Published: October, 2020 Written by: Richard C. Meyer Art by: Kelsey Shannon
Splatto Comics, 24 Pages
Overall, this was my least favorite comic that Richard C. Meyer has done. It ties to his recent PANdemIC comic and both of them tie-in to a larger release, soon to come.
I did enjoy PANdemIC but if I’m being honest, this one felt kind of rushed.
I felt that the story just wasn’t there and each situation was pretty predictable despite each development being shocking to those within the story.
I think that it might have read better if Meyer hadn’t spilled the beans about the character and his actions while describing the comic on multiple videos he put out. But the twist is really the only plot that there is, despite this happening in current year where city streets have been overtaken by riots, looting and general unrest.
Kelsey Shannon is a damn solid artist but I felt like his work was rushed here, too. I get it though, they wanted to get this out there and in people’s hands while these things were still topical and because there is a bigger crossover thing happening but I was pretty underwhelmed by it visually, as well.
I certainly don’t have buyer’s remorse or anything and I’m looking forward to seeing what the bigger plan is with this new group of titles Meyer is working on.
Rating: 5.5/10 Pairs well with: other comics by Richard C. Meyer, specifically those that will be tied to this story.
Published: 2020 Written by: Clint Stoker Art by: Ignacio Lazaro, Damian Penalba, Kelsey Shannon (cover)
Sweet Comics, 56 Pages
I’m actually glad that I got the two graphic novels for Downcast at the same time, as it helped me retain the plot details due to not waiting months between the volumes.
Although, I still shouldn’t have slept on this when the first one came out because I like the series a lot.
This one concludes the story but I hope that Clint Stoker and the same creative team eventually get back together to tell us another tale in this universe.
This picks up where the first one left off and it resolves all the issues that our heroes were faced with.
Ultimately, they are in over their heads due to stumbling on a unique power courtesy of a MacGuffin. I don’t want to spoil it because I’d rather people read this. Using that MacGuffin, they try to free their father who was imprisoned by a fascist government. All the while, they piss off that government and find themselves on the run while still trying to complete their difficult objective.
The story maintained its quality and the satisfying ending makes this volume a little bit better, overall.
As with the first one, I also really dug the art style and the look of the book.
If you’re still able to get this, you should definitely give it a shot.
Rating: 8.25/10 Pairs well with: its predecessor, as well as other crowdfunded indie comics.
Published: May, 2020 Written by: Richard C. Meyer, Carlos I. Silva Art by: Ibai Canales, Kelsey Shannon (cover)
Splatto Comics, 100 Pages
I really dug the first Iron Sights, which upset some of the sensitive, snowflake types that are out to “cancel” Richard C. Meyer just because he criticized a dying comic book industry full of talentless shitheads.
Anyway, I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this sequel even more. Meyer had a few issues with his writing in his earliest books but he’s definitely improved quite a bit in the less than two years since he’s been publishing his own comics on a regular basis.
That being said, unlike his detractors, Meyer listens to criticism and learns from it, which is apparent after seeing how he’s improved over his last two releases.
Overall, I enjoyed this story a lot, even more so than the first and it has some interesting surprises that makes me enthused about the eventual third book. I don’t want to spoil any of the plot details but if you are a fan of neo-western films of the last decade or two, this will most assuredly be your cup of tea.
Additionally, the artist, Ibai Canales received a lot of criticism over the first Iron Sights. While his style wasn’t for everyone, I liked it. However, in this second story, the guy has vastly improved over his previous work. It gives me hope for the future, as I see the guy only getting better, as he keeps working at his craft. Seriously, he’s made really noticeable improvement here and I’m glad that Meyer kept him on and gave him the opportunity to keep working on this series.
At it’s core, this is a hard-edged, action packed crime saga that goes for the gusto and succeeds at building off of what came before it while keeping the reader excited about what could be next.
Rating: 7.75/10 Pairs well with: it’s predecessor, as well as Richard C. Meyer’s Jawbreakers comics.
Published: April 24th, 2019 Written by: Kelsey Shannon Art by: Kelsey Shannon
Antarctic Press, 22 Pages
I’m not a big fan of political parody or satire. It’s usually predictable, the jokes are overused and it’s never that funny. Well, at least not in the last decade or two. Old school Saturday Night Live was pretty great when they still had the balls to poke fun at both sides. Also, South Park does a pretty good job as they shit on everyone and everything.
