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Scores of women are publishing details of their relationships with the Transmetropolitan writer, who they say offered mentorship in exchange for sexual contact. Cats have play. Sometimes very sophisticated, dramatised forms of play. So far, only humans use stories to dramatise the way they see the world. Two days after that, on 30 April, a year-old woman flew to the convention to surprise Ellis, whom she believed was her boyfriend. The pair had spoken on video chat and regularly since they first met online inwith some of their conversations lasting through the night.
She alleges that Ellis, then 37, never told her that he had a long-term partner, and that he had asked her to keep their relationship secret because of his fame. They had sex in his hotel room that evening. A second woman, who was 22 at the time, tells the Guardian she believed such secrecy was necessary because Ellis had not told his long-term partner about her; she says she slept with him in the same hotel room the day before, on 29 April.
It appears Ellis had dramatised the world differently for each of them. In June this year, as scores of young women began to publicly make allegations about the behaviour of men in senior positions in comics and science fiction writing, several women began to speak about their relationships with Ellis, some dating back to the early s.
Now, more than 60 women have come together to launch the website So Many of Usto document their concurrent relationships with Ellis and encourage others to come forward. They allege that Ellis has pursued sexual relationships with a staggering of his female fans, all the while deceiving them about the of relationships he was in; based on the of these women, it appears he was maintaining at least 19 relationships simultaneously at one point in Jhayne Holmes, a writer and photographer whose relationship with Ellis lasted eight years, initially set up a server for women to talk to each other.
She says that roughly women have come forward, while 33 of them have composed written statements, supported by s and text messages, which have been seen by the Guardian. In individual interviews, several of the women allege that Ellis was sending identical text and photo messages to them at the same time. Eventually, he would ask them to send him sexually explicit photos. Some of them did. Many of the women were in their late teens and early 20s when their contact with Ellis began.
Sometimes they initiated the conversation, sometimes he did. Some of these relationships were conducted entirely online, while others were physical. Some of the women work in the comic-book industry, while others are artists, writers, photographers and alternative models.
Many of them say Ellis gave them career boosts, using his newsletters, blogs and influential forums to draw attention to their work. But as they hear their own stories coming from other women, many say they feel used in what they consistently describe as a pattern of friendship, then escalating sexual contact, then exclusively sexual contact — and silence if they refused, or stopped. I apologise. I corresponded with Ellis at some length over the course of writing this article.
He does not deny these relationships happened, and he does not dispute that many of these women were not told about each other. I have been asked for discretion, and I have asked for it.
I am in an open relationship with my partner. Like many long relationships, ours has had troubled times, including brief periods of separation.
These women do not accuse Ellis of illegal behaviour. But they describe their shock at the sheer magnitude of his pursuits, feeling heartbroken when he stopped talking to them, or angry after discovering he was sending many of them identical messages. What they want now is to start a conversation about how men with power and influence treat young women as part of a culture of impunity granted to celebrities — and not merely those who appear in Hollywood blockbusters or play Madison Square Garden. They were fun places where thousands of artists and writers ed forces to create groundbreaking comics, many of which made their way to television or Hollywood.
They were seen as talent pipelines for the biggest studios, including Marvel and DC Comics. His comic Red has been made into two Bruce Willis action-comedies. And Transmetropolitan, a cyberpunk comedy about a crusading journalist — and perhaps his most famous work - inspired artists, writers, reporters and several of the women speaking out against him. It is part of a broader problem, says a woman who uses the pseudonym Madolan Greene. She had a relationship with Ellis for five years, and served as a moderator on The Engine for two of them. At least five of the women who sent their stories to Holmes say they were moderators on his forums; several industry figures who have spoken out recently say his relationships with the women working on his forums were an open secret among those who used them.
Indeed, in recent weeks the comics industry has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault and workplace harassmentwith several men being fired. All of the women coming forward want to change something bigger than Ellis: the structures that allowed him to accrue so much personal power.
I paid no price. He has changed many lives for the better. People, including those who are now accusing him of hurting them, also say they love him. Another woman, who worked in comics and has asked to remain anonymous, was more adamant.
It is not just him. He had letterers, he had artists, he had inkers, he had promotional people. You can do what you want, but please remember that other people worked on these things. I just want people to know who he is. Speaking to me, Ellis responded to these s with some self-pity and what seemed to be genuine contrition. But many of the women I interviewed described his attentions not as understandable mistakes of friendship, but as an extremely isolating experience that relied on his attraction to them.
He said he was going to try therapy on the advice of friends. I have to do the work on that and many other things now.
I have seen the kindness and good he has within himself. I wish no harm for him. I believe he does have space in his heart for remorse. I wish for him to receive therapy and help so that this never does this to another woman, and he stops this pattern of manipulation. I wish for others to see how negatively this behaviour affects those that are targeted, and not repeat it.
Comics and graphic novels. This article is more than 1 year old. Sam Thielman. Mon 13 Jul Topics Comics and graphic novels MeToo movement Women features. Reuse this content.Women want sex Ellis
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