I'm a Fantasy writer, essayist, and overall nerd with big dreams.
(continued from part three: http://hub.me/amJBf)
And now we come to the worst part of this whole pathetic movement. Ethan has often described Comicsgate as the middle ground, the “rational alternative” and that the movement is open to everyone and they don’t harass anyone who is against them . Dear readers, Ethan once again is not being honest with us. I went into this article hoping that the stories of Comicsgates harassment and bigotry were greatly exaggerated. They were not. There is no rationality in Comicsgate. You are either with them or against them. And if you are against them, they will not be merciful.
Now, before going on, I need to point out that not everyone who supports Comicsgate has participated in these vile activities. Indeed, there are even some female creators who support them (notably artists Mindy Wheeler7 and Martina Markota ). Nevertheless, this needs to be discussed, because it is absolutely disgusting. I won’t go over every incident, but I will talk about the ones that are the most well-known and publicized. If you wish to learn more details about their vile behavior, go this read:
In the meantime, let's get this over with.
Sidenote 7: Since this article was written, Mrs. Wheeler has left Comicsgate after an argument with Ethan . And She seems to have left Social Media altogether after being subjected to the same kind of Harassment that Comicsgate doles out to its critics.
The Case of Chelsea Cain.
Let’s start in 2016, when Marvel announced that it would be canceling the series Mockingbird. After this announcement, the comic’s writer, Chelsea Cain, sent out a Tweet that read “Mockingbird is canceled. But we need to make sure @Marvel makes room for more titles by women about kicking ass.” most people would see this tweet and realize that this was Mrs. Cain expressing her opinion that Marvel should keep making comics that feature strong women as the main character, but that’s not how many fans saw it. Some fans began mocking the book’s cancelation in various ways   , and they also started raging against (as it seemed to them) Marvel pushing a feminist agenda and politicizing their comics as a whole. To make a long story short, this got out of hand. It got so bad that Mrs. Cain actually left Twitter for a time . Some said that this was proof that she is just a snowflake that couldn’t handle criticism but that doesn't hold any water. While most of the comments from that time disappeared when she deactivated her account, many were screencapped and included in articles from various online news outlets, and after going through them I can say that yes, there was legit harassment going on there, and these were just a handful the comments from over the course of a few days.
In a blog post from October 27, 2016, Mrs. Cain elaborated upon the kind of abusive comments she had been getting. She revealed that during Mockingbird’s eight-issue run, she had received a small percentage of negative/or abusive messages, many of which she claims were hateful and misogynistic in nature. However, those kind of comments didn’t bother her too much, as they were not any different than what other female comic book writer received daily .
“The tweets that bothered me,” She writes, “were never the ones concerned with content; they were the ones that questioned my right to write comics at all, and were disgusted by the idea of a female hero having her own series.”  After Mockingbird's cancelation, the number of comments of this type exploded. “Overnight, I had lost thousands of followers.” She wrote. “I had gained a thousand new followers. I had been tagged thousands of times. Comments were coming in, fast and furious, every second. I’d never seen anything like it. I saw a few of them - a lot of support, a lot of people yelling at one another - a lot of people mad at me for being too quick on the block button or too critical of comic book readers or being too feminist. A lot of them just seemed mad at women in general.” Later in the post, she writes that someone posted her address and that she received rape threats . What in the flying hell is wrong with these people?!
This was just one incident, and one year before Heather’s Milkshake picture at that. After the incident with Ms. Cain and Heather’s milkshake selfie, there was, as one article from Vulture puts it, “a tidal wave of reactionary hatred directed toward women and minorities in the comics world. In angry tweets, as well as rambling YouTube videos, members of the inchoate Comicsgate movement have derided female and minority characters, creators, and fans.” 
Richard C. Meyer
Who were these fans whipping the people into a frenzy with their tweets and Youtube videos? There were actually many (see the above picture), but two of the most outspoken were our old pal Ethan Van Sciver, and Comicsgate’s founder, Army veteran Richard C. Meyer (better known by his YouTube names, Diversity & Comics and "Comics MATTER w/Ya Boi Zack").
