I supported Comicsgate until I didn’t

For a while, I’ve had some strong opinions about comic books. My biggest concern is that comics cost too much. The average price of a monthly comic book is $3.99. That’s too much for the amount of entertainment you get. Considering that it takes less than 10 minutes to read a 22-page comic book, it’s the most expensive form of entertainment I enjoy. In comparison, I pay $14.99 a month for an Audible membership and for that, I get one audiobook. I get hours and hours of entertainment for my $14.99. Currently, I’m listening to a book that’s over 17 hours in length.

The truth about Comicsgate

I learned over time Comicsgate was about all sorts of things I didn’t agree with. These things included:

  • Anyone who doesn’t agree with Comicsgate is called names. If you’re not down with Comicsgate, you’re a social justice warrior (SJW). Men are called cucks, soy-boys, radical leftists, or some other derogatory name. Women are called cum dumpsters, fake geeks, diversity hires, or worse. Since most supporters of Comicsgate hide behind fake names, they throw these insults towards people while protected by anonymity. I take a dim view of fake name people attacking real name people.
  • Comicsgate supporters claimed to want politics out of comics. That turned out not to be true. They were fine with politics if it was Trumpian in nature. I’ve watched live streams on YouTube with Comicsgate people and they never grow tired of bashing Hillary Clinton or anyone critical of Donald Trump. I reluctantly voted for Hillary Clinton and I’m critical of Donald Trump. When Comicsgate creators bash Hillary Clinton supporters and people critical of Trump, they’re bashing me.
  • Comicsgate supporters wanted comics to be more affordable until they didn’t.

Everything began to change for me when the leaders in Comicsgate, Richard C. Meyer, Ethan Van Sciver, and some of the others began asking people to help fund their independent books. These books cost more than traditional comic books. A lot more.

Comicsgate related books

Jawbreakers: Lost Souls, Richard C. Meyer, 112 pages, $25 + $10 shipping.

Cyberfrog: Blood Honey, Ethen Van Sciver, 48 pages, $25 + $10 shipping.

Red Rooster: Golden Age, Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser, 40 pages,  $25 + $10 shipping.

There are others, but these are the most popular books in Comicsgate. They describe these books as graphic novels. Most people associate graphic novels with five or six issues of a floppy comic that have been bundled together into a book. Most graphic novels have at the very least 120 pages (5 floppy comics). The graphic novels offered by the Comicsgate crew have fewer pages. In some cases, a lot less.

What I find to be especially obnoxious is the $10 shipping. Since these books are only available through the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, the only way to get one is to have it shipped to you. The price should then be rolled into the cost of the book.

Have Comicsgate creators never heard of Amazon?

These creators could have used Amazon to fulfill orders, allowing Amazon Prime members to pay nothing for 2-day shipping. I’m currently listing my old graphic novels on eBay. It costs only a couple bucks to send a graphic novel U.S. First Class Mail. If it’s too heavy for that, I send them U.S. Media Mail.

I supported Comicsgate until I didn't
Padded envelopes.

I ship them in padded envelopes I purchased in bulk at Sam’s Club. I can do this because the books I’m selling are actually graphic novels. Most of the graphic novels sold on Indiegogo are not really graphic novels so they need something more substantive than a padded envelope. I imagine at the very least they will need to be bagged and boarded and sent in something more rigid than a padded envelope. That’s what I do when I ship a single floppy comic.

Since the buyer is paying to ship when they buy a graphic novel from me on eBay, I make it as cheap as possible to send it to them. I get the impression these Comicsgate creators never even considered making the shipping as affordable as they could. They seemingly just don’t care.

Indiegogo is a terrible place for the consumer to buy comic books

I supported Comicsgate until I didn't

This IndieGoGo business model is beyond stupid. These books are far too expensive even without the extortionate cost of shipping. Any success these creators enjoy will be short-lived. Show me a consumer willing to pay $35 for a 40-page comic and I’ll show you a consumer who will probably never do it again.

I know I won’t.

By charging $35 for a 40-page graphic novel, these Comicsgate creators are making comics even more expensive than they are now. They’re also being rude to the fans. Charging $35 for a 40-page comic is rude. Comicsgate followers don’t realize how poorly Comicsgate creators are treating them.  That doesn’t mean they’ll never realize it. Just wait for them to get their wafer-thin $35 “graphic novels” and begin to realize what they could have bought on Amazon for $35.

The attack on Jeremy Hambly

Jeremy Hambly

Jeremy Hambly is a person who makes Magic: The Gathering videos on YouTube. Wizards of the Coast, the makers of Magic: The Gathering, banned Hambly for life over videos he made attacking, insulting, and harassing people in the Magic: The Gathering community.

