Ethan Van Sciver blocked me on Twitter

Last week Ethan Van Sciver, the glorious leader of Comicsgate blocked me on Twitter. The reason? He’s good at throwing insults, but not so good at hearing the truth.

It started when I commented on someone’s tweet about a donor to Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit campaign. Meyer is suing comic book writer Mark Waid for slander and tortious interference. When Waid started a legal defense fundraiser on GoFundMe to help pay for his lawyer, Van Sciver responded by starting a similar fundraiser for Meyer.

Waid’s list of donors reads like a who’s who in the world of funny books. Meyer’s list of donors, not so much. One of Meyer’s donors is someone named Nancy Balbutin-Collins. She donated $11,000 to help Meyer sue Waid. She’s now the third highest donor to Meyer’s fundraiser.

Who is Nancy Balbutin-Collins?

Renfamous, Comicsgate’s number one enemy and one of the best people to follow on Twitter, googled Nancy Balbutin-Collins’ name and the first result was a real estate agent in Northern California. Renfamous then posted a screenshot of her real estate agent page, minus her contact information along with a funny comment.

Ethan Van Sciver blocked me on Twitter - Bent Corner

The screenshot was interesting because it showed Nancy Balbutin-Collins is not the type of person one would normally associate with comic books, let alone something as toxic as Comicsgate.

Comicsgate supporters responded to Renfamous’ screenshot by claiming it doxxed Nancy Balbutin-Collins. As you can see from the above tweet, this claim is not true. Nancy Balbutin-Collins chose to give to the fundraiser with her full name. She could have donated anonymously. When someone googles that name, the see her real estate agent page. If that’s doxxing, than Google and Ask Jeeves dox people every single millisecond.  I tweeted something to that effect.  This prompted Ethan Van Sciver to insult me by claiming I used to have ethics.

Who does Van Sciver think he is to comment about my ethics?

That was… strange. I have many weaknesses and flaws. A lack of ethics is not one of them. I’m a very ethical person. I responded to his insult about me, not with an insult toward him, but some much-needed truth about me.

Minutes later, Van Sciver responded with more insults.

How rich that he would dare accuse anyone else of engaging in a harassment campaign. He is the undisputed leader of Comicsgate, a group of people who constantly harass people. And what in the hell is a “lickspittle“? Did someone buy Van Sciver a Dennis Prager word-of-the-day calendar?

Conservative smarty-pants, Dennis Prager.

Not only have I never heard that word used in a sentence, but I’m also quite confident I’ll never hear it used ever again.

I pointed out to Van Sciver that he’s in no position to criticize and insult my ethics.

Ethan Van Sciver should feel embarrassed to insult someone’s ethics when he clearly has a problem in that area of his life. Part of being an ethical person is paying your debts. It’s unethical not to, especially when you have the means to do so.

Before the emergence as Donald Trump as the face of the Republican Party, most Democrat voters thought Mitt Romney was kind of a jerk. In retrospect, Mitt Romney is a wonderful and decent guy.

Remember, according to Mitt Romney, the candidate Van Sciver supported for president in 2012, corporations are people. When you stiff a corporation the money you agreed to pay them, you’re stiffing people.

Van Sciver responded a few hours later.

Van Sciver fails to realize foreclosure records are not private. They are public records. Nobody stole them. Too bad for him he didn’t consider that when he decided to simply not to pay his mortgage.

I found it ironic he called me a “piece of shit” yet of the two of us, I’m the one who pays his debts. Ethan Van Sciver does not. I was going to reply to his tweet, but then immediately after saying “fuck you” and calling me a “piece of shit,” he blocked me.

The only time I heard about Ethan Van Sciver’s foreclosure was on his own YouTube channel

I didn’t learn of  Van Sciver’s foreclosure from an SJW unless he is an SJW. I learned about it from him. He talked about it on two of his YouTube live streams. Van Sciver deleted one but left the first one on YouTube. He begins talking about his foreclosure at around the 21-minute mark.

According to Van Sciver, in 2015 he owned a house in North Carolina and didn’t want to live there anymore. He wanted to return to New Jersey so he could be with his now current wife. She couldn’t move to North Carolina because of a child custody situation. According to Van Sciver, he owned more on the house than it was worth, so selling it was out of the question. He said he was advised to walk away from the house and rent for the next three years.

Ethical people pay their debts

Van Sciver didn’t say who advised him just walk away from a house he still owed money on, a house he could afford to pay. Is walking away from a house because you don’t want to live in it any more unethical? When you still have the means to pay for, one hundred percent yes.

Van Sciver didn’t say he couldn’t afford the mortgage. He said he just didn’t want to live there anymore. It’s unethical behavior like this that makes it difficult for normal, honest people to get a mortgage. I would never walk away from my mortgage because I wanted to live somewhere else. It’s unethical and irresponsible. Van Sciver has no business accusing me of being unethical. I pay my debts. He does not.

Just to be absolutely clear

I do not have a problem with Ethan Van Sciver blocking me on Twitter. It’s not like I place value in what the man has to say. Not anymore. What I took issue with was how he did it. He sought me out to insult me. He implied I’m not ethical. I corrected him. He insulted me again with the same disparaging accusation. I pointed out that he was in no position to insult my ethics. I told him why. He then told me “fuck you” and said I was a “piece of shit.” He then immediately blocked me so that I could not respond.

What makes his behaviour even more outrageous is that I am his customer. I paid $35 for his 48-page CyberFrog comic back when I supported Comicsgate. He knows this. And I thought Comicsgate was about comic book professionals treating customers with respect.

Is Ethan Van Sciver a “real man”?

