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#thisiscomicsgate, Or; Gate Movements Are Stupid. Here's Some Proof. Part Six.

I'm a Fantasy writer, essayist, and overall nerd with big dreams.

Superman fighting Doomsday. An apt visual metaphor for this whole stupid #comicsgate mess.

Superman fighting Doomsday. An apt visual metaphor for this whole stupid #comicsgate mess.

More of Ethan Van Sciver's bull.

(continued from part five:

After Comicsgate started, the nastiness continued. As with Meyer, Ethan and his following go after other creators and critics they don’t like. Ethan goes about this not only through Twitter, but also through his YouTube channel. His channel mostly consists of vlogs and live streams in where he hosts discussions on pop culture, comic books, and Comicsgate related topics. He also conducts interviews with a variety of guests such as Richard Meyer (whom Ethan has featured many times and just as many times defended him), Chuck Dixon, Vox Day, and Mark S. Miller among others. He uses these vlogs and live streams to lash out against his critics and perceived enemies, like back in September of 2018 when he uploaded a now-deleted ninety-minute video of himself verbally massacring creator and Comicsgate critic, Gail Simone, for no reason other than he really doesn't like her [105] [106].

That was not the only time Ethan’s YouTube channel was the catalyst for one of Comicsgate's harassment controversies. One such controversy began in January of 2018 when artist and Comicsgate supporter Jon Malin sent out a Tweet where he compared Marvel’s X-Men to the Jews fighting back against “SJW Hitler's Germany” (Really) [93]. When fellow creator and critic, Darryl Ayo, called Malin out for this, Ethan invited both of them onto his YouTube channel for a live debate with him as moderator[94]. When asked by Bleeding Cool News about what prompted Ethan’s invitation, Ayo said:

“In professional terms, nothing. There was no reason for Ethan Van Sciver to even be thinking about me, much less talking to me. That said, Ethan Van Sciver decided to invite me (and I don’t necessarily see it as an “invitation,” per se) to appear on his show after I had been highlighted and targeted for harassment by an online person called “Diversity and Comics.” At the time, “Diversity and Comics” had been focusing his attention on me and targeting me for abuse by his fans for about a week.

“The supposed purpose of Ethan Van Sciver’s initiation of contact was to discuss a superhero artist named Jon Malin, who had made bizarre comments earlier that day about Hitler being an “SJW,” which is a derisive term applied to liberals, progressives and leftists. The idea of Hitler, one of the most notorious and brutal right wing thugs in the twentieth century being equated with a term that essentially means “progressive” was appalling and many people throughout the comics industries, including, but not limited to me, expressed disgust at the comments of this Jon Malin person.

“As I was about to shut off my computer and go to bed, I noticed a string of notifications to my twitter account. There was a discussion and there were replies. The origin was Ethan Van Sciver, who I had never spoken with before, mentioning me on his twitter and asking/telling/pleading/demanding that I join some debate that he was currently having on a podcast that he apparently hosts. This is the first time that I had any contact with Ethan Van Sciver and therefore, the casual tone of his tweets was disturbing as they seemed to indicate a familiarity or at least a preexisting relationship between us.

There was no preexisting relationship. I had never agreed to appear on this podcast and I certainly was not going to be coaxed or goaded or railroaded into appearing in public in such a manner. I made a post to my own twitter account, not as a reply to Ethan, but a plain text post, indicating that I was not appearing on an Ethan Van Sciver podcast. Ethan pressed the issue by tweeting to me and attempting to sustain the illusion that there was a mutual agreement about a desire to debate. There was no agreement. There was no prior discussion or contact.”[99]

Darryl Ayo.

Darryl Ayo.

I wish I could say that Ethan gave up after that, but he didn’t. He kept pestering Ayo, trying to force him into joining this proposed debate, a process that Ayo described as “manipulative and insulting.” Obviously, Ayo didn’t want to do it because he knew that it would only expose him to more of the same kind of harassment that Meyer and his followers had just put him through.

Indeed, that seemed to be the point. Ethan didn’t care about this debate at all, he just wanted an excuse to humiliate one of his critics[166]. “All of this became even more obvious,” Ayo told Bleeding Cool, “after Ethan Van Sciver eventually dropped his pretense and admitted that he was angry with me about a comment that I had made months prior regarding reports that he, Ethan Van Sciver, had named a book of his after Hitler’s book.”[99]

After this final rejection, Ethan went on the attack and told his followers and other Comicsgate supporters that Ayo had been leading a harassment mob against him for six months[99]. Dear readers, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Ethan was lying. I did search for it, and there is no evidence whatsoever that supports this “mob's” existence aside from Ethan’s word. That didn’t seem to matter to the Comicsgate supporters, because, as Ayo told Bleeding Cool News, Ethan’s claim “further enflamed the angry bigots who[...]were already targeting me and friends of mine for abuse and harassment.”[99]

Marsha Cooke VS Ethan Van Sciver.

