A funny thing happened as the movement called Comicsgate grew over the past two years: YouTube personalities with millions of subscribers joined industry professionals in calling any criticism “racist” and anti-LGBT.
Guys like Rob from Comics Explained said in 2017 that individuals who openly reject “forced diversity” sound “racist” (e.g., turning Iceman gay after decades of continuity that says otherwise; trying to replace iconic heroes with minority derivatives).
Guys like Benny, aka Comicstorian, called Comicsgate a bunch of “idiots” despite previously claiming that he wanted to remain a neutral.
Enter Linkara from Atop the Fourth Wall this weekend. He echoed the “raaaaaaacist” and “homophobic” allegations on Twitter while simultaneously asking to hear about quality comic book reviewers.
Your friendly neighborhood blogger/YouTuber was tipped off by someone who has frequented this website for years — Carl — and within 24 hours Linkara blocked me for having the temerity to call out his passive-aggressive shots at Comicsgate.
Linkara claimed that he suddenly had to hit the block button because racists were coming out of the digital woodwork, but is that true?
He provided zero evidence and his Twitter feed shows a different story — users were recommending YouTube channels like Professor Geek, ClownfishTV, Captain Frugal, #1 Marmaduke Fan, and Just Some Guy.
The reality, dear reader, is that certain YouTube personalities desperately want to stay in the industry’s good graces. They like freebies. They like getting press passes. They like getting invited onto convention panels, and they like to be offered all sorts of other perks that having the right political bent brings within a corrupted industry.
The bitter pill to swallow for many people is that Comicsgate is an incredibly diverse network of individuals who are tired of unprofessionalism, cronyism, partisan politics shoehorned into books, subpar writing, and uninspired art.
Comicsgate as a whole is not hated because its critics’ allegations are true; Comicsgate as a whole is hated because its critics allegations are false.
Once upon a time the term “SJW” was a form of sweet music to the ears of writer Mark Waid. The comics industry veteran literally said in 2017 that he wore it with “pride.”
Something happened, however, between then and now to change his mind: He was sued for tortious interference and defamation by the popular YouTuber Diversity & Comics, aka Richard C. Meyer, aka ‘Ya Boi Zack.’
These days, according to Mr. Waid, calling him exactly what he wanted to be called is “the language of a bully.” Interesting, isn’t it?
One would think that a respectable journalist within the comics industry would ask Mr. Waid why he was allowed to use “SJW” as a rhetorical cudgel in 2017 while standing atop a self-made moral pedestal, yet now the term is a slur that can be used against the Comicsgate movement in court.
Sadly, dear reader, Mr. Waid only goes to shill outlets like Nerdist to discuss his lawsuit. And yes, “shill” is the correct description to use for the creator’s live-stream with Nerdist, given the following: a.) the moderators rushed to delete any chatroom comments on the lawsuit while Comicsgate was simultaneously being framed as a “hate” movement; b.) the host only asked softball questions and agreed with everything Mr. Waid said; and c.) the normal comments section was disabled after the live-stream ended.
If you’re asking yourself why all of this sounds familiar, then simply step into this blog’s time machine and travel to July 26, 2013.
Fact: Your friendly neighborhood blogger was covering “Comicsgate” before it was ever called Comicsgate. Anyone who wants to debunk the industry’s current lies can often do so by mining my old coverage of “Marvel’s Orwellian message boards” and the unprofessionalism by men like *cough* Mark Waid.
There is much more to be said about Mr. Waid’s hypocrisy and his lawsuit with Mr. Meyer, but for brevity’s sake I suggest checking out my latest YouTube video. Please make sure to hit the subscribe button if video content is up your alley.
Something happened in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018: Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer debated the existence of Comicsgate with the networks’s supposedly insignificant members. There was, however, some big problems with his performance: Mr. Quesada wanted to pretend as if he had anterograde amnesia straight out of Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
In short, the Marvel executive wanted to act as if your friendly neighborhood blogger wasn’t trying to warn him for years that the industry’s bad business practices would produce something akin to Comicsgate.
Marvel’s personal boogeyman (i.e., Diversity & Comics), is supposedly the root of all that ails the industry. Spontaneous Comicsgate Combustion happened in late 2017 and a fire of bad behavior soured the relationship between creators and readers, if Marvel’s top brass is to be believed.
The fact of the matter is that Mr. Quesada and his peers had countless opportunities to right the ship. Myself and others (e.g., Dave Huber when he was writing at Colossus of Rhodey) gave Marvel a series of simple steps to avoid a large-scale consumer revolt.
We were ignored.
Regular readers know that I made the leap to YouTube with the assumption that I needed a bigger megaphone if I was ever going to help spearhead said consumer revolt.
What started on blogs eventually transformed into Comicsgate when myself, Capn Cummings, Diversity & Comics and a core group of others united behind the idea that we could create a parallel industry to “SJW Marvel Inc.”
The response by left-wing ideologues was to double down on unprofessional and immature antics — like Max “feast upon my a**” Bemis putting the “Uncle Ernst” villain into Moon Knight.