I am a fan of Kelsey Shannon though, so I figured I’d give this a shot. I mean, he wrote the story and did the art and I typically find the guy to be a lot of fun and his art is usually pretty damn solid. Also, you should check out his YouTube channel, as well as The Jack Show, which also features Jon Malin, Cecil Says and Anna a.k.a. That Star Wars Girl.
Now while I haven’t read any of the previous Barack Panther comics, it’s not hard to get the concept and to just pick this up and enjoy it without having had to read the other comics.
This one has a Men In Black twist to it, as Obama and Biden team up, as special agents, to fight an extraterrestrial threat. Surprisingly, but not really, Joe Biden is revealed to be an alien. I guess that explains a lot.
Anyway, while this isn’t typically my cup of tea, I was amused by it and more than anything else, enjoyed Shannon’s art.
Rating: 6/10 Pairs well with: I guess other Barack Panther comics.
Published: May, 2019 Written by: Chuck Dixon Art by: Kelsey Shannon
Antarctic Press, 32 Pages
I backed this on Indiegogo awhile ago but I guess I could’ve just bought it off of the shelf before it actually shipped to me. But that seems to be the case with most crowdfunded projects that get picked up by Antarctic Press.
Still, this was pretty inexpensive and I was pretty happy with the end result once I got this in my hands.
I’ve been reading comics by Chuck Dixon since the ’80s and the guy wrote one of my favorite runs on G.I. Joe, so I’ll support most of the projects he’s involved in.
Plus, I’ve really come to enjoy the art of Kelsey Shannon. When the dude is on his A game, he’s one of the top guys working today. In fact, I’m surprised more people aren’t scooping him up. Unless they are and future projects haven’t been announced yet.
This comic is like a time machine though. It takes the reader back to an era where jungle comics were actually a thing in pop culture. It was a popular genre back when Tarzan was a popular fictional character in the mainstream.
This does feel like a more modern take on the genre and the second story in the comic has a sci-fi twist to it. But it still captures the spirit of the pulp stories from over a half century ago.
If future issues come out, I’ll probably give them a shot. This is listed, officially, as part 1 of 4, so I guess we’ll see.
Although, I don’t know if Dixon and Shannon are involved going forward.
Rating: 6.5/10 Pairs well with: I guess future releases of Jungle Comics by Antarctic Press.
Published: March, 2019 Written by: Doug TenNapel Art by: Doug TenNapel, Kelsey Shannon, Katherine Garner
Doug TenNapel, 96 Pages
I’ve got to say, this was the most fun I’ve had reading a comic book this year. Doug TenNapel did a stupendous job in creating this graphic novel and I have to say that this was the best end result out of anything I have ever helped crowd fund.
I have absolutely no buyer’s remorse in supporting this and I actually have some disappointment in not picking up the sketchbook TenNapel did, as well as an extra copy. The finished product was presented beautifully and in fact, when I opened the package, I was completely stunned, smiling ear to ear. And because of that, this didn’t get added to my read pile, instead I immediately sat down and read this cover to cover.
The book was energetic, hilarious and I loved the title character immediately. This is something that doesn’t happen in 2019 but TenNapel crafted a fun world with depth, character and a real spirit.
I’ve always enjoyed cryptozoology being that I have grown up around the Everglades. While I don’t believe in the local legends like the Skunk Ape, I have always been fascinated by the idea of them. TenNapel did a fantastic job at creating a lovable Bigfoot character, as well as other cryptids with rich and unique personalities.
The story serves to set up a larger world that we will hopefully be able to see these characters live in for years to come.
The art was superb and I really loved the colors, which were provided by Kelsey Shannon and Katherine Garner.
Everything about this book is perfect.
In the end, I’m just glad to say that Bigfoot Bill was right up my alley and I loved every panel of it. I’m incredibly enthused about what could come next from Doug TenNapel.
Rating: 10/10 Pairs well with: other Doug TenNapel graphic novels and I’m sure, his future Bigfoot Bill releases.
