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Friday, March 23, 2018 

Buzzfeed's written another smear against the Comicsgate campaign

There haven't been as many articles about Comicsgate as there have about Gamergate. I assume it's because some of the sources doing the smear tactics realize the "creators" who're against it include such alarming scum, they felt discouraged. But here's one more that's turned up on Buzzfeed, and no shock to anybody in-the-know, it's tilted more in favor of the anti-Comicsgate bunch than the pro-Comicsgate bunch:
An online harassment campaign and culture war called #Comicsgate is underway against people pushing to diversify the comic book industry, with trolls and their influential enablers targeting those calling for increased representation for women, different races, and the LGBT community.

Several comics superfans and creators are calling it a dark evolution of the Gamergate controversy that targeted women participating in video game culture with abuse.

Comicsgate trolls use racist, sexist, and sometimes threatening language to intimidate people they call “SJWs” — or “social justice warriors,” essentially anyone they believe is advocating for diversity in the industry. Some of the messages are overt, while most are cloaked in innuendo or make inside references to the comics world that outsiders would find confusing.
And where are all the thousands upon thousands of screencaps to make their point? Quit boring us into slumberland, please. All this proves is Buzzfeed is otherwise one of the shoddiest news sites around, and they're just repeating the same narrative used against the Gamergate campaign. Anybody familiar with the mainstream reaction to that subject will recognize the approach used here.

The difference of course, is that while there are video game designers who backed Gamergate, not everyone managing comics publishers does the same, because not only is the comics medium smaller as compared with the computer game medium, quite a few insiders are far too leftist to the point they make the gaming industry's own look tame by comparison. There's also the problem of freelancers who're afraid that openly siding with it will destroy their careers, so only a few like Jon Malin have made a serious effort to speak out.

They downplayed the seriousness of Aubrey Sitterson's nasty comments about 9-11, and smeared GI Joe fans in the process:
Comicsgate supporters have had some success affecting the industry. Artist Aubrey Sitterson told BuzzFeed News he was targeted by trolls when he drew a variant cover of GI Joe to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month in June 2o17. Then, he said, Comicsgate trolls pounced on his poorly worded tweet about this past 9/11 anniversary.
Wouldn't you know it, they downplayed the seriousness of his sleazy comment, preferring to describe it as "poorly worded", even as they provided a screencap of the same. And they only provided one tweet and not the others, where he even resorted to the F-curse. It goes without saying the reporter even insulted many GI Joe fans who'd served in the army themselves (I also served in the IDF for a short time when I was 19 in the mid-90s). And whether Gay Pride Month matters, does that excuse the poor artwork and Sitterson's alarmingly hostile attacks on anybody who found it so? Also, notice they erroneously indicate he's an illustrator rather than a writer? They later offered a correction, but it's just too little, too late, given how lethargic their coverage was to start with.
BuzzFeed News has asked IDW Publishing if the trolls played a role in the comic’s cancellation, and has yet to hear back. IDW told other outlets that Sitterson “expressed opinions on his personal social media account that many find insensitive, divisive, and inflammatory. IDW in no way condones or supports these personal opinions whatsoever, and recognizes the pain they may cause our readers.”
Before that, they initially defended him until Hasbro thankfully caught on and demanded disciplinary action. The reporter evidently doesn't care how offensive Sitterson was being towards Americans devastated by the terrorist attack on 9-11.
Sitterson said he thinks the true reason he was on the radar in the first place was the content of his comic. “If you look at any of their actual critiques of me or the book, they always come down to Salvo” — a main GI Joe character who was traditionally a male, but who Sitterson drew as a lesbian “woman of color who isn't built like a fitness model.”
If he wants to conceive overweight lesbian protagonists, it would be perfectly okay if he did it in his own books, and not wasted time transforming established characters from famous franchises into his vision of what a comic book should be. Why, now that I think of it, when it comes to the diversity propaganda foisted on entertainment today, even Kendra Saunders, the mostly Latina Hawkgirl introduced by James Robinson and David Goyer in 1999, was an early example, made all the more invalid because it built on one of the worst crossovers in DC history - 1994's Zero Hour, where Shiera Sanders, the 1st Hawkgirl, was killed simply to advance PC narratives. And Saunders was depicted as a girl who'd tried to commit suicide, and from what Goyer/Geoff Johns established, it looks like she succeeded, and was revived by Shiera's spirit reincarnating in her body. Which actually made Kendra more of a shell than her own agency. And it got even absurder during the New 52, where Kendra was turned black. This was at least a few years before Marvel went diversity-pandering full force.

