Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Frank Santoro's Comments On 'Watchmen' Boycott List

Almost two months ago David and I recorded a show - episode #120 - wherein we talked about the act of boycotting. I believe we discussed boycotting content without actually knowing what the content held; we've recorded seven episodes and at least four interviews since then, so it's kind of hazy.

After we posted the show that day I came across a list compiled by cartoonist Frank Santoro, which laid out exactly whose work he wouldn't be reading and/or buying based on their involvement with DC's Before Watchmen project. You can read his list here.

Today after posting episode #127 we noticed retweets on our Twitter account that weren't associated with the fresh batch of self-promotion. They were retweets of a tweet I sent out on March 13, 2013, seen here:

We were confused at all the action on a tweet from a month ago, but when we followed the responses to Jimmy Palmiotti's retweet, we realized it was because Landry Q. Walker responded to a message Palmiotti posted saying he thought it was a crime Amanda Connor wasn't nominated for her Before Watchmen work, which led to our tweet being retweeted.

The link under Palmiotti's tweet is red because he deleted the Facebook post containing the rest of his message. It's also to be noted that since the retweets started occurring, and Palmiotti interacted with several fans on Twitter, he stated, "Look, someone brought it up to me and I retweeted it. He may be a good guy, posted that before he was a judge. What is done is done." In that message he's referring to Frank Santoro being a judge of what many consider the largest awards within the comics industry, the Eisners, which recently announced its 2013 nominees. Palmiotti went on to state: "TRUE FOCUS: I think the Eisner nominees are all amazing and we should use the list as a buying list of books we all should have. POSITIVE."

This year's list of nominees does differ from last year's for several reasons, which is pointed out in an article posted by the AV Club today where it is noted that Marvel and DC had been "spanked" by independent publishers and their books, publishers like Fantagraphics and Image Comics.

We reached out to Santoro to comment on his list of creators whose work he refused to buy or read, and whether that had any affect on his role as an Eisner judge. In an email we informed him the link to his Watchmen list had been retweeted by several creators within the comics industry, alongside mentions of his role as Eisner judge. Our email read:
I'm reaching out to you to see if you'd like to comment about your list, as well as your role as a judge for the Eisners, and whether you believe one affects the other. It looks as if Jimmy Palmiotti retweeted the link after being contacted from someone who indicated they weren't surprised the Before Watchmen creators were not nominated, linking to your list as well. 

We plan on discussing this on next week's show, and would love to have a quote from you so we're not simply wading into the discussion with as little as information as possible.
 Santoro responded to that email, stating:
I'm glad this subject has come up. I definitely had strong feelings about Before Watchmen when it was announced. However, once I became an Eisner judge, I took my responsibility seriously, set my feelings aside, and considered the books that were submitted—as did all the other judges. (And I don't believe any of the other judges had actually seen that particular blog post.) These titles and creators were up against strong competition in all the categories for which they qualified, and ultimately none of them made the final nominations list. I actually went to bat for Steve Rude and Darwyn Cooke specifically. Some of the creators I listed in the posting, like Cooke, are indeed nominated for Eisners for other work they did. So no, it did not affect the judging decisions.
We will absolutely be discussing the continuing saga of Before Watchmen within the comics world, along with the recently announced 2013 Eisner nominees. Make sure you listen to next week's show, and email us at hideousenergy(AT) or call in at 1-720-HIDEOUS to give us your opinion. Thank you to Frank Santoro for responding so quickly to our request for a comment.

-Austin Wilson


  1. I am satisfied with Franks answer and take him at his word. I thought the quote was recent and you can see how I would have over-reacted a bit...but all good now. I am glad Frank got to clear that up.

  2. We were glad to have him comment as well. It brings up several interesting topics, and that's one of the reasons we reached out to Frank, and plan on discussing it further.