For years I was harassed by (then) Jewish Journal reporter Michael Aushenker.

When he spotted me talking to an attractive woman, he, frequently, either approached and tried to directly humiliate me in front of the woman by the most negative descriptions of my writing and life or he went behind my back and started trashing me.

In 1998, I had a private talk with him about this unfortunate tendency of his and he agreed to desist in exchange for me not telling women he wrote for the Jewish Journal. I kept my word but he did not keep his.

I took a date to the 3/19/03 LA Press Club party at the Le Meridien on La Cienega. When we went our separate ways in the room, Aushenker went up to her and said: "You've got to watch out for Luke Ford. He writes porn."

A few years ago, Aushenker published a series of porno comics, including 1991's "Porno Stories." He published the comic book "Bound and Gagged."

It appears that Aushenker also likes to trash me and my friends in Internet posts. He uses fake names.

Under the moniker "Aaron Stack (aaronstack@aol.com)," Michael Aushenker (I believe) writes to Cathy Seipp's blog 9/25/03:

Call it "Without Distinction!" I found your column in the latest CITYBEAT hysterically hypocritical! You mock all these shallow, L.A. glossy magazine institutions, but in the same breath, you list rags like BUZZ on your resume and brag about gabbing on the phone with Ms. Loh (the only real success story among you) "amus[ing] each other for hours on the phone readig aloud particularly smarmy letters-from-the-editor." Gee, you're so much more enlightened than the readers who probably spend MERE MINUTES leafing through a glossy before moving on.

Courtesy of some journalist pals of mine, I've been to my share of these L.A. Press cocktails and got a whiff of the smarmy stench given off by you and your valueless lot. You all talk a lot of shit on your blogs mainly because you are all malcontents in an industry that you collectively feel does not really recognize your merits as writers. Such as the amoral Mr. Luke Ford, an anti-Semite in Jew's clothing who claims to be your friend on his blog, and yet never fails to exploit you (and other Jews), drudging up your ex-boyfriends and going on and on like a horny 14-year-old about your physical attributes, all while trashing you and your Jewish culture. Ever notice how anti-Semitic his writing comes off, whether trashing the Farmer's Market as provincial, or criticizing other Jews for not being holy enough at religious gatherings, all while gawking at the cleavage and short skirts of the females in attendance? These are the kind of wits you associate yourself with, whose morality you do not seem to question or put in check. All this for a link to your blog? Don't you have any self-esteem at all, on a personal or cultural level? Not even a shred?

Here's the truth about the likes of you, Ford, and all of the other journalistic phonies who attend these L.A. Press Club deals: if DISTINCTION became a smash hit, and suddenly wanted to hire you and pay you $100 more than whatever you make freelancing for CITYBEAT and other freeb3es, you would grab the money and become DISTINCTION's literary whore. All of you guys are just bitter writers for hire who will trash everything in sight, and yet kill each other for the chance to make some real money at the very institutions you villify. Kind of like that whole L.A. Weekly collusion thing with New Media that led to the death of New Times. Espouse one thing, do another...Familiar?


According to the class of 1991 Cornell page: Since returning to Los Angeles after graduation, Michael Aushenker has been residing in west Los Angeles, where he spent most of the 1990s working as an entertainment industry writer, doing script and movie poster coverage. His work includes I Know What You Did Last Summer ("If you want to bury the truth, make sure the truth stays buried") and Eve's Bayou ("Love can lead you to a dangerous place"). Michael has also worked steadily as a cartoonist, writing and drawing his own books (Chipmunks & Squirrels, El Gato, Crime Mangler) and contributing to magazines such as Heavy Metal and Duplex Planet. His latest book, Holy Ghost El Gato, was to be shipped nationwide in November. Michael has also written to tell us that for the last two years he has worked as the community editor and staff writer at The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, the West Coast's most prominent Jewish weekly. As staff writer, Michael writes singles columns and covers local entertainment and community events.

From BrianRobbins.com: For as long has he can remember, MICHAEL AUSHENKER has been obsessed with making comics about monsters, mobsters, wrestlers and robots, not to mention chipmunks and squirrels. The brooding talent behind the EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER was born in 1969 in Paramus, New Jersey, and Tampa, Florida. He's actually a Canarsie boy who left Brooklyn at age ten and moved to Los Angeles. He had no choice. His parents left first and he couldn't make rent. A graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, Aushenker created the original EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER comics in the summer of 1990. The first published EL GATO comics debuted in 1995's THE NINE LIVES OF EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER, followed by the 1999 sequel, ¡HOLY GHOST EL GATO! No one-trick pony, Mr. Aushenker also co-edited STRIP! magazine while attending Cornell University and had a children's book, GET THAT GOAT! published. He has also created, written and drawn CHIPMUNKS & SQUIRRELS, THOSE UNSTOPPABLE ROGUES, and the PROFESSOR PAP gag strips for HEAVY METAL. Aushenker's work has also appeared in DUPLEX PLANET, INSTANT CLASSICS, THE STRANGER, CAKE and FILTH; and his brief fling with Hollywood advertising includes poster slogans for feature films such as I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER ("If you're going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried") and EVE'S BAYOU ("Love can lead you to a dangerous place"). His special millennium edition El Gato book, FUTURESHOCK: EL GATO 2002, comes out in Jan. 2001; and his EL GATO VS. THE TIME KILLERS, due later next year, will complete the official EL GATO holy trilogy. All things Aushenker can be found at www.elgatocomics.com.