Anyway, it's clear Buzzfeed's writer sees nothing wrong with changing established characters into something far different at the expense of the original incarnations, which does a terrible disfavor to the veterans who went to such pains to create their characters in the first place, including Stan Lee.
Comicsgaters rejoiced last year when Marvel executive David Gabriel told a retailer summit that “people don’t want diversity” and blamed declining sales. “Everyone's mad at them for admitting it, but Marvel is correct that forced diversity & SJW crap has drove their sales into the ground,” tweeted one pro-Comicsgate account. “Marvel finally realises that forced diversity doesn't sell,” said another “anti-SJW” account.
Given that story merit still hasn't improved significantly, that's why we're not rejoicing in such a hurry. It's still not clear if Marvel's willing to restore the Spider-marriage, for example. Even DC hasn't restored Cyborg's full history as a Teen Titan yet. On which note, isn't it interesting how DC took a fine creation like Vic Stone and shoehorned him into the Justice League at the Martian Manhunter's expense, all for the sake of filling a diversity quota, as though aliens from different planets are suddenly not imaginative enough? By retconning Cyborg into a Justice Leaguer sans Titans history, they actually diminished his potential as a character more than built it. And it was all done for the sake of serving as a casting setup for a now abortive movie to build on, as though screenwriters couldn't take the liberties needed to do it themselves. How cheap. Yet this has been a problem for surely longer than we thought - DC changed Wonder Woman's focus to the Earth-2 incarnation circa the WW2 era in the Bronze Age for about a year to reflect the first season of the TV show from 1976-79, as if nobody could figure out WW had made her way into modern times long ago.
Comicsgaters recently turned to blacklists and hashtag campaigns in an attempt to show their power within the industry. [...]
Umm, I think that idea was called off rather quickly, because it was felt blacklisting was not the right way to go. A boycott is one thing, but a blacklist carries a far more negative connotation. Predictably, they even go on to target Ethan Van Sciver:
Van Sciver has worked in comics for decades, for both Marvel and DC, on prominent titles such as Green Lantern: Rebirth, New X-Men, and Wolverine. Industry insiders have called him out for playing a role in the harassment, specifically saying that his troll followers will swarm anyone he disagrees with on Twitter. Van Sciver told BuzzFeed News he is the victim in all this.
But no clear information about the obscenities the cartoonist Darryl Ayo was espousing, let alone the CBR/Polygon writer Kieran Shiach's own defamation/blacklisting campaign. The latter's own attitudes even discouraged me from reading some of his own articles. It gets even weirder with the following:
Van Sciver isn't one of the faceless accounts who lead the abuse. But he will often interact with men who advocate for diversity or who engage him, rather than women. From there, some of his followers attack. Van Sciver claims he’s trying to use his platform — which often leads to harassment —“to bring peace through conversation.” Ultimately, trying to separate what’s ironic, what’s genuine, and what’s merely a motif in Van Sciver’s art is emblematic of the ongoing chaos of Comicsgate.
Okay, what's the meaning of this? How odd they admit he's been on friendly terms with male PC diversity advocates, (including Dan Slott, unfortunately), but not women. Maybe because most women, whatever their politics, recognize why it's better to avoid causing a ruckus? Besides, it's entirely possible Sciver's spoken with vets like Ann Nocenti and Louise Simonson, who were good writers in the Bronze/Iron Age of comics, and there are women in comicdom today with decent personalities who're being passed over by many companies for jobs they might have what it takes to accomplish, all because their visions and politics may not coincide with what Joe Quesada and Dan DiDio see fit. Obviously, it's no different than what any men face.
Malin told BuzzFeed News, “Nazis are racist authoritarians, Social Justice Warriors are a loser group of racist and sexist authoritarians working its way further into positions of power and influence.”

