What is #Comicsgate? Small Minds with Big Mouths

I’ve intentionally avoided writing about “#Comicsgate” until now.  Honestly, I felt it didn’t deserve any more attention than it already had.  It’s a movement of intolerance fueled by a small (compared to comic fandom as a whole) group of angry, close-minded individuals.  They are very loud about their displeasure with the modern comic industry in an attempt to a) appear larger and more influential than they really are and b) garner more attention for their rantings.  As such, I haven’t written about it.  Why give this little, prattling monster what it wants?  However, as someone who writes about his love of comic books while often showcasing my appreciation for the social justice lessons the better ones teach us, I figured it was time to finally talk about it.  As it’s sadly not going anywhere (yet) I’d also like to offer my two cents on how we can counter things like this in the comic fan community. 

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Yep…this was what got some people so upset. / Photo Credit – @HeatherAntos

There’s no one clear moment which incited “Comicsgate” but the name most likely derives from “Gamersgate,” a 2014 alt-right, white nationalist movement that sought to push such views in the video game industry.  I’ll link a few articles giving a more detailed history of Comicsgate below if you’re interested but, essentially, here’s what it is.  The name began to trend regularly in July of 2017 after Heather Antos (an editor at Marvel Comics) was attacked for sharing a selfie on Twitter of her and other female creatives at Marvel enjoying milkshakes.  Inexplicably this somehow represented all that was “wrong with comics.”  How friends enjoying milkshakes could represent this is beyond me.  Many, obviously and understandably, defended Antos and called out the individuals who felt it was somehow justifiable to attack her for a picture or claim she and her friends were “fake geek girls” just because they were women who loved and worked in comics, as though comics are somehow an expressly male thing.  However the term still trends, from time to time, used by those with no apparent goal other than seeing less diversity in the characters and the creative talent in comic books.

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One of the many signs of support for Heather Antos. / Photo Credit – @katillustration

In addition to Heather Antos, other specific creators have been targeted including (but not limited to) Mark Waid, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alex de Campi, Alanna Smith, Nick Spencer, Matt Fraction, Dan Slott, Larry Hama, and others.  The uniting thread is they are all either women and/or people of color and/or creators who present progressive messages in their comics.  In addition to harassment online, there have been calls for boycotts of their work claiming they are “a cancer” in the industry.  The members of the Comicsgate brigade often use the hashtag “SJW” (“Social Justice Warriors”) to deride what they feel is ruining the purity of the comic industry (how championing social justice, equality, representation and inclusion can be a bad thing is also beyond me and seems to say much more about the people who fight those ideas than those who support them).

I’ve intentionally left out the names and links to any of the Twitter and YouTube pages of those associated with Comicsgate.  I’ve no desire to give people willfully and passionately proclaiming derogatory ideas any more of a platform nor do I want to make it any easier for people to find their rantings.  Suffice to say, their agenda is to keep comic books as white and male as possible – both in creatives and content.

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Showing readers do crave diversity, Eve L. Ewing’s new Ironheart series for Marvel debuts in November and it looks brilliant!  You can read more about it here. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen these sort of vitriolic attacks on diversity in comics.  I’ve written about them before too.  And I stand by what I’ve said.  I can’t being to imagine what is so scared and broken inside these individuals to make them think they have to hurt others to feel better about themselves.  To live your life so frightened of anything you perceive as “different” from you that you feel compelled to partake in a hate-fueled crusade would be a terrible way to live.  I do feel sorry for them.  We as human beings are meant for community.  We are made in the image and likeness of God which means, among other things, we are literally made to love.  This sort of hate, harassment, and bigotry isn’t just wrong it’s a fundamental rejection of what we are made to be, to feel, to do.

In the service of our nature, I grant (as difficult as it is when I read the things espoused by the Comicsgate crew) that our place is to try and find a way to love them in their brokenness.  But loving someone doesn’t mean we accept the unacceptable and understanding inner brokenness as an explanation for terrible behavior isn’t a call to excuse it.  Wrong is wrong and all this Comicsgate nonsense is wrong.

