Rich Johnston is not in charge at Bleeding Cool

Bleeding Cool, the pinnacle of online clickbait comic book journalism, has been receiving some well-deserved flack lately. Joe Glass, a Bleeding Cool staff writer tried to use fraud to take down a YouTube channel because he didn’t agree with what the YouTuber was saying about Marvel Comics. Joe Glass the journalist tried to de-platform someone because they voiced their opinions.

When exactly in journalism school do they teach that?

Free speech

Remember when the comic book community valued free speech? Joe Glass wrote a Bleeding Cool article this past August that claimed one of the problems in comic fandom today is that free speech law has not caught up with modern technology. Put that on a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund flier.

When people blame Rich Johnston for the shady, unethical behavior at Bleeding Cool, they’re making a mistake.

People assume Rich Johnston is in charge at Bleeding Cool. They assume Joe Glass and the other journalists employed by Bleeding Cool work for him.

Rich Johnston does not own Bleeding Cool

The facts do not support the notion that Rich Johnston is in charge of anything at Bleeding Cool. Rich Johnston doesn’t own Bleeding Cool. According to Bleeding Cool’s About page, Bleeding Cool is owned by Avatar Press.

A WHOIS search of the domain shows the domain is owned by Avatar Press. Rich Johnston’s name appears nowhere on the WHOIS record.

Mark Seifert runs Bleeding Cool

According to the Bleeding Cool About page, Mark Seifert manages the website, not Rich Johnston. Also, according to Mark Seifert’s Twitter, he’s the managing editor of Bleeding Cool.

According to Rich Johnston’s Twitter, he’s “head writer” at Bleeding Cool. His byline at Bleeding Cool says he’s “chief writer” and founder of Bleeding Cool. It seems like he can’t even get his own honorary title right.

The fact that Bleeding Cool hired Jude Terror, formally from The Outhousers, should demonstrate just how much power Rich Johnston wields at Bleeding Cool. Rich wrote this about the hiring:

I wasn’t consulted on this, obviously. Frankly, I wish he wasn’t now part of Bleeding Cool. I advised against it, but it seems my counsel was ignored.

Say what you want about Rich Johnston, he’s clearly not in charge of anything over at Bleeding Cool.

If you have a problem with anything going on at Bleeding Cool or anything someone on the staff is doing, and you’re complaining to Rich Johnston, you’re doing it wrong. Take your complaint to Mark Seifert or to Avatar Press. They’re the ones calling the shots at Bleeding Cool, not Rich Johnston.

Bleeding Cool declares Northrop Grumman is an ‘arms manufacturer’

The former gray lady of comic book journalism, Bleeding Cool, published an article about a joint venture between Marvel Comics and Northrop Grumman. Bleeding Cool described Northrop Grumman as an arms manufacturer and a maker of weapons.

From the article:

Northrop Grumman is an aerospace company

Not once did the word “aerospace” appear in the article. That’s funny, because that’s what Northrop Grumman is, an aerospace company. They make airplanes.

Here’s a list of some of the aircraft produced by Northrop Grumman:

  • A-10 Thunderbolt II
  • B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber
  • F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet
  • F-35 Lightning II

The way the article reads, you’d think Northrop Grumman uses child slave labor to manufacturer AK-47s.

Also from the article:

The article was written by Jude Terror, one of Rich Johnston’s bosses over at Bleeding Cool.

Bleeding Cool use to be a good website

Bleeding Cool was a lot better when Rich Johnston was in charge. The Diversity & Comics YouTube channel gets labeled as a troll campaign and Northrop Grumman is now described as an arms manufacturer. 

If it wasn’t for the riveting NFL coverage, Bleeding Cool wouldn’t be worth going to.


Marvel Comics announced they are ending their partnership with Northrop Grumman, so there’s nothing to get upset about. Excelsior!

Joe Glass declares war on YouTube channel Diversity & Comics

Joe Glass, a comic book writer and journalist at Bleeding Cool, is trying to shut down the YouTube channel Diversity & Comics. He is also trying to shut down the Diversity & Comics Patreon account.

Remember when the comic book community valued free speech?

Joe Glass knows about harassment

Here’s a tweet he posted on Sunday, the same day he tried to report Diversity & Comics to YouTube:

He was commenting on a photo of guys wearing Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” hats. In Joe Glass’ world, this makes them serial rapists and guys who cannot get dates. That sounds like harassment to me.

Leave Diversity & Comics alone

I wish Joe Glass and everyone else would just leave Diversity & Comics alone. You don’t like his content? Fine, then don’t watch his videos. It’s a big world. There’s room enough for everyone. You don’t have to try to de-platform him. I probably wouldn’t enjoy the comics Joe Glass creates, The Pride, but I would never try to get his books removed from the public marketplace. It wouldn’t even occur to me.

I just wouldn’t read them.

I enjoy the Diversity & Comics videos and I want them to continue, and I voted for Hillary Clinton twice. I may not agree with Diversity & Comics on everything, but I don’t think that’s a requirement.


Dennis Barger on Walmart adding graphic novel section

Walmart is planning on adding a dedicated graphic novel section to 50 stores. I’ve seen some graphic novels in the book section at Walmart, but never more than a few titles. This would be different. It would be its own section. If it proves to be a success, the plan is to add the graphic novel section to more stores.

Not everyone is a fan of this idea. Rich Johnson of Bleeding Cool reached out to Dennis Barger of Wonderworld and Quick Stop Comics to find out his take.

From Bleeding Cool:

you make a deal with Walmart, it’s walmarts deal. It’s walmarts terms. (Walk in with your trousers down and every hole properly greased.)

Every hole properly greased? Who talks like that? Dennis Barger, that’s who.

There’s a reason people don’t like going to comic book shops. Too many of them are owned and operated by people like Dennis Barger. I don’t care how opposed you are to something, you shouldn’t compare it to forced sodomy, also known as rape.

I’m no fan of Walmart. I’m also not a fan of someone who speaks about dropping trousers and greasing holes.

If Walmart’s graphic novel section turns out to be a raging success and causes local comic book shops to go out of business, blame people like Dennis Barger.

Photo by Jessica Strachan

Do not be surprised when a comic book artist rips you off

admin-ajaxI read an interesting article on Bleeding Cool about the troubles people are having with comic book artist Jason Craig. He’s currently the artist for Dynamite’s Evil Ernie. Last year people commissioned him to do comic book character sketches. They paid Jason Craig upfront.

Jason Craig has personal problems

Because of a whole host of personal problems including a divorce, a broken neck, high blood pressure, a foster child with Cerebral Palsy, and a bunch of other awful things, Craig spent all the money and never did the sketches.

I know all about this because Craig posted about it on a public message board.

Craig detailed all his personal problems on a public Internet message board. Many of the folks who paid him for sketches he never did took their problem to the same message board. One of the problems with ripping people off over the Internet is they tend to make a stink about it.

The person Craig seems to have the biggest problem with is a ripped-off customer by the name of “Kyle.”

Most commercial commission sketches are not legal

Personally, I don’t have much sympathy for anyone who sends money to an artist in exchange for a commissioned sketch of a trademarked comic book character. The artist, in most cases, doesn’t have a legal right to create commercial art based on the trademarked character. You’re essentially paying them to do something outside the law, to create something that is technically illegal.

If an artist is willing to accept hundreds of dollars to create something they’re  not legally entitled to create, should it really be that big of a surprise when they fail to do what they were paid to do?

I don’t think so.