Border Town Co-Creator Eric M. Esquivel Accused Of Sexual Abuse
Eric M Esquivel

Vertigo Comics’ Border Town has cooked up all sorts of controversy since release, but not all of it for good reasons. This latest story will only add to its enumerable traits that make it far less comely to the average reader and DC.

Bounding Into Comics is reporting that Border Town co-creator, Eric M. Esquivel, has been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse by a former co-worker and part-time tryst. The story kicked up a fuss on the outer fringes of the comic book community when Cynthia Naugle tweeted out a blog post she had made recounting her relationship with the allegedly abusive individual.

The post was made on December 9th, 2018 [backup], outlining the various sexual exploits Naugle claims she endured back in 2012 and 2013 at the hands of an individual she only referred to as ‘X’.

She rounds out the story – after detailing how she was allegedly goaded into sex, publicly humiliated in front of the girlfriend of ‘X’ against her will, and how ‘X’ had taken advantage of her friends, and tried grooming underage girls – by saying that this mystery man confessed to her that what he did was wrong and that he was sorry. Naugle wrote…

“3 days ago, I sent him a very long email about what he did to me. It was basically this post. He responded in less than 5mins. He apologized, said he remembers things differently, and he’ll never see me at any of the same conventions, and he’ll remove me from all social media’s, and he’s there if I need to talk.

 

“It took him less than 5 mins to read, process, and respond to a very long detailed letter. It took me months, and many rewrites to figure out how to say what I wanted to. Reliving it all, having to go to therapy, having to tell my family and friends about this, talking to the other women he’s hurt, and he barely skimmed through it.”

A detailed account of all of the sexual exploits that allegedly took place involving Naugle were recounted by YouTuber ThatUmbrellaGuy.

The mystery man didn’t remain a mystery for long, though.

It was the combination of social media sleuthing and crowdsourcing information through a torrent of internet denizens that eventually pinpointed the mystery man as being none other than Eric M. Esquivel, a comic book writer who has worked on various projects over the years and is currently working on Border Town for Vertigo Comics.

There were a few key giveaways in Naugle’s post, including that Esquivel had recently released a comic book and was promoting it at the 2018 Comic-Con in Tuscon, Arizona, where she met up with him again years later after she got married.

Esquivel was in fact at the 2018 Comic-Con in Tuscon to promote Fantasmagoria and Border Town, as documented by Tomorrow Comes Movies.

As noted by Naugle, after she made the blog post public, Esquivel proceeded to clear out or protect his social media accounts. If you attempt to visit Esquivel’s Twitter account it’s now protected.

A web cache archive reveals that Esquivel’s account was locked after December 9th, 2018.

He also removed his writing credits from his Twitter profile, including removing any mention of him writing Border Town for Vertigo Comics or Fantasmagoria for Starburns Industry Press.

So far Esquivel has yet to make a public statement about the allegations. At the time of writing this article, Starburns Industry Press nor Vertigo have addressed the allegations either.

What’s also interesting is that in an old tweet chain from July, 2017 – with Esquivel’s tweets now missing due to being protected – Esquivel was defending strippers who were feminists. This was something that actor and producer Jonathan Lloyd Walker took umbrage with.

It will be fascinating to see how Vertigo handles this situation in particular, because they brought Zoe Quinn on board to write Goddess Mode under their label, and Quinn is a self-professed feminist who lives by the “listen and believe” mantra. So if Vertigo denies Naugle’s story to protect Esquivel then it means they’re directly undermining one of the core tenets of one of their own creators. But if they follow through with some sort of recourse against Esquivel then it means that they’re acknowledging that yet another defender of womens’ rights turned out to be an abuser.

(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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