Published: February, 2019 Written by: Richard C. Meyer Art by: Jon Malin, Brett R. Smith, Eric Weathers, Simon Bennett (Book One), Kelsey Shannon (Book Two), Ethan Van Sciver (cover), Kyle Ritter (cover)
Splatto Comics, 120 Pages
Well, after a very long wait, Richard C. Meyer’s Jawbreakers – Lost Souls has finally arrived. It took awhile to come out but Meyer has kept people clued in every step of the way due to all the roadblocks and challenges that popped up during this comic’s creation to it finally getting in the consumers’ hands.
I’m glad that I finally got it, as I’ve wanted to review it for a long time.
Full disclosure, I’m not a Comicsgater but I get lumped into that label by people who don’t like those of us who question things or criticize the comic book industry. Also, when I reviewed Meyer’s Iron Sights, I upset a lot of those who lean in a direction opposite of Meyer and most of his supporters. But I liked Iron Sights, despite its issues, and gave that one a 6.75 out of 10.
That being said, Jawbreakers is a step up from Iron Sights but I still have some issues with it, overall.
For the most part, the art in the Lost Souls story is pretty good. Jon Malin is talented but I’m not always a fan of his characters. Everything looks very sleek and his characters seem a bit slender and elongated in certain poses. Still, he’s much better than the average bear and he’s only getting better with more high profile projects under his belt. I’m pretty excited about his Graveyard Shift comic, which are now hitting mailboxes.
Brett R. Smith’s colors are absolutely fantastic though. I also love the cover by Ethan Van Sciver and Kyle Ritter.
This release also features two “remastered” versions of older Jawbreakers stories. One is drawn by Simon Bennett while the other is done by Kelsey Shannon, who also did the Iron Sights cover. These two additions to this release don’t look as good as Malin’s work. Bennett’s parts need more refinement. Shannon’s are better but I’m not a huge fan of the style he uses here and it’s not as polished as his Iron Sights cover, which was actually stunning.
I thought the story was decent, as it is similar to a G.I. Joe story with a kaiju thrown in. I love both of those things, so mixing them is a cool idea. However, this isn’t G.I. Joe. I’d say it’s better than what IDW Publishing has done with the actual G.I. Joe franchise in the years since Chuck Dixon stopped writing it but this feels a bit thin.
If I’m being honest, I need to know something about the characters’ backstories. Here they are thrown into a situation and you just go along for the ride. Meyer needs to develop these characters a bit more but since he has plans to use these characters in the future, maybe we’ll get to know them better. Right now, they feel like generic placeholders or those G.I. Joes that would pop up into a story because they had an action figure but they weren’t popular enough to get more than a minor cameo.
This might sound harsh and I don’t mean it to be but G.I. Joe had a lot of toy companies that knocked them off with toylines like The Corps! and X-Troop. Right now, this feels more like The Corps! than G.I. Joe. It is kind of generic but again, that’s probably because these characters need more depth. I need to care about them and I don’t just off of this story.
I do like that this just gets to the action and it’s pretty much balls to the wall from start to finish. But over time, we’ll need more than that. I can excuse the lack of depth being that this is, right now, a one-off action story.
Jawbreakers is a good start to something but it will take some time to turn it into a brand. The problem with that though, is that crowdfunded comics take a long time to create and distribute. This is one of my criticisms of doing comics this way when I’ve lived in a world where my favorite heroes and teams hit my pull box on a monthly basis. It is much easier finding yourself invested in characters and stories that come out with some regularity. I don’t know if crowdfunded comic franchises in the making can succeed in that way. Plus, people lose interest in things when there’s a long wait.
But for now, I did enjoy this. I certainly don’t have any sort of buyer’s remorse. This was a cool experiment and the end product mostly delivers.
Rating: 7/10 Pairs well with: Richard C. Meyer’s Iron Sights.
Published: September, 2018 Written by: Richard C. Meyer, Carlos Ivan Silva Art by: Ibai Canales, Kelsey Shannon (cover)
Splatto Comics, 120 Pages
This wasn’t the first of Richard C. Meyer’s projects that I backed but it was the first to be released. I’m still looking forward to getting his graphic novel Jawbreakers – Lost Souls, which should be out shortly.
This project was done as a sort of test for Meyer to best figure out how to print and fulfill these projects. In the end, unlike many other crowdfunded creators out there, Meyer delivered and this is the proof.
