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Tuesday, April 02, 2019 

Writer Jai Nitz accused of sexual misconduct at Kansas university

The comics writer Jai Nitz, who's been in the business nearly 2 decades, was accused by an editor for the Kansas university journal of sexual assault at least 2 years ago:
I met a man in class on the Lawrence campus of the University of Kansas. He was invited to provide us with a mock press conference experience. We had fifteen minutes to scour the internet for notes about who he was, then put together questions.

Jai Nitz. He wrote comics for DC and Marvel. He created the Latino superhero El Diablo, which had gained fame just a year before in the film Suicide Squad. As a creative, I was intrigued. After class, I followed him on Twitter. A few hours later, he followed me back. Two or so weeks after that, I agreed to meet up for drinks. What we spoke about online pertained to politics and entertainment, so I felt I was leaning into a mentorship.

I was wrong. [...]

He asked multiple times if I was going to kiss him at the end of the night. I told him no, that it was beyond my comfort level. He asked if I’d go out with him again, and I turned him down. This didn’t stop him from asking. It happened at least two more times.

I felt relieved as we left the bar. I was parked nearby and he walked me there, pulling me into a hug.

“You can kiss me if you want to,” he whispered in my ear.

With his arms literally locked around me, I obliged and pecked him a few times on his neck.

“Not like that.” He sounded frustrated.

“Okay, I have to go,” I said, pulling away.

He asked if I was sure. He was going to the strip club, I could come with him. I reiterated my answer and opened my car door. I felt relief wash over me as I sat down in the driver’s seat. His hand was on the top of the door and he called my name. Reflexively, I turned my head and he forced his mouth on mine.
There's more information here, revealing other women had problems with him too. Though it should be noted that, just like Gerard Jones didn't create El Diablo, even Nitz didn't create the role per se either; it was created by Robert Kanigher in 1970 in the pages of All-Star Western. But this emerging scandal certainly won't reflect well on Nitz's newer take on Suicide Squad if he created the modern protagonist using the name El Diablo.

I checked Nitz's resume, and while he's mostly active in independent comics, he's written several items for Marvel and DC, including some Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman material. And now, after the news, Dark Horse decided to part ways with him:
After allegations of sexual assault surfaced against writer Jai Nitz over the weekend, Dark Horse Comics has canceled all upcoming issues of his miniseries Astro Hustle.

"Dark Horse takes all allegations seriously," a representative for the publisher wrote in a statement to CBR. "While we were unable to prevent our distributor's shipping of Astro Hustle #2, we are also suspending our professional ties with Jai Nitz."

[...] After the alleged incident was made public, Dark Horse launched an investigation into the allegations. While Astro Hustle #2 was already shipped out to meet its April 10 release date, the last two issues of the four-issue miniseries will not be published.

Astro Hustle is the second high-profile comic book series canceled after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against a member of its creative team. Last year, DC canceled the Vertigo series Border Town, after Eric M. Esquivel was accused of sexual assault and other abusive behavior.
I honestly have to question what's so "high-profile" about any of these particular books. In any case, I guess DH decided, following the Scott Allie scandal, that they'd have to start being more convincing in dealing with potential offenders on their payrolls. I'm sure that a lot of the material he's written over the years will either not be reprinted, including the recent SS miniseries he scripted, or, it'll be going out of print soon enough.

Now the remaining question is, how many more possible felons in the industry will be outed?

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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