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Tuesday, July 04, 2017 

Image and Howard Chaykin's attempt to please SJWs backfires

Image has found itself mired in controversy again, some time after they published a gross story abusing the Airboy books. This time, the comic in question is a new tale by Howard Chaykin called the Divided States of Hysteria, which builds on anti-conservative viewpoints, and the original cover illustration for the 4th issue drew a backlash:
For the second time in a month, Image Comics and writer-artist Howard Chaykin are facing outcry over the Divisive States of Hysteria comic book series.

The latest round of upset surrounds the cover for the series' fourth issue, due for release in September. The cover, by Chaykin, features a Pakistani man hanging by a noose, with his genitalia exposed and mutilated, and a name badge pinned to his chest bearing a racial epithet. (The image is available here.) The artwork was originally released June 21 along with the covers for Image's other September releases, but there was no notable response to the cover until Friday morning, when social media — seemingly prompted by this tweet — started taking notice.

As of press time, Image Comics has not responded to the many complaints about the artwork for the series, which takes place during a second American Civil War, launched after a terrorist attack destroys New York City.

Outrage surrounding the cover follows an earlier controversy over the first issue of the series earlier this month. That issue, which was not only published during Pride month, but also was released with a Pride variant cover, prominently featured a transgender sex worker who is beaten by her clients once they discover she is trans, leading to her killing them in self-defense and being arrested for their murder.

In reaction to reader response at the issue's homophobia, Image posted an essay from the first issue, written by series creator Chaykin, in which he complained about the current political climate in the country by writing, "instead of 'Trigger warnings,' 'Cultural appropriation,' 'Safe spaces,' and 'Social Justice Warriors,' maybe we on the left should have put aside all this balkanizing nonsense and been fucking Americans for f—'s sake."
The Outhousers has more on the topic, along with the exact coverscan in question. From what I can tell here, despite their suggestions otherwise, it doesn't take much to guess this is meant to be a metaphorical attack on right-wing Americans, accusing them of being Islamophobic and homophobic, so it sure is odd reporter Graeme McMillan's implying the miniseries is a work of homophobia, when it's apparent Chaykin's story is trying to make it seem as though the system is biased against LGBT members every step of the way. Then again, based on Chaykin's critique of the left even as he wallows in the same mentality, it's not hard to guess the SJW crowd's turning against him because they despise his willingness to criticize his own side. On which note, here's one more item citing what they consider a betrayal:
Earlier this month, the first issue of the series drew fire for transphobic content, with Kim & Kim writer Magdalene Visaggio calling it out on social media.

At the time, Chaykin defended himself in an essay that attacked, among other things, American liberals, accusing them of allowing reactionary conservatives to come to power by adopting identity politics.
He all but stepped off their plantation, so they're turning against him for real. And that could explain why press sources like the Hollywood Reporter joined the leftarded chorus of screwballs condemning the coverscan.

As of now, the first cover illustration has been cancelled by Image. While it's sad they caved to advocates of censorship regardless of the book's politics, they did confirm what Chaykin set out to do in their needless apology to people who weren't even planning to buy the mini:
The purpose of this series is to sound alarms. THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA is a comic book about the terrifying future we are heading for if our country remains on its current path. Far from an endorsement of the horrible violence depicted or the ugly language used by many of the characters, Howard’s goal is to give us a glimpse into a society crumbling under the weight of ignorance, hatred, and intolerance. It’s unsettling to be sure, but it’s difficult to convey the horrors of a world gone wrong without also showing what it looks like.
See, as I figured, it was little more than a metaphor for the era of Trump, which they want to view as nothing but dictatorial.

As galling as their cave to censorship is regardless of the politics, what's worrisome is that this can give the wrong message to rookie artists, that if they try anything that'll incense the SJW outrage culture crowd, their work will be sabotaged and the media will falsely depict it as a consumer backlash based on a tiny portion of tweeters who have no intention of buying the book, not even if it represents their political visions. Still, it shows leftists are discovering their pandering is not working as they thought it would, not even among the most hardcore leftists. So why must they keep catering to a community of ingrates?

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An update of sorts:



Admittedly, it is interesting how the Left, the supposed masters of nuance and our intellectual superiors, ignored what Chaykin was getting at with that issue #4 cover, or to borrow from the Outhousers OP, "Chaykin is pointing out that 45% of Americans have to live with this horror and are somehow unaware of this because they're getting upset of an image of that horror come to life instead of taking action against it." Which is par for the course of typical SJW behavior. They'll freak out "rape culture" on college campus, but what about the UK grooming gang scandals?

Hopefully, Chaykin will learn from this, as he might. As Avi said, why keep catering to ingrates?

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About me

  • 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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