Last week brought news that veteran editor Shelly Bond will leave DC Comics after her position as Vice President & Executive Editor of the Vertigo line had been eliminated, as part of a larger restructuring of the imprint. Following the announcement, a steady stream of social media discussion surfaced on allegations of sexual harassment against another one of the publisher's longtime editors, current Superman group editor Eddie Berganza.
DC Comics declined comment when reached multiple times by CBR News on the matter.
A perceived connection between Bond's departure and questioning of Berganza's status at DC developed after former Image Comics Director of PR & Marketing Jennifer de Guzman took to social media to ask why Bond's position was eliminated, while someone with "multiple complaints of sexual harassment" was seemingly still gainfully employed by the publisher. Nick Hanover of the pop culture commentary website Loser City then specifically named Berganza as the individual alluded to by de Guzman, leading to widespread talk of the editor's reputation among industry observers and fans, along with news coverage including a story on the matter published Monday by Paste Magazine.
Berganza was involved in a known incident of sexual harassment in March 2012, after show hours during the weekend of the WonderCon comic book convention, for which he was disciplined by the company and demoted from his then-position as Executive Editor. CBR News has learned that no misconduct involving Berganza has been reported internally since the WonderCon 2012 incident.
The situation was reported at the time by Bleeding Cool, who described the incident as a "senior comic book figure" making an unwanted physical advance on the romantic partner of a freelancer working for the unnamed senior figure. Two weeks later, Berganza was suggested by Bleeding Cool to be the editor involved.
Last Wednesday, shortly after the Bond news broke, former DC Comics editor Janelle Asselin wrote on Twitter, "I was one of many who reported Eddie Berganza's behavior in . I left DC because they promoted him anyway." Asselin later stated that it was specifically a sexual harassment claim that was made against Berganza.
In September 2015, comics writer Alex de Campi wrote a blog post claiming that "the Superman office allegedly employs no women" as "one of the most senior editors is a sexual harasser with multiple incidents on his HR file." Berganza was not named in the post, but given his status as editor of DC's Superman titles, the implication was clear.
It has not been officially confirmed that a policy preventing women from working in DC's Superman office exists. CBR has been informed that no women currently report directly to Berganza, though at least one woman is working on an upcoming Superman title as a freelance creator; artist Emanuela Lupacchino on "Superwoman."
DC Comics has not publicly acknowledged any past allegations of misconduct by Berganza, nor issued a statement on the current controversy surrounding the editor. Berganza has been with DC Comics since 1992, and has edited many of the publisher's highest-profile superhero comics in that time. Last year, he made the move from New York City to Burbank, California, as the company's editorial operations shifted locations to be more closely aligned with DC's west coast operations.
The discussion surrounding Berganza has also led to a larger, ongoing conversation on the issue of sexual harassment in the comics industry being revisited. Stories of harassment in the comics world have persisted for years, but have recently gained wider awareness as more have shared their experiences.
Keep reading CBR for the latest on the situation.