The funny thing about Capitalism is that you can’t control what others do with their money.
If you ask, what is Comicsgate? You will get one of two answers.
- Comicsgate is an alt-right hate movement filled with bigots that harass women and minorities because they want them out of comics.
- Comicsgate is a group of individuals who are fed up that one of their favorite industries has been co-opted by progressive ideologues and it shows in their work.
Every time someone takes a stand against the default progressive position, whether is it video games, comic books, or general politics; they are immediately accused of supporting homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny. Comic book industry professionals are uniform in their denouncing of Comicsgate and the people synonymous with the movement. Eisner-winning artist Bill Sienkiewicz recently wrote a Facebook post viciously condemning those who support the movement. He Wrote:
Stop being the creepy racist misogynist uncles showing up at reunions and pissing in the punchbowl to disprove your beta standing. Stop being the weird cousins the entire world points to as the definition of every “comic book nerd” stereotype. Or do it far away from us. Stop being whiny misunderstood victims bitching bout favoritism, intolerance, and sexism. You’re slinging inky-black aspersions, obviously crying racism in your Wite-Out™. You’re damned right some corrections need to be made; starting with the guys in the mirror first.
Either step up. Or step off.
We, Comics, and The Audience- will be absolutely fine without you. And you won’t be missed one damned bit.
Now there are two takeaways from Sienkiewicz’s comments. First, who are these pillars of the Comicsgate movement that these people hate so much? And secondly, is Sienkiewicz correct by saying the industry will be fine without them? Well, Let’s start by getting to know the figures behind Comicsgate.
Arguably the most popular figure in the Comicsgate movement is comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver. Ethan has made his name in the comic book industry, drawing top-tier DC and Marvel characters such as Green Lantern and the Flash. He currently runs the YouTube channel ComicArtistPro Secrets in where he talks about pop culture stories and host weekly Livestreams talking about the current state of comics.
Probably the most controversial figure in the group is Richard Meyer also known as Diversity & Comics. It was over a year ago that Meyer started his Youtube channel that criticized and reviewed new comics from all the major publishers. His videos earned him a lot of enemies in the community who labeled them harassment.
Another well-known figure in the community is Author Timothy Lim, who is known for his Donald Trump parody series and persona Donald Thump. Lim has been involved in multiple successful publications and being an open supporter of President Trump has earned him the label of being Alt-right despite the fact he is Asian.
Bill Sienkiewicz has not been the only person pushing the prevailing narrative that the comic book industry doesn’t need people like Ethan, Richard, or Tim. But the market tells a different story…a much different story. Comicsgate may have started as a movement to criticize and exposed the bias and agenda of progressive creators, but now they have shifted their mission to beat these creators at their own game. Comicsgate has now gotten into the business of creating their own comic books and graphic novels to compete with their foes in the free market and as of now, Comicsgate is winning.
In the last few months, Comicsgate has proven to be a very profitable alternative to the mainstream comic industry. Ethan Van Sciver’s project Cyberfrog:Bloodhoney has drawn well over $500,000 from 8500 backers. Richard Meyer has also drawn over $500,000 and 13,000 backers between his two projects Jawbreakers Lost Souls and Iron Sights. Timothy Lim’s Space Force comic has drawn over $60,000 with 1300 backers. But this isn’t only a window of the success that Comicsgate and their community has created in such a short period. Mitch & Elizabeth Breitweiser’s Red Rooster has drawn $160,000, Mike Miller’s Lonestar has drawn $78,000, Jon Del Arroz’s Flying Sparks has drawn $27,000, Jon Malin’s Graveyard Shift has drawn $30,000, Doug TenNapel’s Bigfoot Bill has drawn $40,000, Cautionary Comics’s Ravage – Kill All Men! has drawn $43,000, Jeff Hicks’s Stealing Solo: A Captain’s Parodywith the group from WorldClassBullshitters has drawn $11,000.
When you look at this small group of comic book creators you have to ask, how can a small group of bigots can draw over 1.3 million dollars from thousands of backers in such of short amount of time? The answer is a simple one. For the last 5 years, Comic book fans and creators have been labeled sexist, racist, homophobic monsters for voicing their concerns about the quality of their industry and now they are fighting back with their wallets. Back in May, I wrote a piece titled Dear #Comicsgate…It’s Time To Move On in which I stated
The progressive left’s need to control the industry will lead to one of three things. First, fans will get so fed up, they will leave the industry and not come back until it is in someone else’s hands. Second, fans will get so desperate for alternative content, they will look elsewhere. This will lead to independent content creators getting more attention than ever before and instead of brand loyalty to Marvel and DC, it will be loyalty on an individual basis which is probably going to be the future of comics if more people follow Richard Meyer’s example. Third, if people get sick and tired of comics…there’s always Manga.
