Wood has issued a statement in response to Fowler, which addresses some but not all of the relevant issues. He says he did make a pass at her but that “she is as incorrect as she can be about what” his “intent and motivations were,” adding, “I don’t want to encourage any negative opinion directed back at her.” He doesn't mention other accusations—shouting at her on the convention floor, for example.
Comics news and blogs have been covering this issue extensively (one of the best accounts I've seen is here.) Many writers have talked about how this is a systemic problem in comics, where low-level harassment (and worse than low-level harassment) of women is expected, tolerated, and de facto protected. Heidi MacDonald notes it's "widely known that at one super mega comics publisher, many of the top execs have had huge human resources files and nothing has been done about it." Harris O'Malley at the website Dr. Nerdlove lists a whole slew of past incidents, including many involving beloved DC editor Julius Schwartz. "This behavior grinds down even the strongest and brightest, destroying their confidence and self-esteem," O'Malley says. "It chases some of the best and brightest talent out of the industry—and why should they want to take part in a system that continually tells them that they’re only there to be decorative, to be a consumable sexual object?"
As Dr. Nerdlove suggests, the issue here is not just one instance of harassment, but a system that, in ways big and small, treats women as marginal and as outsiders. Acceptance of harassment is one way that that plays out, but it's not the only one. The fake-geek-girl meme, which suggests that women at comics conventions (especially women cosplayers) are not "real" fans, is an example. So is the consistent treatment of female characters as sexualized props in mainstream titles. And so, in a subtler way, is the absence of female writers or female cartoonists from The Comics Journal, which MacDonald discusses. In ways large and not, comics tells women that they don't matter and are not welcome.
Brian Wood is only a small part of this. And not even always a negative part, as he's known for creating believable female characters. There have been calls to boycott his work, but Fowler seems to suggest focusing on the larger problem:
Brian Wood has every right to be a part of comics. To make books and make a living unhindered. I believe that. I also believe his behavior is a symptom of a much bigger disease. A disease of silence, where you go along to get along.
In fact, Fowler speaking out may already be an effective step towards treating the disease she’s talking about. The comics' boys' club is based on a logic that says that guys are in and girls are out. That's a privilege extended to guys as a group, but also to guys as individuals. Guys, as individuals, are assured, again in big ways and small, that they can treat women as they like, and there will be no consequences. There's a culture of impunity. Changing that culture means holding individuals accountable, on every level.