Iron Sights was exactly as Meyer described it on it’s Indiegogo page:
…a hard-boiled action drama set on the border…told in the trashy tone and fun style of a 1990s Straight-To-Video DVD!
If you like Quentin Tarantino crime flicks, John Woo Heroic Bloodshed movies or modern films like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, HELL AND HIGH WATER or SICARIO, then you’ll love IRON SIGHTS!
This book was overloaded with testosterone to the point that even the lightest of feminists would be foaming at the mouth over this massive level of “toxic masculinity”. This isn’t for the cutesy “safe” fellow that asks, “Could you please pass the almond milk?” This is for the guy that demands, “Pass me that fucking hammer!”
You see, this is the type of badass shit that is missing in comic books in 2018. Comics are escapism and entertainment, they’re not real. And they certainly don’t need to be some sort of medium that’s bastardized for political and social statements that most normal people think are exhausting.
Iron Sights isn’t for those that hold their Moscow mules with both hands, it’s for those of us that snort Wild Turkey 101 through both nostrils. Those of us that can hit the bullseye with a dart while blindfolded. Those of us that think we could take down Chuck Norris if we got in a lucky shot. Those of us that know what an Allen key is. Those of us that wear a king cobra as a fucking belt.
Okay, okay… I’m being overly sarcastic. And I’m only pointing that out because no one has a sense of humor or the ability to laugh at themselves anymore.
But all that being said, how does this actually measure up?
It’s entertaining. Meyer and Silva crafted a solid crime story that feels like a balls to the wall neo-western.
I liked the characters, I liked their camaraderie and their banter. I also liked the character of Esme but I don’t want to spoil anything in regards to her. But chances are, if you bought this, you already read it at this point. So I’ll just point out that I like when the damsel in distress trope is really just a red herring.
Meyer has come under a lot of criticism by his haters over his writing. To be frank, this is better than I thought it would be, as I’m skeptical of anyone that’s really new to the medium.
Ibai Canales has also faced a lot of criticism over his art. While this isn’t what I would call “the big league standard”, it looks okay for what this project is. It’s supposed to be raw, gritty and not overly refined. This isn’t the type of story that needs the art style of a maestro. Iron Sights was a good opportunity for Canales to expand on his talent and to work on something that fits his style. He hits the tone in the right way even if I feel like he still needs to get better and work on his craft, especially character design. If I’m being completely honest, he may not have been ready for this big of a project but I didn’t find his style or lack of refinement to be distracting.
I’ve also got to point out that the cover art by Kelsey Shannon is a perfect marriage between badass and beautiful. I don’t give a shit about posters or anything like that but I’d hang it on my wall.
Anyway, Meyer should be proud of this book and those of us that backed it should be pleased with the end result. Richard C. Meyer delivered on his project unlike so many other comic book pros that have taken money from fans and haven’t delivered on crowd funded projects from years ago.
Rating: 6.75/10 Pairs well with: the films Meyer used to describe this and I’m assuming his upcoming Jawbreakers comic.
*If you have been following what has been going on with Comicsgate over the last several months, you can probably skip over the long introduction and jump right into the second part of the article. The introduction is to get people who aren’t aware of Comicsgate up to speed on what has been happening.
Part I: An Introduction to Set the Stage:
I have always hated labels but I find my ideals and my fandom in line with the Comicsgate movement. I hate anything called “(insert name)-gate” because it’s been done to death and at this point, it is misused. Initially, it was used as a suffix to label anything that was a scandal. Comicsgate like Gamergate before it isn’t a scandal, it is a push back against a forced social cultural agenda brought on by liberal extremists that many refer to as SJWs (or social justice warriors).
I really don’t want to spend my time on this article talking about SJWs, as all the big wigs in the Comicsgate movement have that covered. But in a nutshell, they tend to latch on to something in pop culture and use it as a platform to force diversity on the masses. No one I talk to or support in Comicsgate has a problem with diversity. We love diversity, which can be found in many major comic book titles going back decades.
Hell, it’s rare to find an old school comic book fan that isn’t a huge fan of the Chris Claremont era of X-Men, where diversity was kind of the whole point. My favorite franchise of all-time was G.I. Joe and that certainly wasn’t short on diversity. As a kid two of my favorite characters were Stalker (a black man) and the Baroness (a woman). My absolute favorite was Shipwreck, whose real name is Hector Delgado, so he’s probably Hispanic.
