Clifford Meth, who wrote the controversial article on Fantagraphics’ Defense Fund, was good enough to email me back today. Below is his response, cut and pasted verbatim. My thanks to Meth for getting back to me so promptly.
I also heard back from Fantagraphics lawyer, Andrew J. Thomas. He said that, as far as he was aware, Fantagraphics did not have any libel insurance at all, nor were they covered by any sort of insurance that would help defray their legal costs. He added that he was being paid directly by the company.
Here’s Meth’s response:
Following my column, I received an email from Kim Thompson stating that Fantagraphics has no insurance to cover them. So clearly Kim wants me to believe that. And, as I stated at Comicmix.com, “one can only speculate about this, and only Groth/Thompson and their insurance agent know for sure.”
But then you look at what Groth’s paid goon Dirk Deppey writes the next day at the Journalista blog. Seeking vengeance for my pointing out that MOST publishing companies are covered by a relatively inexpensive Errors and Omissions policy, Deppey mischaracterizes Aardwolf Publishing (which publishes my books) as a vanity press with no distribution run out of my garage. He knows perfectly well that Aardwolf is Jim Reeber’s company, that it has full distribution, and it has published books by a number of comics professionals; that Aardwolf has anthologized, among others, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Peter David, William Messner-Loebs and Dave Cockrum.
So, quite frankly, it’s difficult to accept anything coming out of that propaganda machine as gospel truth.
Answering Deppey’s rhetorical charges:
“Has Meth ever held a publishing or editorial position that didn’t involve working out of his garage?”
Yes. I’ve held various editorial, marketing and management positions with Gordon Publications, Hayden Publishing, VNU, and Penton Publishing.
As a writer, I’ve been syndicated by the L.A. Times Entertainment Newswire and my articles have appeared in dozens of publications.
“Has Clifford Meth ever run a company large enough to require liability insurance?”
Yes. In 1991, I was featured as part of a three-man management team on the cover of Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management for having turned around the magazine Electronic Design.
“Has he ever been sued?”
No. I’ve never libeled anyone.