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Death of American cartoonist Ed Piskor amid accusations of sexual assault

Comic book author Ed Piskor died Monday, April 1, his family announced.

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Death of American cartoonist Ed Piskor amid accusations of sexual assault

Comic book author Ed Piskor died Monday, April 1, his family announced. Aged 41, he was particularly known for his Hip-Hop series Family Trees, tracing the history of the musical movement, and for hosting the show Cartoonist Kayfabe on YouTube. If the causes of death have not been revealed, a long letter published on social networks evokes his suicidal intentions. For several weeks, he had been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior and at the heart of a smear campaign on social networks.

“It is with a broken heart that I announce to you that my big brother, Ed, passed away today,” his sister Justine wrote on Facebook on Monday. Please keep our family in your prayers as this is the hardest thing we have ever had to go through.”

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On March 24, artist Molly Dwyer, 21, accused Ed Piskor of making advances towards her when she was 17, publishing screenshots of text messages exchanged in 2020 to support his remarks. Soon after, another woman, Molly Wright, accused Ed Piskor of forcing oral sex on her in exchange for his agent's phone number.

As a result of these accusations, an exhibition of Ed Piskor's works, which was to begin in April in Pittsburgh, was canceled. In the process, Jim Rugg, co-host of Cartoonist Kayfabe, ended his collaboration with the cartoonist.

“I am helpless in the face of a crowd of this magnitude. Please share my version of things,” wrote Ed Piskor in his farewell letter, assuring his innocence. He explains that the messages exchanged with Molly Dwyer, leaked online, were taken out of context. While denying the advances, he admits he was “stupid” to continue communicating with the girl after discovering her age. A behavior that he attributes to the loneliness of confinement. As for Molly Wright's accusations, Ed Piskor categorically denies them and speaks of consensual sexual relations. Describing the charge as “almost criminal”, he goes so far as to suggest to his family the idea of ​​filing a complaint against her.

In his long missive, the author addresses Internet users, blaming them for “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives.” “I was murdered by stalkers on the Internet,” he said. Some of them absolutely contributed to my death by entertaining themselves with gossip. I was not an artificial intelligence, but a real human being. Maybe I could haunt you idiots like a ghost.” Ed Piskor adds that he hopes her death "would make people think twice before lynching someone on the Internet."

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The artist's gesture provoked numerous reactions in the world of comics. “Whatever mistakes he made, people make mistakes. People make mistakes. What we need to do is forgive people, not judge them,” explained Rob Liefeld (co-creator of the Deadpool character) in a video on Instagram.

Other authors who expressed condolences included notable comic book creators such as Mark Millar, Bill Sienkiewicz, Klaus Janson, J.H. Williams III, J. Scott Campbell, and Patch Zircher. Born in 1982 in Pennsylvania, Ed Piskor made known for his series devoted to the history of rap, produced between 2012 and 2016, before being hired in 2017 by Marvel Comics to illustrate a series of three albums of X-Men: Grand Design, where he rewrote the three first decades of mutant history. In 2022, Editions Delcourt publishes the first volume of Red Room, a bloody series designed “as a provocation, a gory thriller, a debauchery of barbarism from the Dark Web Banned from distribution in 5 countries, the author keeps all his promises and much worse still,” summarizes the editor.

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