Here is an easy way to make Twitter less toxic

Twitter can be a toxic cesspool of weaponized hatred. It will continue to be one until the people in charge take steps to clean it up. Until then, here’s an easy way to keep a lot of the trolls from appearing in your Mentions.

Go to “Notifications” and then select “Setting” on the right. This will bring up the following screen:

Here is an easy way to make Twitter less toxic

In “Mute notifications from people:” check off “Who haven’t confirmed their email” and “Who haven’t confirmed their phone number.” Then press “Save Changes.”

Once I did this, I saw a lot less toxic comments in my Mentions.

I actually had no idea people could create a Twitter account without verifying their email address and their phone number. I just assumed people had to confirm their real email address and phone number. It seems crazy to me that they don’t. This is especially true when you factor in how much toxic hate gets thrown at people, especially by those associated with Comicsgate.

Eventually, Twitter will make confirming a person’s email address and phone number a mandatory step when creating an account. Hopefully, they’ll do a lot more to verify people. How can they not? They should be doing a lot more than that. Everyone – not just celebrities – should be able to confirm their identity with a government ID and a credit card. Then, there should be a setting that only allows verified accounts to appear in your feed.

If Twitter doesn’t do this, another company will and they will put Twitter out of business. At this point in the timeline, perhaps that’s best.

Richard C. Meyer files lawsuit against Mark Waid

Richard C. Meyer, the man behind the Comics & Diversity YouTube channel, filed a lawsuit in federal court against comic book writer Mark Waid. He claims Waid committed “tortious interference of a contract” upon him. This relates to the incident when Meyer announced Antarctic Press was going to publish his comic Jawbreakers: Lost Souls only to have the publisher back out of the deal that same day. Meyer alleges it was because Mark Waid contacted the publisher and forced them to cancel the deal.

Richard C. Meyer also claims Waid defamed him. Meyer is seeking damages exceeding $75,000.

I don’t see the point of this lawsuit. What could Mark Waid say that would defame Richard C. Meyer more than he’s already defamed himself? Meyer has a bad reputation in the comic book community because he’s worked hard at earning it. He has hundreds of videos on YouTube where he says terrible things about people. Meyer refers to this activity as “roasting.” He focuses much of his roasting on women and minority comic book professionals, particularly members of the LGBT community. This roasting seems disproportionate considering most comic book professionals aren’t women or minorities.

Had Antarctic Press spent any time watching Meyer’s more disturbing videos? If they had, they probably would not have wanted to do business with him.

Where are the damages?

Because Meyer could not find a publisher to publish Jawbreakers: Lost Souls, he focused on selling the book solely through Indiegogo at a minimum of $35 per book. So far he’s made $397,104 on Indiegogo. That’s far more than he would have made if he found a conventional publisher such as Antarctic Press to publish the book. The book can still be purchased on Indiegogo for $35.

Part of the book’s appeal is the claim social justice warriors (SJWs) don’t want people to read the book. As one of the leaders of Comicsgate, Meyer complains vigorously on YouTube about the evils of SJWs. He claims SJWs are ruining comic books and causing comic book shops to go out of business.

If Mark Waid caused Antarctic Press to back out of its deal with Richard Meyer, he should thank Waid, not sue him. There’s no doubt Meyer has benefited greatly from publishing the book himself. Furthermore, what would Comicsgators do if they didn’t have SJWs to bemoan about?

Where’s the GoFundMe campaign?

Now that news of the lawsuit has been made public, I’m sure Meyer will start a GoFundMe campaign so Comicsgators can help pay for the lawsuit. That’s what leaders in Comicsgate do when they want to sue someone, they create a GoFundMe campaign and ask people to give them money. Perhaps Mark Waid will create a GoFundMe campaign. Comic book Internet drama fans can then see which campaign raises the most money. Considering how many comic book professionals Meyer has maligned and insulted, my money’s on Waid.

Frank Cho denounces Comicsgate as an alt-right hate movement

Comic book writer and artist Frank Cho wanted to let everyone know he’s not down with the hate movement known as Comicsgate. He went to Facebook and posted the following:

Frank Cho Comicsgate

So there you have it. Contrary to what comic book artist and the self-described “Ceasar” of Comicsgate Ethan Van Sciver would like to believe, Frank Cho wants nothing to do with Van Sciver’s hate movement. That has to be quite demoralizing to Van Sciver. Will he now call Cho a “fucking midget” as he did to standup comedian and lifelong comics fan Patton Oswalt? This was in response to Oswalt’s light roast of Richard C. Meyer’s Comicsgate comic book.

Ethan Van Sciver (Image: Aaron A. Alvarez)

Name calling is a big part of Comicsgate. I’m almost certain Cho will be on the receiving end of some anonymous angry words from Comicsgators. Cho identified himself as a proud liberal Democrat. According to Van Sciver, anyone who is not a vocal Trump supporter is a leftist, an SJW, a cuck, consumer of soy-based products, or a cultural Marxist.

Frank Cho denounces Comicsgate
If you didn’t vote for Donald Trump, you must consume a lot of soy sauce.

