Speakeasy Blog Shut Down?

While taking cheap shots at Speakeasy in my previews writeup (coming soon), I tried to visit Jonathan Martin’s Speakeasy update blog only to discover that it no longer existed. Wikipedia reports

Jonathan Martin’s “Speakeasy Comics Archive” (a blog dedicated to Speakeasy-related news) was shut down, presumably under “trademark infringement” litigation.

Does anyone know anything more about this? Jonathan, are you out there to comment?

If it’s true that Speakeasy legally pressured someone who was exercising free speech in commenting on their problems and troubles, that’s the most cruddy thing (in a long line) they’ve done yet. Hopefully there’s a more reasonable explanation.

17 Responses to “Speakeasy Blog Shut Down?”

  1. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    Weird that Martin wouldn’t simply rename the blog instead of shutting it down completely.

    In related news, Fortier’s ignored my requests for a follow-up to my original article, so I’m guessing he’s decided that Alias’ “any press is good press” mentality doesn’t work for him. Wonder how much his new partners, presumably a bit more media savvy thanks to their Hollywood connections, have to do with it? And whether or not Rich Johnston will be doing any more shillingreporting on the story?

  2. Johanna Says:

    Well, it could have been that Jonathan got tired of it — I’ve set up sites on a whim that turned out to need more time than I had — or he thought the joke was old, or thought better of it. Dunno. I’ve tried to email him to see if he wants to comment.

    Lots of comic companies have “wait it out” as a press strategy, assuming that negative stories will be forgotten as soon as the next laughingstock comes around. Sadly, they’re often right.

  3. Vito Delsante Says:

    This is news to me. I didn’t know anything about it until I saw it here. Maybe with the start of business tomorrow we’ll all have information.

    Taking cheap shots? Johanna, I thought you always played nice ;)

  4. Johanna Says:

    I play nice with people — companies are fair game, because they don’t have feelings to hurt. :)

    I hope you’re right about more information tomorrow.

  5. Vito Delsante Says:

    Hey, it’s your blog…be as mean or as nice as you want. But when you mention me, could you say something like, “the very likeable Vito Delsante” or “Gentleman and gentle soul, Vito Delsante?”

    I can’t guarantee news, as I’m not sure who knows the real story other than Jonathan and Adam. Unless Jon comes forward, we’re all going to have to speculate (as we know Adam is very tight lipped)

  6. Vito Delsante Says:

    Well, for what it’s worth, I got an e-mail from Adam this morning asking me who talked to Jonathan. So, I have to figure that Adam knew nothing about this.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for letting us know. This gets weirder and weirder.

  8. Rich Johnston Says:

    Shilling my arse. I broken stories on Speakeasy’s situation and put questions to Fortier. The difference I’ve found from other companies is that he tends to answer them.

  9. Vito Delsante Says:

    You have no need to explain yourself Rich. You’ve posed some tough questions (as tough as Guy’s) to Adam and put them under the microscope as much as you’ve spotlighted them. No need to apologize. I’m sure that most if not all of your critics have fewer or as many journalistic credits as you have, so until Peter Jennings and Walter Cronkite starts levying criticism, you’re in the clear. When the ghost of Edward R. Murrow comes back to haunt you, we’ll worry. Until then, continue the good work, and shill your book, regardless of who is putting it out.

  10. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    Delsante: I’m curious if your opinion of Johnston’s “journalistic credits” would change any if you were on the other side of the Speakeasy dustup? Even he doesn’t consider himself a journalist, so why should I? And if the softballs he lobbed at Fortier in that last interview are what pass for “tough questions” in this industry, then I’m not surprised there’s so little real comics-related journalism. You guys deserve Wizard!

    Rich: While Fortier may be more forthcoming than some other publishers you’ve “broken stories” on -their reluctance being understandable considering the nature of your column – you have to acknowledge the requisite asterisk that goes next to anything you report about him, considering he’s your publisher and all. To suggest otherwise is simply ludicrous.

  11. Vito Delsante Says:

    Guy, I’ve been published by more than just Speakeasy, so I don’t know that I feel that connected to Rich regardless of what he says about Speakeasy. If you want to be real for a second, I didn’t like HOLED UP. I don’t hold that against Rich though. I like his column, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “fair and balanced” reporting…He himself cops to it being a rumor site with 80% news (or something like that). And to be fair, he did do an experiment and people liked his gossip/rumor column than his hard hitting journalism. He put it in the hands of others.

    However, I admire Rich’s ability to get his name out there. He did it for Holed Up the same way he’s doing it for Flying Friar (which I’m interested in…but I’m sure I’m just being pro-Speakeasy, right?). The only difference now is that Speakeasy is a hot button topic and to Bill’s credit, Avatar wasn’t at the time.

    Lobbing softballs or throwing hardballs…it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Guy, you were lauded for asking some tough questions…whether they were tougher than Rich’s is open for debate. But I stand by the fact that he doesn’t have to answer for being “pro-Speakeasy” publicly while being an unbiased reporter (which will always be called into question). I don’t remember if this happened, but did anyone treat John Jackson Miller this way when he did Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo? Was it so bad that you had to question his INTERGRITY? If not, then why question Rich’s?

    I thought everyone was innocent until proven guilty. Rich continues to report “news” and news that he sees fit in the manner that he sees fit. As do you. No one calls you on the carpet, but then, you don’t have a comic coming out from a reporter, so we can’t really call your integrity into question.

    If you two want to argue politics and journalistic integrity, you can. But, as a creator, I’ll give you both the benefit of the doubt if you have a book coming out. But, also, if you do, Guy, I must admit that I’ll be as harsh on you as you are on Rich.

  12. Johanna Says:

    I heard people commenting unfavorably on JJM’s working for Marvel at the time… but he wasn’t running around to every online forum he could find anytime Marvel was mentioned talking about what a great guy Bill Jemas was, either.

  13. Vito Delsante Says:

    I just think its a no win situation for Rich. The only way that he’ll get respect is to pull his book from Speakeasy? That’s not fair to either side. No matter what he says about Speakeasy, until he says that they suck or that they’re evil or whatever…until he comes out and says that, he will always be accused of shilling. And that’s not fair to him.

    Thats all I’m saying.

  14. Johanna Says:

    Who said he needed to pull his book? In my opinion, he just needs to tone down the rah-rah and learn when not to jump in.

  15. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    …he just needs to tone down the rah-rah and learn when not to jump in.


    For the record, I’m actually looking forward to the Flying Friar, because it sounds and looks like it’ll be a good read.

  16. Rich Johnston Says:

    Johanna, for a period, I *was* running around saying what a great guy Bill Jemas was…

    I’m behaving in the same fashion as if Speakeasy wasn’t publishing Flying Friar.

    If people don’t want me jumping in, then talking about me is probably the wrong way to go about it.

  17. Johanna Says:

    Wow, timely as always, Rich! Maybe you can be their next hire, since Vito’s now working as an Editor for them.




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