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Saturday, February 10, 2018 

Inverse does a hit piece on Comicsgate

It's not enough for such a cruddy site to attack the Gamergate campaign. Now they're so desperate for news and people to smear, they've turned against the Comicsgate campaign. It's as predictable as you might've expected, with Ethan Van Sciver dragged into the mess they're writing up, which says at the start:
On Friday, Comicsgate proponents on social media released a public blacklist of names for their followers to boycott. The names are organized under inflammatory titles like the “Pravda Press” and the “SJW Vipers” (“SJW,” for social justice warrior, a derogatory title for progressives). Those attacked are major figures in comics like Larry Hama, Mark Waid, Alex de Campi, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others. Nearly all of the people singled out are either women, people of color, or left-leaning.
And the latter is a problem why? What matters is the politics of anyone who's come under the campaign scrutiny, and/or their approach. And while I certainly do find their ultra-leftism galling, it's not just the politics alone that's angering. It's also the excessive content seen in the books written by moonbats like Geoff Johns and Brian Bendis. Oh, and where were the Inverse people while DC was embarrassing comics with Identity Crisis, and Marvel with Avengers: Disassembled, two of the leading atrocities that convinced me I'd have to stop reading the Big Two's books?
The Comicsgate people claim the blacklist is meant for “educational purposes only,” according to the preamble. “You are advised not to engage in any harassment/doxing/Twitter trolling with these people. The list is meant for all concerned with the state of comics to see who the main contributors are to the declining quality.”
So, what's this site's problem anyway? The campaigners ask for some decency in approach, and they act like there's a literal crisis abound? Yawn. Their mistake is not at least giving credit for asking that everybody take a civilized path.
But how did this start? And what do these people actually want? Because the hazy origins of Comicsgate are siphoned from the 2014 Gamergate movement and “alt-right” white nationalists, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific origin.
Maybe it began with...me! If only because I was an early example, though of course, I try to deal with a lot of different issues I think have some validity. It took time to find an exact stride, but I think I made it there eventually. And they won't give my any credit, I assume, because my slams against creators who had lenient views of the real sexist material cropping up in the mid-2000s, put them in an awkward position as to what they should do? I can't prove it, obviously, but it's a worthy guess. Anyway, here's where the article lurches towards the cliches, as they talk about where Comicsgate supposedly began, dredging up something that's already obviously an exaggeration:
In July 2017, several female Marvel staffers got together for milkshakes and a selfie, shared by editor Heather Antos (The Unbelievable Gwenpool) on her Twitter page. The women had gathered to celebrate the life of Flo Steinberg, an industry icon who had a key role in expanding Marvel and had passed away a few days earlier. For some reason, women enjoying milkshakes broke the dam on what would become Comicsgate.

Bafflingly, some people believed Antos’s selfie represented what was “wrong” with Marvel. Between calls of “fake geek girls,” putting down Antos and her colleagues for being “the creepiest collection of stereotypical SJWs anyone could possibly imagine,” and harassment levied at Antos through Twitter’s direct messaging (via The Mary Sue) this selfie weirdly set off sexists.
Umm, I didn't notice if there were any screenshots of "direct messaging" in the shoddy articles, so this defense falls flat. I'm sure even Inverse doesn't think there's much evidence to make a case. What matters is that the individuals in question are apparently so leftist, and injected it heavily into their writings, so as a result, their politics alienated more people than need be, not the milkshakes. Besides, I couldn't care less what they drink, so long as they don't get drunk on alcohol like vodka.

No, that selfie did not set off "sexists", and they obscure all the real sexists who were working at DC/Marvel during the mid-2000s, churning out books like Identity Crisis and Avengers: Disassembled. I'm sure it's all deliberate, and years from now, the sexists in entertainment today, unlike those of yesterday, won't be scrutinized.

They also regurgitate the attacks on dismayed retailers first begun by sources like Bleeding Cool and Newsarama:
At New York Comic Con in October 2017, a breakfast held by Marvel exclusively for comic book retailers went awry when a few retailers, peeved at declining sales, laid the blame on “black,” “homo,” and “freaking female” comics put out by Marvel. Since 2015, Marvel had a dramatically changed universe, in which the mantles of white, straight male characters like Thor and Wolverine were handed to women, and the Hulk had become an Asian teenager.
And where were these people when DC handed the mantles of Atom, Blue Beetle and Firestorm to diverse protagonists after humiliating their white predecessors so crudely in Identity Crisis? Well, commentators like these are so selective, they just couldn't be bothered to cite now historical examples of really nasty stuff that's even worse than what they cite above, so I guess it stands to reason they'd attack anybody objecting to what's been done in the past 4 years or so at Marvel, as they do in the following paragraph:
Of course, there were retailers who opposed this view, but the event added momentum to what would happen later in the fall and winter, and it showed that a vocal segment of comic consumers was eager to express their dissatisfaction and bigotry to Marvel’s face.
Yup, as expected, they call everyone who dares oppose forcing white protagonists out of their roles/costumes for the sake of a "diverse" character, and changing established characters like Iceman into homosexual for the sake of it, nothing more than "bigots". Is that all they can say?
On YouTube, Meyer runs the Diversity and Comics channel, boasting over 57,000 subscribers. Contrary to the title, Meyer’s videos don’t explore the values of diversity and representation in comics. Rather, the videos — 12-40 minutes in length, usually — feature Meyers thumbing through random issues, poking fun at every page. His jokes are also generally offensive. In a review of Mariko Tamaki’s She-Hulk, he describes one character as “a bored, sullen, Y bitch” talking to an elderly woman, “her future lesbian self.”

