Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Matt discusses the 'gate (against his better judgement...)

Hi, Everybody!

Comics Link. I got all the Auctions in one link, you're welcome.

So: More with the ComicsGate...

When last we met, I was getting ready to discuss THIS:

Let me zoom in:
"Hiring based on MERIT, not IDENTITY."

Ahem, they're complaining about Marvel Comics.

That want Marvel to hire "based on MERIT, not IDENTITY."

If Marvel hired based on Merit, there would be no Marvel.

Let me say that again:

If Marvel hired based on MERIT, there would be NO MARVEL.

Allow me to elucidate: Marvel Comics (as we know it today) is the work of one man: Stan Lee*

*yes, yes, Kirby and Ditko and others ALSO created the Marvel Universe that the one we know today evolved from. But with no Lee, I'd wager my last half crown that THAT Marvel would never have lasted. Remember: Lee+Kirby=Silver Surfer, Kirby by himself=The Black Racer.

And Stan only got the job at Timely Comics because the Publisher Martin Goodman was his cousin's husband.

Now, I'm not saying that Stan had no Merit, but to suggest that he started at Timely because he had talent when it was his "familia" that got him the gig in the first place?

Well, it's like Mick says:

"Bes' larf oy've 'ad in a LONG why-o..."


Carson Grubaugh said...
I spent over two hours on the phone with Ethan about a week ago. Very kind of him, a well known creator raking in cash, to speak with me, a total nobody who disageees with him. 
 Yup, rather gentlemanly of him.

Carson Grubaugh: I got the impression he is legitimately frustrated by the way he has been treated behind the scenes in the industry after it became clear he voted for Trump. He is definitely NOT a Nazi. His call for the firing of SJW creators is limited to the abstract, not aimed at specific creators, and only made from a "lead to declinging sales" business standpoint.
Yeah...that's kind of a bullshit argument. I'll allow "Hero to the Blog", Brian Hibbs to discuss that one.  (Seriously, Brian is pretty much the topper-most of the popper-most in my eyes when it comes to retailing. He's been in the game long enough to know his shit. Tilting At The Windmills is doubleplusgood!)

Carson Grubaugh: In his mind this is not a mask for his political motivations because he also thinks overly political comics by conservative creators would drive away business.

The conversation confirmed that he does indeed prioritize comics as a business over comics as an art form.
Well, that's...interesting...

Carson Grubaugh: When I explained YDKJ to him he said he was not interested in projects that are explicitly political, on any side of the spectrum.
How "political" is YDKJ? Exactly?

Carson Grubaugh: Comicsgate, in his mind, seems to be mostly about creating a venue for making 1990's-esque junk-food superhero books because he believes this is what fans want.
I believe it was Neil Gaiman, who said, "I like a story." Also, ya know, this.

Carson Grubaugh: He constantly said that Marvel and DC are like Burger King, and since they only sell carb-free soy-patties now he is going to set up a nice greasey hamburger stand on the other corner.

Carson Grubaugh: He repeatedly said that he is against creators telling fans "If you don't like it don't buy it." I suspect Ethan and Dave are 180ยบ on that position. In Ethan's mind you should listen to what fans want and cater to that. It is their money, so they have a say.
Seriously, who said this?

Carson Grubaugh: Ethan was also adamant that by not listening to fans demands the Big Two are taking money out of the pockets of the retailers.
Um... How?

Carson Grubaugh: How he is solvimg this by crowdsourcing his work is unclear to me.
He's not. At all.

Carson Grubaugh: He was totally unaware of the situation Dave got into by releasing the first Cerebus trade on his own, the Creators Bill of Rights, etc.
And this is my problem with the ComicsGate. They have no clue as to the history of the Comics Industry, or of the Medium (One of them, not sure who, claimed Cerebus started as a parody of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Seriously.)

Ethan, if you're reading this, GO here, read EVERYTHING. Seriously, Al has done a great job documenting the history of the Bill.

Carson Grubaugh: Etham did express that there should be venues for comics as art, his brother Noah does well with exactly that over at Fantagraphics. Comicsgate, in his mind, is only about creating a venue the fills the void of junk-food comics since apparently Marvel and DC do not any more.
Uh... Fug it:
and most importantly: http://nebula.wsimg.com/c56c3755d04bad1b715834591bb6d770?AccessKeyId=87589A184FE583B75C0B&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

I mean, just read everything by Hibbs you can find. (I swear I read a column in an old issue of Comics Retailer where he talked about the received wisdom of how many issues of Cerebus you're supposed to order in relation to the number of issues of Batman you order. I wish I still had that...)