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Nnedi Okorafor’s Shuri #1 debuts in October and I’m beyond excited for this one too!  If you’d like, you can read more about it here. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Our world is beautifully diverse – made so by God – and the fact that comics are making an intentional move to showcase this diversity, in the stories they tell and the people they have telling these stories, is a good thing.  That’s it.  Period.  Full stop.  There’s no way to argue against that with any sort of honor, truth, or integrity.  God made the world this way.  We can honor what God’s created or we can reject it in favor of our own vision.

To be as direct as I can, the idea that anyone’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, place of birth, or country they want to live in somehow affects their worth as a human being is wrong.  Period.  This isn’t like a “Do you like Lucas’s or Disney’s Star Wars better?” kind of thing.  This isn’t a debate on a matter of personal opinion.  There is a clear right and wrong here.  Your opinion may be that those things do affect someone’s worth but, if that’s the case, your opinion is uninformed at best or willfully and destructively ignorant at worst.  Whatever the root of it, such an opinion is wrong.  We – each and every beautiful one of us – are worth exactly the same because we are made in the image and likeness of God.

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Ms. Marvel battles a literal internet troll.  Far from diversity ruining comics, Ms. Marvel has sold half a million trade paperbacks and outperforms the market digitial sales, selling as much in digital as she does in print (as this piece outlines). / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

As such, we all have an equal right to life and dignity.  Seeing comic books, the characters they star, and the creative talent producing the comics themselves feature an ever-increasing diversity more accurately reflecting the world we live in is a good thing.  Period.  It is an action, albeit a minor one in the grand scheme of things, that further honors the inherent dignity in all.  This is what we are called to foster in all we do.  To advocate an agenda that comics books shouldn’t feature ever-increasing diversity in characters and creators and/or to harass the creators and companies that do work to promote this is also wrong.  Period.  If you don’t like that then your issue isn’t with comic writers, artists, and editors – it’s with God’s law.

Of course we all have free will, so people are welcome to reject God’s consistent call to social justice, inclusion, and equality in the name of the false gods they’ve made of their own prejudices.  But me?  I’m always going to bet on God’s side.  What can I say?  I like to play the favorites.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates has been writing Captain America since July and it is every bit as brilliant as I dreamed!  If you’re interested, here’s a piece Coates wrote on why he decided to write Cap. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Now I’m not trying to equate the characters in comics or the creators behind those books with something as far reaching or real as the struggle for a just and holy immigration system, the battle against systemic racism, the duty to respond with nonviolence to a violent world, the need to work tirelessly for equal rights for women, our need to be careful and loving stewards of God’s creation, or letting the preferential option for the poor be the heart of all we do – all things, I might add, God calls us to.  But it’s a part of this.  Minor though it may be in its own way, it strikes a blow against the institutional structures of sin that perpetrate the superiority of the white, male at the expense of all others.  If we want a just and equal society (and to advocate anything else is clearly wrong) we need to do all we can to dismantle those systems of oppression and sin.

Allowing an authentically diverse group of people to create comic books, speaking authentically to their own lived experience in their art, is a part of creating a just and equal society.  The characters these comics feature is a necessary part of this, a part that shapes the consciousness of the children who read them.  It shows children – regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, place of birth, or country they want to live in – there are heroes who look like them, who have similar lived experiences to them.  This is important because there is nothing exclusively white or male about being heroic.

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Amadeus Cho shares his new identity – Brawn – with Sam Alexander (Nova), Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) and Riri Williams (Ironheart) in Champions. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

It is disheartening, in 2018, we still need to have this conversation.  Yes, we’ve made strides to combat systemic racism and sexism in our society but the struggle is far from over.  Sadly, this sort of intolerance is on the rise.  As the Trump Presidency crawls on, we continue to see a rise in hate crimes.  (If you’d like more specifics on this, you can look at this June 2018 piece from Scientific American or this May 2018 one from the South Poverty Law Center or this June 2018 study from the NAACP all corroborating this fact.)  With his election, a sense of faux-legitimacy was given to bigoted ideas while emboldening those who hold them.  There have always been people in this country who feel those they deem “different” were lesser.  Yet there has been a cultural stigma around those ideas; they were something you’d expect judgment for voicing out loud even if you believed you were right.  Now, with a man who speaks and tweets as Trump does in the White House, the people who hold those views feel validated.  If three years ago you’d’ve told me we’d have people openly and passionately debating whether or not all Nazis or KKK members are bad I’d’ve thought you were crazy.  Nazis are always badThe KKK is always bad.  But now those truths are subverted by some and those doing the subverting feel justified in doing so.  Such is life in 2018.

