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Saturday, October 13, 2018 

Some mainstream creators have hopefully learned why it won't pay to attack Comicsgate

As I've noted before, there haven't been as many articles about Comicsgate as there were a few years ago about Gamergate, but, here's a few more that came out recently, such as this item from the Canadian Global News, and yes, bias can be detected here, along with ambiguity:
Generally, it’s an online thing, a discussion that frequently turns ugly virtually and in real life; Comicsgate pushes the idea that the comic book industry — mainly laser-focusing on “biggie” creators DC Comics and Marvel — is motivated solely by political agendas, and as such it’s aiming to transform its long-running tradition of featuring white, heterosexual male comic-book characters into a more diverse spectrum. Think: more black characters and characters of colour, or increased gay and trans inclusion.
Yep, keeping fudging up the exact complaints, please. No willingness to admit it's because Marvel - and DC - sought to replace their white heroes in the same costumes or starring spotlights with the diverse creations they speak of. For example, Riri Williams in Iron Man's armors instead of Tony Stark, Sam Wilson/Falcon in Captain America's star-spangled outfit instead of Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner replaced as Hulk star by an Asian guy named Amadeus Cho who becomes an Asian variation (and makes comments like "totally awesome Hulk"), and Thor replaced by Jane Foster in the same role and name to boot. Even well before that, shortly after the repellent Identity Crisis, DC preceded Marvel's moves by replacing Ronnie Raymond as Firestorm in the fiery head suit with a black teen named Jason Rusch, Ray Palmer in the Atom costume with an Asian named Ryan Choi, and Ted Kord in the Blue Beetle suit with a Latino named Jaime Reyes. I even recall they introduced a female Manhunter around that time named Kate Spencer, in 2005. Anybody wondering where most of this social justice tactic began would be strongly advised to take a look at any steps taken by DC during the mid-2000s. And, let's not forget how they turned two heterosexual protagonists gay overnight - Alan Scott, the 1st Green Lantern, and Bobby Drake, Iceman.

They also regurgitate propaganda by pretending there'd always been white male heroes only, which practically obscures the most famous heroine of all, Wonder Woman. No mention of Black Lightning, Black Panther, Storm, Falcon, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Sunfire, Sunspot, or anybody else who counts as black, Asian, Latino, let alone female. Nor is there any mention of the attacks on fans within the comics pages proper, as Jason Aaron did at one point when he was scripting Jane Foster as Thor.
Diehard comics fans who ascribe to this belief are vehemently against the diversity push, saying that the demographic Comicsgate aims to please isn’t interested in comics anyway. So essentially, the comics industry is kowtowing to people who don’t even buy their wares. That’s the gist, anyway.
Well first off, nobody's against diversity so long as new characters are created to fill this purpose, and veteran characters are allowed to maintain their dignity. But they're right about Marvel/DC catering to a phantom audience that didn't even buy the early examples from DC. A vital point: these projects are badly written on an artistic level, and even if they weren't, the SJWs are nothing more than troublemakers trying to make fools out of the Big Two - who are tragically more than joyous to comply - and still won't buy their books.
Most folks in the world of comics will tell you that Comicsgate isn’t even really about comics, per se, but rather an extension of the current political divide.

“Comicsgate is the political culture war come to comic books,” said Liana Kerzner, the former co-host of TV show Ed and Red’s Night Party, and creator of Lady Bits, a YouTube show about women in video games. “I know I’m supposed to be super-serious and sombre about this, but the whole thing is pointless on so many levels. Comic books are a relatively small industry, so readers personalize things to a degree that’s difficult for consumers of mainstream media to understand. Everyone who is a fan of comics has read a book that they felt was written just for them, and it’s like a drug.”

“Its inherent pointlessness is what seems to make it so heated,” she continued. “Comic-book readers have revolted over other stuff before — outrage over Dark Knight 2 not being very good, for instance; this nerd fight has caught the attention of the mainstream because it intersects with politics and our current collective fascination with the alt-right.”
If anything's difficult to understand, that's because the MSM goes out of their way to make damn sure they won't. But it's also a shame Kerzner, whom I thought was in favor of the prior consumer revolt, Gamergate, seems to be taking the opposite stance on Comicsgate, and makes it sound like comic books are expendable. That's an awfully poor approach to take, mainly because literature, IMO, is even more important than video games. Though there may be a point made that the leftists are way too obsessed with "alt-right".
Comics writer Ryan North agrees, saying it’s only garnering so much attention lately because the majority of people within the comics community want to distance themselves from the movement.