Well, I don’t know about Manga but it looks like 2/3rds of my statement have become true. Independent creators are seizing on the toxicity of the mainstream market because the truth is and has always been, Comicsgate is not a hate movement. It’s a movement of fans of all races, genders, and sexual orientations who just want to read a comic book and not have to undergo the writers internal meltdown because Trump won the election. They want to read a book and not have to wonder how 75% of the characters suddenly became lesbian. They want to support people who don’t take pictures of their butthole and post it on social media to the cheers of their progressive colleagues.
The free market is speaking and they have the mainstream comics industry very concerned and for good reason. Comic book sales continue to drop year by year and comic book retailers are going out of business as a result. While companies like Disney/Marvel Comics are enjoying the multi-billion machine called the Marvel Cinematic Universe to truly be concerned about the sales of their comic books, you wonder when executives are going to start asking how can a title like Cyberfrog be creating more industry buzz than a title such as Captain Marvel.
As the financial difference is being made up on the independent scene and more people are taking notice. The louder the voices condemn people of Comicsgate, the more attention they will receive. You can call these people hateful all you want, but if people actually decide to listen to Meyer and Van Sciver’s videos, they could come to the conclusion that they aren’t as evil as certain voices have labeled them. Then those people could come to the same conclusion that the thousands of Comicsgate supporters have reached, the problem isn’t them…it’s you.
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9 thoughts on “Comicsgate Is Changing The Comic Industry…Whether You Like It Or Not”
They just want to read comics about people shoving their heroic foot up other evil henchman’s buttholes.
To be perfectly honest, the characters of DC and Marvel may have run their course if all they can think of is pushing SJW political propaganda. Maybe it’s just time for some new superheroes.
That is a very good idea, the original idea and vision behind today’s modern superheroes have been perverted and co-opted anyway. A new age of superheroes could serve very well.
How’d you fail to mention longtime art creator Mike S Miller’s comic book LONESTAR — which has raised over $78,000 — in your list of ComicsGate creators??? He’s the third most successful one out of the group!
Oversight, i’ll add him to the list
Thanks for distilling this for me.
People don’t buy the progressive stuff as it is. Let me explain. Instead of new characters based on modern popular events or circumstances, they will rewrite old characters that conform to their ideology. The stories are weak, lame and preachy. No one wants to pay money to be preached to on how bad they are. When sales dropped, instead of blaming the content, they lash out from their perceived morally correct ivory tower, protected by an almost unlimited backing of resources from CEO’s of companies willing to risk their bottom lines to push their shared agenda.
Funny thing, free markets. So when a competitor emerges, they go on an all out offensive to censor, shut down, deny funding and label the competition as what ever key words are popular that week… Nazi, racist, anti feminist, bigot etc. those words used to have meaning to normal everyday people who abhor the meanings of them, and truly stand against those ideologies.
After years and years and a geometric progression of the use of those words, people have been called them, who aren’t even remotely part of those subsets. This strips the power of those labels. Because of two reasons. 1) repetition 2) literally Hitler. Any disagreement or slight criticism and you are immediately thrown into the literally Hitler category. The boy who cried wolf syndrome. So the people who used to be sympathetic to victims of those groups of ideology used to stand behind those victims, because of a righteous and justice based level of thought in our society. But as time wore on, and so many people labeled unjustly, the power has worn off.
This is the point we have hit in society. Those who used to wield the power have striped themselves of it, and because it’s all they have known for so long, have no further way to cope with something they disagree with. Hence the rage. The reeeeeeeee! If you will.
People were used to banding together, casting a label on something or someone they didn’t like, and having other people not wanting to be accused of that label falling in line with their wishes. Now that ability is dwindled. Don’t like someone at work? Find something he said or did offensive and remotely related to legit HR policy, complain have him fired. Can’t stand someone at your (insert hobby group here) find something remotely related to abhorrent behavior most people deem unacceptable and start a populist movement against them to have them shunned until they quit or get asked to not return.
It was a very easy and convenient process for a long time. However, eventually you become surrounded by mirror attitudes, took over whatever group you were part of, and are left only with your bubble of social constructs. This further diminishing your ability to cope with your surroundings that differ from your ideology.
This brings us to modern day. Where do we go from here?