(UPDATE: In a tweet, Richard C. Meyer said he was actually saying “whibish.” YouTube’s caption on the video read “Y bitch.” It’s what “whibish” means that remains a mystery.)
I think they're just cherry picking every possible use of profanity for the sake of cheap accusations that the Comicsgate crowd is profane and vulgar. As though it were virtually impossible for a liberal to use profanity as well. Please, tell us a new riddle if you will, this one is boring. Oh, and in case I forgot, they regurgitated the cliches about Van Sciver too:
[...] On Twitter, Van Sciver insists he supports diversity, but his personal politics — he’s publicly identified himself as Republican — lean to a Breitbart-flavored right. Earlier this year, Twitter unearthed Van Sciver’s sketchbook, titled My Struggle, autographed it with a Swastika signature. Van Sciver insists that My Struggle was just a joke.
Umm, from what I know, that "sketchbook" was fake, and/or had unconnected content added by his politically motivated detractors, who won't criticize anybody for artistic reasons.
But regardless of Van Sciver’s views, his actions have raised red flags. In 2017, Van Sciver told a Facebook follower to kill themselves (he later apologized). Then, in late January, Van Sciver engaged in a Twitter dispute with Darryl Ayo, a black independent comics creator. When Ayo, who had been the subject of a Comics and Diversity video refused an invitation by Van Sciver to appear on his show, Comicsgate supporters harassed him in droves.
And, as expected, they repeat the cliche of "harassment", which liberals themselves have proven just as capable of, but of course that doesn't warrant any concern, does it? Why is it never a case of condemnation, which those scumbags attacking Sciver have really asked for? All that aside, Ayo, who's a webcomics specialist from what I know, missed a big chance to participate in a podcast with Sciver and provide a better example than what he's given already, what with the unproven allegations he's been making. But hey, I'll admit that the comment he made on Facebook was incredibly dumb, and at least there they had the audacity to offer a screenshot. So, why not on the milkshakes matter? There's the potential for a whole cottage industry of screenshots out there, and they're missing every moment of it.
Unlike most “-gate” scandals, there wasn’t one thing that kicked off Comicsgate, a name attached organically and has trended throughout 2017. Unlike its ancestor Gamergate, the demands by Comicsgate are unclear. Sure, Gamergate began when a guy got mad at his ex, but it at least pretended to aspire to something bigger in its call for “ethics in gamming journalism.” Comicsgate, meanwhile, seems to just want less diversity, both in characters and creators, in an attempt to save comics and keep the medium white, male, and familiar. That’s it.
If you need some examples of what I'd want coming from a campaign like this, I'd offer up a]better ethics in comics journalism, b]not forcing white protagonists out of their costumes/roles for diverse replacements instead of creating new costumes/roles for said replacements, c]forcibly toning down female sexuality and damning it as an abomination, d]less forcing of leftism into mainstream comicdom, e]villifying conservatives as inherently evil, f]shoving so much darkness and jarring violence into superhero comics that worked better without such elements, and g]stop letting bad writers, editors and publishers off the hook for the fiasco they've caused (Quesada, DiDio, Johns, Bendis, Slott, to name some examples). I think that should suffice.
Comic sales have slowed, that much is true, especially compared to the early nineties when the speculator boom was at its highest. But book sales have slowed across the board, along with prose literature, in the face of changing media. But the profile for comics have never been higher, as mainstream pop culture is actually excited for a movie featuring Thanos and the Infinity Stones. Not only are the demands made by Comicsgate offensive idea, they don’t make sense.
But turning Captain America into a nazi for the sake of publicity at all costs isn't an offensive idea? They also don't consider the reason why overall book sales may be down is because even the quality of the typical book may have declined, no thanks to these jokers. And what if, contrary to what they're telling, not all of pop culture is excited about the upcoming Avengers movie because of how badly Tom Brevoort treated Jim Starlin? I do know this - whatever the quality of these live action movies, it can't serve as a replacement for the comics. And because the overall quality of comics writing has plummeted as a result of all the social justice propaganda forced in, that's why sales have too. Their shoddy hit piece concludes with the following:
We’ve seen this before. It happened with video games and science-fiction literature. Despite the complicated origin story worthy of a supervillain, Comicsgate isn’t anything new. It’s little more than the latest irate gasp of fading white hegemony in geek culture.
Yup, it's only white supremacy that's at fault, not leftist politics and its influence. There's plenty of Comicsgate supporters like myself who love characters like Black Panther, John Stewart of the Green Lantern titles, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Black Lightning, Vixen, Cyborg, Firehawk and even the 2nd Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, whose ascension to the role was far more plausible than what you see today. Which they've noticeably failed to mention here, so I'm not sure what they're talking about.

I think Inverse has just proven why they're a worthless news site, and they owe all the people they've been railing against an apology.

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Ye gods, I feel like I am reading one of those stories where the mild-mannered friend of the hero suddenly strips off his outer clothes to reveal himself as the true evil villain of the peace, cackling insanely as the chained good guy gasps in horror.

You don’t really expect anyone to believe that wink-wink/nudge-nudge disclaimer about no trolling or doxing, do you? The Daily Stormer uses practically the same wording, and the guy behind it is facing multiple lawsuits over inciting harassment right now. No-one compiles and publishes an enemies list if they are not going to use it. And no-one would imitate the gamergate name if they were not planning on using gamergate tactics.

Van Sciver, by the way, has always acknowledged that the nazi-covered sketchbook was his. He has said that it was a joke among friends, taken way out of context.

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