“It’s having a bit of a moment because several comics creators have come out recently and said, ‘In case there was any doubt, these guys are misguided, hostile, and don’t represent me at all,'” he said. “That’s drawn some attention to them, but they remain a small minority, given outsized attention because of their beliefs and aggressive tactics, particularly against women, cis and trans.”
Again, all valid arguments about story merit are obscured in favor of a "bigotry narrative" that applies to critics and audience only, and not to creators in the medium proper. Some creators have taken it so far as to risk losing audience and sales because they can't stomach the notion anybody would complain about lack of quality and substance. And it only gets worse with this:
Is this mostly about women in comics?

While some people might deny it, the majority of posts and social-media references to Comicsgate involve the depiction of women in the medium. Put simply, the “old school” comics fans, whoever they might be, resent the increase in the inclusion of women.

The majority of tweets, unshareable here due to vulgarity, refer to women as interlopers in the comics world — and that’s putting it nicely. The only positive is Comicsgate supporters, for the most part, are relatively invisible, hiding online or anonymously posting to sites. There is a strong contingent of anti-Comicsgate folks too, butting against the movement every day.
I don't know if they realize this, but to insinuate fans, old or new, detest inclusion of women runs the gauntlet of making it sound like the fans are all homosexual men! Seriously. And predictably, no valid points are allowed in this drivel about how absurd it was to have Thor replaced by Jane Foster for the sake of liberal feminist propaganda, and Tony Stark with Riri Williams as the star of Iron Man. Or how it's stereotypical to have a black protagonist depicted as a delinquent, and with an Afro hairstyle that largely went out of style since the early 80s.

And it's not about women, but about virtue-signaling agendas and publishers so desperate for attention and phantom sales at all costs, they're willing to throw established creations out the window, as DC just recently did with Wally West, Roy Harper and even black hero Isaiah Crockett, alias Hotspot, who appeared in the late 90s Teen Titans volume written by Dan Jurgens.

Besides, there was never a dearth of women in the shared universes. They just want to push that false narrative, when the fandom for Wonder Woman should prove that's not so, ditto the 2017 movie with Gal Gadot.
Within the comics community, North said, most people don’t think about Comicsgate until it impacts them in some way. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but at least, he asserted, he hasn’t seen much advocacy for it.

“Being able to ignore something isn’t the same as that thing not existing,” he said. “I’ve been aware of [Comicsgate supporters] for a long time — mainly because I wrote a comic starring a woman that was also drawn by a woman — but I can count on less than one hand the number of working professionals I know who have voiced any sort of support for them.”
Look, pal, if you're not turning the Big Two's superhero books inside out and stuffing them with politics left and left, we got no beef with you. And what if the Comicsgate supporters happen to like and promote your work? In that case, you should be flattered, not bothered. Besides, they are far from the sexist/racist idiots your ilk seem to want and hope they are, so why not tone down your rhetoric for a change, eh?

One of the reasons why there's not much advocacy within the medium is for the same a lot of conservatives are afraid to be open about their standings - the thought freelancers could be blacklisted by and large. Interns could fear the same, to be sure.
There’s always division over something in comics, agreed Kerzner, but in order to fully understand it you need to be a part of that world.

“You have to realize that there’s an identity component to fandoms, but it goes deeper than that,” she said. “For a lot of years, people who weren’t white men were kept out of jobs by systemic stuff. For instance, no woman could work on a Superman book because the editor was a serial sexual harasser. DC decided he was more important than any woman who wanted to write or draw Superman, and just didn’t hire women to work with him. They didn’t do anything about him until #MeToo gave them no other choice. I think you can see how resentment forms in conditions like that.”

“Of course there’s the other side too,” she continued. “Guys who felt like comics were a safe place to be a nerd, who felt it was a place where their opinion mattered, now feel like that’s been yanked away and they feel aggrieved. Some would respond ‘too bad’ to that, but I’m giving you the structural circumstances that led to Comicsgate being, essentially, a huge fight over nothing terribly important. There’s a psychological connection that geeks have with their media that’s really hard to understand unless you’re a geek.”
Well now we're getting somewhere better with Kerzner for a change! (Well, almost, as the second paragraph suggests.) She's alluding to the Eddie Berganza scandal, which men like Dan DiDio and Paul Levitz, when he was still an executive with DC, could've cleared up if they'd wanted to, but vehemently refused until it finally made mainstream headlines. Why, so long as the protectors are still there, should we even feel the need to finance their new output? Heck, another reason why Berganza got away with his antics for a long time was also because, as was the case with Harvey Weinstein, much of the comics press refused to speak out and demand Berganza's dismissal from the payroll, or were so half-hearted and abandoned the subject soon after, hardly ever bringing it up enough to count.

