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  • #61
    The most tragic element of all this, to my mind, is that Molly Dwyer, the young woman who'd initially brought forth the claims of grooming against Ed, has had her potential career in comics completely obliterated by Ed's actions.

    I won't talk about this on social media but feel like this is a safer, more contained space in which to discuss this, so here we go...

    In Ed's final note he made no effort to apologize to her directly or to prevent people from harassing her. It's hard for me not to see this memorial and the presence that Ed had at HeroesCon, posthumously, and not think about the fact that Dwyer will not likely ever attend a convention, if she even continues to make comics at all after this. That, to me, is shameful.

    In his note, Ed said that the scrutiny he received after those DM's were posted was too much for him to bear, and that what he experienced in the subsequent week he "wouldn't wish on (his) worst enemies"...and then he went on to list all his enemies, blaming them for his death. What's worse, I have to ask: to be labeled a groomer (which he swore he wasn't) or to be labeled a murderer? It's awful that his family has to live with this for the rest of their time on this planet, feeling like there are people out there that killed their loved one merely by typing words into their phones, while he escaped the diminished status he was facing by applying decades of grief and heartache onto all he left behind. He said he wasn't strong enough to take on this burden, but he somehow felt that those closest to him could. That's an unfair trade off; to allow the people that loved him most to eat that pain and suffering forever, while he only experienced it for 7 days. Ed had many, many people reach out to him (while a few "Kayfabers" put the screws to Dwyer) and also had many examples of men who'd done way worse yet persevered and maintained careers in spite of their misdeeds. If Louis CK, one of the perpetual faces of the "Me Too" movement, can sell out Madison Square Garden and win Grammies, Ed could have laid low for a year and come back to a loyal audience that would ignore his transgressions and continue to buy his books. The fact that he filled out his will the morning after Molly Dwyer posted those DM's leads me to believe that he either had more hidden behavior he was afraid would see the light of day, or he'd always known from the moment he'd first reached out to her that his contact with Dwyer was ill-intentioned.

    For the record, I liked Ed. I only knew him in a peripheral way but I felt we were kindred comic nerds. We'd talk occasionally at cons, although we were not necessarily friends, and I had a relatively good sense of how he navigated the position he'd found himself in and feel like I understand his mindset fairly well. By his own admission he was not a naturally gifted artist and had to work incredibly hard to make comics at the level needed in order to succeed in the comics industry. The man hustled, and hyped himself and played the part of comics expert and creator, as well as an ersatz hip hop historian (he revealed to me at SPX one year that he saw what he did with Hip Hop Family Tree as being more of an elaborate book report than true journalism) incredibly well and it paid off for him, but it also required that he never falter in that portrayal. I heard him in interviews deftly sidestep any questions that called his validity into question and back when Hip Hop Family Tree was taking off, he'd almost immediately been called out as an inauthentic "culture vulture". That weighed on him heavily and his solution was to focus on stories from his life that would give him the street cred he felt he needed to get a pass. A certain segment of the comics community refused him that pass, however, and he knew that he'd always be working from a deficit in the eyes of a small but vocal segment of comics. He was all about status and credibility and he had to run in fifth gear at 125 miles per hour for a good decade, just to make up for the fact that drawing never came easily for him and that some people simply did not like him. A friend of mine asked me if I had any thoughts on why Ed would have jeopardized all he'd worked for by contacting this high school girl, knowing it could take him down, and to my mind if you're moving that fast 24/7 the only way you can get a little jolt is to take your hands off the wheel. The knowledge that you could crash and burn would be the hit of dopamine needed to give you that jolt. Also, Ed's deep dive into the dark web for his research for Red Room likely messed with his emotional state as well. You can't fill your brain with that stuff and not come away affected, and I think that added to the depression and anxiety that led him to feeling like taking his own life was his only option.

