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Friday, September 21, 2018 

Grand Rapids comicon reinvites Mike Miller after he apologizes

Well it looks like, after artist Miller offered a mea culpa to anybody who took issue with his past arguments, the Grand Rapids convention was willing to reverse their banishing. First, there's Miller's statement:

And then, there's the convention manager:

Honestly, I don't think Miller should have to apologize over his politics. But I'm willing to give the convention manager some credit for letting go of his earlier decision and reinviting Mike. However, they're going to have to cut out all the identity politics and if it really matters, just interview the creators behind the scenes before deciding if to invite them. That way, a lot of needless drama can be avoided. They should also stop letting Twitter troublemakers influence their opinions for them.

Since we're on the subject, a retailer in Australia took issue with one Miller's worst opponents, Mike Deodato, after he resorted to such crude, judgemental language, and provided the following statements:
“To clarify, we will still fulfill subscription orders for titles that Mr. Deodato is on but we will not actively promote or push his books to customers after his recent posts. We strongly believe that creators who are being overly political and are fighting with other Creators/Fans via FB and Twitter are causing great damage to the Current Comics Industry. This is reflected in subscribers dropping titles that these creators are on. This affects retailers like us and our bottom line, and a growing number more going by the amount of private messages I’ve received from fellow retailers stating the same. We are in The Comic Retailing business to make money but it’s getting harder to do that when customers are being turned off by politics in their books and arguments over politics by the creators.”
On this note, given how Deodato hasn't much lately to care about over the past decade (books with titles like "Dark Avengers" sure aren't my forte), I'm sure there won't much to miss anyway. He really has gone downhill in terms of ethics. The store manager added more on whom these policies have had to apply to:
John Layman is one, Mark Waid another (Which is hard personally as I’ve always been a big fan up until the last few years) Robbie Rodriguez, Gail Simone, and Bill Sienkiewicz as well. When any creator blocks fans or runs block chains it hurts the industry and trust me we take notice. Those creators are the ones we tend to not actively promote and push their books hard. It’s easier to sell books by creators (like Sean Murphy) who go out of their way to promote their work on Twitter and FB instead of pushing political rants and feuds. They understand that comics is a commercial art form and sales matter, thus they act in a professional manner. It’s not smart business to actively offend or ostracise potential customers but that seems to be lost on a number of current creators.”
On Waid, I can agree based on that his Flash work circa 1992-2000 was good, but still one of the few books he really did well in a bygone era (I think the last time he worked at DC was in the late 2000s, and in his return to the Flash, he didn't manage so well), so naturally, it's a shame when a once well regarded writer goes downhill becoming a terrible troublemaker, and I may have spotted signs that he caused trouble for Crossgen's original publisher, Mark Alessi, as well. I think it's mentioned in this podcast interview (and over here) that Waid insulted Alessi at the time of closure, and the details are pretty disturbing. Some of the others don't have enough on their resumes to care about, so it's not like I'm desperate to try out whatever they have now.

But the point is, when you start taking alienating actions on social media and such, you're taking divisive steps that not only cost one their fanbase/customers, they also cost retailers even more. To be sure, mainstream bookstores are also hit hard, if they keep the paperback collections around and can't sell them due to the creators' social media antics. Sooner or later, somebody will have to contact the upper echelons at the conglomerates who own the Big Two, tell them about the embarrassments on the lower floors, and demand something be done to put a stop to it. One way is to set a policy for creators signing contracts for freelancing making clear they expect them to avoid all politics and just stick to promotion (which Waid actually seems to be doing lately, having reopened his Twitter account). And if they don't cooperate, simply don't renew the contracts; few seem to care if they come and go at this late stage. It's the same with interns who make fools of themselves online to boot. As the old Spidey adage goes, "with great power comes great responsibility". A fact that must be made clear to the chief staffs of the companies, if they really don't want to lose sales and business.

And if the Grand Rapids comicon is smart, they won't trouble any right-wing creators ever again over partisan politics.

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Seems to me that Uncle Ethan's Comics Gate(TM)is on some kind of apology tour. Miller and now D&C have been apologizing like a house afire. Pro tip - it won't work. It was never about something they said once, it's about making an example of them. Playing the cuck, OTOH is the quickest way to disperse your right wing fans though.

Hi Avi,

I really appreciate your site. You write well, and your perspective is refreshing. I especially appreciate that you still *write* your posts, and that I'm not forced to listen to a 30-minute podcast just to get your point, unlike so many others in comics criticism these days...

You said:
"Somebody will have to contact the upper echelons at the conglomerates who own the Big Two, tell them about the embarrassments on the lower floors, and demand something be done to put a stop to it."

The problem here is, the 'upper echelons at the conglomerates' (Warners for DC, Disney for Marvel) are every bit as determined to push the far-left/LGBT/transgender lune as the comics companies are...if not moreso. (Check out the trailers for the new offerings on Disney's "Freeform" network, for just one example.) It's to the point where I wonder if the comics companies aren't so far left BECAUSE they've been told to be by their corporate overlords. The editors at Marvel and DC must know they're losing sales over this; but if the corporate owner views comics as an acceptable "loss leader" or even a write-off which allows them to retain the IP rights to comics characters, corporate may feel they're not really losing anything. With Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War bringing in millions of dollars, who cares if nobody's buying America?

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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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