But then, she spoils everything by say it's nothing that important. In that case, the video games she was willing to defend in the past few years are nothing important either. What good is the pop culture scene if you place that a low value on a different medium as opposed to your own? Video games have their high points, but as noted, I think literature, including illustrated, is just as important and maybe more, because book literature came long before video games, and could be around long after.
In February of this year, Comicsgaters released a public blacklist of names for followers to boycott, and almost all of the people on the list are left-wing, women or people of colour. It was allegedly made for “educational purposes only.”
If memory serves, it was only one commentator who actually brought it up, and Ethan Van Sciver argued against it, after which it was dropped. So please quit droning on about it, though when it comes to leftists, they're actually raising a workable point. And might I note some people on the Comicsgate side, like Mike S. Miller, are POC? So let it go please. And you might want to consider that, even if Chelsea Cain doesn't support Comicsgate, she doesn't support Marvel at this point either. But, we can probably guess why they don't focus on that.
“You are advised not to engage in any harassment/doxing/Twitter trolling with these people,” read a statement by Comicsgate proponents. “The list is meant for all concerned with the state of comics to see who the main contributors are to the declining quality. The players in #Comicsgate are not responsible for your actions if you DO NOT take the advice of the above statement. If you want to hurt these individuals, do it with your wallet. Don’t buy their products. Do not give the false reporter any clicks. Use archive.ie for any ‘reporter’ links.”

Needless to say, many Comicsgate people didn’t follow those instructions.
Needless to additionally say, Global News hasn't provided any examples.
Is this at all affiliated with Gamergate?

Gamergate — yes, another “gate” — is an online-born controversy that started up in 2014, predating Comicsgate. Gamergate supporters believe there is a strong influx of females and feminism inundating the gamer world, another perceived vestige for white men. Additionally, supporters say there’s unethical collusion between the media and said feminists, along with others pushing for diversification.

The pro-Gamergaters are known for their ruthless online harassment of people they perceive to be pushing this agenda. That includes doxxing, the release of one’s personal information (real name, address, etc.) into the public sphere. To make things even more complicated, Gamergate supporters usually deny the harassment took place or accuse the victim of manufacturing the abuse.

With some similarities, it seems like the two are intertwined; Kernzer says they are, but only “kind of.”

“There are some participants in common, but Gamergate did have some seeds of valid concern regarding ethical journalism and corporate practices,” she said. “They just got swallowed up by the culture war. Comicsgate is all culture war.”
So there's no valid concerns raised by Comicsgate? Man, this lady really sold out, just as the news site regurgitates all the accusations about Gamergate without any valid examples provided, and no questions whether the anti-Gamergate bunch ever committed the very felonies they speak of, including that case of Devin Faraci, who had to resign from Alamo Drafthouse's online news site staff after he was accused of committing sex offenses.
“The other disturbing thing about Comicsgate is how involved creators have been,” she continued. “Most video game developers wisely stayed out of Gamergate. The ones who did engage rarely got down in the muck with the culture warriors. I think Comicsgate is being driven by a lot of behind-the-scenes feuds between creators coming out in the open, and there’s an ugliness to it which indicates that the comic book industry, as a whole, still has a lot of growing up to do. Some of the stuff I’ve seen has just been juvenile. We’re very lucky to work in some pretty fun industries and fighting with people all the time is a great way to show you’ve lost sight of that fun.”

Global News reached out to at least a dozen comic book writers, creators and artists for their opinions about Comicsgate, and the majority of them turned the offer down flat. The reason? They didn’t want to give Comicsgate any press or coverage. Indeed, for the most part, the comics world just wants this to go away.
I think there's something good about the writers refraining from making any comments to this site's would-be reporter about Comicsgate: it largely backfired on them already, and, as the case of Mike McKone should make clear, some did take their coordinated attacks way too far, making full-fledged fools of themselves, when they could've followed the example a lot of video game producers did and kept quiet. The knee-jerk negative reaction by leftist creators to Comicsgate is a textbook example of how not to convey disagreements, and demonstrates how badly educated quite a few of them are, to say nothing of what happens when a whole medium otherwise ghettoizes itself, as they've been doing as far back as the early 90s. I almost feel sorry for McKone, who may never be able to attend a convention again (and he may have cancelled an appearance in Georgia due to his idiocy online) without worrying about whether somebody will raise the issue or shake their head in disbelief at how a guy can stoop so low to make clear his disdain over a consumer revolt he doesn't agree with. If they really wanted to prove sincerity, they'd stay off of social media and concentrate first and foremost on their work and family life, I might add.
“The whole ‘gate’ suffix is ridiculous,” said North. “It doesn’t mean anything: there’s no scandal here. Watergate had a break-in. ‘Gamergate’ at least had the (thoroughly discredited) idea that there was something fishy around ‘ethics in game journalism.’ ‘Comicsgate’ has nothing — no scandal, no event, nothing to prove and nothing to deny — beyond ‘I don’t like some comics and would like for them not to exist.'”

