A Marvel Comics editor-in-chief once posed as a Japanese man and wrote dozens of comics for the company using a fake Japanese name. Now, he’s being called out by a coworker who says he won’t accept any more work from Marvel until this situation is “resolved.”
When C.B. Cebulski’s persona was first called out, he denied writing under a Japanese pseudonym. Then various social media accounts found comics under the name of Akira Yoshida, later revealed to be Cebulski’s pseudonym.
In 2017, Cebulski admitted he scripted various comics for Marvel under the guise of Yoshida. Before he rose to editor-in-chief, Cebulski worked under a position that didn’t allow him to script or pitch any comics for Marvel. During this time, he created this persona of a Japanese man and published his work that way.
Marvel still has a page dedicated to the work published under the pseudonym, Yoshida.
“I stopped writing under the pseudonym Akira Yoshida after about a year,” Cebulski Bleeding Cool, a comics site that broke the news in 2017. “It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication, and pressure. 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.”
Although Cebulski claimed the news had been handled, screenwriter and director Steven DeKnight tweeted that he was baffled Cebulski still had a position in Marvel. DeKnight added he would not continue working with Marvel Comics until they resolved the issue.
DeKnight has written for several Marvel comics, such as “Wolverine: Black, White Blood.” A representative told USA TODAY that Marvel doesn’t have any further comments on the matter.
“I love working with Marvel but will not pursue or accept future work until this is resolved. I hope other more high profile creatives in the comic book biz will follow suit,” DeKnight tweeted.
DeKnight said Cebulski’s actions go beyond just using a pseudonym and took away potential roles for actual Asian writers.
Cebulski also created a backstory for Yoshida. The persona spent time in the U.S. while growing up, learned English through superhero comics and previously worked at a Japanese publisher.
“My version of The Hand is greatly influenced by my love of Japanese history, [Akira] Kurosawa movies, and samurai manga, like Lone Wolf and Cub, Blade of the Immortal, and even Naruto,” Cebulski posing as Yoshida told the comics site Newsarama in 2004.
When the news broke, Comics critic Kelly Kanayama told The Atlantic in 2017 she was surprised Cebulski faced virtually no consequences. She said Marvel Comics should address his actions as well as the industry that “enabled Akira Yoshida to happen.”
“But without a more thorough reckoning, the company leaves the impression that Asian identity itself is a mask, to be slipped on and off at will, for the benefit of the face underneath,” Kanayama told The Atlantic.
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda