Recently CBR published a report on allegations made by a freelance letterer against Alterna Comics and publisher Peter Simeti. Simeti approached CBR in response to the report, disputing the claims. In order to ensure both sides of the story are told, we are publishing Simeti’s official response below:
Our social media policy strives to create a welcoming environment for both our readers and our creators. Social media is a powerful tool for promotion and outreach and that's exactly how I encourage our creators to use it. Our policy allows creators to block or mute individually, but not indiscriminately. Should our creators experience harassment or threats of any kind while they are under contract with us, we'll do everything within our power to help them.
To my knowledge, in our entire history, no one under contract at Alterna has ever been harassed or threatened and if they were, I certainly was never made aware of any such occurrences. When I received messages from twelve readers that Micah was blocking them without ever interacting with them, I approached project manager Dave Swartz about the situation and briefed him on the fact that Micah may be using a block list to block potentially thousands of people he'd never interacted with. When Dave approached Micah about this, he found this was in fact the truth. In order to avoid any further unwanted drama on the situation, I offered a solution to not include Micah on twitter promotions of the title and to not tag his twitter handle. He would still remain on the book, of course and would still have received cover credit and interior credit on the book.
At that point, I was told by Dave that Micah understood that the book would most likely be affected by the potential drama of having him associated with it, as we would most likely come across more potential readers that had been blocked by him. By utilizing this block list to "avoid harassment" for himself, Micah's block list opened up potential harassment for his creative team and myself, as we would be forced to answer questions about Micah's choice to block people who he never interacted with in the first place. Because of this, I was told that Micah stepped down as letterer and Dave had then hired another letterer to re-letter the entire series.
I do not hire or fire freelancers at Alterna. I did not push for the firing of Micah, nor did I threaten the cancellation of the book, as claimed by Micah in his series of tweets. I have the necessary evidence that counters his claims and I hope that in good faith, Micah does the right thing here.