Usually, a fight like this catches the eye of a bigger personality in the Comicsgate universe — like Van Sciver. Once it does, it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. It doesn’t always take a public disagreement for the trolling to start – the announcement of a new comic by a blacklisted or disliked creator, or simply a regular target tweeting, can kick off an altercation.

When Ayo pushed back against Malin, Van Sciver tweeted to his followers, asking if they’d want to see Ayo and Malin debate each other on Van Sciver’s YouTube channel.

Then Van Sciver replied directly to Ayo’s tweet, inviting him to come on his show — ComicArtistPro Secrets — and “say what you have to say” to Malin.

Ayo declined his invite and instead posted a thread of tweets saying he believed Van Sciver was luring him into an “obvious set-up.” As soon as Van Sciver engaged Ayo, a wave of abuse from Comicsgate Twitter trolls began.
All claimed without any clear examples or context provided, I see. Ayo missed a big chance to boost himself and prove he was above such insanity, instead resorting to more mindless victimhood. The article's starting to get really boring at this point, and again, makes clear whose side they're not on:
As a harassment campaign builds steam, many of the Comicsgate accounts sending the abuse will try to paint themselves as the true victims of harassment. Van Sciver, for instance, started posting screenshots of various times Ayo had publicly accused him of being a Nazi.
So let's see if I have this right. It's not offensive to call somebody innocent a National Socialist? Next thing you know, they won't consider it offensive to call somebody innocent an Ottoman tyrant either, no matter how repulsive it is to liken somebody innocent to the Turkish Islamic empire and how it behaved in its last years during WW1 when 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by the Turkish jihadists. (Of course, what's preventing these SJWs at this point from doing something like that is that it doesn't fit in with their PC narrative.) Buzzfeed's article is getting disgusting at this point. And again, boring, so I'll address at least one more part:
There is, however, a growing backlash to Comicsgate among some women writers who have suffered through previous harassment campaigns. Speaking up like this is a rarity because doing so is widely seen in the comic book industry as an invitation for harassment. (Many people use abbreviations of Van Sciver’s name to slow him finding their posts.) A number of these figures spoke up after Ayo’s run-in with Van Sciver.

Rat Queens illustrator Tess Fowler, who has become known in the industry for attempting to protect victims of Comicsgate — by warning potential victims and collecting information on harassers — tweeted, “we're now dealing with a well known pro joining in because they're friends,” a reference to the friendship between Van Sciver and Meyer.
Good grief, they're quoting Fowler, who's said to have sided with a man accused of coming onto an underaged girl? Who's the real "rat queen" then? And if she never spoke out against Eddie Berganza publicly, then I don't see what her point was. Besides, they fail to consider Meyer's spoken positively about the past work of Ann Nocenti on Daredevil.

Anyway, I'll let some of these videos tell the rest about what a hack job this Buzzfeed article truly is (Update: Bounding Into Comics also took a look), because in the end, it rates as quite a snoozer to me. And this could sum up why, in contrast to the Gamergate campaign, there haven't been so many articles about Comicsgate - the SJWs in journalism and such have even less of a clue about the insides and outsides they can't even think how to write an item without looking hilariously cheap at this point. They parrot, they bias, and cannot look past it all to what matters most - that good writing/artwork was thrown out the window for the sake of aggravating leftist politics and sleazy storytelling, and only so many mistakes may not have been repaired yet. One of those really big mistakes was throwing the Spider-marriage out with bath water, and till this day, Marvel's been hell-bent on keeping it that way. Even at DC, they still haven't fully mended their mistakes. So long as ladies like Mary Jane Watson are marginalized, and even Buzzfeed won't offer Spider-fans their support on that issue, superhero comics will continue to be as awful as they've been for many years.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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