When the push for far left ideology and identity
politics in Western comics began, many readers found an alternative in
Manga. Readers think they found a safe haven from industry killing activists
like Comics Alliance. They are dead wrong.
Welcome back to Thinking Critical this is Wes and in today’s Signature Series
video you’re going to learn about patient zero in the ongoing comic industry
culture epidemic. Comics Alliance’s favorite currency was hate based on far left
progressivism and identity politics. Even after the site has long shuttered its
doors, former Comics Alliance staff continue to destroy the industry. They’ve
infiltrated every major North American comic publisher and even Manga. Comics
Alliance writers are directly responsible for multiple years of market contraction,
the destruction of Vertigo and several organized harassment campaigns. One of
which led to a murder attempt. Before I get started, I would like to invite
you all to subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already, Thinking Critical is your
go-to channel for quality reviews, open discussion and in-depth analysis!
Comics Alliance has a bit of an ambiguous beginning. The first post on the site was
February 15, 2007 announcing the launch by Chris Dooley and John Anderson. If
you read the websites History of Comicsalliance Explained it was launched in 2009
under the AOL Media Network by Editor-in-Chief Laura Hudson. Either way the
site gained traction and began its mission to destroy the comic book industry
under Hudson starting in 2009. During its time in operation Comics alliance
was led by Hudson, Joe Hughes, Andy Khouri and Andrew Wheeler. Under their leadership
the site became patient zero in an industry wide culture epidemic. They
unleashed countless activists like David Brothers, Chris Sims, Kate Leth, Jenifer de
Guzman, and Keiran Shaich on the industry and its readers. Comics Alliance
took a hard anti-consumer stance based on far left progressivism and identity politics.
Writers and editors championed many changes that left the industry in a steady
decline and on the brink of collapse.
In 2012, Rachel Edidin (a then associate editor at Dark Horse Comics) penned an
article for Comics Alliance lamenting geek masculinity and the plight of geek girls.
Rachel claims “‘Geek’ is a gendered noun” because every con is a GeekGuyCon
unless otherwise stated. She also believes geek culture needs to “regulate
masculinity very closely” and “fosters a more cerebral and less violent model of
masculinity.” Of course, this is all part of the SJW Inclusivity
Cycle. When men don’t lay down thanking the Lord in heaven women want to
join in geek culture it’s a masculinity issue. She even claims terms like “fake geek
girl” are a response from men being threatened by female interest in geek culture
and the cost of entry for women is “extorted violently–socially or physically.”
Violence is an inherently physical act, so the idea of social violence is a complete
farce and a form of Orwellian doublespeak.
In 2016, Comics Alliance’s Jon Erik Christianson wrote about Batman’s fear of
femininity. Christianson theorizes Joker has some effeminate traits (such as
wearing makeup, brightly colored clothes and flamboyant gestures) because
Batman is a hyper-masculine male power fantasy. And “through normative history
and how it utilizes oppositional storytelling” Batman “is fundamentally stacked
against queer and gender nonconforming characters.” All of these ideas are viewed through Christianson’s
very narrow purview of modern society and his beliefs about GLBTQ
issues. Does anyone believe Bill Finger, Bob Kane or Jerry Robinson, the creators
of Joker, had any of this in mind when the character first appeared in 1940?
Of course not, they were just creating a colorful villain for Batman to dispatch.
Oddly enough, The Joker was supposed to be a one-off appearance. He was so popular
among readers, who Christianson and his ilk would have you believe are against
the gays, DC Comics brought him back and he became the iconic villain for
Batman and DC. In August 2015, freelance writer J.A. Micheline
used Comics Alliance to call for a boycott of Marvel and attacked executive Axel
Alonso. She claims she watched Marvel “disrespect and disregard marginalized
voices” when they hired Tim Seeley and Logan Faerber, two white creators,
for a Blade series. J.A. even explained, “I have no reason to think either
creator will do a bad job on this book” but was disappointed “one of Marvel’s most
prominent black heroes would be handed to white people yet again.” She was
even cheeky enough to pre-lecture readers how excluding writers from projects
based solely on race, WAS NOT in fact a racist act.
She then chastised Marvel executives for being tone-deaf with their hip-hop
variant covers. She railed on about cultural appropriation, and corporate America
profiting off black culture. She characterized Marvel EIC Axel Alonso, one of the
most far left executives in comics at the time, as “unspeakably condescending and
horrendously dismissive” for correctly characterizing the outcry as a “small but
very loud contingent.” Marvel Comics bent the knee and quietly cancelled
Seeley’s Blade series. They began casting writers based on the surface
traits and sexual orientation of the characters, rather than the talents of creators.
