On Monday, another #MeToo story rocked the comic book industry as a toy designer by the name Cynthia Gerriets Naugle posted a lengthy blog entry detailing multiple instances of alleged sexual abuse that she claims she suffered a few years ago at the hands of her former manager of a comic shop in Tuscon, AZ. In detailed rundown by Bleeding Fool of the events, Naugle claims took place over a period of months in 2012/2013, it is now believed her abuser is Bordertown Writer Eric Esquivel of DC Vertigo Comics. Naugle began describing her experience with a man she initially named “X”.
I was sexually, mentally, and emotionally abused by someone I thought was my friend. I’m coming out with this for many reasons.
The owner of the comic shop I was working at decided he wanted to grow the marketing department and gave the Marketing Manager an assistant, I became that assistant. I was so excited about this. It was at that time right after my break up and I had the fuel to do something more with myself and felt like I had something to prove, I was eager to do something more to prove I didn’t need my ex-boyfriend. I was also very vulnerable at this time.
My new manager, we’ll call him “X”. X acted like my friend, he was there for me during my break up, listened. Then one day while we were having a conversation about my break up the topic of our intimacy came up, he got closer, put his hand on my hip, and lower. He kissed me, and invited me to his place during our lunch break, I said yes (He lived right next to our work behind a fast food place).
Immediately, he starts to take off my clothes. I can’t stop shaking, I couldn’t say anything but “I’m nervous, I’m nervous, I’m nervous.” I couldn’t look at him. Then he slaps my face. I couldn’t do anything after that. I let it all happen and went straight to work after. I wanted to forget, without giving details, there wasn’t an ounce of love in what just happened to me.
Later that night, He brought his girlfriend over to our work. They were in a polyamorous relationship, she knew about us. Me and X worked late, as I went into the backroom he followed me. Pushed me up against the wall and started taking off my clothes, I said “No, please, your girlfriend is right there I’m not comfortable with it.” He said “I want to show you to her.” I said no, over and over again. He grabbed both my wrists and pulled me into the other room where she was at. She saw me and said “You’re beautiful, but no.”
One of the most damaging statements in the post was allegations that Esquivel engaged in sexual acts with minors.
I’ve spoken to other girls recently that have experienced abuse and/manipulation from X. When they were vulnerable, susceptible, and some were even underage. I’m so grateful for them, it’s helped me tremendously getting through this.
At one point she states that Esquivel threatens to hook up with other underage girls.
For months, this kind of behavior continued. I would tell him I didn’t want to anymore, and he would make comments like “Okay, I’ll just go after your friends then, how about the minions?” (Minions is what we called the students we’d hire that were part of a high school program.)
The full post goes into further damaging details and you are encouraged to read the entire post yourself. For those not familiar with Eric Esquivel, he is the creator and writer of the DC comic, Bordertown, a comic book that is praised for attacking right-wing stereotypes and drawing parallels to Trump supporters and the administration. Esquivel has shut down his entire social media outreach and has refused to comment. Before shutting down his Twitter account, Youtube personalities Yellow Flash and That Umbrella Guy have taken screenshots of his posts that put him in Tucson at the time of the alleged abuses and showing that Cythina did indeed work for him at the time.
As of this writing, DC Comics have not responded to the allegations of their writer.