I’ve heard of this thing called Comicsgate, and after doing a bit of reading, discovered it’s pretty much the same sort of critter that launched the efforts of the Sad Puppies a few years back.
Allegation: The mainstream comic book industry (DC, Marvel) is overrun by Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) forcing their very narrow agenda down the throats of all comic book readers, no matter how totally unrealistic it is, so we independent comic book creators will fight back by creating more classic heroes of our own.
Counter-allegation: Conservative, white, racist trolls want to destroy all participation of strong women heroes, people of color, LGBTQ+ writers, artists, and characters, and all other marginalized and vulnerable populations in comic books so comics are totally owned by white people, and we have to stop them.
Well, at least The Mary Sue didn’t use the word “Nazi,” so they have that going for them.
This is exactly the same dynamic as the one I chronicled in The Sad Puppies vs. the Hugo Awards OR Being in the Crossfire in the Fight for Significance.
The assumption from the “mainstream” comic book industry creators is that the comicsgate folks want to eliminate all minority voices in said-industry and keep all of the authors, artists, and characters lily white.
I don’t know if some of the alternative authors and artists are like that, but like the whole Sad Puppies/Hugos thing, I strongly suspect that many of those crying #comicsgate simply want to make sure that everyone is involved, and that comic books don’t become the sole property of those calling out for “social justice.”
Again, both sides of the aisle are feeling the threat of insignificance in a certain market, so both sides go into competition against each other, complete with name calling and virtue signaling.
I started with Jon del Arroz’s critic @ladybugwarror, but discovered she’d deleted her tweet critical of Jon. I was too late to take a screenshot of her original F-word laden comments.
I clicked on the link for @ladybugwarrior, and at first it looked like she’d deleted her account. On a hunch, I searched for her twitter handle and found her twitter page (in one of her tweets, she mentioned an upcoming 20th birthday, which makes her 10 years younger than my youngest child).
Okay, that seems pretty much benign, but scrolling down, I found this. Here’s the link.
As you can see, Miranda had retweeted someone named Jeff Lemire, who is a Canadian artist and still using Blogger. Oh, click the link to find out more about his thoughts on comicsgate.
I took a look at Jeff’s twitter conversation on the topic and found this:
As you can see, there is quite the lively debate going on, and I’d be willing to bet money that one side doesn’t have a clue about the other side. The SJWs think their opponents are bigots, and the Comicsgate folks think (and in the case of Magdalene Visaggio, perhaps rightly so) that the SJWs are a bunch of foul-mouthed leftist fanatics who want to program the next generation to think only like them, as if conservatives don’t raise their children and grandchildren with their values.
Jeff Lemire believes that non-white comic book creators have been traditionally harassed and what’s happening now is fighting back. I have no idea if that’s true or not. I do know that the tactics being employed to stop their opponents are identical to what Jeff says have been used against them.
I also know that based on something I wrote not long ago, that maybe the Comicsgate people have something important to say (click the link to find out why I think modern comic books and their creators have gone crazy – really, impalement and sodomy of a gay superhero in a mainstream Marvel comic book – really?).
I gave up on comic books in the 1990s and haven’t looked back. However, I still recall the whole (original) Death of Superman story line (which is what brought me back to comics), and how I read all of those comic books to my (then) young children. It was great fun (though, as an aside, I did have to try and explain to my kids why a nude, green skinned girl named “Jade” ended up in Kyle “Green Lantern” Rayner’s shower – I emailed the writer who blew my concerns off by saying they were trying to be realistic and topicial – what, to three elementary school age kids?). And while I am still quite fond of my Silver Age comics, I have no use for what’s going on now. My grandchildren aren’t into them, so I don’t even have that motivation.
But it’s disturbing that a form of entertainment I recall fondly from my youth, as I do science fiction and fantasy, has been turned into a social justice war zone with posturing artists and writers using language and wielding sword-like opinions in a manner I’d never want around my grandkids anyway.
If this is what comic books and the kids who create them have turned into, keep that junk to yourself.