Dear readers, I will be completely honest with you; I’ve avoided talking about Meyer until now because, believe it or not, I am trying to be objective and give both sides. But when it comes to Richard C. Meyer, my objectivity shrivels up and dies. This man, in my personal opinion, embodies every negative aspect of geek culture there is. His videos and social media posts are full of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism and everything in between. Half of Comicsgates’ abysmal reputation can be laid directly at his feet. If I could give a proper overview of this movement and not talk about this vitriolic, hateful little man, I would. Unfortunately, I can’t, so here we go.
Why is Meyer so obsessed with this? What inspired him to get onto YouTube and eventually found Comicsgate? As Meyer himself told the Daily Beast when visiting the comic shop near his home, he began to see display posters in the windows of the Marvel Comics character Captain Marvel, and he soon grew irritated by the “masculinization” of the character . He also adds that he “started noticing a lot more weird stuff, feminization of men, masculinization of women, basically, all the classic heterosexual pairings being destroyed... you realize this is a trend, and you start wondering why they’re doing it. Why is Luke Cage, the quintessential blaxploitation tough guy, why is he pushing a baby carriage and he’s the wimpiest, most soft-spoken—this is not done on accident.”
There is so much wrong with these statements that I don’t even know where to start. I admit I am not as familiar with the recent Captain Marvel books as I probably should be. However, I do know a little about the character’s history, including why she was created in the first place. She was originally created to be just as strong and capable as her male counterparts. A tough, no-nonsense woman who is not a victim, eye candy, or any other stereotype that female characters had at the time of her creation, 1968. In short, she was always kind of designed to be the ideal, liberated woman – simply put, a feminist . If I’m understanding this right, her history and her recent stories don’t matter to Meyer because, as he implied, he is basing this “masculinization” solely on the posters he saw. Basically, he doesn’t like how she looks. On its own, that’s actually fine. That’s his opinion and I will be the first to admit that perhaps this was just a case of bad artwork...
But then you start to pick what he said apart and realize that he doesn’t like it because she doesn’t look feminine enough. Now it’s problematic. Then you add this idea of the “feminization of men” and his comment on Luke Cage and a baby carriage, and now he’s rolled into out and out sexism. Think about this for a moment. Meyer is basically saying that women shouldn’t be strong because it’s “manly.” That women should be soft-spoken, weak, dainty, at the beck and call of men, the only ones who take care of children because that is feminine, that’s a woman’s proper job.
Furthermore, don’t think he’s just being sexist towards women, because he’s also being sexist towards men. How dare a man do something feminine like push a baby carriage? That sort of thing is beneath him, it’s not masculine. He should be out there doing manly things, like being loud and obnoxious, working out, getting drunk, harassing women, doing sporting activities and construction. Most importantly, he must never let his feelings show because that is weak and womanly. What’s that? You’re a man and don’t fit this description at all? What are you, a sissy?
You see what I mean? This guy honestly believes that if you don’t fit what his ideas of what women and men are supposed to be then you are mentally ill, and it’s not just fictional characters that have caught his hateful eye either. Meyer routinely attacks creators that he doesn’t like on social media and through his YouTube videos. And overwhelmingly, those attacked are people who hold political views opposite to this own, women (seriously the man is obsessed with how women look) , racial minorities   , and those who identify as LGBTQ, with transgender people, in particular, being one of his favorite targets. Some of you might be thinking that I’m grasping at straws here, that Meyer has to be joking, and that there’s no way any sane person could believe any of this nonsense. Nope. This sort of thing comes up over and over and over and over again. Here's some proof:
Still not convinced? Well then, let’s take a quick look at his “Dark Roast.” For those who don’t know what that is, The Dark Roast was a private video Meyer did in November of 2017 that was subsequently leaked to the public. Although Meyer has since deleted it, others were able to download the video and make it available for viewing  . I have watched this “roast” and, dear readers, this 23-minute piece of garbage is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard. So if you're easily offended, feel free to scroll past this part.
