Longtime comic book writer Mark Waid reportedly didn’t like the fact that Antarctic Press, a small independent comic publisher, was publishing Jawbreakers: Lost Souls. It’s a comic book written by Richard C. Meyer with art by Jon Malin and Brett Smith.
The project has had a very successful run on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website. That’s a bit of an understatement. The project has so far raised over $251,880. Although the campaign is officially over, you can still go to Indiegogo and purchase one of the three perks ranging from $25 to $100.
Antarctic Press was going to publish Jawbreakers: Lost Souls so that it could be distributed through Diamond and sold in comic book shops. Mark Waid contacted Antarctic Press and somehow convinced them not to publish Jawbreakers: Lost Souls. The reason? Because Mark Waid doesn’t like Richard C. Meyer.
Richard C. Meyer is the man behind the popular YouTube channel Diversity & Comics. People like Mark Waid, people who fancy themselves to be social justice advocates, have denounced Meyer and his channel as homophobic, misogynistic, racist, transphobic, and arachnophobic.
Okay, I made up that last one, but in my defense, Waid and his cohorts made up the first four about Meyer and his channel. I’ve watched most of his videos and I follow him on Twitter. I’ve yet to see any evidence of anything the man has said that was homophobic, misogynistic, racist, or transphobic.
If someone has any evidence to the contrary, I’d love to see it. Point to the video where Meyer said something homophobic, misogynistic, racist, or transphobic and provide the timestamp. It should be quite easy to do if he is such a frothing fountain of hate.
Until I see any evidence to the contrary, I’m going to assume anyone who denounces Meyer as a homophobic, woman-hating, anti-transgender racist is either repeating a lie or just making stuff up.
Show me the evidence. Receipts, please.
Some people, especially social justice advocates, need a boogieman to denounce to make themselves feel good. To some people, Meyer is that boogieman. Why some have fixated on him to be this boogieman is a mystery to me. I don’t understand it. If you’ve watched any of his videos, you’d see that he’s unpretentious and really quite humble. His videos are entertaining is a very low-key way. He makes videos with his cellphone about the comics he’s reading. If he likes the comic, he says he likes it. If he dislikes the comic, he says he dislikes it and then ends the video with either throwing the comic or ripping it in two.
He once threw a comic he didn’t like in a toilet.
How did Mark Waid convince Antarctic Press not to publish Jawbreakers: Lost Souls? That’s the question. According to Meyer, who spoke to the owner of Antarctic Press, Waid bullied the owner into severing ties to the project.
Mark Waid called Antarctic during the day on Friday. The owner called me that night, in tears, begging forgiveness from me because he had to drop the book because he couldn't handle the bullying he received all day after Mark directed hate-mobs at Antarctic. https://t.co/cUlDB5vAXT
— Diversity & Comics (@DiversityAndCmx) May 14, 2018
Antarctic Press has since issued a statement that contradicts this.
They also posted the following on their website:
The above announcement is goofy for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was dated April 19, 2016. That’s a long time ago. The date on their website must not be set to UTC. Secondly, it declares this statement will be removed in seven days. Why do that if it’s such an important announcement?
Does Antarctic Press just throw the exclamation point around all willy-nilly? This statement should be posted on their website for all eternity. It marks a very important point in their publishing history, the time they agreed to publish a book and then reneged on their agreement.
If anyone from Antarctic Press is reading this, I’d like to offer my professional services to fix your awful website so it doesn’t suck. The typography is wrong and elements are too close together. This is from their About page.
The above screenshot shows the text is in dire need of some whitespace. The information is smashed together. Also, the Antarctic Press website should be converted over to WordPress. I can help with that. A plumber can get away with a terrible looking website, but comics are a visual medium.
A comic publisher should have a website that that looks good. I can fix all of this for you. Granted, after what you did to everyone involved with Jawbreakers: Lost Souls, I will charge you a lot more than my current rates.
As much as I’d like to get mad at Mark Waid for doing whatever he did, I just can’t do that. I believe Mark Waid suffers from mental illness. I think he’s a sick man who’s in need of help.
That said, I have to wonder what the people in charge at Marvel Comics think about this. Specifically, Marvel Editor-in-chief Akira Yoshida or as he’s known on the street, C.B. Cebulski. Waid has an exclusive contract with Marvel. What business is it of a Marvel writer what a small publisher with a terrible website such as Antarctic Press is doing? Waid shouldn’t be contacting another publisher and advising them what they should and should not be publishing. Waid works exclusively for Marvel Comics. He should be saving all his professional expertise for Marvel.
It seems highly inappropriate to me, even taking into consideration what I believe to be Waid’s mental health problems.
In closing, I don’t understand why there has to be so much drama in the comics book community. I don’t understand why so many comic book professionals have to act so unprofessional. It’s not good.
Also published on Medium.