Comicsgate and Move the Needle – should the industry be worried? Part 2
Comicsgate was beginning to take form, well the ugly side, thanks to the Milkshake incident and the bigoted comment at New York Comic Con. The trolls were marching in, however, they had no leader. That was until they ”appointed” a regular YouTuber without consent as the face of Comicsgate and the alt-right comic community.
If you search Comicsgate there is one name you’ll see more than any and that is Richard C. Meyer. The creator of the YouTube channel Diversity & Comics. D&C is one of the leading critics on YouTube when it comes to comics. His channel started in May 2017 and now has 58K + subscribers that listen to him review, roast, & comment on the current state of the comic book industry. The channel quickly blew-up as Richard had a different approach to his reviews. During his reviews he would roast the character, creative team or both.
This to his fans and him was all in a bit of fun. I truly believe he meant no harm, however those he roasts did not see it the same. There are points where he may go too far, the only issue is that these ”jokes” are then misinterpted and intent falsified. This resulted in false claims against him and his fans. He has also been the subject of slander, stalking, & being to subject of a premeditated assault.
These however, have caused a small group with D&C’s fans to go out and harass, the creators and people spreading these claims. He has expressed in numerous videos not to do what these trolls do but he has no control over what they do after he watches his videos. Richard does try and he could do more, but he can not control what people do. Diversity & Comics does have influence and he uses that effectively especially with the Move the needle campaign.
D&C obviously isn’t the only one on YouTube talking about comics as there are the Yellow Flash, Douglas Ernst, Just some Guy to name a few. D&C is however the most influential, an influence Bleeding Cool recognised in their most influential people in comics list for 2017.
That is an influence that has affected creators like Aubrey Sitterson, Dan Slott, Magdalene Visaggio and Ethan Van Sciver.
The Ethan Van Sciver tipping point
Van Sciver, the freelance illustrator whose work include The Flash: Rebirth and Green Lantern by DC Comics. He is a proud republican and Trump voter. He has also aligned himself with Meyer which along with an old tweet got him in a lot of trouble on twitter.
Comic artist Ethan Van Sciver is either a legit homophobic Nazi or is pretending to be one. Either way, I'm no longer supporting him. pic.twitter.com/SBrZwZghXN
— Tim Doyle (@NakatomiTim) May 12, 2017
In May, 2017 on twitter, people unearthed an old sketchbook, titled My Struggle after Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The sketchbook was from 2007, and in Van Sciver’s mind a joke. However, in 2017/18 this joke was not taken lightly. An army of over sensitive people who could not understand the concept of a ‘’joke’’ and began a harassment campaign.
Kieran lies. He is an irresponsible fake journalist organizing a harassment campaign against me. And he lies while doing it. Shameful.
— Ethan Van Sciver (@EthanVanSciver) February 1, 2018
This statement truly began what we know as Comicsgate as Ethan was bullied off twitter, for at that time a harmless joke by twitter users Tim Doyle and Darryl Ayo who over a period posted tweets accusing Ethan of being a Nazi for this Joke and his association with D&C. This harassment campaign however, was not constant so in their eyes and the Pros on their side not considered harassment.
It's very hypocrite from Aylo to say he never intended a conversation with EVS. pic.twitter.com/Wrz9jE6YkI
— A Happy Supergirl (@ComicCats) February 2, 2018
Darryl Ayo, however, was on the receiving end of the trolls and bigots who harassed Ayo for calling him a Nazi and refusing to appear on Van Sciver’s YouTube channel to defend the claims he made against Jon Malin.
Comicsgate was now in full effect with trolls harassing creators resulting in creators creating blanket statements on anyone who questions anything relating to Comicsgate. This also lead to to of the big comic book Subreddits banning anyone who talks or is apart of Comicsgate. These events are similar to what happened in Gamergate, and like GG the perception was mislead by the mainstream media. A huge part of this was the hypocrisy of creators harassing fans and going ‘unchecked.’
Pros attack fans
Pros were and are being harassed by trolls, who hate diversity and who probably don’t read comics. However, there are fans who don’t like the way these creators use politics in their comics, to push their own ideology (They hate Trump). These fans voice their concern, in calm manners wanting a conversation, instead they get called every sexist, racist, and even told by a creator he hates them and made fun of.
This behaviour by pros went unchecked within the comics community and furthered the divide between fans and ‘SJW’ creators. The harassment both parties face is inexcusable and should never happen. However, people should be able to state, ask, and love the comic community without being called, harassed, or face unprofessional comment. Comicsgate was about to get worse before it got better.
End of Part two, click here for Part Three.