The people championing harassment and bigotry via Comicsgate are simply the comic book branch of this monster.  They are threatened by comic books that show the world is larger than their white, male preference and they can’t abide by the truth that it’s not only okay for the world to be this way but it’s natural.  As such, they scream and rant and rale and harass in the hopes of legitimizing the unacceptable bigotry they feel comforted in.  Again, we are called to love these people and stand strong in that love, with faith they will eventually be transformed in it.  However, we are also called to stand against this sort of hate.  Loving the sinner doesn’t mean accepting the sin.

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Captain Marvel has consistently been written by strong, talented female authors since 2012 and has become Marvel’s flagship female character as a result. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

So what do we do?  I have two simple suggestions.  First, be aware in what you buy.  There are sooooo many comics that come out every month.  If you want to support diversity in your comic books then make it a point to buy diverse comics with diverse creative talent.  Comic companies have yet to fully integrate the sales of trade paperbacks into their calculations of how a title is doing so the best way to support a title you love, especially a new title, is to get a subscription for the monthly issues.  I can only devote so much money each month to comics but I’ve made it a point since returning to comic collecting three years ago to be sure over half of my pull list features characters and/or creatives who are woman and/or people of color.  Second, do your best to ignore this intolerance.  Don’t fight with them on Twitter.  Don’t retweet or subtweet them.  Don’t comment on posts or videos.  All the interaction just makes them feel vindicated.  Speak out against intolerance in the name of justice, always.  But don’t feed the delusion their opinions are worthy of your time by engaging with them.

If nothing else, we can take solace in knowing those who support Comicsgate will eventually lose.  Their intolerance and bigotry can’t win in the end.  It never does.  If we look at our history, these types of movements never last, though they may score victories and seemingly take forever to fade.  And if we look to our religious traditions we see God is always, always standing against them.  This is why, in the long run, intolerance and bigotry will always lose.  As Dr. King so eloquently said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

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No matter what some angry, ranting internet trolls may say, our future is bright indeed. / Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

 

Eric Francisco’s post for Inverse gives a fairly detailed look at the history of this ridiculousness, tracing it back to the #MakeMineMilkshake fiasco of 2017 and showing how it’s evolved from there.  This article was originally published on 9 February 2018.

Kieran Shiach’s piece for Polygon gives a more extensive history of Comicsgate, showing the line from it’s faint beginnings back to 2014 to the present.  He also discusses the comic creators who came out and vocally denounced Comicsgate this past week in the wake of the harassment of Marsha Cooke, the widow of comic legend Darwyn Cooke, for her denouncing of the movement.  The piece was originally published on 29 August 2018.

Lastly, this post for Vulture by Abraham Riesman considers the history of the movement as well as discussing where we go from here.  He also links to more detailed articles exploring the history of this particular hate brigade.  This was also originally published on 29 August 2018.

 

 

22 thoughts on “What is #Comicsgate? Small Minds with Big Mouths

  1. Master piece! Agree 1000%.

    In my opinion comics have been inclusive and tolerant driven since the 80s or even beyond that… so I don’t really understand which comics “ideals” are defending…

    With Gamersgate some women had to give up their jobs in the industry due to the threats and harrasment. I hope it doesn’t get that far for comics!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s all so ridiculous and it all just keeps feeding on itself, getting bigger and bigger. But I’m with you and I hope the legs fall out form under this sooner rather than later. We’ll all be the better for that.