Marvel Comics even phased out traditional white male superheroes Iron Man,
Captain America, Thor and Hulk. Replacing them with new diverse versions.
This was during the height of the comic movie boom and interest in the original
characters was at an all-time high. Nobody knows just how many new readers went
to a comic shop, only to find their favorite MCU character excommunicated
to appease agenda driven sites like Comics Alliance. We do know these changes
started a downward spiral of multiple years of market contraction. The
loss of thousands of comic book readers eventually forced the closure of hundreds
of comic shops. After going all-in on a more diverse character
lineup Marvel Comics sales plummeted. In a March 2017 interview with
ICv2, Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel said, “What we heard was that people
didn’t want any more diversity” and “We saw the sales of any character that
was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that
was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against.”
Gabriel committed the cardinal sin of countering the feelings of a very small minority
of industry activists with actual sales data and customer feedback. The backlash
was harsh and swift. Activist bloggers lamented the impending doom
of all female superheroes and heroes of color. Comic books already featured
female superheroes since 1940 and minority superheroes since 1966. Agenda driven
actors never let facts ruin a good narrative.
Within a day of the interview Mr. Gabriel tucked tail and changed his tune. He
said, “And let me be clear, our new heroes are not going anywhere! We are proud
and excited to keep introducing unique characters that reflect new voices and
new experiences into the Marvel Universe and pair them with our iconic heroes.”
His moment of honesty hadn’t been sanctioned by the higher ups but it was clear
Marvel Comics was aware acquiescing to Comics Alliance and other activists was
costing them in dollars and reputation with customers and retailers.
These three examples aren’t even the tip of the iceberg. The Comics Alliance
archives are full of far more hateful rhetoric over far left progressivism and
identity politics than one man can consume. When the site closed its doors in
2017 few comic readers shed a tear. Comics Alliance was patient zero in an industry
wide epidemic of brand activism aimed to promote far left propaganda and identity
politics over entertainment. It’s hard to fully quantify the full extent
of damage Comics Alliance levied on the industry, but Comics Alliance left it in far
worse shape than when it arrived. Unfortunately, Comics Alliance continues to
damage the industry long after its demise. Comics Alliance’s ultimate legacy
are the far left activists who used the site as a stepping stone to positions of influence
within the industry to infect and kill it.
Many of Comics Alliance’s staff like David Brothers, Andy Khouri and Joe Hughes
attained leadership positions within the comics industry with overwhelmingly
disastrous results. David Brothers is without a doubt positioned
to inflict the most damage. In 2013 Brothers left Comics Alliance and was hired
as Content Manager at Image Comics. His responsibilities included deciding what
submission were picked up for publishing through Image. Not coincidentally,
within 12 months of David’s arrival to the submission process, Image stopped being
the “it” publisher of the 00’s. Image Comics only break out book during his
stint with the company was Keiron Gillen’s Wicked + Divine.
Some label Brothers’ work prior to Image Comics as “race blogger”, which bothers
him. When The Comics Journal asked why it got under his skin he explained,
“while it was technically true, it wasn’t Actually True.” He later explained he left
Portland because, “I thought that life under white supremacy was tough, but I
vastly underestimated Life Under Trump,” and “Portland is a liberal city, sure, but
I’ve never felt as aware of being black as I was when I lived there.” Visitors to his
abandoned 4thletter blog see the words of a man obsessed with race.
When the push for far left ideology and identity politics in Western comics
began, many readers found an alternative in Manga. Manga is blowing up,
experiencing tremendous growth in Western markets. Readers think they found
a safe haven from industry killing activists like Comics Alliance. They are dead
wrong. David Brothers left Image and joined Viz Media as editor in 2017.
Viz Media is the one of largest publishers English translated Manga in the world
and the largest publisher of graphic novels in America. They publish Weekly
Shonen Jump, the most popular Manga magazine in the world. Not surprisingly,
Animegate is heating up since Brothers arrival. The controversy is fueled by
complaints over translations becoming “more PC.” Expect to hear many more
complaints about Manga translations moving forward. Brothers is already ruining
the English translated Manga market with his far left progressivism and identity
politics. Former Comics Alliance EICs Andy Khouri and
Joe Hughes also hold leadership positions in the industry. Khouri was hired
as DC Comics editor in 2015. He recently filled DC Comics Vertigo line with
far left ideology and identity politics, killing its
25th anniversary relaunch. Joe Hughes joined IDW Publishing in 2017. IDW Publishing
began hemorrhaging money and readers when they focused their brand on far
left politics. Parent company IDW Media are looking to sell it or find new capital
as of March 2019. Many of the Comics Alliance staff have created
indie books focused on far left politics but a few have landed work with the
big 2 including Kate Leth and Chris Sims.