In the first few minutes alone he speculates on what kind of pedophiles writers Dan Slott, Mark Waid, and Brian Michel Bendis are. He also accuses writer Devan K Greyson and other women of “sucking their way into the industry”. He also described Transgender comic creator Magdalene Visaggio a “man in a wig” and then went on to intentionally misgender her when he claimed that she was a “fucking crazy person, a criminal, who is definitely, definitely going to kill himself” and also accuses her of not being transgendered at all, but rather “just a pervert. It’s a crossdresser; it’s someone with a fetish.”
Of one creator, Matt Santori-Griffith, he said “[Matt Santori] is a fucking fag. He’s just this like flouncing-like super dramatic. Everything is rape, everything is harassment, everything bigotry. I’ve actually found that’s fairly common. One of the things is just like these people they don’t have lives; they don’t have families.”  And also infamously called Heather Antos a “Cum dumpster.” Who was only hired because the man who hired her, Jordan White, only wanted her around as his personal sex toy  . And, oh dear lord. Are you beginning to see why people don’t like this guy?
Yup, it's getting worse.
In addition to all of that, there’s also Meyer’s other questionable beliefs. One quote, in particular, I remember being attributed to him was “racism doesn’t exist except for white people.” However, I found out that the quote is actually from a Twitter user going by the name of “SJW Spider-Man” who used the phrase to describe Meyer’s views of racism. Regrettably, this opinion may not be unfounded. While it is true that Meyer never said those exact words, he has used similar language in the past that strongly implies that he holds to this belief, as the clip in this tweet demonstrates:
Comedy Central's interview with Meyer...I bet he regrets this now.
Another one of these beliefs, one that I find immensely irritating, is that Meyer seems to be under the impression that liberals are fast-tracked to employment in the industry. As he explained to the Daily Beast, “One of the things about SJWs is that they get a job because of surface qualities, being a woman, being black, being gay, being trans, and there’s no adjustment on the ground to negative fan reaction due to low sales.”
He goes on to denounce these people’s creative skills, saying, “They obviously seemed to not be qualified. They can’t spot basic typos, they can’t notice major plot holes, [...] I talk to all these people, actual, legitimate talents, who can’t get a job to save their lives” .
Now, I admit that I am no expert when it comes to business, but even a newborn could tell you that this argument is dumb. First off, writers and editors are only human. Sometimes mistakes just happen, even in regular books.
Secondly, he’s completely ignoring the reality of the business. The comic book industry isn’t an open door where anyone can walk in and get a job on the spot. You know why Marvel hired Chelsea Cain to write Mockingbird? It wasn’t because she’s a liberal or a feminist. It's because she’s a bestselling novelist. And before you start going “but she had no experience writing comics before that, so Meyer is right, she’s just an unqualified SJW who got a free pass.” Well, I’m going to tell you all a piece of advice I was once given during my college days; if you want to write comics, screenplays or even stories for video games, the best way to get your foot in the door is to establish yourself in another medium first.
Brad Meltzer is a perfect example of this, by the way.
Hiring established writers is actually a common practice in most creative industries and indeed it makes perfect sense. Established writers already have the storytelling experience companies are looking for, and successful ones bring their fans with them when they make the transition. This means more potential revenue for whoever hired them. In short, this practice isn’t gatekeeping or politics, it’s just good business. It certainly doesn’t make them unqualified to make comic books, no matter what Comicsgate tells you.
Obviously, that doesn’t mean that every story is going to be a masterpiece, nor does it mean that comic companies never hire people with prior comic book writing experience (because they do). What Meyer doesn’t seem to understand is that (as we already established with Chuck Dixon) no matter how much talent you might have, no one is obligated to give you a job. Sure, It sucks, but get used to it. It’s not about what you want, it’s about them making money, and if they feel that you don’t fit their criteria (whatever it might be), you’re not getting in.