What Comicsgate people have a problem with is the SJW’s tactics and how they use hate filled rhetoric and intimidation while preaching the opposite. The big thing that people supporting Comicsgate want is good storytelling and for the intellectual properties that they love and cherish to be respected. But if you disagree with SJWs, they tend to call you names like “racist”, “bigot”, “misogynist”, “homophobe”, “white supremacist”, “Nazi”, “alt-right”, “Trump supporter” and whatever other bullshit they can come up with to bully you and paint you as something you aren’t.
I’m none of those things, by the way, not that I should even have to defend myself. And I didn’t support Trump… or Hillary for that matter. I’m an anarcho-capitalist that hates talking about politics because I ran a blog about it for several years until my brain exploded. It then took several more years for my brain to regenerate into something other than pulpy goo.
Anyway, when you try to have rational or reasonable discussions, the SJWs call you more names and then block you on social media because that’s what modern day bullies do. In the old days, bullies at least had balls and would get in your face, physically. Nowadays, the bullies are setting up GoFundMe accounts to get their fans to pay for surgeries to remove their balls (see for yourself). I guess being a writer for Marvel and DC Comics with an SJW agenda isn’t a good paying gig when you need to crowdfund your sex change operation. Point being, comic book sales are terrible in 2018, as the industry is essentially being held hostage by these SJW types. Comic books, as we know them, are dying a horrible death. Seriously, look at Squirrel Girl… who buys this shit?
But with all that being said, there are several people who are now creating their own comics because they no longer want to work within an industry where they aren’t wanted by those who hold the keys to the kingdom. Many conservatives in comics have been harassed and blacklisted. Those who still work in the comics industry that don’t agree with SJW politics and tactics, keep their mouths shut for fear of losing their jobs or receiving even worse backlash.
However, guys like Richard C. Meyer a.k.a. Zack of Diversity & Comics (currently at 81K subscribers) and former DC Comics artist Ethan Van Sciver a.k.a. ComicArtistPro Secrets (currently at 68K subscribers) have spoken out heavily against the SJW types and have created their own projects, which are being crowd funded with great success, unlike SJWs trying to crowd fund the snipping of their genitalia.
Diversity & Comics was the first to come out with his own graphic novel, which is called Jawbreakers – Lost Souls. Right now, this book has raised $362K from 9403 backers, funding 3867% of its initial goal. Ethan Van Sciver followed with Cyberfrog: Bloodhoney, which has raised $436K from 6928 backers, funding 5452% of its initial goal. These campaigns are still open and will continue to raise money.
Now there are other creators entering the fray and that’s what I’m here to discuss after this long winded introduction to get my readers up to speed.
Part II: Moving Beyond the Genesis of Comicsgate:
I have supported Jawbreakers and Cyberfrog. I did it gladly, without even knowing much about the comics themselves, as it is about funding something bigger than just a comic book project. It is about funding a movement and trying to change the industry. As time rolls on and things change and modernize with technology, we don’t have to necessarily buy comic books the same way that we’ve been buying them since, well… half a century before I was even born. To be honest, I still love walking into my local comic shops and buying stuff off of the wall and I think every true comic fan agrees with me there.
Since supporting those two projects, I’ve also found myself backing Cautionary Comics’ Ravage – Kill All Men!, Mitch and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s Red Rooster: Golden Age (the one I’m most excited about) and Richard C. Meyer’s second project Iron Sights.
The thing is, there are more projects out there that I haven’t supported and many more in the pipeline. So that raises some questions worth exploring.
To start, these comic books are typically graphic novel size or longer than standard comics. Plus, they are printed independently without being under the banner of a large publisher like Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc. Therefore, they can’t print these books as cheaply because they aren’t printing mass quantities, month after month, till the end of time.
Printing costs are determined by a combination of things: mainly cost of goods (paper, ink, etc.) and labor. More comics means that the cost of overall goods goes down and so does the amount of labor, as labor is mostly tied in to setting up the press. It doesn’t matter if you set up a press to print 100 comics or 100,000, the set up process is virtually the same. Spreading that cost out over 100 copies is going to cost more per issue than spreading it out over 100,000 copies.
