Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 1, 2016

Comics-Maker Blake Leibel Arrested For Murder Of Girlfriend

A 35-year-old comics maker and scion of wealthy Toronto families named Blake Leibel, who apparently published work through Archaia and Devil's Due among others, has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Iana Kasian, the mother of his newborn child. The crime occurred last week; the arrested sometimes-screenwriter was initially processed by the courts yesterday. Kasian had apparently moved out of the comics maker's West Hollywood home after Leibel was arrested on sexual assault charges May 20 regarding an unnamed party. She had returned to the apartment to meet with Leibel. Police claim in the linked-to article above and through a variety of sources that the victim was tortured, which may mean this case ends up in a potentially high-profile death penalty trial.

Leibel strikes me through the cursory profiles thus far as one of those self-financed entertainment figures which this generation's perceived-to-real connection between comics and movies has made a bigger part of the overall comics landscape in recent years. Comics has a lower barrier of entry than most art forms, with potential career-making outcomes, and it's useful for someone who wants to pursue that path to have enough in the way of resources that the lack of significant return common to most comics projects can be mitigated. It's not an unfamiliar professional profile, even if Leibel himself likely rings few bells for members of comics' orthodoxy. I would expect some general cultural scrutiny about that type, or potentially something linked to content: it's the ugliest use of "graphic novelist" yet. With the grisly nature of the murder and the preceding sexual assault charges, it's safe to expect that comics' recent processing of issues regarding male to female harassment and violence will be revisited with some force, which I feel is always welcome.
posted 12:55 am PST | Permalink

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