Meyer would probably counter that with “well then why do they always hire SJWs then? They don’t have any talent blah blah blah.” First I’d ask for a citation, and then I’d ask him this: if conservative political beliefs were all that was needed to write a good story, then wouldn’t that mean that someone like Grant Morrison is as bad a writer as Meyer and company believe Ta-Nehisi Coates is?
After all, Grant Morrison is many things but politically conservative isn’t one of them. So according to Comicsgate's logic, he should be one of the worst writers ever. Yet Morrison has written some of the most influential and popular comics in history, including the excellent All-Star Superman, Flex Mentallo, the 1980's revival of The Doom Patrol, The Invisibles, Batman: Arkham Asylum, he co-authored the weekly Maxi-series 52, and he wrote my personal favorite superhero story of all time, Final Crisis. Gee, it’s almost as if political belief doesn’t equal artistic talent. Who knew?
In addition, Meyer, like the rest of Comicsgate, seems to be under the delusion that bad comics are somehow a recent phenomenon and solely the fault of liberals and SJWs. This, again, makes no sense. Bad media has been around since media began, and comic books are no exception.
Otherwise, how do you explain things like early-90s Youngblood (or Rob Liefeld’s work in general), Countdown to Final Crisis, Avengers #200, Or Frank Miller’s “propaganda” comic Holy Terror? All of these are AWFUL comics that were released long before Comicsgate was created, are they the fault of liberals and SJW’s? No. And with the exception of Holy Terror, none of them are overtly political. So please connect the dots for me here, Meyer, because I can't follow you with all that horse shit tumbling out of your mouth.
Putting all that aside, Meyer has other problems. Take for example how he took credit for organizing a boycott that got writer Aubrey Sitterson fired from IDW’s G.I.Joe book. According to an article on PJ Media, He did this because Sitterson reimagined a character named Salvo as an “overweight lesbian,”  or to put it another way, Sitterson made a creative decision that Meyer didn’t like, and wanted to punish him for it. And in a boneheaded move, Sitterson gave Meyer the ammunition to do so. On September 11, 2017, he sent out an insensitive tweet about the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Meyer and company brought this tweet to the attention of IDW and Hasbro - the toy company that owns the G.I. Joe franchise - and they acted accordingly  . Don’t get me wrong, Sitterson was stupid to make those comments, and he would have probably paid for them even without Meyer’s help.
However, this does not change the fact that Meyer threw a temper tantrum because a change that he personally didn’t like was made to a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. Not only that, but he also picked this fight with the sole purpose of getting someone who doesn’t politically agree with him fired.
That last bit isn’t speculation either. Meyer admitted to both points when he told PJ Media, “My hope was to get Sitterson fired and for IDW to stop peddling SJW politics" . What makes this even worse is that PJ Media took Meyer’s side without a hint of critical thought saying, “Portraying American soldiers as fat, slovenly women is not only ridiculous but insulting to the military” . which is moronic beyond belief. The characters from the old G.I.Joe cartoon of the 1980s (of which IDW’s comic is based) were inspired by action movie stereotypes of that era. While the cartoon itself was never about praising the American military, it was a vehicle used to sell toys to children. In my opinion, the fact that Meyer and PJ Media cannot (or won’t) understand that is far more insulting to our soldiers than anything Sitterson could have come up with.
Whispers of Nazis.
Then there are rumors that Meyer is a Neo-Nazi. This rumor sprouted last year when Meyer posted some now deleted pictures to his Twitter showing him at the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA in August of 2017. I have to stress that this rumor is just that, a rumor, and has not in any way, shape, or form been definitively proven. What is undeniable, though, is that he was in the city at the time of the rally. Meyer claims that he travels to Virginia frequently to visit his father. Which is fine...but then he admits that they don’t live in Charlottesville, they live in a town called Lynchburg. Then there’s the fact that on the first day of the rally, he uploaded a video review with the clickbaity title “KKK Fails to Stop Me From Buying BLACK PANTHER Comic In Charlottesville” in which he claims that he was only in Charlottesville to buy an old Black Panther comic .