This wasn’t enough for Ethan, though. In August of 2018, he threw himself into yet ANOTHER controversy, this time involving Marsha Cooke. For those of you who don’t know, Marsha Cooke is the outspoken widow of the late Darwyn Cooke, a multi-award winning comic book creator and animator who sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 53. Comicsgate decided to get on Mrs. Cooke’s bad side when a Twitter user going by the name of “Grom,” posted a video that he claimed showed that Darwyn would have supported Comicsgate if he was still alive[97]. When Marsha found out this, she left a response that read thusly:

“Hi Grom, I can guaran-fucking-tee Darwyn Cooke thought you and your babyman friends were embarrassments to comics and can take a walk any time.” [167]

As you can see, Mrs. Cooke does not mince words. Not unexpectedly, Comicsgate supporters didn’t take to kindly to this reaction. According to articles on Bounding Into Comics and Bleeding Cool News, many Comicsgaters questioned if she was who she said she was, while others kept trying to convince her that she was wrong about her husband, with some even accusing her of straight up lying and disrespecting her husband’s memory by attempting to, as one user put it, “co-opt dead people into your cause,” among many other things[95][97].

I have to stress again that Bounding Into Comics is not an objective source. It’s basically Comicsgate’s little propaganda machine, doing everything that it can to make the movement look like innocent victims in every situation. They would have you believe that Mrs. Cooke was being the aggressor in this situation, going so far as to accuse her of supporting "racist", and labeling her a hypocrite and insinuate that she didn’t actually know the man she'd been married to for five years[95].

What they won’t tell you is that as time passed, the argument devolved into Comicsgate supporters doing what they are known for, and began vomiting out transphobic slurs[97]. Marsha called them out on this…and then Ethan stepped in and made the situation even worse. Here is their entire conversation because it truly is incredible (screen captures taken from the website ‘The’):

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Later, Marsha asked Ethan if he was going actually going to do anything about the ones attacking her, and rather than taking any form of responsibility like a normal human being, he said this (screen capture is taken from the website ‘The’):


Surprised? Me neither. But then something amazing happened. Up until this point, most of the industry had simply ignored Comicsgate by making liberal use of the block function on social media. The hope was that by ignoring them, they would just go away. But after Marsha Cooke's encounter...

...The industry began fighting back.

The Big Guns Fire.

First in a trickle, then in a tsunami, some of the industry's top creators stood in solidarity and loudly and publicly denounced #comicsgate [37]. Among the first of these was creator Jeff Lemire, who said in a Tweet:

"Comicsgate is based on fear, intolerance, bigotry and anger. The comics creators emerging today are too talented, too smart and too loud to be beaten by these weak people. It’s time we all started standing up for one another." [168]

Creator Bill Sienkiewicz followed this with a lengthy Facebook post, where he asked them:

"Are you so insecure, so afraid, so fearful of the prospect of bearing the 'incel' moniker, or by sharing creative space with someone with more estrogen than you- that you're all somehow threatened to your very manhood or your livelihood? How super-heroic of you." [169]

He also called their actions bullying and urged them too:

"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, obliviously crying racism in your Wite-Out™. You're damned right some corrections need to be made; starting with the guys in the mirror first." [169]

Other creators soon followed, with most simply copy and pasting a Tweet written by Tom King (famous for his work on numerous Marvel titles and Injustice 2 for DC), which reads “There is no place for homophobia, transphobia, racism or misogyny in comics criticism” [37]. On the heels of that, at least one publisher--Vault Comics-- has come out and denounced them as well, and urged other publishers to do the same [170]. Talk about a burn.

And then, just when Comicsgate thought that this deluge of negative press couldn't get any worse, the Mainstream press showed up. Articles about the movement started to appear in major news sources, including the Washington Post [36], The Miami Herald [172], Buzzfeed [60], [173], hell even the Syfy channel posted an article about them on their website [174].

Fully exposed, Comicsgate pulled the victim card out once again. Some of you might be wondering if there is any truth to their alleged victimhood at all? After all, we did establish that the Breitweisers were getting harassed by Tim Doyle. And let us not forget about Mark Waid’s little harassment mob.

The answer to that question is yes and no. Yes, Comicsgaters do get their fair share of harassment, but I have to stress that, based on available evidence, the Breitweisers' situation and Waid's mob, appear to be the exceptions, not the rule. And that the credibility of a lot of the reported cases is questionable.

As far as official sources go, 99.9% of the positive coverage the movement gets comes from three very specific, agenda driven News Outlets (The Federalist, Bounding Into Comics and PJ Media) whose articles are little more than fluffy, fake outrage pieces and cotton candy propaganda designed to make the movement look in the right in all circumstances. While the rest is drilled into membership from blogs like Bleeding Fool, and Comicsgate themed drama YouTube channels like Ethan's Channel, YellowFlashguy and ThatUmbrellaGuy (among others).

As such, anything they say is automatically suspect because the furious wails of “SJWs are ruining everything!” are bouncing off each other. Sadly, these sources are also pretty much the only places you’ll likely hear about Comicsgaters getting harassed. Without going into much detail, because we still have a lot to get through, let’s quickly name off some of these incidents in the next part.

(Continued in Part Seven:

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

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