Carson Grubaugh: The offer was put forth many times that if Dave would just write a 48 page superhero book Ethan could net Dave a big payday. Apparently Dave was not interested in that.
Dave has always struck me as the kind of guy who gets up to leave, and somebody says, "But Dave, you're leaving money on the table." and Dave responds, "But my pockets are full".

Or as Dave has said, "Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered." (I believe it went.)

Carson Grubaugh: When I talked to Dave about that offer he shared my opinion that we probably just don't have the ability to produce junk-food superhero comics,
I do, and I'll work cheap. (tell Dave.)

Carson Grubaugh: but he will see if he can find a way to make it work, largely from the point of a formal challenge. I haven't heard anything back about that yet, and doubt, kind of hope, I don't. SDOAR is the priority.

As far as Cyberfrog. I can't speak.
Okay, this is like version...six? (seven?) of what I want to say about this.

And... I'm just not that invested. So, I'll send something up to Dave with everybody's concerns, and report back.
This is me, writing the blog...

Next Time: Hobbs, Thursday: Liss. Friday: Sim Saturday: Heath (If I can figure out how to get the MP3 to work.)Sunday: Sim Monday and Tuesday: Judenhass (just to finish it out...) Then: Hobbs, Liss, Sim, and then I gotta work again. Shit.


Anonymous said...

This site has become an absolute, disorganized mess. Some image links appear as a white "x" on a black box because they are not working. The blog posts ramble. It's not worth the effort to visit here anymore.

Maybe it's time to put AMOC to rest.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Anybody else have the same problems with images?

Seriously asking,
(Geez...I bet if the boobies imaged worked for you, you wouldn't be complaining...)

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Dunlop said...

No problems with the images, the posts, the commentary, or any of it. AMOC is still in its prime, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Matt, you hit this one into the upper deck; a no-doubter from the crack of the bat. It's what I was trying to say, extremely feebly, with my comment on the previous post. What little I know about C-gate indicates that they take the narrowest possible perspective on what comics can, or should, be as an art form.

Now here comes the old fart "In My Day..." commentary, though. Everybody thinks things were great when they were young, I'm no exception. I actually believe there was a brief, shining moment when Marvel was a (sort of) functioning meritocracy: in the BS (Before Shooter) era.

My evidence?

Steve Englehart. Steve Gerber. Frank Brunner. The early Jim Starlin. Gene Colan. The young Marv Wolfman. Tom Palmer. The early George Perez. The early John Byrne, even. Al Milgrom. Archie Goodwin. I'm sure others could add more.

Of course, most of these guys were young, and sometimes undisciplined; there were quite a few blown deadlines and unplanned reprints in those days. (That's what I meant by "sort of" functioning.) Shooter did away with that; and where did almost all of these guys end up in the 80s, after Shooter "cleaned house?" (If you don't know I'm not going to tell you. Nyah nyah.)

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Gray said...

The comics industry has always been, essentially, a meritocracy - if a creator's work doesn't appeal to an audience, it doesn't survive - it doesn't matter who you're related to. This is one area where comics clearly beats the TV and movie industries hands-down. But Comicsgaters see "outsiders" getting gigs and cry foul.

Just for the record, Matt: you couldn't have chosen a worse example for your argument that Stan Lee was the driving force at Marvel than the Silver Surfer. Jack Kirby invented the character on his own and put him into Fantastic Four #48, to Stan Lee's complete surprise (Stan has stated this on many occasions).

Jeff said...

For the record, Matt, I often (maybe half the time) get just a white page when I click on a link here at AMOC. But, I don't agree with anything else that Anon. wrote.

Seth said...


For what it's worth, as mostly a lurker, the site works fine for me on mobile and desktop. I also appreciate the effort and time you've dedicated to keeping the lights on, so on a personal note, thank you.

For what it's worth regarding the whole Comicsgate thing...I just wanna read some funnybooks with good art and good writing. And while I have opinions on Comicsgate as a whole, and I think everyone has the option to voice those concerns, it's all irrelevant to me as are the personal opinions of creators in any form.


Carson Grubaugh said...

Reading Ethan's Twitter feed the last week to get a better sense of who he is. He does post things like

"ComicsGate...behave yourselves.

Stay happy and positive and avoid conflict with people who want to defame you.

This movement is in your hands, not theirs.

I know what they say can feel unjust, but they’re scared.

History will sort all of this out in your favor.


I have only seen him be positive, or politley argue his points with people, some of whom are being unduly crass. He also expresses disapointment when other creators, like when Erick Larsen devolve into using "cum rag".

