The following is a submitted article and is strictly opinion. All statements, comments and/or remarks are the author’s own. It does not reflect the views of the Daily Planet.
Recently, ComicsGate activist and creator Richard C. Meyer has filed a lawsuit against comic book icon and Social Justice Warrior Mark Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. For quite some time now, the Internet has been abuzz with ComicsGate and Social Justice Warrior anti-ComicsGate fans and the fair treatment of creators in comic book culture. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth and a lot of hate thrown around from both sides at play here.
Now, I’ve never been much into politics. In politics there’s too much slander, lies, and well, politics involved. I’ve always fallen somewhere in the middle anyway, too far left to be right-wing and too far right to be left-wing. When I heard about a lawsuit from a ComicsGater against Mark Waid, a longtime favorite creator of mine, it inspired me to do a little more digging into it all. What I found out was quite shocking.
Firstly, what ComicsGate is, or what it’s supposed to be in my opinion, is an online movement of comic book fans and creators aimed at preserving the integrity of long-standing characters, fair treatment of creators within the industry, and the removal of heavy left-wing politics from mainstream comic books.
This is not a group of neo-nazi fascists set out to whitewash comic books. These are fans and creators who care deeply about the preservation of these timeless creations. In this Age of the Internet, trolls lurk in every corner, lying in wait for any chance to spew their hate. These most hateful of trolls have latched onto ComicsGate and twisted their message and our perception of it into this racist hate group that everyone wants to vomit all over.
This was only further perpetuated by the Social Justice Warriors out there that get their kicks out of latching on to whatever cause is currently trending right now and verbally assaulting and threatening all that speak to oppose them.
Now, the Internet troll is nothing new, these people have been creeping around the Internet since its inception but have become more empowered by social media. Over the years, the troll has evolved as well. It now comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and creeds.
In this hypersensitive society we’ve created for ourselves, the troll can now attack from a viewpoint previously deemed peaceful.
For example; a Christian mother attacking another mother for dressing her child up as a cartoon devil for Halloween. All of a sudden this woman is scorned and called a Satanist for dressing her child as a devil. Or a right-wing artist making a reference to “Mien Kampf” is suddenly labeled a Nazi, like when Ethan Van Sciver posted a picture of a Sinestro sketchbook that he titled “My Struggle”.
Just because you wave a Social Justice Warrior flag does not mean that you get to denounce and degrade anyone that doesn’t agree with you. There’s nothing more dangerous than evil masquerading under a symbol of peace.
There has always been diversity in comic books: male and female superheroes, black and white, gay and straight. These are not new concepts and there certainly is nothing wrong with having a diverse cast of characters in any given book, but there is a right and a wrong way to inject diversity into a comic book line.
Introducing new Green Lanterns in the form of Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz is a good example of how diversity should be brought in, with new characters and new back stories that readers can get on board with.
Changing Wally West from a white male to a black male due to a universe altering event isn’t the best way to inject diversity. Just like it wouldn’t be right to change a black character into an Asian character or an Asian character into a white one.
Introducing these new paper thin characters that have no depth whatsoever, that add diversity only in a superficial manner, are extremely counterproductive.
Making Bruce Wayne gay and having Selina Kyle put on 30 pounds after their breakup would be a good example of how not to do things. These companies have so much creative force behind them that there’s no reason that new truly diverse characters can’t be created.
With that being said, these companies also shouldn’t have to pander to every demographic out there when these people really couldn’t care less about these books. Comic shop owners and managers will tell you that the increase of diverse customers in theirs stores is minimal at best, all while decades old fans have decreased their pull size or stopped coming in at all.
You get more readers by publishing the highest quality work, not by making sure you have a book that will suit every type of person’s need. If a character or title is compelling, it won’t matter if the lead character is black, white, brown, yellow, fat, skinny, sexy, or ugly. On a side note, I have a great idea for a geriatric superhero if either DC or Marvel wants to get ahold of me. I don’t think that niche has been covered yet.
Superhero comics have always been over-the-top. They are fantasy worlds developed to escape from the harsh boredoms of reality, filled with the exaggeration of human form of both men and women. Superheroes are muscular, curvy, sexy and downright perfect looking in most cases. That’s not saying, if you don’t look like this you’re ugly.
This is fantasy. This is everything we want to be. We want to have extraordinary powers. We want to have 12-pack stomachs and butts that can press coal into diamonds. We want to have an hourglass figure and perky breasts. These worlds are our dreams and if they become too plain and ordinary they lose all their luster and any bit of escapism they once had. Just because I believe these things doesn’t make me a nazi, transphobic, misogynistic or any other kind of discriminatory person the SJWs have branded all ComicsGaters.
Mark Waid is a Social Justice Warrior in the worst of ways. He is the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. A bully with an overcompensating god-complex, waving a flag of peace but assaulting any and everyone who has anything bad to say about him. With that said, Mark Waid is one of the most prolific comic book writers and publishers of this generation.
He’s done work with Marvel and DC working on titles like The Flash, Superman, Daredevil, Captain America, and The Avengers just to name a few. Then there’s Richard C. Meyer, a young veteran with a YouTube channel and a passion for comic books so strong that he decided the only way he was going to get the quality of comic books he wanted, he was going to have to make them himself.
Due to the impending lawsuit, Richard C. Meyer was unavailable for comment; however Ethan Van Sciver, comic artist superstar, ComicsGate advocate and friend of Meyer, was more than willing to speak out on his behalf.
“Mark Waid challenged Zack to make a better comic book so he went out and crowdfunded Jawbreakers and raised over $400,000 and that terrified [Waid], it terrified everyone.” Van Sciver told me.
It was then that Mark Waid called up the publisher at Antarctic Press and used his bully tactics to get the book cancelled.
What exact conversation took place remains to be revealed, but Waid himself openly admitted to and bragged about said phone call which should never had happened in the first place. If you put in the work to create a book and raise the money to publish said book then no one on this earth should be able to stop that from happening. If a book is trash or filled with a hateful message (Jawbreakers is neither, by the way), then it won’t sell, but that is up to us as the consumer to decide, not some comic book gatekeeper.
This instance is just one of many in Mark Waid’s history that speaks volumes to his character. I’m not here to pick apart this man’s entire life. I just want you to err on the side of caution before backing your horse. Mark Waid already has millions of dollars from us comic book fans, yet here he is, asking for even more. Be careful who you give your hard earned money to. Be careful who you make your heroes. Beware of these people. I have seen Oz behind the curtain. He is ugly and he cannot be unseen.
“This is a watershed moment” Van Sciver said. “If Waid wins this case, it’ll be the end of artistic freedom.”
Editors note: It was reported on Twitter that Comicsgate had symbolically ended on Nov. 10. However, this is not entirely the truth. Even though some major supporters, like Ethan Van Sciver, have dropped out of the movement it still has a momentum of online social media presence.
Why I’m Leaving ComicsGate. ❤️https://t.co/NXgwG23gaa
— ComicArtistPro Secrets (@EthanVanSciver) November 10, 2018
A day later the page reported that they were “pulled back in”.
Just when I thought I was out…
— ComicArtistPro Secrets (@EthanVanSciver) November 13, 2018
Featured image: Anna Boyle, Art Editor for The Tartan
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