During the early morning of August 2, 2018, in Indianapolis, Indiana,  Hambly was attacked outside a bar. He was in Indianapolis for GenCon, a massively popular tabletop convention starting later that day. Hambly didn’t know his attacker. His assailant attacked him without provocation. Fortunately for Hambly, he was unharmed in the attack.

Initially, I was supportive of Hambly, but then more and more “facts” about the incident came out or were changed, I began to question what really happened. Hambly was not only changing his story, but he was also deleting videos he initially made about the attack. It was then I began blogging about this incident with a more critical eye. These are the posts:

I did not know Jeremy Hambly was a leader in Comicsgate

Unbeknownst to me, Hambly was a leading figure in Comicsgate. I was unaware of this fact because I never watched a video of his where he talked about comic books. That didn’t matter. He was against Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), cucks, soy-boys, and “waamen” he deemed to be whores who were invading male-dominated hobbies.

It was then I began to get harassed by members of Comicsgate, even though I still considered myself a member of Comicsgate. I was harassed on Twitter and in my blog’s comment section. I actually had to shut down the comment section here for a while, the first time since 2006. It was bad. I’m no stranger to Internet bad actors, but what I was seeing directed towards me was a lot worse than the trolling I ever saw on Usenet.

I suddenly realized exactly what people were talking about when they spoke of being harassed by Comicsgate. I only wish I understood it before.

I also realized to be looked upon as a leader in Comicsgate, one doesn’t even need to be into comic books. What’s more important is your stance on women and men deemed to be radical leftist soy-boys. In other words, men who didn’t vote for Donald Trump.

The straw that broke the Comicsgate camel’s back

I supported Comicsgate until I didn't - Bent Corner

The thing that finally did it for me was watching a video by Richard C. Meyer “roasting” comic book writer Kwanza Osajyefo. In the video, Meyer was reading tweets from Osajyefo and used an effeminate “black” voice to impersonate him. Kwanza Osajyefo doesn’t sound anything like that. To assign an effeminate “black” voice to Osajyefo is racist and dishonest.

I’d watched these videos before, but they never registered with me as this video did. It made me feel ashamed I supported Meyer and Comicsgate.  I was also ashamed that Meyer’s degrading treatment towards Osajyefo never bothered me before.

It should have.

I can only imagine the harassment Meyer’s supporters directed towards Osajyefo after each of these “roast” videos.

I won’t associate myself with a hashtag movement ever again. Although I have beliefs, I’m perfectly capable of expressing those beliefs without the aid of a hashtag. I’m very much pro-consumer, so much so that I look at the Indiegogo campaigns of Comicsgate creators as nothing more than blatant cash grabs, preying on their followers.

Author: Rick Rottman

My name is Rick Rottman and I live in Maryland. This is my blog. If you'd like to know more about me, check out my About page.

2 thoughts on “I supported Comicsgate until I didn’t”

  1. I have a generally dim view of comicsgaters…if anyone even iDENtifies with that term. I have heard someone associated with diversity and comics named ‘Zach/Zack’ say that he never, ever told his followers to harass, diss, or otherwise bother retail stores and their staff who had publicly chosen not to support the Jawbreakers comic. So…who knows?

    I had no idea that these comics coming out from these comicsgater folks (‘there is no comicsgate. there are no members of comicsgate. the first rule of comicsgate is…there is no comicsgate. by the way, we hate the liberal agenda and SJW memes.’)…whoever they may be, cost so much money. Yah, up until 2013 or so I was working as a manager of a comics shop, more or less, and managed to continue to read comics for free…but when I quit, prices reached up to $3.99, I had pretty much had it and had no more interest in spending that kind of money. I ultimately just used the library, haunted used bookstores with good graphic novel selections, and eventually found…other sources online. I have no difficulty reading comics in digital format. Doesn’t bother me at all. I no longer have a fetish for the soft paper, and I still have 8 short boxes and more of my original collection. Sorry this is so rambling. I think there is a hella lot of conservative, anti-progressive sentiment in the comicsgate view of the world, sad to say. I just read comics I enjoy, I don’t kvetch about the ones I don’t. Or that my creative efforts weren’t good enough for DC or Marvel. Keep on keeping on.

  2. Here’s the problem, if you’re critical at all of the way the comic industry is run by social justice types, and they think you’re a threat, they’ll do anything to make sure you lose your job or something…that’s why I don’t lose my real name.

    Honestly I probably have the same politics as you and I would find it annoying if the comics in question shit on trump or hillary. There’s plenty of people like me that do not support idiots like vox day or those that just want it to be right wing politics only. But right now they aren’t in control of the industry, a bunch of people that cling way too much to their left wing politics are.

    You might not read this or you might not believe me, but you can check my twitter and this view is consistent with my views on twitter.

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