Cho denounced Comicsgate. I’m not at all surprised. I know of no comic book professional who doesn’t have an economic stake in Comicgate speak positively about it.

Comicsgate is definitely a hate group

It’s been a bad week for Comicsgate. Former Marvel Comics Editor in chief and current Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada wrote a series of tweets criticizing Comicsgate. Maybe Quesada’s tweets about Comicsgate wouldn’t have been so bad if they were made in a vacuum. The problem for Comicsgate is just about everyone else in comics has denounced the movement too.

Everyone who’s not selling $35 48-page graphic novels on IndieGoGo that is.

I was a supporter of Comicsgate back when it was more of a consumer rights group and not the pro-Trump group that it is today. If Comicsgate doesn’t want to be looked upon as a hate group, I proposed they should try to go a week without using hateful, divisive language. I recommended Ethan Van Sciver, the leader and trademark owner of Comicsgate, issue a one-week moratorium to his followers on using insulting and derogatory language.

Ethan Van Sciver responded, but not the way I hoped.

I thought his response was both disheartening and depressing. I thought the division between Comicgate and everyone else in comics was an unwanted byproduct of their conservative, pro-Trump ideology. It would appear it is not. Ethan wants there to be division in comics.

He doesn’t want to control people’s language? That’s something new. A few weeks prior he was more than happy with controlling his follower’s language.

As the self-appointed Ceasor of Comicsgate, he could ask Comicsgators to respect and offer excessive kindness to the people they disagree with. Especially if it was only for a week.

Calling people soy-boys, cucks, libtards, leftists, and other dehumanizing and derogatory names isn’t hateful? I strongly disagree.

Ethan stopped responding. Not that I blame him. What more could he say? Of course, calling people derogatory and insulting names is hateful.

Needless to say, name calling is wrong

I don’t agree with people calling other people names. I also don’t agree with creating division within comic books. People who enjoy comic books should be able to get along with other people who enjoy comic books. What they have in common far outweighs any differences they might have.

At least it should be. Anyone who purposely throws division into comics fandom is no friend of the medium.

Ethan Van Sciver and Vox Day wrestle over who owns Comicsgate

The world of Comicsgate became even more of a dumpster fire a few days ago. Hero of the alt-right and author of SJWs Always Lie Vox Day (government name Theodore Beale) announced he’s starting a comics imprint called Comicsgate. This didn’t sit too well with comic creators using the word to promote their independent projects. Ethan Van Sciver rallied his Comicsgate lieutenants on a YouTube live show to discuss this issue.

For me, the most interesting part was at 6:12. Ethan said:

This is the name of my YouTube show, Comicsgate Live. I own the word Comicsgate. It belongs to me. And I will fight him (Vox Day) in court for it. Nobody will make a Comicsgate line of comics, except for me. If I want to or if I don’t want to. So we are going to pursue legal action. I know I can count on the support of my fellow Comicsgators to do so. This is clearly copyright infringement.

I don’t think Ethan Van Sciver owns the word Comicsgate. He didn’t create the word. It was a word people began using long before he started his YouTube channel. Just because he incorporated the word into a segment of his YouTube show doesn’t mean he’s the trademark owner of Comicsgate.

There’s even a channel on YouTube called Comicsgate. It’s run by a comics fan in Egypt. This individual began producing videos under the name Comicsgate six years ago. This same person also owns the website comicsgate.net.

If someone owns the trademark to the word Comicsgate relating to a YouTube show, it’s the person in Egypt, not Ethan Van Sciver.

I thought everyone was the leader of Comicsgate?

What’s strange about this declaration of ownership is Ethan Van Sciver helped make a video that said everyone is the leader of Comicsgate and you can be too.

This video now seems inaccurate if Ethan owns the word. If someone owns the word, then they’re the leader of Comicsgate.

If Vox Day wants the word Comicsgate, let him have it

I don’t understand why anyone would want to go to court and fight over the word Comicsgate. To say the word has a massive PR problem is an understatement. It’s a word born out of the old Gamergate movement and was first used as an insult. If Ethan Van Sciver took Vox Day to court over the name, it would be like fighting over a turd sandwich.

If people need a word to describe their beliefs, then they should create their own word. No good thing as ever had the word gate at the end of it: Watergate, Heaven’s Gate, Gamergate, Bill Gates, etc.

I wrote about not supporting Comicsgate anymore and I cited my reasons. If I hadn’t already distanced myself from the movement, I would have done so after comics book legend Dave Gibbons, artist of Watchmen, the greatest comic ever made, denounced the movement on Twitter.

It’s not like Dave Gibbons is the first comics professional to denounce Comicsgate, nor will he be the last. To associate yourself with such a toxic word, so toxic Vox Day wants to use it to publish comics, should be a huge warning sign to everyone.

If you want people to take you seriously, if you don’t want people to assume bad things about you, don’t be like Vox Day. Don’t label yourself as Comicsgate. Trust me, you don’t need a single word defining your beliefs.

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 of 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.