DC Comics Cancels Top Vertigo Series Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations

Border Town, the title that kicked off the DC Comics Vertigo imprint relaunch, is canceled amid allegations series writer Eric M. Esquivel sexually abused a former coworker. DC Entertainment has not made an official statement, but confirmed the cancelation.

Cynthia Naugle, a toy designer, spoke of her experience with a man she only named as "X" in a Blogspot post detailing sexual abuse, humiliation and physical violence. Esquivel was her boss at a comic book shop in Arizona when the incidents took place.

"3 days ago, I sent him a very long email about what he did to me. It was basically this post. He responded in less than 5mins. He apologized, said he remembers things differently, and he'll never see me at any of the same conventions, and he'll remove me from all social media, and he's there if I need to talk," Naugle continued.

"It took him less than 5 mins to read, process, and respond to a very long detailed letter. It took me months, and many rewrites to figure out how to say what I wanted to. Reliving it all, having to go to therapy, having to tell my family and friends about this, talking to the other women he's hurt, and he barely skimmed through it."

Esquivel has since made his Twitter private, and the Border Town creative team, Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain, spoke in support of Naugle. They also said they would not continue working on the series, which was subsequently canceled by DC.

"The way he treated her was disgusting and inexcusable, and issue 5 is my last issue working on Border Town," wrote Bonvillain, colorist, on Twitter December 12. "If I had been aware of his history of abuse, I would never have joined the project, and without trying to speak for Ramon or anyone else, I believe they feel the same way."

Villalobos, artist, expressed a similar sentiment in a series of tweets. "There had been vague rumors about Eric and his treatment of women and although I was given no real specifics, I insisted to Eric that he come clean to me and our team about any inappropriate interactions he may have had. I think now that I didn't give enough weight to those rumors and I can't state enough how much I regret that."

Esquivel denied what he called "misconduct" in a statement to press following the accusations. "Though our relationship was unconventional, we always treated one another with dignity and respect," he said. "My heart breaks for the book's supporters, and my creative collaborators. They don't deserve to be negatively affected by this unfortunate situation."

DC has not commented directly on the allegations.

DC Comics Cancels Top Vertigo Series Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations | Culture