With Marvel Comics having all sorts of issues this year including the disappointing “Legacy” relaunch, Tuesday was supposed to be a fresh start. C.B. Cebulski was taking over as editor-in-chief for Marvel replacing Axel Alonso. Cebulski had worked at Marvel for over ten years serving in many different roles including being their vice president of international business development and brand management. But there is an interesting fact about Cebulski that BleedingCool‘s Rich Johnston had been trying to validate for years and finally a few days ago was able to confirm it by Cebulski himself.
Cebulski had written under the name Akira Yoshida for about a year. The problem with this is that Cebulski at the time was an editor for Marvel and his pseudonym gave him a loophole around the company’s rules about editors writing comic books. Marvel did no want editors to overlook freelance writers/artists due to editors giving each other work. One specific title that has came up a few times is Marvel’s one-shot X-Men: Age of Apocalypse, which credits Yoshida as the writer and Cebulski as one of the editors.
Another problem with this situation is that some of the publishers that hired Akira for their books, had done so with the intention of providing an authentic Japanese voice. Man of the titles that he worked on featured Japanese characters and locations, which has angered many people in the comic book community.
What makes this story even more interesting is that Brian Cronin of Comic Urban Legends looked into this one in 2015 and “debunked” this stating that:
“When I heard this one, I thought it would be easy enough to check out. However, when I found out that some of the editors that he had worked with had never spoken with Akira, I will admit, the absurd suddenly did not seem SO absurd.
“Luckily, the other day, editor Mike Marts was able to allay any suspicions. Says Marts, ‘You bet–I’ve had lunch with the guy–very nice guy. He’s a very cool guy. When we had lunch he showed me pictures of his immense Godzilla memorabilia collection–I was jealous! Well, there’s ONE conspiracy theory down the drains!!!’”
Although Marts did have lunch with someone that day, it was not Akira. It was actually a Japanese translator who had visited the Marvel offices, which is why many at the time remember meeting Akira, even though they never really did. Marvel has not offered any comments on this and it is unknown if there was any discipline handed down once Akira’s identity had been revealed. Cebulski did offer a statement to BleedingCool that reads:
“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.”
With little going right over at Marvel Comics this year, it disappointing that they are going to wrap up this year with more controversy. Retailers being fed up with their unrealistic requirements, readers fed up with their lack of legacy characters, bland story telling, one of their top writers in Brian Michael Bendis leaving for DC Comics in January and now their new editor-in-chief’s controversial pseudonym. What is it going to take to get Marvel Comics back on track? How do you feel about a writer impersonating someone of another culture? Let us know below!
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