So keeping that in mind, the cost of these crowd funded indie comics is more expensive than that issue of Detective Comics that you bought at your local store. What usually costs $3.99 to $4.99 costs at least $20. Keep in mind that there are more pages in these books but the price is still quite a bit more than the norm.
But realistically, most people will spend more than this. I’ve spent between $30 and $75 on each of these projects. Reason being, there are all types of perks based off of what tier you decide to purchase. So for instance, on Red Rooster I got the $50 tier, which comes to $60 after shipping but it includes a signed copy of the 48 page Red Rooster comic, a sketchbook of unused and conceptual art, as well as a sticker related to the project. I really wanted the sketchbook in addition to the comic, so I spent twice as much as I would have for just the comic alone, which was $25.
The point I’m trying to make here is that these things aren’t cheap. But that’s okay. I gladly funded these projects because I like them, the people behind them and what all of this represents. Tens of thousands of other people feel the same way and so far, these Comicsgate related projects have raised more than $950,000 in less than two months and that’s just the projects I have supported. I’m sure the ones I haven’t backed push the number over a million dollars. Plus, Red Rooster and Iron Sights just started a week or so ago.
Additionally, there is a lot of buzz around these books as most of the creators are helping each other out by promoting different projects than just their own. YouTube and Twitter have been the strongest forces in getting the word out. And since Jawbreakers and Cyberfrog both went gangbusters, everyone is excited and motivated even more than they were a few months ago. This is great for the creators and even better for the fans.
But can this momentum maintain? How big is the market share, really? It is easier to control a few projects and to pinpoint where the consumer should put their buck but what happens when others start jumping on the bandwagon, which is already happening?
Part III: The Uncertain Future:
The thing is, as more projects hit the market, there will be more choices. That is how capitalism works.
However, more doesn’t necessarily mean better and while the creators now seem like a good, solid group of people in this for the right reasons and to help establish something larger for the comic book industry, there are no guarantees in the type of people that could come along next.
I’m not saying that we should be weary? Quite the contrary. I’m all about accepting people with open arms. If they turn out to be a douche, I cross my arms and move on. But everyone should be given the same platform and means to achieve success. I think people should be smart with their money though and not just freely throw it onto every project that pops up. I’ve had to do that with some projects that I was going to help fund simply because of my excitement level for what’s been happening. I’d love to fund all of these things but I only make so much money and have bills to pay; that’s life. Plus, there’s other things outside of the Comicsgate sphere that I want to back just because they’re projects that resonate with me in some way.
Anyway, once the floodgates are open and they’re nearly there, it will be hard for others to have the same sort of early success that Richard C. Meyer and Ethan Van Sciver had with their first projects. Truthfully, their follow up comics might not perform as well either when other projects pop up on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. I hope that the word spreads and that sales continue to increase but we don’t yet know how big this market can be.
Right now, the market is only so big. It is growing, however. I definitely feel like it still has room to expand but that also comes from maintaining the level of enthusiasm people have for all of this.
I found out about all of this Comicsgate stuff through a friend that introduced me to Diversity & Comics six months or so ago. I also started following Ethan Van Sciver after that because I liked a lot of the things he was saying, even if his channel is mostly about Star Wars and I’ve pretty much moved on from that franchise.
I think that it is important for people to share what is happening on social media because in this day and age, it is the best way to get the word out. And people are doing just that, which is why the movement has drastically expanded in the last few months and why Cyberfrog and Jawbreakers are crushing it on Indiegogo.
Wearing your passion on your sleeve is the best thing you can do. And being outspoken against the haters and the bullshit is also important because anyone who supports these guys is public enemy number one to the majority of comic book pros in the mainstream comics industry.
With more people coming into this from the creative side, the pie will have to be cut up into smaller pieces. That’s fine though, because in a free market, the better comics will survive and outshine the ones that just aren’t up to snuff. That’s how it works and I think that most people on the Comicsgate side of the coin understand this. But if the market continues to increase, that’s just more money to go around.
Unfortunately, there are some lesser known creators that are getting all worked up and accusing the more popular guys of stealing their thunder and cutting into their pieces of the pie. The truth is, this shit isn’t going to help them sell more books and no one will really have sympathy for this sort of whiny bullshit. Everyone that’s creating on the side of Comicsgate is working towards making the industry better overall but ultimately, are also working to make their bank accounts larger because that’s what business is.