“My opinion of Comicsgate is that there are no winners in it and never will be,” agreed Kernzer. “It’s much more productive to praise the books you enjoy to give them word of mouth publicity. That way, other people will sample them, and the market will reward good work. No fighting on the internet required!”
Wrong on the first. The winners are a lot of the crowdfunding artists who've supported it, and got bundles to help finance their creations. And what, is North insinuating journalists in video games or comics cannot tell a lie, or clog their biases into their work? Please. But right on the second. That was what the #MoveTheNeedle hashtag on Twitter was about, in basic terms. However, the way most comics are formatted as pamphlets to date is outmoded and should be retired.

Next is an article from the Rochester Institute of Technology, which, while it does have a narrow view of its own, does surprisingly bring up a better subject like the demise of the pamphlet, though again, not without bias involved. First though, is what they say about a mountain made of a molehill:
On July 28, 2017, Heather Antos posted a selfie. She is an assistant editor for Marvel Comics, and her selfie depicts herself and her colleagues sharing milkshakes to honor the memory of Marvel’s Senior Publisher Flo Steinburg. What was meant to be a respectful gesture towards the passing of a beloved friend was instead received with vitriol and hatred as angry comic book fans took up their keyboards.

People attacked the group for being “false geek girls” and made comments about their appearances, one even commenting that Antos looks like the "'false rape charge' type." This is only a taste of the toxicity that seems to be bubbling over in a dark corner of the internet known as Comics Gate.
How many people, exactly? I agree the comment they do allude to, which I did see, was vulgar, but it was only a handful - not thousands upon thousands - and they make it sound like it was. But while I do think etiquette is vital in education, I do think making such a fuss over just a trickle of crude comments only makes things worse, and does exactly what the cybertrolls would want. It also points to a larger problem of "pros" not having a thick skin to deal with all this nonsense properly. That this is never raised as an argument just demonstrates how poor PR's become in entertainment.

It's also never explored as to whether the cybertrolls in question are even Comicsgate supporters to begin with. Some could be posing under multiple names on the same social media platforms, yet this is never questioned either.
Worden shared some insight on the nature of comic book publishing, and how the sales statistics presented are rarely enough to draw conclusions about the success of titles. [...]
Well at least this itself points to the most laughable matter about comics pamphlet sales today: they sell so low compared to other mediums - mainly because publishers refuse to go paperback/hardcover only - that it's turned the whole medium into the ghettoized farce it now is. Even publishers whose contributors are more decent make me shake my head in disbelief at how they go into the biz yet stick firmly with this format.
Even Marvel’s own vice president of sales, David Gabriel, points the blame at diversity, insulting their readers by claiming that "people didn’t want any more diversity" when asked about slumping sales. Not only is this assumption offensive, but with the successes of independent titles like "Saga" and "Lumberjanes" created by and featuring women and/or POC, it’s factually incorrect as well. So, what’s the deal?
Here they go again, blurring differences between corporate-owned superhero worlds and creator-owned projects, which, while obviously not free of leftist bias, at least demonstrate a better example of how to present all this diversity mishmash by not forcing it on other people's creations.
Meaning, there is very little information that discloses the amount of trade paperbacks or graphic novels that are being sold in bookstores, a market that may be much more diverse than the die-hard comic book fans that patronize comic book shops. Not only that, but the sales numbers that are reported are the number of issues sold to retailers, not how many of those comics make it into the hands of individual readers. So, there are no stats that talk about the sales of trade paperbacks in bookstores or digital copies, making it hard to gain a full picture of the market Marvel is selling to. The most identifiable portion of the market is that of the comic book store, and that is where most Comics Gate supporters come from.

Comic book stores must make safe choices when choosing to buy their inventory, because once they order their books, they cannot return any of the copies that do not sell.

“It used to be that if you did have old merchandise, you would put it in a warehouse somewhere, and ten years from now it’d be worth something. And that had gone away,” Worden stated. This risk may drive retailers to buy less of the books that are pissing off such a large portion of their specific market.