Question: Did Mr. Quesada, who stayed up until about 5 a.m. EDT. talking about Comicsgate, dare to answer questions about Mr. Bemis’ lack of professionalism?
Answer: Not a chance. He stayed far, far away from me because he knows the facts are on my side and I would make him look like a buffoon.
The good news about the industry’s decision to dig in its heels into a quicksand pit of stupidity is that readers finally have other options. Indiegogo campaigns like Jawbreakers: Lost Souls have been wildly successful. The products will soon ship, and when that happens the paradigm will have officially shifted.
There is no turning back, and for that we can oddly enough thank guys like Mr. Quesada, Dan Slott, Mark Waid, Erik Larsen, Tom Brevoort, Alanna Smith, Max Bemis and a whole host of ideologues.
If you want to learn more about Mr. Quesada’s faux short-term memory problems, then be sure to check out my latest YouTube video. As always, make sure to hit the like and subscribe button if the format is to your liking.
I’m glad to see that @Comicstorian got rid of his purple pompadour, but for some reason he’s decided to start referring to “Comicsgate idiots.” I’d be happy to have a #Comicsgate debate. Then we’ll see who the “idiot” is, Benny. pic.twitter.com/KvZw9JehpC
— Douglas Ernst (@douglasernst) August 14, 2018
It was roughly one year ago that people within comics fandom took a step back and realized that a group of guys who said they wanted to create a parallel industry were serious. Not only were “Comicsgaters” serious, but all indicators (to honest observers) were that they were resourceful and intelligent enough to make it happen.
Enter stage right in August 2017: Comics Explained with his 1.4 million subscribers and Comicstorian with his 1.8 million subscribers decided to weigh in. “Rob” wanted to frame Comicsgaters as racists and Benny wanted to make a moral equivalence between unprofessional pros and upset customers.
Your friendly neighborhood blogger/YouTuber sent word via an intermediary that I would be willing to hash it all out in private, and when Comicstorian decided to keep ranting about Twitter, the culture war he supposedly doesn’t care about, etc., I made videos exposing his ignorance.
Some people didn’t like that. They said he was “neutral” on Comicsgate and should be left alone. They also wanted to leave Rob to his own devices despite his pot shots on Twitter towards Comicsgate.
At some point in time someone must have talked a bit of sense into the two guys because they shut up for months. I allowed them to stay in their lane and did not make any videos that might upset YouTubers that I respect.
Now, for some inexplicable reason, Comics Explained and Comicstorian want to once again expose themselves as He-Man “Fakers” by insulting artist Jon Malin and the network as a whole.
— Douglas Ernst (@douglasernst) August 15, 2018
I was told by multiple people over the past year that to mess with Comicstorian is to mess with the “Walmart greeter of the comics industry.” My question on Twitter and YouTube is as follows: “When was the last time a Walmart greeter called you an idiot when you walked in the door?”
If the answer is “never,” then perhaps it might be a bad idea to apply such a designation on the man. But I digress.
Check out my latest YouTube video for a full rundown on “Faker” as he dutifully does the bidding of Skelet-errrrrm, Disney.
Roughly two years ago this blog started seeing fewer updates due to my increased attention to YouTube. I loved the regular commenters and the discussions we had here on a wide range of issues, but at the same time I knew that I needed to devote serious time to YouTube if my plan of having a bigger impact on the comics industry was to be realized. I had to in many ways sacrifice something I loved in order to possibly obtain a greater good down the line.
Fast-forward to this week: The “Comicsgate” community turned out in full force in support of Richard C. Meyer’s, artist Jon Malin’s, and colorist Brett Smith’s INDIEGOGO campaign “Jawbreakers: Lost Souls.”
In short: They aimed to raise $5,000 and ended up with nearly $40K in one day.
Right now some readers are asking: “What the heck does this have to do with you, Doug?”
The Answer: Your friendly neighborhood blogger has been working on YouTube and Twitter — along with MANY other men and women — for months to expose the myriad or reasons why the comics industry is in a tailspin.
Regular readers can remember our tussles with Marvel scribe Dan Slott. If you haven’t caught my work on YouTube, however, then you’ve been missing out on coverage of the fits and tantrums that industry creators are experiencing due to work by Mr. Meyer (aka, Diversity & Comics) Capn. Cummings, Just Some Guy, myself, Yellow Flash, That Umbrella Guy, Captain Frugal and others. All of us play different roles within the community, but the endgame is the same: We want comic books with solid artwork and sound storytelling devoid of petty politics.
If you want to see what I’ve been up to, then you can check out a nearly two-hour interview I had with Jon Malin on March 30 (embedding disabled or else I’d add it here).
Similarly, I put up a Jawbreakers: Lost Souls video last night and recently talked all-things Comicsgate with artist Timothy Lim and journalist Ian Miles Cheong. I’d love to hear your thoughts on each in the comments section below.
As always, if you like the content then make sure to subscribe over at YouTube for regular updates. There are some pretty cool announcements planned for later in the year.
Timothy Lim of My Hero Magademia joins myself and journalist Ian Miles Cheong.