I still don't agree with Ethan's business-first level of analysis, and am a bit confused by how some of the arguments from him amount to anything new, but haven't seen anything that shows he is actively harrasing anyone, or encouraging such. It looks to me like the opposite.

I also watched about a half-hour of thishttps://youtu.be/sYfKSfZ1Rk4. This sounded like a compassionate dude who took a beating for a social media policy. That guy had good points. Not informed on the whole situation there, however.

As far as I can tell, there is a really positive side to Comicsgate that is having a hard time dissociating itself from the rotten actors. Like, the Breitweisters constantly come across as stand up individuals who took massive loads of shit because the husband congratulated Trump for winning the election.

Maybe if everyone just stayed off Twitter?

Kit said...

Lee+Kirby=Silver Surfer, Kirby by himself=The Black Racer.

Kirby without Lee = Captain America, Destroyer Duck, Godcorp, Funky Flashman and Houseroy, the entire genre of romance comics, Street Code, Big Barda, the Female Furies, Boy Commandos, the Eternals & the Celestials, Challengers Of The Unknown, Dubbilex, Goody Rickles, Morgan Edge, Etrigan the Demon, Fighting American, the Forever People, Darkseid, Desaad, Granny Goodness, Glorious Godfrey, Metron, Orion, Lightray, the Manhunters, Kamandi, OMAC, Mister Miracle, In The Days Of The Mob, The Prisoner, Machine Man and Klarion the Witch-Boy.

Lee without Kirby = Stripperella, and how-to-write-comics books that are ghosted by up to 20 other writers.

Sean R said...

Stan Lee.... OOF.

Now there's an editor (and scripter, it's true. But rarely writer) who knew how to drum up some CREDIT for himself. Man o man.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


The comment may have been removed from the Blog, but it'll live forever in our hearts...and inboxes.


Thanks for the kind words, but the earlier versions (which exist only in my head,) are probably a lot better. I'm a witty mutha fugga when I'm writing this shit in my head. At work. Nowhere near a computer. *sigh*

David Birdsong: I was a reader of most 1990s comics. I...I don't think I wanna go back. (Kidding. I'm actually looking to complete my collection of Ultraverse books. (Big Sale at the LCS this weekend...))

Scott Gray: your first point, "Yes, but..."
Your second point, no, no I picked the PERFECT example. Jack drew a guy on a surfboard next to Galactus, and when Stan said, "Who's this?" Jack said, "I thought he could use a friend." (That's the version I've heard.) Jack created a guy on a surfboard, Stan made him the Silver Surfer.

Jeff: That's because I use a link service that denies you access. Tim turned me on to it. Everybody else can see what we link. Just not you. (True story, swear to Galactus...)

Seth: Thanks. Yup. I "hear" that (Well, no, I read it. But "I read that" just sounds weird. And dumb.).

Carson: My inner "Spider Jerusalem" says "What did he say a year ago?"

What was the CONTEXT of Larsen's "cum rag" bit? (There's a sentence I've never thought I'd type today.)

I dunno about any of this. I just wanna post about Lord Julius's new secret weapon. Also, I'm not watching ANYTHING on Youtube that doesn't have Dave Sim or the White Stripes in it. That's just boilerplate policy 'round here.

So, there's a "Light" side and a "dark" side to ComicsGate? This is why I suggest rebranding the movement. (Are the Rosicrucians using their name? I'd by comics from the Rosicrucian Movement...)

To be clear: I have a personal Twitter. I have not looked at it in a couple of years. AMOC has a Twitter. I have NOTHING to do with it. Tim gave me the keys, but I don't drive the thing. I leave that to Tim.

Kit: Cap was Simon-Kirby. Destroyer Duck and Godcorp were Gerber-Kirby. The Fourth World was ALL Kirby. (I can't speak to the quality of the majority of it. I hit the Black Racer and just sort of tune out. I owned the majority of the Fourth World, but damn those are some hard comics to read...).

I stand by my point. Name ONE character by Kirby, Ditko, or any other early Marvel co-creator that Lee WASN'T involved with that has a bigger cultural footprint than any Lee co-creation. Captain America DOESN'T count, since Stan was involved in his Silver Age return (and since his Golden Age book became a Tales From The Crypt knock-off, I'd say he didn't HAVE a cultural footprint until the Silver Age. (I mean, it could have been worse, the Golden Age Green Lantern got kicked out of his book by his dog sidekick...))

Sean: Stan is the greatest champion of Stan's legacy. But, it IS a legacy. Without Stan, and his stewardship of it, I truly believe that the Marvel Universe wouldn't exist.