Single-issue comic books have been on a steady decline for years now, as less and less casual fans are willing to spend $4.00 or more on only 20 or so pages of content every week, when they can pay less money for more content in trade paperbacks and graphic novels. And gatekeeping and toxicity from Comics Gate isn’t making it any more inviting.
Wait a moment, are they using Orwellian parroting, and claiming Comicsgate wants to be gatekeepers, and not the leftists in comics proper? Yeah, it figures they want to scapegoat Comicsgate and rightists at every chance they get. At least they admit the single-issue format with ads inside has long been an outdated concept, but may not admit even Comicsgate advocates feel the same way. I myself would rather buy as trades these days, for some of the reasons they state, and even some commercial bookstores can offer them for decent prices too.
“I think ultimately that if single-issue comics are going to die, it might be because of the Comics Gate stuff,” said Worden. “Ultimately, people will just get tired of dealing with that in their day-to-day life and they’ll migrate towards other forms of comics.”

So, it looks like single-issue comic books may be on their way out the door. The gatekeeping and toxicity of the Comics Gate movement is pushing away talented creators who want to breathe new life into the industry, and, ironically, their stubbornness will only accelerate their demise. Comics Gate needs to stop devoting so much energy to harassing creators that they don’t like, or who create stories that aren’t for them, and start working with them to save the industry that is clearly valued by everyone on all sides. Otherwise, the future may look bleak for local comic shops everywhere.
Umm, Bob Layton also stated he's dismayed at the continued use of the single-issue pamphlet format, and now this stupid college paper is trying to uphold an outdated format for the sake of scapegoating Comicsgate?!? Very sad. They don't even make clear who or how these "creators" they speak of are talented, or how they make great successors to the writers/artists of yesteryear like Ramona Fradon, Gardner Fox, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, or even David Anthony Kraft, whom I remember wrote the early She-Hulk stories after her creator, Stan Lee, began things with the premiere issue in 1980. Nor are there any points made about how company wide crossovers are another factor in the demise of corporate comics.

If there's anybody who's precipitating the demise of comicdom in any format, it's the ultra-leftist creators themselves, including Bill Sienkiewicz, who's still wallowing in awful moonbattery. And, let's not forget McKone. When a creator starts acting so noticeably vile, is it any wonder fewer and fewer people want anything to do with them? All that aside, what a shame it appears this university publication apparently doesn't want to improve anything about comics storytelling or even pricing, throwing it all to the winds by blaming it all on Comicsgate, and even Gamergate. When they do that, it only makes clear they're not interested in merit-based development at all. I just hope most leftist creators now realize it won't do their reps any good to pursue the matter any further.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

If comicsgate types can attack comics and their creators, why can't comics artists and writers criticize comicsgate types?

According to the anonymous pos poster above,
Comicsgate people attack creators. SJW comics and SJWs merely provide criticism.
The evidence shows this not the case. This strife began in the late 1990s, when sjws began infiltrating the industry and accusing non-sjws as being sexists and racists. The Livejournal Comics-scans blog for years, YEARS, was making the same accusations that are now being repeated by high profile creators and companies.

Your expectation is that fans should lie down and accept all these accusations and keep buying the comics to support creators and companies that openly hate them--while still demanding their money. That really doesn't make any sense.
If the SJW controlled comics industry think its aging fanbase is so horrible, and the Direct Market so hopeless, it needs to put its money where its mouth is, and abandon the market formally and court their bustling new audience.

The SJW's modus operandi is constant denigration their so-called oppressors constantly while demanding financial and emotional support from them. To non-indoctrinated NPCs, this is pure insanity.

Mike S Miller is a person of color? Well, he is Hawaiian. Does that count as white or POC these days? The membership rules change so fast, it is hard to keep up.

On cyber tooth mike's comment, there are more comics and graphic novels and webcomics coming out ach week than any human being can possibly read, even if you stick only to English language ones. Some of them are for kids, some for teenagers, some for middle aged fans. Fans should read whatever they like. But mike's language is loaded with crazy - getting a job is infiltrating, wanting readers to read your book is demanding money, and fans who like comics are indoctrinated. Where does this come from?

The 'strife' began just a few years back as a sequel to and reflection of gamergate, a confab of online trolls and doxers who flexed their muscles and became a nucleus for the now-in-shambles alt-right. Much of it is reputedly encouraged by liberal comics creators who have found that using outrageously racist and sexist sock puppets to criticize their own work is a great way to stir up controversy, get publicity and bring their work to the attention of readers who might not otherwise know about it.

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