I block people on Twitter, but I don’t block people after I instigate trouble with them. I don’t instigate trouble with anyone, not on Twitter or anywhere else. Unlike Ethan Van Sciver, I don’t seek out to create drama. I don’t like drama.

Top artwork by the great Aaron A Alvarez.

NPC: Comicsgate’s new slur for non-Comicsgate people

Comicsgate supporters have come up with a new term for people who don’t support their movement: NPC.

It stands for “Non-Player Character.” It comes from table-top roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. The term later migrated over to video games. An NPC is a character in the game who looks and acts like another player but is controlled by the Dungeon Master or in the case of video games, the programming.

The NPC term originally became an insult on 4chan. It was coined to describe people who only have the same canned response to everything. They don’t think for themselves. They’re fake people.

From 4chan:

NPC: Comicsgate's new slur for non-Comicsgate people - Bent Corner

Why is Comicsgate using the NPC slur?

One of the underlying problems with the movement is most people in the comic book community disagree with its principles. Those who’ve never heard of the movement, once they learn about it, generally have a negative opinion of it.

That’s because it’s a hate movement.

Instead of responding to this reaction with introspection and self-examination, most Comicsgaters react by lashing out against anyone who does not agree with them. It’s what they do.

Up until a few weeks ago, Comicsgaters called anyone who disagreed with them SJWs, soyboys, cucks, waamen, or cultural Marxists. Now they seem uniformly focused on using the NPC slur.

What they fail to consider before referring to their detractors as fake people is that most Comicgaters use multiple sock puppet accounts. Rarely do Comicsgaters post things using their real names.

This is a perfect example:

TheUmbrellaGuy is one of the minor lieutenants in the Comicsgate command hierarchy. He has a YouTube channel and he regularly appears on Ethan Van Sciver’s Comicsgate live streams. Mr. Van Sciver claims to own the term “Comicsgate” and because of this claim, when he’s not decapitating a metal Rose Tico figure with a pair of bolt cutters, decides who and who isn’t Comicsgate.

Ethan Van Sciver (Photo: New Jersey Comic Expo)

TheUmbrellaGuy hides behind a fake name. The person he’s referring to in his tweet as an “NPC” is Heather Antos, a real person who tweets under her real name. I find it ironic that in the world of Comicsgate, a fake person can call a real person an NPC.

This irony, like a good many things, seems to be completely lost on members of Comicsgate. Like other popular slurs in Comicsgate, they will eventually grow tired of it and switch to something else. If you want to know what they’ll be calling they believe to be “anti-Comicsgate” in the future, just go to 4chan today. They will undoubtedly recycle a term coined by 4chan and then cast aside when it becomes old. What’s other people’s trash is Comicsgate’s treasure.

Originality is not one of Comicsgate’s strong suits.

Bleeding Cool apologizes for Vox Day article

 

Bleeding Cool, the eminent comic book and pop culture blog, published an apology for publishing an interview with Vox Day, an American white nationalist living in Italy.

Mr. Day (government name Theodore Beale) is now in the comic book publishing business. His comics cater to the white alt-right crowd.

Mr. Day was a proud member of Comicsgate until the supreme leader of Comicsgate Ethan Van Sciver unceremoniously kicked him out of the movement. Was it Mr. Day’s bigoted, white nationalist views that earned him the expulsion?

Ethan Van Sciver (Photo: New Jersey Comic Expo)

Nope. It was because Mr. Vox planned to create a comics publishing imprint called “Comicsgate” and was proceeding to trademark the term. Mr. Van Sciver didn’t take too kindly to this scheme. He asserted he owned the term “Comicsgate” and the official lawyer of Comicsgate agreed with him.

Mr. Day didn’t follow through with his plan, but the damage between Mr. Van Sciver and Mr. Day was done.  It doesn’t appear it can be repaired. Sadly, their friendship is over. Their weekly phone calls? Not anymore. Mr. Van Sciver is still a fan of Mr. Day’s books though and recommends people read them because, well, he agrees with this views about the evils of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs).

Bleeding Cool apologizes for Vox Day article - Bent Corner
Comicsgate (Photo: Craig Alanson)

The day I recommend books written by a white nationalist bigot is the day I want someone to shoot me in the head. It’s not me, but a robot from the future pretending to be me!

Why did Bleeding Cool apologize?

The interview was seen by some as a signal boost of Mr. Day’s awful, repugnant views. Those people are right. Unfortunately, even when you publish a negative article about someone explaining how racist they are, it attracts racists and bigots to whatever this person is offering.

This is one of the problems with denouncing Comicsgate as a bigoted group of hate mongers: it only attracts more and more hateful bigots to the movement.

The apology was written by Kaitlyn Booth. This is the apology:

Bleeding Cool apologizes for Vox Day article - Bent Corner

It looks like the offending article has been scrubbed from the website. You can read an archived copy by going here.

Who is Kaitlyn Booth?

Bleeding Cool apologizes for Vox Day article - Bent Corner
Kaitlyn Booth

In the apology, Ms. Booth announced she’s taking over the role of editor-in-chief of Bleeding Cool. If you thought Rich Johnston was the editor-in-chief, you would be wrong. It’s a common misconception. Mr. Johnston is the chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool.

Before Ms. Booth claimed the iron throne, the EIC duties belonged to Mark Seifert.

Ms. Booth was the film writer at Bleeding Cool. She’s also a co-host of The Nerdom Podcast.

If Ms. Booth’s letter of apology about the Vox Day article is any sign of how things will be under her watch, I expect Bleeding Cool to get a lot more respectable and decent, very quickly. I just wish she could do something about all those annoying ads…

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.