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Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Under Fire For Creating Under Fake Japanese Name
By Alexa Heah, 14 Oct 2021
Image via ID 186926208 © Wachiwit | Dreamstime.com
A partner of Marvel Comics is refusing any more work from the company until the firm settles the controversy involving a Japanese pseudonym. As it turns out, an editor at the studio had once posed as a Japanese man, and penned several comics under the fake name.
According to USA Today, C. B. Cebulski had first denied using the persona, though social media users found comics written under “Akira Yoshida,” who was revealed to be Cebulski.
In 2017, the editor eventually admitted the use of the pseudonym. He said that before he became Editor-in-Chief, his position at Marvel didn’t allow him to pitch comics, so he chose to publish his work under the guise of a Japanese man.
“It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication, and pressure. But this is all old news that has been dealt with, and now as Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, I’m turning a new page and am excited to start sharing all my Marvel experiences with up and coming talent around the globe,” he told comic site Bleeding Cool.
Cebulski had even gone so far as to create a backstory for his persona, saying Yoshida had spent time in the US and learnt English through comic books. Posing as the Japanese author, he told Newsarama in 2004: “My version of The Hand is greatly influenced by my love of Japanese history, [Akira] Kurosawa movies, and samurai manga, like Lone Wolf and Cub, Blade of the Immortal, and even Naruto.”
However, recently, director Steven DeKnight—who worked on shows like Daredevil—tweeted that he did not agree with Marvel’s decision to keep Cebulski. He said he wouldn’t be accepting any more projects from the studio until this issue had been resolved.
“I love working with Marvel but will not pursue or accept future work until this is resolved. I hope other more high profile creatives in the comic book biz will follow suit,” DeKnight tweeted.
Another critic, Kelly Kanayama, agreed with DeKnight, telling The Atlantic back in 2017 that Cebulski’s actions should have been addressed sooner.
“But without a more thorough reckoning, the company leaves the impression that Asian identity itself is a mask, to be slipped on and off at will, for the benefit of the face underneath,” she said.
As of now, it’s unclear if Marvel will take delayed action. But with extra heat on them coming from critics and work partners, it could very well be motivated to settle the matter once and for all.
[via USA Today, cover image via ID 186926208 © Wachiwit | Dreamstime.com]
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