In my opinion, this video is an insultingly weak attempt to cover his ass, and apparently, I am not alone in this opinion. On the 14th of October 2018, a Twitter user going by the name of “Renfamous” confronted Meyer about being at Charlottesville during the rally and even presented him with some of his deleted photos of the event that she had found through Google Image search . Meyer responded the following day, but rather than outright deny any allegations, he went on a very angry rant in which he played the victim, admitted to deleting old posts that flaunted his bad behavior, and accused Renfamous of lying and trying to harm to him and his business, among other things. Shortly after posting all this, he deleted the entire rant, but not before Ren screen capped it (see below) .
Renfamous, as it turns out, is actually one of Comicsgate's most outspoken critics and is often a target of their harassment. She is constantly broadsided with attempts to silence her. So, Ren, if you're reading this, you deserve a medal for all the crap you put up with.
Meyer VS Mark Waid.
Meyer’s idiocy doesn’t end with his videos, Twitter arguments, or getting creators he doesn’t like fired, though. The cherry on top is his blood feud with famed comic creator Mark Waid. How this feud started isn’t really clear. Those within Comicsgate say Waid started it by (allegedly) harassing Meyer on numerous occasions. While comic book professionals and Comicsgate critics say that Meyer started it by being his bigoted self and by (again, allegedly) harassing Waid. I don’t know who to believe, and it’s honestly not that important.
Both men have said things and done things that normal people would find reprehensible. I’ve already mentioned how Meyer basically accused Waid of being a pedophile during his Dark Roast. But before that roast went live, it was confirmed by numerous news outlets that Waid tried to organize a harassment mob against Meyer while the two were attending a comic book convention in the spring of 2018   . While my own disdain for Meyer is as bottomless as a black hole, I cannot and will not condone harassment of any kind. So not cool, Mark, not cool.
Regardless of how it started, it all came to a head in September of 2018, when Meyer announced he was going to sue the hell out of Mark Waid . The reason? Meyer believes that Waid interfered with the publication of his crowdfunded comic, Jawbreakers: Lost Souls. You see, shortly after the book was successfully crowdfunded, it was announced that the book would be released by the publishing company Antarctic Press…and then Antarctic Press canceled it . Meyer got it into his head that Waid had somehow bullied them into doing so and decided to sue him for “tortious interference of a contract” and defamation .
Is there any truth to his claim? In my opinion, not even a little. For one thing, Antarctic Press has publicly stated that, although Waid did inform them of Meyer’s bad behavior, he had nothing to do with their final decision. Some believe that they were lying about this, but I disagree. According to Bleeding Cool, Meyer posted several screenshots to his social media pages of private conversations between Antarctic Press, himself, and comic book retailers about whether or not said retailers would carry Jawbreakers. The answer for the majority of them was a resounding “no,” .
One would think that this rejection would’ve sparked an epiphany, and Meyer would realize that being a self-righteous bigoted troglodyte online isn’t how you endear yourself to potential business partners, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Meyer grew enraged and blamed his rejection on Mark Waid and Marvel editor C.B. Cebulski. Why did he immediately jump to this conclusion (aside from his creepy hatred of Waid)? What was his evidence? It was a rumor that originated on the internet message board 4chan . I’m not kidding: his evidence of “tortious interference” came from a website well known for trolling people. Let that sink in for a second.