    The thing is, he painted himself into that corner. Nobody - not Eric Reynolds, or Jim Rugg, or any number of internet trolls - put him in that position. It was all self-manufactured and, if his intentions were as altruistic as he claimed, he could have at the very least attempted to shelter Molly Dwyer as a last act of contrition. He said he only ever reached out to her because he was impressed with her artwork and felt she was of a like mind and he wanted to help her in her career, but in the end he destroyed it. I feel bad for Ed, but I feel way worse for Molly Dwyer. She's never going to get a chance to even come close to the success Ed achieved, and if we're to allow Ed some grace for his actions I think she deserves some as well. She didn't ask for any of this.
    Toyboy
    like a hole in the head
    Last edited by Toyboy; 07-10-2024, 05:18 PM.
    Now everyone can have a complete KRULL lifestyle.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Toyboy View Post
      The most tragic element of all this, to my mind, is that Molly Dwyer, the young woman who'd initially brought forth the claims of grooming against Ed, has had her potential career in comics completely obliterated by Ed's actions.

      I won't talk about this on social media but feel like this is a safer, more contained space in which to discuss this, so here we go...

      In Ed's final note he made no effort to apologize to her directly or to prevent people from harassing her. It's hard for me not to see this memorial and the presence that Ed had at HeroesCon, posthumously, and not think about the fact that Dwyer will not likely ever attend a convention, if she even continues to make comics at all after this. That, to me, is shameful.

      In his note, Ed said that the scrutiny he received after those DM's were posted was too much for him to bear, and that what he experienced in the subsequent week he "wouldn't wish on (his) worst enemies"...and then he went on to list all his enemies, blaming them for his death. What's worse, I have to ask: to be labeled a groomer (which he swore he wasn't) or to be labeled a murderer? It's awful that his family has to live with this for the rest of their time on this planet, feeling like there are people out there that killed their loved one merely by typing words into their phones, while he escaped the diminished status he was facing by applying decades of grief and heartache onto all he left behind. He said he wasn't strong enough to take on this burden, but he somehow felt that those closest to him could. That's an unfair trade off; to allow the people that loved him most to eat that pain and suffering forever, while he only experienced it for 7 days. Ed had many, many people reach out to him (while a few "Kayfabers" put the screws to Dwyer) and also had many examples of men who'd done way worse yet persevered and maintained careers in spite of their misdeeds. If Louis CK, one of the perpetual faces of the "Me Too" movement, can sell out Madison Square Garden and win Grammies, Ed could have laid low for a year and come back to a loyal audience that would ignore his transgressions and continue to buy his books. The fact that he filled out his will the morning after Molly Dwyer posted those DM's leads me to believe that he either had more hidden behavior he was afraid would see the light of day, or he'd always known from the moment he'd first reached out to her that his contact with Dwyer was ill-intentioned.

      For the record, I liked Ed. I only knew him in a peripheral way but I felt we were kindred comic nerds. We'd talk occasionally at cons, although we were not necessarily friends, and I had a relatively good sense of how he navigated the position he'd found himself in and feel like I understand his mindset fairly well. By his own admission he was not a naturally gifted artist and had to work incredibly hard to make comics at the level needed in order to succeed in the comics industry. The man hustled, and hyped himself and played the part of comics expert and creator, as well as an ersatz hip hop historian (he revealed to me at SPX one year that he saw what he did with Hip Hop Family Tree as being more of an elaborate book report than true journalism) incredibly well and it paid off for him, but it also required that he never falter in that portrayal. I heard him in interviews deftly sidestep any questions that called his validity into question and back when Hip Hop Family Tree was taking off, he'd almost immediately been called out as an inauthentic "culture vulture". That weighed on him heavily and his solution was to focus on stories from his life that would give him the street cred he felt he needed to get a pass. A certain segment of the comics community refused him that pass, however, and he knew that he'd always be working from a deficit in the eyes of a small but vocal segment of comics. He was all about status and credibility and he had to run in fifth gear at 125 miles per hour for a good decade, just to make up for the fact that drawing never came easily for him and that some people simply did not like him. A friend of mine asked me if I had any thoughts on why Ed would have jeopardized all he'd worked for by contacting this high school girl, knowing it could take him down, and to my mind if you're moving that fast 24/7 the only way you can get a little jolt is to take your hands off the wheel. The knowledge that you could crash and burn would be the hit of dopamine needed to give you that jolt. Also, Ed's deep dive into the dark web for his research for Red Room likely messed with his emotional state as well. You can't fill your brain with that stuff and not come away affected, and I think that added to the depression and anxiety that led him to feeling like taking his own life was his only option.

