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Marvel Editor Deceives Public, Gets Promoted to Editor-in-Chief

Bleeding Cool reported on Tuesday that Marvel Comic’s new editor-in-chief, CB Cebulski, impersonated a Japanese writer 13 years ago while working for Marvel as an editor.

From the Guardian (it’s the better summary of the story):

Marvel Comics’ new editor-in-chief, CB Cebulski, has come under fire after it was revealed that he had written under the alias Akira Yoshida.

Cebulski, who was appointed earlier this month, confirmed to the comics site Bleeding Cool on Tuesday that he had spent “about a year” writing comics under the Japanese pseudonym Akira Yoshida.

Bleeding Cool’s founder Rich Johnston said he first asked Cebulski, who is Caucasian, if he was masquerading as Yoshida in 2006, when Cebulski was associate editor at Marvel, but he “denied it, telling me that Akira Yoshida was an actual person”, citing numerous office visits and convention appearances as proof. Yoshida, who is listed at as a writer for series including X-Men and Wolverine, was even interviewed by the site Comic Book Resources in 2005, providing a fictitious biography about a childhood in Japan, employment at a small Japanese comics publisher, and his introduction to American editors.

To be clear, this isn’t just a case of a pen name; Yoshida was described at the time as an ethnic Japanese writer who was native to Japan. He was hired to write about Japanese culture from a native’s viewpoint. (If Yoshida had been revealed as a pen name at the time, there would be no story today.)

While he has lived in Japan, Cebulski is most definitely not Japanese:

credit: Jun Sato/WireImage

And we’re not just talking a single story; Bleeding Cool says that Yoshida was a prolific writer and was credited on:

  • 12 issues of Thor: Son Of Asgard,
  • six issues of X-Men: Age of Apocalypse,
  • five of Elektra: The Hand,
  • five of Wolverine: Soultaker,
  • five of X-Men: Kitty Pryde – Shadow & Flame,
  • five of X-Men/Fantastic Four, 
  • and a bunch of one-shots.

So this isn’t just an small error like when Rowling was criticized because the bio for her Robert Galbraith pen name said that Robert was a veteran, or the book publishing industry’s practice of deceiving the public by hiring (and then not crediting) ghost writers.

Cebulski maintained a deception that went on for a year. He deprived actual Japanese writers of multiple chances to get paid for writing comic books by pretending to be what he was not.

This wasn’t just  small lie; it was a series of big lies told over and over again.

That is why I am surprised that no other site which has covered this story has had the guts (or more likely, was willing to defy their lawyers) and describe this story as a fraud being exposed.

Fraud – (noun) 1, a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain, 2, a piece of trickery; a trick.

How is this not fraud?

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[…] by comics venues like The Bleeding Cool, as well as commented on by my fellow bloggers like The Digital Reader. (The former is who broke the […]

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