Tuesday, August 28, 2018

COMICSGATE

    If you're a fellow who enjoys some good comics once in awhile, you've probably noticed that the Comics Industry has been experiencing an onrush of political malcontents on both the Left and Right. Both sides are doing a lot of finger-pointing and exaggerating (as well as carrying on corporate intrigues) against one another. This kind of breach naturally leads to openings for opportunists to exploit the chaos for their own gain.

     What's started this problem has been two things. One, the industry has been driven by changing market dynamics to include more minorities and women in their scripts. Two: the industry has badly mismanaged how to make this transition. This has resulted in some pushback. Author Eric Francisco made an astute observation back in February describing this resistance as "an attempt to keep the medium White, male, and familiar." What he misses is that it's the last quality which has been causing a backlash.

     If it's one thing that comics' fans like, it's familiarity. We recall just a few years ago when Marvel Comics caused an outcry simply by changing Spiderman's costume. Changing race or gender of a character is an even bigger transition, since these things are naturally inherent to a character developed over several decades. The mistake that comics' publishers have been making is not that they introduce more female or minority characters. Their mistake is changing established characters. That tactic comes across as in-your-face social engineering. 

     A good example of this kind of blunder was the recent decision to change the 'Batwoman' character into a lesbian. Batwoman started her career because she had a crush on Batman. She was soon joined by her niece---the first Batgirl---who had a crush on Robin. Obviously you can't turn a character like that into a dyke without destroying the original character completely. At that's going to lose a lot of fans regardless of what think about lesbians. 

     Just as the need for more diversity provided opportunity for anti-White male extremists, so Right-Wing bigots saw the chance to exaggerate the Industry's blunders and turn it into an industry of their own. Thus Comics-Gate and its concomitant, the so-called 'Alt-Hero' project, were born. 

      Their impetus came through social media. Vox Day, a Game/PUA loser and White Supremacist, started Arkhaven Comics from a crowdsourcing campaign generously funded by his followers who practically worship him. Arkhaven's dismal sales and poor production quality indicates that reverse discrimination is hardly the reason that Vox and his followers aren't represented in the mainstream. He's currently trying to raise more funds for a graphic novel featuring Q-Anon as the protagonist. You get the idea. 

     Industry malcontents Chuck Dixon and Richard Meyer are among the ringleaders of Comics-Gate. Dixon has since gone to Arkhaven where his career has tanked. Meyer runs a vlog titled Diversity and Comics. The followers of these two found what they considered a 'smoking gun' photo of a feminist takeover at Marvel:



    The Marvelettes pictured here were having a gathering of sorts to remember Florence Steinberg, a female comics personality who'd recently passed away. As girls are wont to do, they posed for a group selfie drinking milkshake toasts to the late Miss Florence. This led to a vicious online campaign against the ladies pictured here. Actually, I think that the girl in the middle of the first row is kinda cute 😇.

    Comics-Gate is a farce; an attempt to cause division and give the ringards of the industry a chance to promote their less-than-mediocre skills without offering a single positive or constructive solution to genuine problems. The industry needs reform; not revolution right now.    

       

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