Posted yesterday by Jeff Sneider in his “InSneider” newsletter — a sad reflection about the suicide of cartoonist Ed Piskor — “Murdered by Internet Bullies

Ed Piskor took his own life on Monday morning at the age of 41. This followed allegations that he was being creepy online, though that’s where it ended.

One woman accused him of “grooming” her when she was 17 years old, though they never actually met, while another alleged that he tried to barter an industry connection for oral sex — the second accused thereby making it a “pattern” of predatory behavior.

The news was literally beginning to break as I was finishing Red Room, which is a wild coincidence, seeing as how Piskor seems very concerned with the concept of justice for those online creeps who organize, perpetrate, and view such red rooms.

WARNING: Piskor’s suicide note is absolutely devastating and heartbreaking to read.

Piskor writes that he was “murdered by internet bullies…massive amounts of them,” and while I think that’s rather unfair, as it was ultimately Piskor’s decision to end his own life, I do feel this could be a seismic moment for social media — a blight on society that I, obviously, participate in and sometimes benefit from. Other times, it has cost me a job.

I would love to leave Twitter altogether, but I feel like I need it to promote my work. It’s a deal with the devil — a Faustian bargain, if you will.

But imagine that — not being able to pay your bills or feed your family because of something you hastily wrote online. Obviously we all have free will, and there are consequences to our actions that we all accept, but those consequences should fit the crime. People are being “canceled” left and right when no actual crime has been committed.

Some, like Shane Gillis, can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and rather than complain, they can instead find their audience, forcing the mainstream that once rejected them (looking at you, SNL) to come crawling right back. But others simply don’t have that kind of fight in them.

Some just succumb to the tidal wave and are swept under the water.

I believe in social justice, but that can be a slippery slope. And yet these days, social media plays judge, jury, and executioner. To fight back against the online mob is pointless. Once one forms against you — and it could, at any moment — you are helpless to its power. It can take everything you’ve built and strip you of it in a matter of minutes without even so much as an investigation.

You don’t even get to plead your case on social media, and those who dare to try only make it worse for themselves. Either way, the mob leaves them crushed and questioning their own self-worth. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to people I know, and it’s going to keep happening.

The allegation against Piskor didn’t kill him — it was the subsequent pile-on by people who think they know what happened and what the consequence should be — but they don’t. And neither do I.

I’ll be praying for Piskor’s family tonight. I don’t believe he’s a martyr, as I do believe he knew what he was doing and was up to no good, regardless of the age of consent in Pennsylvania (16, apparently), but if I was named in his note, I would struggle to sleep tonight. I’m curious whether they think a societal good was done here today, or whether they have any remorse for playing a part, in Piskor’s mind, in his death.

Either way, the comic book industry lost a talented voice today — a rising star, who no doubt had his demons. We all do. Those demons aren’t the same, but none of us are perfect. And we’d all be wise to remember that.

In addition to Red Room, Piskor wrote the Eisner Award-winning series Hip Hop Family Tree, which serves as a historical account of hip-hop culture and the artists who shaped the genre. He also wrote and illustrated the X-Men: Grand Design series for Marvel and hosted the popular YouTube channel Cartoonist Kayfabe with fellow Pittsburgh native Jim Rugg, who severed professional ties with Piskor last month following the accusations.

But I’m not here to cast judgment or argue what Piskor did and didn’t do. What’s done is done. I’m here to pay tribute to an artist who, at least in Red Room, had something to say, albeit in his own twisted way, and I mourn the comics I probably would’ve read from him in the future.

Consider buying one of Ed’s comics tonight, as his family is expected to receive a portion of the proceeds. R.I.P. and may his accusers also feel peace one day.