Harlan sues (again)

Author Harlan Ellison is no stranger to controversy or to legal proceedings. News spread out over the comics web community this week that he is once more suing someone, this time Fantagraphics comics (Gary Groth of Fanta and Harlan have a long and well known animosity between them). Harlan says that using his name on a recent Comics Journal Library book on writers invades his privacy and is also suing for defamation over the reprinting of an article from decades ago which in turn was itself subject of a legal tussle. The language Ellison has used to describe Groth has not exactly been restrained or terribly legal; in fact it seemed rather distasteful to me. I’m not going to say too much other than reporting the case, just in case his legal harpies are loosed in my direction, except to say two things.

First, given that Harlan was only a few weeks ago lambasted on many SF sites and blogs across the world for his disgraceful behaviour at the Hugo awards where he groped fellow author Connie Willis’ breast I’d have thought he’d want to keep a lower profile for a while. He did issue a form of apology but then later issued more which seemed to infer he wasn’t that guilty and that ‘jerkwad blogs’ were blowing it all out of proportion and didn’t sit to well with his first posting. Second is that Fantagraphics is probably the best indy publisher in comics and beloved of readers because it is run by people who do it because they love the medium, not because they are trying to make a quick buck. Attacking them is unlikely to prove popular with the comics community and since Harlan has another volume of his Dream Corridor graphic novel coming up in the near future pissing off the comics fans is unlikely to help sales.