      The thing is, he painted himself into that corner. Nobody - not Eric Reynolds, or Jim Rugg, or any number of internet trolls - put him in that position. It was all self-manufactured and, if his intentions were as altruistic as he claimed, he could have at the very least attempted to shelter Molly Dwyer as a last act of contrition. He said he only ever reached out to her because he was impressed with her artwork and felt she was of a like mind and he wanted to help her in her career, but in the end he destroyed it. I feel bad for Ed, but I feel way worse for Molly Dwyer. She's never going to get a chance to even come close to the success Ed achieved, and if we're to allow Ed some grace for his actions I think she deserves some as well. She didn't deserve any of this.
      I can't disagree with any of what you write, some very insightful food for thought there.

      I said after he took his life that, since he chose to end things this way, he'll never get the chance to prove the innocence he claimed he deserved, which was an.... odd way to handle this in my opinion. I can't pretend to be in his headspace. I get depressed now and then like most people on this planet but can't imagine I'd ever take things as far as he did and kill myself, but I didn't go through covid mostly alone like he did. I can understand the need to reach out for some female companionship, and if what Molly exposed was all there was to see, well, it was inappropriate but he didn't do anything illegal, just kind of creepy. I agree that his actions leave his family and Dwyer holding the bag, which is how it always is with suicide - you generally hurt others permanently. The whole thing makes me very sad.

      I didn't know Ed. Met him once at a show, had a nice chat with him, had him sign a few books. We interacted on IG once or twice, but nothing more than that. Seemed like a pretty nice guy to me, considerably meeker and more humble than you'd think given his YT persona. I just liked his work and his channel and I told him as much. At any rate, I didn't know about him having to work as hard as he did to get his art to the level he took it to. I can relate to that. I wanted to be a comic book artist growing up and gave up in high school as I didn't ever feel I could get to that level and make a living off of it.

      And again, you're right, if there wasn't more to it, he could have come back from this as others who have committed what seem to be far more serious sins have done in the past. There's definitely more to what was going on in his head than any of us will ever realize.

      Rock! Shock! Pop!

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post
        ...but I didn't go through covid mostly alone like he did. I can understand the need to reach out for some female companionship
        Without being argumentative I have to say this - as someone who began creating comics full time in 2019, cartoonists were probably the least affected by the lockdown. Our lives are already pretty much reduced to sitting by ourselves in front of a drawing table for 8-12 hours a day and most of our interactions are virtual. In Ed's case, he was single whereas I have my wife here with me, but he also had at least 70,000 Instagram followers to communicate with, along with Patreon supporters and a then growing number of Kayfabers. He privately reached out to Dwyer to proclaim that G.G. Allin was his "co-pilot" yet he could've publicly posted that on his Instagram feed and had dozens of conversations going with Allin fans, if he was looking to connect with people. I get what you're saying, but Ed was in a very good position compared to most when it came to having people to talk to about stuff he dug. In addition to that, one of his sisters revealed on the Ed Piskor Legacy Instagram account that she lived within walking distance of Eds house and would swing by with her kids to chat with him while he stood on his front porch. Hardly a case of complete isolation, and his initial contact with Dwyer occurred early on in the pandemic. It's hard for me to think that he was suffering from loneliness compared to most.
        Toyboy
        like a hole in the head
        Last edited by Toyboy; 07-10-2024, 05:19 PM.
        Now everyone can have a complete KRULL lifestyle.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Toyboy View Post
          Without being argumentative I have to say this - as someone who began creating comics full time in 2019, cartoonists were probably the least affected by the lockdown. Our lives are already pretty much reduced to sitting by ourselves in front of a drawing table for 8-12 hours a day and most of our interactions are virtual. In Ed's case, he was single whereas I have my wife here with me, but he also had at least 70,000 Instagram followers to communicate with, along with Patreon supporters and a then growing number of Kayfabers. He privately reached out to Dwyer to proclaim that G.G. Allin was his "co-pilot" yet he could've publicly posted that on his Instagram feed and had dozens of conversations going with Allin fans, if he was looking to connect with people. I get what you're saying, but Ed was in a very good position compared to most when it came to having people to talk to about stuff he dug. In addition to that, one of sisters revealed on the Instagram account the family started for Ed that she lived within walking distance of Eds house and would swing by with her kids to chat with him while he stood on his front porch. Hardly a case of complete isolation, and his initial contact with Dwyer occurred early on in the pandemic. It's hard for me to think that he was suffering from loneliness compared to most.
          You could be right (and you're not being argumentative, you clearly know more about this situation than some of us, myself included, so feel free to continue). The lockdown was a weird thing. It didn't affect my wife or stepson much at all, but I was breaking down on a semi-regular basis and that was with two other people in the apartment and friends within walking distance who I could see outside safely. It affected people in different ways and to different degrees, so I guess I tend to get him feeling lonely even if what you say makes total sense. That said, IG followers and YT comments are nice and all but I wouldn't put them in the same category as one on one interactions as far as satisfying socialization.
          Rock! Shock! Pop!