      And you’re right. People who think comic books haven’t always championed inclusion, tolerance, and justice are clearly not reading comics. Captain America was punching Nazis in 1941! He was literally created to fight white supremacy and fascism! Superman battled corrupt politicians and those taking advantage of the poor when he first debuted. Hulk has always been a metaphor for how abuse creates monsters and the X-Men have always stood in for the oppressed minorities in our culture. And those are just a few examples. This is what comics have always been about. It’s part of their DNA.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a wonderful reflection on the entire comicsgate issue! Your words “Our world is beautifully diverse – made so by God – and the fact that comics are making an intentional move to showcase this diversity, in the stories they tell and the people they have telling these stories, is a good thing” puts the whole debacle in a new light. That inclusion and diversity is looked upon by some as a bad thing is incredibly sad and just plain wrong. The hate and intolerance that is becoming more prevalent and accepted in our American culture needs to stop now.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amen. For me, I can’t separate my personal politics or morality from my understanding of my faith. And while I grant I don’t live the Kingdom as fully as Jesus calls me to and there’s no political party in this country that supports the entirety of his Kingdom message, God’s stance on issues like this is clear. God’s always with those who find themselves on the margins. I once read the surest way to know you’re blessed by God is to get involved with what you know God’s already blessed. With issues like this, it’s an easy call. We know which side God’s on, no matter how loud the opposition voices in our culture may be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Micheal,

    My friend you are doing your part with Free Fandom Forever. We do need to not only focus on what is right, but know how to answer the tough questions. We don’t have to agree with all the changes, but we also want to be salt & light. Easy road? Nope? That is why we depend on the Lord’s wisdom not our own.

    We need to do another show soon. Anything pressing or needful to discuss?

    Thanks brother,

    Gary #freefandomforever

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Gary. And yes, it certainly isn’t an easy road to walk – part of the reason Jesus calls it the Narrow Gate. But if we aren’t working to do our part alongside God to transform this world into the Kingdom then we’re missing our calling.

      And I’d be up for another show! Hmm, I feel like we had an idea to talk about but now I can’t remember what it was.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe your creative process. We are the study of the nerd and geek in their natural habitat. We are doing a few new episodes on a nerds brain coming out, but there is one called, “The Imaginarium” which will talk about people’s creativity and what activates it. Just throwing it out there.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Comicsgate doesn’t care about the race sex or politics of a comic writer. Comicsgate supported are all races sexed and political leanings. Our issue is that characters are no longer actually diverse. They all share the same viewpoint. For claiming diversity, they aren’t diverse in thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My question for you would be, how do you define diversity? The grievances of the Comicsgate group (as stated by their wiki) include:

      1. Thor was revealed to only be a title (even though it is his name) and was replaced by Jane Foster.

      2. Ice-Man is now an over-the-top stereotypical gay person, although he has been straight for all of his history.

      3. Iron Man was replaced by Ironheart, a teenager who stole materials from MIT to make her Iron Man suit. The character is badly written, as the writers are afraid to give a female black character faults.

      4. Ms Marvel is a girl-centered and muslim-friendly superhero comic.

      5. America Chavez is a comic about a Latina lesbian.

      6. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) design lacks any femininity and looks very masculine.

      7. Domino is not sexually appealing.

      8. The new design of She-Ra is not sexually appealing.

      9. Captain America was turned into a Nazi, undoing 77 years of the character’s history.

      10. The Hulk was briefly Asian.

      11. A girl out-fought Luke Skywalker, solely because of her gender, even though she had no training whatsoever.

      12. Comic book publishers like Marvel focus on hiring ethnically and gender diverse employees instead of people who have talent/skill, experience or passion for comics.

      “Diversity,” as defined by Lutheran College, “includes important and interrelated dimensions of human identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and age.”

