Should comic book creators go public in their conflicts with their publishers, if only to clarify points that might have been misunderstood by the media?
Dixon, while having many supporters, has also caught some criticism over his remarks. His side of the story is:
"I simply stated that I was off my titles and that I did not quit. This was to get out in front of the rumors. I have a career and a reputation to maintain and I’ve had it maligned before in situations juts like this where I took the high road and the other party used it as an occasion to smear me."
Well, honestly, part of the reason I wrote "Goodbye To Comics" was to clarify/explain points that were misunderstood by some of my acquaintances in the industry based on things they heard that were not accurate. Whether the inaccurate things were purposely spread or simply inferred because of lack of information, I completely do not know. But, I had the desire to set the record straight. Because you bust your ass for years in an organization, you get the "golden carrot" award (literally, a f**king award based on Bugs Bunny's carrot), you get combat pay for dealing with crazy people, you get tons of praise, you get books in on time, and then in the end you watch your reputation go in the toilet. And so what do you do?
Dixon busted his ass for decades in comics, and now he's going to just sit back and be silent while people report that he was suddenly yanked from his books? Honestly, if I had read that news and heard nothing from Dixon, I would have assumed he had f**ked up somehow. Was he late? Did his "political views" get him canned? Maybe he just wasn't a good writer anymore. Who knows? You don't know. You assume. It's a bad habit to assume, but you do. At least now I have some perspective. It's not a full story to be sure. But, it's a start.
There are two central tenets to public relations that I've learned from both study and practice in my jobs:
1. Be transparent.
2. Assume that every skeleton in your closet will eventually be brought to the light of day, and develop a strategy now on how to deal with it when that day inevitably comes.
My boss at at PR firm I worked at when I was 21 told me the latter. A former PR person for (I think) George W. Bush or another Republican wrote about the former in a book. And she admitted that it had become harder and harder for her to put that philosophy in practice, but she still stood by it. She said you need to "own" the publicity before the publicity "owns" you.
Which is what Dixon did.