) true (and for that matter have been circulated for over a decade unchallenged including on Ellison’s own website in the context of the notoriously one-sided Gauntlet article), Ellison has now elected to allege that they were libelous. When we were apprised by Ellison’s attorney initially that Ellison was unhappy with these comments, we offered him space in our book to rebut these comments or offer his own counter-narrative, but he rejected these options and chose to file suit instead.

 

Second, we reprinted the Ellison interview that caused the Fleisher suit in our COMICS JOURNAL LIBRARY collection THE WRITERS. Ellison is not suing over this –in fact, he’s admitted in public that we own the interview and have the right to reprint it—but is claiming instead that it is illegal to use his name on the cover (along with the names of the other writers we interviewed).

 

We have argued to the court that both claims are absurd and the suit frivolous and meritless. In our opinion, it is merely designed to harass us, bully us, hurt us financially, and chill public criticism of Ellison generally. Notwithstanding Ellison’s own denials (embedded in the text of his rambling lawsuit), we consider this suit to be a petty and malicious effort to trample our 1st Amendment rights to truthfully relate the history of our company, and to cost us money and time.

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Wow! Ellison does tend to be sue crazy. He gets pissed off very easily whenever he feels wronged by anyone.

He seemed to have calmed down in his own age after his heart attacks. hmmm

I love Harlan Ellison more than life itself, but Fantagraphics are one of my very favourite comic publishers, and we all know comics are bigger than life itself. I cannot take sides! I must sit on the side-lines for this battle.

 

Interesting reading though, Charlie. I hadn't heard of this.

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