          Comment


          • #65
            His tough guy wise-acre persona did him no favors. He never missed an opportunity to call out another creator for the skeletons in their closet. He was always trying to act edgy and even now when I re-watch episodes there's many times where he says "The shorties today can't handle criticism with the kool-aid pumping through their veins". I liked Ed too. Cartoonist Kayfabe was the final push to get me to start finally making my comic. It was also getting a divorce during the pandemic, having a double hernia, and (this can't be overstated) seeing Matt Allison achieve his dream of becoming a cartoonist. It was a perfect storm of all those elements that finally inspired me into doing it. I agree, the loss of Molly as a creator is the most tragic part. I have as much of her comics as I do Ed's. I think the best thing Ed did for the industry was the show, he was a great hype-man for comics. I never met him or Jim, I sent them a copy of the first issue of my book when it was finished and a little note that thanked them. When I finished the second issue I sent them a copy of that too but I never heard back. Which is fine, I realize I am a needle in the comicbook haystack. Whatever his transgressions were I miss him. But I miss Molly too and am concerned with her well being.

            It might not be my place to say but I too think something else was going on inside his head to come to the conclusion so quickly that suicide was the answer. He had options, like Matt said, more than most people. One thing that I read since then made me see him in a different light. His younger sister said she taught him how to drive when he was 26. And that he convinced his parents to let him homeschool himself instead of going to highschool. If that's true then there's a lot of arrested development there. In addition to blaming people in his suicide letter the other part that I thought was odd was describing sex he had with the other woman that accused him. The comedian me thinks, "ok we get it, you're not gay!" But I couldn't imagine how it felt being his family reading that. Like calling out people for murdering him it felt unnecessary, but I guess it was Ed being the eternal edge lord all the way to the end. I think suicide is ok as long as you're old or feeble or in some kind of incurable debilitating constant pain. But when you have family members, especially kids and nieces and nephews who care about you, it is incredibly selfish. That's all they will ever remember about you. The whole thing still doesn't make sense to me. Outside of his family I feel bad for Jim Rugg and Molly Dwyer the most. He gave them a huge burden to carry.

