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Marvel editor-in-chief apologizes for posing as Asian writer

‘I’ve made it a point to listen and learn from my mistakes...’

Enthusiasts Gather For Singapore's Toy Games And Comic Convention
C.B. Cebulski, speaking at Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention in 2013.
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Marvel Comics’ editor-in-chief has given another statement on the strange controversy that has gripped his tenure since taking that job one month ago.

On the day he was promoted, C.B. Cebulski confirmed a long-standing rumor that he wrote comics for Marvel under the pseudonym “Akira Yoshida” while also working as an editor under his own name.

Many comics artists work under pseudonyms, but Cebulski’s represented both a conflict of interest — editors must get special permission to also write books at Marvel, and cannot accept pay for writing on top of their salary as editor — and a misrepresentation of his identity in a time when Marvel was searching for writers with authentic Asian perspectives.

The editor’s statement on the day the news broke was met with contention. Cebulski said that he’d written as Yoshida for a year, when he was “young and naïve ... But this is all old news that has been dealt with.”

“I’m truly sorry for the pain, anger, and disappointment I caused over my poor choice of pseudonym. That was never my intention,” Cebulski told The Atlantic by email this weekend, saying that he’s seeking to “listen and learn” from his mistake.

“I’ve spoken with talent close to this issue,” Cebulski said, “and have had candid and productive conversations about how we can improve the industry and build better stories, while being mindful of the voices behind them.”

Cebulski wrote for the Thor: Son of Asgard and X-Men: Age of Apocalypse series as Yoshida, and wrote the Wolverine: Soultaker, Kitty Pryde: Shadow & Flame, Elektra: The Hand miniseries, among other work. He also gave interviews as Yoshida, where he outlined a backstory in which the writer had spent part of his childhood in America and learned English through superhero comics. Before becoming editor-in-chief, he worked in Shanghai as Marvel’s vice president of international brand management.

Polygon reached out for comment from Marvel Comics on Cebulski’s latest remarks; a representative for the company said it had no further statement.

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