      Every one of the above grievances are about a change that reflects diversity. Jane Foster becoming Thor is a problem, when Eric Masterson and Beta Rey Bill weren’t. Ice Man’s sexuality is an issue (who defines “over the top” is another matter all together) because he wasn’t “always” defined as LGBTQ despite the fact that many people have to wrestle with their sexuality and often don’t find the courage to own it until later in life. The critique of Riri Williams also seems paper thin as there’s no definition for “badly written” nor examples given (and her “stealing” her material from MIT is a problem when Tony literally stole what he needed for the first Iron Man suit). How Ms. Marvel being “girl-centered” and “Muslim-friendly” is an issue is beyond me and it is the very definition of diversity. The same is true with America Chavez. That character is the very definition of adding authentic diversity, as is Kamala Khan. The complaint that Captain Marvel “lacks any femininity and looks very masculine” has nothing to do with femininity but rather has to do with her not fitting some narrow definition of what a woman is/should look like. The same goes for the Domino and She-Ra points (I’m not even getting into the ridiculous presumption that there being “sexually appealing” should even be what the character is about). The Captain America complaint was always about the political message Nick Spencer was sharing. No one ever believed Cap would always be a Nazi. That’s not how comics work. It was one story arc. The same is true of Amadeus Cho. As long as comics have been around, the mantles have been passed to other characters and then reclaimed. The problem seems to be his ethnicity (again, the very definition of diversity) and not the fact that Bruce Banner wasn’t the Hulk for a while. The Luke point is preposterous too because you can’t be angry about that and be okay with Luke blowing up the Death Star when he’d literally never flown a starfighter before. If Luke can do it with no training whatsoever and it be believable then Rey can too. The only grounds to dispute that is an issue with the gender of the character and being upset with a woman doing something a man can. Lastly, the final point presumes the people Marvel hire don’t have talent which, judging from the way the Comicsgate movement conducts itself online and in their writing/videos, has nothing to do with authentic artistic criticism but rather being angry about their gender and/or racial identity and/or sexual orientation.

      So, I’m not trying to be angry or dismissive. I hope you don’t take it this way. But I’m curious how you define “diversity.” Because literally every grievance the Comicsgate group has on their wiki is, by definition, against diversity. In reality the characters, as I’ve outlined above, are more diverse than they’ve ever been.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You read the wiki but ignored the bold typing that clearly says everything you put down is from someone intentionally misrepresenting comicsgate. C’mon man!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No, I get that the “official” line says it’s not about that. But, to be clear, you’re saying none of the most shared and trafficked YouTube videos, tweets, articles, etc. associated with the movement or carrying the hashtag have ever made any of those claims?

        Also, again, how would you define “diversity”?

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      3. I tell you it’s not what Comicsgate is about and you ignore it even though it was the very thing you cited. Also, no…most of those tweets are disavowed by the vast majority of Comicsgate followers. The same with the YouTube vids. I’m fact the one that gets the most play as “this is Comicsgate” from anticomicsgate people is a video that was never intended to represent Comicsgate in the first place. It wasn’t even supposed to be taken seriously. It was a roast of people in the comics industry that was taken entirely out of context.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Do you have a source that cites the statistics you mention, how “most of the tweets are disavowed by the vast majority of Comicsgate followers”? I ask because my anecdotal experience (as I said in my reply to your other comment) would point to the opposite. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just curious where you’re drawing your information from and would be interested to read it myself.

        As to the citation, again, I apologize for not being clearer in my initial comment. I get the fact that the wiki was disavowing that, however, in my experience and reading those are the very same points I see associated with those who use the Comicsgate hashtag. It was a lengthy reply on my part and, admittedly, I should have reread it to make certain my point was clear. I’m sorry for that But again I would be sincerely interested in seeing articles that point to the numbers in the community that reject those sort of claims.

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      5. Well every acknowledged major voice for Comicsgate has disavowed those things in relation to Comicsgate so if you can show me someone that’s generally accepted as one of the major voices then I’d say the argument has merit. Otherwise I’d assume a lot of the issue is your presupposition about Comicsgate colors your interactions as it’s unlikely most people would provide a positive response if someone used discredited information to describe the movement they support. As to a source. Every major voice in Comicsgate has disavowed the things cited by the wiki as either entirely wrong, or misrepresenting the issue intentionally. So unless everyone is ignoring the major voices it’s a safe bet that the majority agree with their largest speakers.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Perhaps it is an issue with those who claim the Comicsgate identity then – a sort of disconnect between the acknowledged voices in the group and another large body speaking out, spreading a different and far less harmonious message in its name. Obviously there are lots of people claiming the name so I’d like to do further reading here and learn more. Where would you suggest I look for a credible list of the “acknowledged major voices” for the Comicsgate community?