            Before all this happened I found myself growing increasingly tired of his schtick. But I still watched every single new episode they posted. Ever since then I've missed him a lot. Boy us humans sure are fickle.
            Scott
            Intellectual Carrot
            Last edited by Scott; 07-10-2024, 06:11 PM.
            "When I die, I hope to go to Accra"

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Ian Jane View Post

              You could be right (and you're not being argumentative, you clearly know more about this situation than some of us, myself included, so feel free to continue). The lockdown was a weird thing. It didn't affect my wife or stepson much at all, but I was breaking down on a semi-regular basis and that was with two other people in the apartment and friends within walking distance who I could see outside safely. It affected people in different ways and to different degrees, so I guess I tend to get him feeling lonely even if what you say makes total sense. That said, IG followers and YT comments are nice and all but I wouldn't put them in the same category as one on one interactions as far as satisfying socialization.
              That all makes sense, and I definitely acknowledge that the pandemic affected everyone in different ways. What I see in Ed's situation was that he spent a large amount of time secluded in his studio prior to the lockdown and if I had to speculate, I'd assume that his day to day-to-day life mirrored my own both before and during Covid. This would be in the sense that we were already isolated. Many comics professionals actually benefited from the pandemic in that they were already working in relative isolation and collectors who had disposable income and much more time on their hands were spending a lot of money on comics and comic art in that period so we were all fairly busy. Most creators I know faired pretty well in between 2020-2022. I would imagine the Cartoonist Kayfabe channel had a spike in subscribers and views and that was when he and Jim likely ramped up the volume of their daily content, both for YouTube and Patreon.

              I'm speaking less to his mental state, of which I don't know much, and more about what his daily life seemed to be, which was 8-12 hours at the drawing board, plus internet, movies, video games, social media, etc. His routine likely didn't change as much as someone who'd been going into an office and interacting with multiple people on a daily basis so I'm making the assumption that he was using his supposed isolation as an excuse.
              Toyboy
              like a hole in the head
              Last edited by Toyboy; 07-10-2024, 09:12 PM.
              Now everyone can have a complete KRULL lifestyle.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Scott View Post
                In addition to blaming people in his suicide letter the other part that I thought was odd was describing sex he had with the other woman that accused him. The comedian me thinks, "ok we get it, you're not gay!" But I couldn't imagine how it felt being his family reading that.
                I also felt as though his admission to wanting to draw "Big Titty Taff" in the nude felt like a diversion tactic, as if to say "Hey, I can be a horny perv when I want to be but it's with ADULT LADIES, OKAY!"

                There are other aspects of his note I won't get into here, because it's all conjecture at this point, but I did think there were other diversion tactics used and it was odd for there to be a section that was redacted.

                Part of why my feelings are so strong on this is that I reached an absolute rock bottom in 2011. Without going into too much detail, I will say that at that point in my life I wanted to die. The continual panic attacks, the feeling of utter hopelessness and shame, and the knowledge that I'd made horrible mistakes that negatively affected the people around me made it so that getting up every morning was a nightmare. I had to man up and deal with it though, as glib as that sounds, and it took a good 5 years before I began to reverse the awful situation I'd made for myself. What I see in Ed's life that was very much different than mine was that Ed's low point came after a decade of intense hustling and grinding and pushing himself every single day, and it happened in public. He had to perform non-stop and what the accusations did was make him realize that if he wanted to continue in comics he'd have to go to the back of the line and start over from scratch. I can understand how daunting that must've felt, to have worked so hard and to know that he'd have to start again at zero was too much, I'd reckon. Again, though, he created that situation.

                It's not realistic for me to think that he would've weighed his life and career and reputation against Molly's but that's ultimately what it boiled down to. I wish he'd had the wherewithal to have done right by her.
                Toyboy
                like a hole in the head
                Last edited by Toyboy; 07-10-2024, 09:17 PM.
                Now everyone can have a complete KRULL lifestyle.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Yea the sister starting to cry was when I cut it off.

                  It was Jim and Ed that got me to buy,for a buck each,the S.Platt run on Prophet. When that was coming out I skipped it and pretty much anything from Extreme Studios.

                  Over the past 20 years started picking up Extreme Studios stuff but always skipped Prophet. Those two going over a few issues and reading the first TPB of the later Prophet run that is beloved got me to drop 6 bucks,I think there is 6 issues from SPlatt in vol 1.

                  Perfect need something to read at breakfast or lunch reading. And I never would have bothered with it.

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