This August, Fantagraphics published the story “How Mums Annoy You” in the ninth issue of our ongoing anthology, Now. It has recently been brought to our attention that the creator of this piece, James Harvey, is facing multiple accusations of predatory and abusive behavior. Fantagraphics published the story under the pseudonym Ethel Wolfe, at James Harvey’s request. We would like to make it absolutely clear that we were not aware of the allegations against Harvey at that time, nor did we know that the publication of this piece under a different name was an attempt to shield himself from backlash. We did not, nor would we ever, knowingly obscure the identity of an artist in an attempt to cover up or distance them from allegations of wrongdoing.
Fantagraphics publishes several cartoonists working under pseudonyms, for a variety of personal and artistic reasons, but we made a mistake in not questioning the reasons why this particular creator might not want to claim authorship of this story. This incident has brought into sharp relief the difference between respecting the chosen anonymity of artists whom we know personally and have long working relationships with, and someone whose work we are publishing for the first time.
Given the information we now have, we regret publishing “How Mums Annoy You,” both because of the pain it has caused those involved in this situation, and because it does a disservice to the amazing work of the other artists included in Now #9.
The Fantagraphics Team