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      7. But a simple answer, because I’m not at my computer right now would be that Comicsgate wants diverse characters. We want them to be all races, sexualities, religions, and political leanings. We want diversity in heroes and villains. We want people to be able to find good and bad guys they can identify with. That means having good liberal characters, good lgbtq characters, and even good MAGA hat wearing characters. We want to find that same diversity in villains too. We want the characters to actually have personalities, and not just be an extension of the writer’s personal agenda. We want comic characters to have depth instead of being all one monolithic group in thought.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well, I’d say it’s difficult for a writer to write without their “own agenda.” All art, to some degree, reflects the artist. It can’t be otherwise. There’s no art in history that doesn’t carry the mark/vision/viewpoint of the creator in some way, shape, or form.
        And I don’t agree that there isn’t a wide breath of views in comics nor do I see any sense of there being “monolithic group in thought” in any of the comics I read. Perhaps if you could offer some examples? Then I could see where you’re coming from/pointing to more directly.

        I will grant, what you’ve stated, is not something I’ve read or seen on anything that calls itself Comicsgate. I’m not saying you’re wrong by any means but I do think the vision you articulated above is not, in any way, how Comicsgate is presented. Perhaps there’s a problem of self-identification within the Comicsgate community itself then? I don’t know.

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  5. (I am repeating my comment as it seems it is not approved. I hope it is because you do not check your spam tab but you approved a comment I did in another of your articles and seems like you would not like to show other opinions what, in which is a matter of opinions, means to hide point of views to your readers in order to have your view as only truth)

    I am a person with 600 posts sharing my culture with persons around the world, my society is a native one where we practice a patriarchal/matriarchal egalitarian system, I think all postures deserve respect if they don’t attack or offend others. I am not white and the character I most love from U.S. comics is Superman because he feels like I feel, like my world and culture is vanishing, what motivated me to share it with others, as a kind of diary of who I am.

    With all that you would think I would oppose comicsgate. Actually not. Comicsgate is motivated for our love for comics, I can relate to Superman without caring for a superficial trait as it is the skin, but if they would change his way to be I simply would feel the character is being betrayed. There are lovable black alternatives as Calvin Ellis, a Superman in an alternative Earth, and even better Val Zod, the Superman of Earth Two that has a wonderful story. So when for example Marvel changes every character that we loved from kids it feels cheap because they should just do other characters for which we can grow appreciation; it feels hateful because the changes seems to be to any character that looks traditional as if traditional were a hateful thing, as if diversity is incompatible with traditional characters; it feels unnatural because taking into account the percentages of the so called minorities is strange they are so numerous, I feel the same if a Chinese movie would had a minority of Chinese actors; and lastly if feels forced because if before we had the option to get a number of Wolverine and then of his female clone X-23 (I loved so much her period with Marjorie Liu, I really could identify with Laura) to decide if we liked it or not, but then this forced and not real diversity meant that with all traditional characters were or either killed or changed to fit the goal, then if you wanted Wolverine you couldn’t get him as he was killed and then Laura was set as Wolverine, forcing you to only get one comic and that is all. The new Laura as Wolverine was disconnected from the young and complex teen she was because just an angry woman hating men. I am not opposed to those comics to exist, but I don’t know why I should purchase bad stories that are not focused in tell stories but into saying one is victim and the others not and consequently you are not allowed to say that you don’t like the story.

    I don’t say this as a way to portray me as a victim, only as a curiosity… each time a person declared as anti comicsgate tries to refute us or a mysterious reason they always consider we are white straight males as if that would be something wrong, and when me or others explain that that is not the case or they respond with silence of the silence us deleting our comments. Some person went so far to call me Uncle Tom and deleting my comment so then he could say “I don’t know why comics gate never shows their faces” you can see me in my blog but I find offensive to being judging other people for their color of skin. Sorry for the long comment but perhaps you are going to stuck it into the spam folder so is the same. Only anti comicsgate has voice it seems, even when we are a very diverse.