Meyer then proceeded to dox several of the retailers, revealing the addresses of their stores, as well as sharing the contact details of their owners with his Twitter followers. In fairness, Meyer did ask his followers not to harass the stores he was doxing  - a request that, in my personal opinion, is a fat load of crap. Yes, he did make the request, Twitter screencaps prove it, but think about this for a moment: if Meyer truly didn’t want these stores and their employees to be harassed, then why did he dox them first place? There’s also the fact that when a fan asked for more information about other the stores who rejected him, he responded with this tweet :
On the morning of May 11, 2018, just when I thought Meyer couldn’t possibly dig himself a deeper hole, according to the blog, Women Who Write Comics, “agreed with a fan’s joke about breaking the legs of those at the stores who refused to carry Jawbreakers, rallying his “army” around his cause.” 
Not long after this doxing took place, a new Twitter account was created called “Official Comicsgate Boycott”, and they immediately began to tweet out a list of comic book shops that would not carry Jawbreakers . Soon after that, the stores in question began to receive abusive messages on social media. Not only the stores, negative messages were also sent to the personal accounts of the store's employees, as well. They were also bombarded by negative reviews from Meyer’s supporters on Facebook and other social media outlets .
Mean messages and bad reviews were not where it ended. Two stores; one in Canada called Variant Edition Comics & Culture, and one in Ireland called Big Bang Comics, would find themselves on the receiving end of Comicsgate's wrath  . On May 10, 2018, Variant sent out a tweet saying that they wouldn’t stock Jawbreakers because of Meyer’s bigoted behavior and because they felt that the book didn’t “appeal to our demographic,” but that they would take pre-orders and special order the comic for those who wished to buy it.
In response, Meyer and a large portion of Comicsgate supporters went after the store via YouTube and Twitter, and accused them of bullying customers and being anti-consumer . Yes, you read that right, Richard Meyer and Comicsgate believe that a privately-owned business exercising their right to not stock a product is a form of bullying and anti-consumerism. They honestly think that a store is obligated to pander to them simply because they said so. Early in the morning of May 11th, Variant was broken into and robbed . This incident was never definitively linked to Meyer, but given the size and fragility of his ego, the nature of his activity leading up to the break-in, and the kind of messages Variant had been receiving from his followers prior to the break-in, there is little doubt as to who ultimately is reasonable for this.
In the afternoon of the same day, that suspicion gained even more credence when the owner of Big Bang Comics sent out a tweet saying that one of Meyer’s supporters (a Twitter user going by the screen name “Robert Black,”) had sent him a message, warning him of the consequences of not stocking Meyer’s book . While this was going on, as I’ve already explained, Mark Waid contacted Antarctic Press and told them what Meyer was doing and further explained to them who it was they were getting in bed with. They looked into it, and then, upon learning the truth of what Waid told them, announced that they would no longer be publishing JawBreakers the following day.
To put this another way, all of the credible evidence points to one inescapable conclusion. Richard Meyer shot himself in the foot with his own vindictiveness, not the other way around.
As for the defamation claim. Meyer claims that because of Waid and other SJWs damaging his reputation, no comic publisher will work with him, forcing him to start his own publishing company to get his work out there. This man is so incredibly stupid, that he honestly thinks that there’s a conspiracy out to destroy him. To which I have to ask a very simple question: Meyer, if you’re really as innocent, as you say, why did you deactivate your Twitter page and delete a number of your YouTube videos? Hm, its almost as if you know that there is no way in hell you're going to win.
And then Antarctic Press themselves pulled a Thanos and snapped Meyer's claims into dust. On April 23, 2019, Mark Waid posted an update to Facebook that spoke in some detail about Antarctic Press' testimony. Not only did they reaffirm that Waid had nothing to do with them canceling Jawbreakers, but they also revealed that no contract with Meyer had ever actually been signed . Meyer had been using this bogus claim of "Tortuous Interference" to avoid taking responsibility for his own shitty behavior.
Based on this testimony and questions of jurisdiction, Waid's Lawyer filed for the case to be dismissed. Meyer has not filed a response . And if he has any brain cells left, I don't think he will. Meyer at this point is done, And Comicsgate isn't far behind.
(Click here for Part Five:http://hub.me/amKFR )
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Will English