Comics / Comics News

The Death of Cartoonist Ed Piskor

By Hervé St-Louis
April 2, 2024 - 13:48

American cartoonist Ed Piskor committed suicide on April 1st, 2024, following allegations of grooming and impropriety, amplified by call outs and social media attacks from the comic book industry. Forty-one, Piskor left a long-detailed document explaining the cause of his suicide and naming certain individuals and groups as being the cause of his death. Piskor left instructions to his family and one-time friend and associate Jim Rugg on what to do with his legacy and personal property, including a home in the suburbs of Pittsburg. A graduate of the Kubert School of comic arts, and Eisner awardee, Piskor was born on July 28, 1982. He was the creator of many comics including Hip Hop Family Tree, X-Men: Grand Design, the Red Room and more.

Rugg and Piskor were the hosts of the popular Cartoon Kayfabe YouTube series where they reminisced about comics and cartoons, analyzed the art form, and interviewed cartoonists. Following the allegations, Rugg had professionally distanced himself from Piskor.

Shocked, the online comic community has been passing the blame among people who accused Piskor, some of the alleged victims, and other actors who had participated on the callouts against Piskor, the last few days prior his suicide. Piskor himself was at once glorified and accused of creating a crisis from the grave.

Suicide is a serious matter, thus comments calling Piskor a coward for taking his own life fail to understand anomie. Suicide ideation can occur in any individual in moments of crisis and can come and go. Suicide ideation is not a permanent state nor has anything to do with hurting one’s family, being selfish, of committing sin, or breaking some kind of religious rule. Folks suffering from suicide ideation see little hope for a better future and cannot be bothered to “think of others” when they are struggling to survive.

Anomie affects anyone but tends to be more prevalent in certain groups such as single men, younger college-age adults, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with a history of suffering from mental health.

Accusation of cancel culture have partial merit in this case. As I researched and argued in my own academic research, cancellation is a process, and based on the premise of the Ed Piskor case, the process did not occur. Cancellation occurs only when an entity with authority over the transgressing individual performs sanctions against the former. It appears that none of Piskor’s contracts have been cancelled. However, the disassociation with Rugg is a form of sanction.

We at ComicBookBin had been fans of Piskor and wish his family and friends our condolences.

Saint-Louis, Hervé. 2021. "Understanding Cancel Culture: Normative and unequal sanctioning." First Monday 26 (7). doi:

Last Updated: April 2, 2024 - 13:58

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