    The reason I comment in your post is because it seems not hateful and not based in considering bad language as an argument, although your links are to non neutral websites. The world loves the characters and the stories in comics if they are do in good faith. If there is no effort in telling a good story it doesn’t matter the gender, ethnicity or personal views of the author, it is simply something we are not going to like. Always there were stories with inclusion, diversity and justice and political ideas but they were told in stories we could qualify as good or bad, not were meant as political tools whose approbations derive from political agreement with the ideas of the author. Social justice warrior is a way to denounce the search of justice not in the real world where people lives but in the comments of Twitter et al as the numbers of sold copies show those persons don’t purchase the stories made for them, that fight they make for comics then is just a false fight, only made of words and not compromise.

    And lastly, the photo with Heather Anthos and the rest of persons… they are persons that are in an industry not for the quality of their work but because their gender. Before this movement there were women in comic industry and they gave us high quality stories in comics and we loved them for that, is diminishing for themselves to have a job not by talent but for a physical trait or a political thought. The only work produced by them that I liked was Gwenpool that was actually based in the appearance of Heather Anthos.

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    1. First, I didn’t see your first comment. So I apologize for it never showing up. It wasn’t intentional on my part. I certainly welcome opposing opinions here but I will delete or unapprove comments that are hateful or derogatory. A discussion is one thing, and I certainly support that. But hateful, unfounded ranting I won’t allow, which is my perrogative as this is my site. However your comment certainly doesn’t fall into that category.

      You make some fair points but you close by saying “Heather Antos and the rest of persons…they are persons that are in an industry not for the quality of their work but because of their gender.” Based on what? Because you, personally, only like Gwenpool? You are taking your own subjective opinion – which you are welcome to – and presenting it as unbiased fact which it simply is not. And this is a major problem with many of the Comicsgate voices – a universalizing of a personal opinion. You undercut much of what you were trying to say with such an unfounded comment. You have access to her resume? You’re aware of Marvel’s hiring processes? You know the other candidates who didn’t get that job who were, veritably, better than her? I’d presume the answer to those questions is “no.” You saying she’s only in the industry because of her gender, without any proof, undercuts your point that you don’t care about the gender of the creators or the characters, only the quality of the story because it is clear by what you’ve said and how you said it her gender is an issue for you.

      Looking to the characters themselves, you criticize Marvel by saying, “it feels hateful because the changes seems to be to any character that looks traditional as if traditional were a hateful thing” but this presumes the original characters went somewhere. Ironheart exists but Tony Stark is still Iron Man. Miles Morales is swinging around New York as Spider-Man while Peter Parker is too. The entire time Jane Foster held Mjolnir, the Odinson was still featured in the comics going on his own quest until he ultimately reclaimed the title and the hammer…which was always going to happen. “Captain America” has been Clint Barton and Bucky Barnes in the past (with Steve Rogers always ultimately returning) but when it’s Sam Wilson holding the shield (which again he was only ever going to do temporarily) it became an issue. The existence of Legacy Characters in no way, shape, or form threatens the original. All it does is expand the reader base. All who prefer the original can read those comics. But those who prefer the new versions, can read those comics too.

      You don’t need to read comics very long to realize the title character will change. This happens. This has always happened. It’s a genre with stories coming out monthly for decades if they don’t do things to change it up, people will leave due to boredom. Comic characters die all the time and then they come back all the time. It’s the way the genre works; it’s a common trope. It’s not a desecration or a betrayal or an agenda…it’s a trope. And in the limited absences of some of these characters, Marvel created newer characters that speak to a growing readership. I applaud them for that.

      Just because you or friends of yours may not like a character doesn’t mean the character is objectively bad nor that others won’t love them. I’ve loved comic books for over thirty years but I stopped reading them when they stopped captivating me. I returned to reading comic books BECAUSE of characters like Jane Foster and Kamala Khan. Comic finally felt new, relevant, and important again. And while Spider-Man has been my favorite character for over thirty years, I don’t read Peter Parker titles anymore because they bore me. It’s the same plots, only slightly recycled, I was reading in the ’80s. Miles Morales on the other hand, is a new enough character that his stories have stakes. Everything won’t necessarily just reset as it does with Peter. So I infinitely prefer those stories. Comics are expensive and I want something that feels fresh and relevant to me.