One thing I forgot in my post, and MEA CULPA MEA MAXIMA CULPA, was to say, "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."-Groucho Marx.


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

My FAVORITE version of the origin of Galactus is the one by James Fry (as recounted by Peter David):
The setting is Stan Lee's office, and Jack Kirby walks in with the pages of Fantastic Four #48:
Jack: Here it is, Stan, the latest issue. Story we discussed about the FF fighting someone big and cosmic. Well, here he is.
Stan: This big guy here? With the "G" on him? He looks great, Jack. Who is he? What's the "G" stand for?
Jack: God.
Stan: God?
Jack: That's right, Stan.
Stan: We've got the FF fighting God?
Jack: Well sure. Big guy, wearing a "G." Shows up on your planet and that's all she wrote. Who ELSE is he supposed to be?
Stan: I dunno, Jack. I mean--the FF going up against God?
Jack: Don't count 'em out, Stan. That Ben Grimm, he's a pretty tough customer.
Stan: Hmm. And who's this guy here? on the surfboard?
Jack: That's Frankie Avalon.
Stan: What?
Jack: Oh yeah, trust me on this, Stan. The kids love Frankie Avalon. But I was having trouble with the hair, so I left him bald. Have Vinnie or somebody put that in.
Stan: The FF battle God and Frankie Avalon. Ooookay --if you say so, Jack.


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


It's "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered."

THIS is the reason why AMOC is going down the tubes. Shotty God damn "reporting."

I'm surprised Dave still chooses to be involved with this site. If it were me, this Dow clown would have been out on his ass after a week.

Tony again said...

So who offended David and made him take down all his posts? Nice going, whoever-it-was.

Tony one more time said...

My favorite quote about Fourth World - I'm pretty sure it was Mark Evanier - Kirby did for plot and dialogue what he'd been doing for years with anatomy and perspective. Or something like that.

Carson Grubaugh said...

Don't have answers to those questions. That is the problem with these internet kerfuffles, everything leads to having to track down every possible thing anyone ever possibly said, and trying to determine how much of it they ACTUALLY said and how much was just nonsense someone said they said, doctored, hacked, claimed was the result of a hack but really wasn't, etc. Both sides are using the same obfuscatory tactics.

Just reporting the bits I see in the limited time I have to waste on it.

My personal opinion on all of this is, IT IS ALL SO STUPID ON ALL SIDES. HOLY HELL. GROW UP PEOPLE!

I am just trying to make sure that Dave script-doctoring a silly comic about a frog from outerspace doesn't lead to people refusing to check out a project I think is really special and am putting my heart and soul into. I have yet to see solid evidence that working with Ethan is SOOO offensive as to be the final straw. If it is for someone else, that is their right. Very sad to lose them, not as a customer, as Ethan would think, but as engaging, thoughtful readers capable of appreciating the kind of complex work that SDOAR is. Dave comes pre-baked with the most open-minded and intelligent audience. I am so grateful to have basically walked into a situation where that will be there right out the gate. Hopefully ya'll are still there when the starter gun is fired.

Also, forgot to answer your YDKJ question:
Yes, it has many political moments. The premise is that Dave and Jack banter about their beliefs so that is inevitable. It also has jokes about Cthulhu, Peter Paul Reubens, radiator repair, Boris Vallejo, romance advice, etc. I think we manage to fit it ALL into those two issues!

Jeff said...

Carson, I think you and I may be the only current voices of reason here--with what you said, in different words, and what I said.

Calm down, chill out, and wait and see.

I mean, really?, the rest of you? Most of you? It's just (mostly, I think) youngsters acting out.

Or, oldsters pretending that they can still put up a good fight. You know, like me. At times.

And, for the record, I think YDKJ, will prove to be quite entertaining. As will SDOAR.


Dave Kopperman said...

Jeff/Carson: I'd be inclined to agree with your positions if this were any other era. But we are now in the era of Trump, where our President has declared 'fine people on both sides' in regards to neo-Nazis and people protesting against neo-Nazis. I can't speak for anyone else, but Van Sciver's failure (as far as I know) to give a full-throated rebuttal of the white supremacist, misogynist views that are clearly firing part of the ComicsGate (and GamerGate, and the Sad Puppies, and on and on) crowd.

In this case, as someone noted, it's not a free speech issue - there's only so many entertainment dollars to go around, and people have always been inclined to vote with their dollars.

Barry Deutsch said...


No doubt that EVS can be personable and reasonable-sounding and, like all people, has both good and bad sides to him.

