For all the love that Marvel’s been getting the last few years with their Hip-Hop inspired comic book covers and immaculate cinematic universe, they have had their bumps and bruises along the way. The latest are accusations of whitewashing movie roles that should have gone to ethnic actors.
Now Bleeding Cool is reporting that Marvel Comics new EIC C.B. Cebulski actually penned comics under the alias of Akira Yoshida 13 years ago when he was writing stories for Dreamwave, Dark Horse, and Marvel.
At the time when Cebulski was using the Akira cover to advance his career, he claimed to be a Japanese writer who worked for Manga publishers before making his way to the American comic book game.
Some of Yoshida’s most known work stems from some popular Marvel miniseries including 12 issues of Thor: Son Of Asgard, six issues of X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, five of Elektra: The Hand, five of Wolverine: Soultaker, five of X-Men: Kitty Pryde – Shadow & Flame, and five of X-Men/Fantastic Four.
Yoshida then disappeared for a minute while Marvel execs said reporter Rich Johnston that “Yoshida was a rarity. He was someone from non-English speaking country who could write well for an American audience — something Marvel had struggled with in the past when seeking authentic voices.”
But Johnston knew something was afoot and spent 11 years trying to prove that Cebulski was that rarity. A rarity of a white man using an ethnic pseudonym to get ahead in the game.
And Johnston finally got his wish when Cebulski confessed to the higher-ups at Marvel that he was indeed the culture appropriator that he was rumored. Image Comics Brand Manager David Brothers put him on blast and tweeted out a challenge to comics journalists to ask why Marvel Comics new EIC “chose to use the pen name Akira Yoshida in the early 2000s to write a bunch of Japanese-y books for them.”
Johnston immediately reached out to Marvel for a statement and finally got what he had been working so hard to get: a confession on the record.
Celbuski told Bleeding Cool, “I stopped writing under the pseudonym Akira Yoshida after about a year. It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication and pressure. I was young and naïve and had a lot to learn back then. But this is all old news that has been dealt with, and now as Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, I’m turning a new page and am excited to start sharing all my Marvel experiences with up and coming talent around the globe.”
Naturally this had many ethnic comic book heads in an uproar and took to Twitter to state their frustration about the news.
Amazing how life plays out when you pretend to be someone you’re not, right?
Check out some more tweets from angry and supportive fans below and sound off on what you think Marvel should do about this new revelation.