      Now, in noting that I am stating my own personal, subjective preference. I know that’s not universal nor do I think my opinion is somehow “fact.” One of the big differences with what I’m saying here and many in the Comicsgate community is, while I will just read the characters I prefer, I in no way, shape, or form feel the need to rally against Peter Parker nor the people who write him. I loved him for a lot of years. New readers may like him now. He just doesn’t interest me now…however, I’m not threatened by his existence.

      You’ve written, “I am not opposed to those comics to exist, but I don’t know why I should purchase bad stories.” Absolutely! I’m with you, 100% there. Don’t buy or read what you don’t like. That’s the way art works! We consume what we enjoy! But to say all the comics you like are objectively bad or they have somehow betrayed or broken a character or the creators aren’t talented and only have their job because of their gender, race, or sexual orientation is ignorant at best and bigoted at worst. To target and harass creators online one may not like for stories one may find frustrating or disappointing, as if the creator is somehow beholden to the whims of any one who consumes their art, is dangerously arrogant. We choose the art we want to consume just as the artists choose the type of message they want to convey. To think the artists “owe” us a story we “like” isn’t how it works.

      Lastly, comic books, as a genre, have always been political and they have always been progressive in their politics. It goes back to the very beginning of the genre. In the late ’30s, Superman spent his time battling the wealthy on behalf of the working poor, championing labor rights and taking down corrupt bankers and business owners. In the ’40s, Captain America was a living embodiment of New Deal progressivism, signing up for war before Pearl Harbor, wanting to fight fascism because fascism and fascist ideas are inherently wrong. Also in the ’40s, Wonder Woman was a rousing call to women’s liberation, created by an author who believed the patriarchal society we lived in was leading us to destruction and we needed women to lead us to salvation. In the ’60s, the Fantastic Four redefined the idea of the nuclear family, queering gender norms and the traditional idea of sexuality with superhero. I could go on and on. But my point is comic books have always been a place for challenging messages, pushing progressive ideas and working to be an ever-increasing inclusive voice. That is the historical fact of the genre. Whether or not we like those ideas or support those stories are, as always, up to us. We don’t have to like the characters, stories, or messages. We don’t have to read them – either the back issues of the past or the modern comics that follow the same model. But to say comic books shouldn’t “force diversity” (look at Claremont’s iconic X-Men) or champion inclusion and social justice messages (all the examples I listed a moment ago) just doesn’t fit with the history. And to say they haven’t always done this is demonstrably false.

      I presume we may just end up agreeing to disagree here. But I appreciate your opinions, even while knowing they aren’t objective truths (nor should they be presented as such). We all like what we like. That’s fine, so long as we always remember our opinions are subjective. And again, I apologize for the first comment not going through. Sometimes they do get caught in spam and, honestly, life gets busy and blogging isn’t always the top thing I do. So it’s possible I just missed it. That happens from time to time too.

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      1. Thank you for your answer. I value it as it is not a repetition of an ideology but your personal thoughts. When I see these comics certainly I am not happy when they do not sell well, they are meant for a certain audience and I would wish that effort would have bigger numbers, my opposition is that my lack of interest is seen as a statement against those changes. And these changes exist: Vogue and Vox articles, among other sources, openly talk about Sana Amanat hiring process based in the editorial choice to bring persons to Marvel in terms of a diverse background to bring “different voices.” I confess the stories they produce are not usually of my liking, but I leave them alone as I am sure the stories I liked in the 90’s maybe were not liked by persons that grew with comics in the 80’s. Rereading my comment I made an excess calling them bad stories. They are not if they have an audience. You are right that comics have always been political but I think they, the ones in controversy, are sometimes rather partisan. Captain America would fight for every U.S. citizen, in Secret Empire he, turned evil, would protect only those deemed right wing. The X-Men were always about tolerance, so it was a pity that in that same arc they would be seen hunting homo sapiens (I guess in part to give more importance or charisma to the Inhumans). Of course it would be boring if there were no changes, I read Secret Wars and seeing Rhodey as Iron Man is quite interesting as he is flawed. Instead when Marvel killed or turned into a villain the most popular characters it seemed like a hate declaration against characters we grew up to cherish. The goal of the change is my issue.

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