But I don't like him and wouldn't want to associate with him. Here are some reasons I say that:

1) Ethan used to be pals with Vox Day, an alt-right leader and white supremacist. He had Vox Day as a guest on his popular youtube channel, and tried to help Day's comic books by making introductions. He and Day finally had a falling out, not over Day's extreme politics or racism, but over money stuff - if I recall correctly, Day attempted to trademark the word "comicsgate."

(Day also encouraged a harassment campaign against my best friend, including joking about killing her. Her crime? She wrote a sf story he didn't like.)

2) Ethan is still pals with comicsgate leader Richard Meyer, who calls female comic book pros "cum-dumpsters" and tells his large following that they had sex to get their jobs, and repeatedly made fun of a trans woman comics creator (calling her a "man in wig").

3) Ethan used to send out alt-right and Nazi dog-whistles to his fans. I don't think Ethan's a literal member of the Nazi party, but I do think that's a stupid and gross way to act.

4) Even now, Ethan seems to needlessly try to escalate conflicts in comics. See this tweet, for example, where he claims "Frank Cho was harassed and fired from his job" for a Wonder Woman cover drawing where we could see an inch of WW's panties.

Here's the truth: Cho had an ongoing conflict (not just this one cover) with Greg Rutka, the popular writer of WW at the time, about how WW should be depicted. Rutka's contract gave him the right to art approval. According to Frank Cho, Cho got tired of the conflict and asked to be taken off the book, so DC put him on Harley Quinn instead.

No one "harassed" Cho about his WW covers (which were, imo, genuinely wonderful), unless you call creative difference with the writer "harassment." He wasn't fired - anyone who checks can see that Cho went on to do a bunch more comics for DC.

But 99% of EVS's 29,000 followers will uncritically believe what he wrote, even though it's a lie. I'm not saying there aren't people who are escalating and creating bad feelings on both sides; there are. But contrary to what you think, Sciver is one of those people.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


I share your "How Free Speech Was Saved" cartoon on Facebook every August 27th.

Thanks for the info, I'll put it on the pile.

Matt Dow

Barry Deutsch said...

Thank you! I'm glad you like that one.

One question, which I hope won't make me look painfully out of touch: What is the significance of August 27th.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


That's when somebody I follow shared it, and I shared it. So every year I share it again.

Matt Dow

Anonymous said...

"Marvel Comics (as we know it today) is the work of one man: Stan Lee"


Oh God, you MUST be fucking joking....

Tony again said...

Does anyone remember the Marvel title "What If?" from the late 70s and early 80s? Things like, "What If? J. Jonah Jameson had been bitten by the radioactive spider?" Maybe "Anonymous" can write the issue "What If? Stan Lee had not been at Timely/Atlas(?)/Marvel in the '60s?"

Anonymous said...

Another perspective. Haven't read the whole thing but here's some of it:


“Comicsgate seems to be an umbrella phrase or word for everything about conservative comic creators that the left hates. They use it as a pejorative. It’s supposed to be an insult. Really, being anti-comicsgate, is simply being anti-free speech. People of different political beliefs have a right to believe what they believe.”

When asked if Comicsgate is hateful of comics, Dixon replied:

“No, no we love comics and we want to create our own brand of comics. We want to create an alternative. DC and Marvel, in particularly Marvel, they have every right to do the comics they are doing now that have a political agenda. They have to pay the consequences in the market, which they have. All we are doing is offering an alternative. And for the most part the comics created by the so-called Comicsgate creators are apolitical. There is no politics in them.”

Dixon would add:

“A lot of the people on the so-called Comicsgate end of it, are either unemployed, or unemployable, or underemployed by the major publishers. We are simply not welcome there. So what are we supposed to do? Curl up and die? Go get a job at Home Depot? We want to do comics, and we are going to keep doing comics.”

He continued:

“It’s not about stopping anybody from doing anything. You are free to do whatever comics you want. We’ll leave you alone to do your comics, and you leave us alone to do our comics.


A Fake Name

Anonymous said...

more at the link:


Diversity & Comics YouTuber Richard Meyer has launched a civil suit against comic book writer Mark Waid. Filed on the 19th of September with the United States District Court in Austin, it claims ‘tortious interference with contract and defamation’.

Meyer is represented by lawyers Daniel H Byrne and Dale L Roberts, of the legal firm Fritz, Byrne, Head & Gilstrap of Austin, Texas. Mark Waid is being represented by Mark S. Zaid, who is the founding partner of his own firm.

A Fake Name

Anonymous said...