These people that feel entitled to something just because they have been doing it longer won’t matter in the grand scheme of things and this sort of infighting within the network doesn’t help anyone. Get motivated by your competition and use that as fuel to make a better product; see what works for the successful creators and learn from those successes.
Plus, the success of the bigger guys like Ethan Van Sciver and Ricahrd C. Meyer is what brought more people to the movement. I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these two guys. The truth is that they’ve baked a much larger pie for people to get in on. Their presence in this network of like minded people should be seen as something positive, as it does benefit everyone.
Part IV: What the Future Can Be:
I have heard a lot of people make the same connection that I am about to but this Comicsgate movement is very similar to the Image Revolution in the early ’90s. The last time I felt this way about comics was when I was in middle school and seven major comic book creators walked out on their jobs at Marvel to start their own independent company. Their reasons and motivation were different but what they were looking for was essentially the same: a better comic book industry where the creators own their creations and get to make as much money as they possibly can by plying their trade. And in the case of Comicsgate, creating better stories and respecting the established history of the industry.
The biggest difference between this generation’s rebels and the founders of Image, is that these modern rebels interact directly with their customers. They are approachable, easy to communicate with and have the ability to adapt to trends on the fly. This isn’t just about crowd funding money, it is about crowd funding ideas and criticism. It’s also about building the movement. If my middle school aged self could have had conversations with Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld or Jim Lee, I would’ve lost my damn mind. We live in a really cool time.
The SJW creators don’t want to interact with their fans, they want to dictate what their fans should support and call them “toxic” if they don’t follow suit. The SJW way of doing business will absolutely fail and the Comicsgate creators are on the right side of the consumer.
As this continues to grow, the future will start taking shape for the comic book industry in new ways. I don’t think Marvel or DC will ever go out of business, as they own very profitable characters that are essentially the gods and heroes of American mythology. But guys like Ethan and Richard will probably have to start their own companies. Or there will end up being some sort of indie publishing house that will form to take on the duties of printing and distributing these products with more regularity and eventually, at a cheaper price.
This could very well lead to a third major company forming and making the same sort of impact that Image did with their first string of releases in 1992. In fact, this could be bigger, as a large part of the Comicsgate fan base is comprised of people that have been long time fans and are no longer kids buying comics with their allowance. We have jobs, make real world money and are a much bigger financial pot to dip into than Image had with their earliest fans. I understand that the comics industry doesn’t do early ’90s numbers in 2018 but that can change. Maybe this is what the industry needs and the x-factor that can propel it forward for future generations. Especially, when just two guys have independently crowd funded over $800,000 for just two comics in less than two months.
Part V: Conclusion:
There is a lot to be excited about and things have changed for the better with the impact that Comicsgate has made on the industry in just a short time. The SJW creators try to ignore it and downplay it but they’re terrified, which is why they spend all their time trying to undermine it, harass its supporters and attempt to sabotage it at every turn. Just look into what Mark Waid did to Antarctic Press in trying to stop Richard C. Meyer’s Jawbreakers from being published (video on that here).
It is still an uphill battle and a few big victories don’t necessarily win a war. It’s up to the fans and the creators to keep pushing forward in positive ways and to not become swayed by hate filled shitbirds that are just projecting that hate onto normal, well adjusted people. Plus, SJWs have proven time and time again that they’re not very smart and that they’re just cowards that will talk shit and then immediately block you. Ding Dong Ditch was a game for pussies.
It is important to support these projects if you believe in what all of this stands for and if you want to create a comic book industry that is once again thriving and healthy without lame ass identity politics, crappy writing and shitty Tumblr art.
As the train keeps running, spend that money wisely. Buy what you want though. So many new projects are about to flood the market and that’s a good thing because you now have more choices. It’s okay to be selective because these comics are pricier and with that, you deserve to get more for your investment. The cream will rise to the top and with that, bigger and better things for the creators that succeed and the fans that have supported them.
Maybe one day there will be a Jawbreakers or a Cyberfrog movie. Why not both? Why not more?
*The highest rated definitions of “Comics Gate” and “SJW” on Urban Dictionary.