Kate Leth is a part-time artist and full-time online instigator known for her Kate or
Die series at Comics Alliance. Leth’s reputation is to make every established
character she works with as uncomfortably gay as possible and is completely
insufferable. Leth got work at Marvel writing on Hellcat but couldn’t hack it. In
spite of these setbacks she still manages to come off as a narcissistic parasite.
Despite being a card-carrying feminist, Kate began tweeting about being in a
relationship with a married man who died of colon cancer in 2018. She quickly
deleted the tweets but it was too late, internet detectives already pieced the
story together. The man was identified as a married father of three.
Nowadays she’s mostly an online agitator. Despite writing for BOOM! Studios and
Marvel Comics in the past her Western comics work dried up. Follow Kate on
Twitter and you’ll find her busy calling James Woods a shitbag. She’s still on a
mission to make every comic character gay or bi, especially MCU characters. Leth
currently works at Crunchyroll, the American distributor, publisher, and licensing
company focused on streaming anime, Manga and drama.
In 2014, Marvel editor Jordan White approached Chris Sims to write for the
upcoming Secret Wars event. Chris and writing partner Chad Bowers created X-
Men 92, receiving middling reviews and declining sales. He also wrote a handful
of graphic novels, most notably Deadpool: Bad Blood with Deadpool creator Rob
Liefeld on art. Sims and Bowers also got work with Dynamite Entertainment but
their gigs dried up. Likely due to Sims cyberbullying of former DC Comics editor
Valerie D’Orazio while at Comics Alliance. The majority of Comics Alliance’s staff simply
moved to other websites. The likes of Laura Hudson, Andrew Wheeler, Jennifer
de Guzman and Heidi MacDonald have moved on but still push their far left
views on the industry. Comics Alliance writer Jennifer de Guzman
may not have the industry clout of David Brothers or Andy Khouri but she’s just
as dangerous. She worked in sales, public relations, and marketing at Image Comics
and has writing credits at Publishers Weekly and Teen Vogue. De Guzman
ignited one of the most heinous online harassment campaigns I’ve ever witnessed
and it ended in attempted murder.
On 26 August, de Guzman started calling out Alterna Comics founder and
publisher Peter Simeti for retweeting and thanking customers using the
movetheneedle hashtag. The hashtag is commonly used by members of
comicsgate, a consumer movement aimed at removing ideological propaganda
from comics, preserving hero legacies and demanding decent behavior from
professionals in the comic book industry. Alterna is a small indie publisher run out
of Peter’s apartment with no employees and thanks all fans for buying and
posting pics of their books on social media. Soon Alterna creators were criticizing
Peter, with a few teams leaving the publisher. CBR.com published an article claiming Peter
Simeti forced letterer Micah Myers off an Alterna series for using a blockbot.
Blockbots are a direct violation of Alterna Comics social media policy. Peter
claims, despite the violation, he offered to remove Micah from twitter promotions for
the book and let Myers remain on the team. According to Simeti, Micah and series
creator Dave Swartz came to an agreement and Myers left the series. In the
end Alterna lost multiple creative teams and Simeti was targeted for days for
thanking customers and his social media policy. Simeti thought he would lose
his business and suffered suicidal thoughts from the ordeal, unfortunately the
worst was still to come. The harassment of Peter Simeti and Alterna
Comics following de Guzman’s online attacks never truly stopped. He was labeled
an Alt-Right Nazi for refusing to disavow his own customers. Peter Simeti is
Asian-American, but facts mean nothing to far left zealots. Things went to
a whole new level in mid-February. During a livestream on YouTube police arrived
at Simeti’s apartment with guns drawn after a 911 call claiming he attacked
his girlfriend with a knife. What should have been a minor disagreement over comics
escalated into attempted murder by SWATing. De Guzman never apologized or
showed any concern over the attempted murder.
Former Comics Alliance EIC Andrew Wheeler is now a writer at SYFYWire and
publishes queer comics and fiction like Freelance and The Twighlight Prince.
Despite more GLBTQ representation in comic books than ever, Wheeler holds a
very rigid definition of what successful representation looks like. In a 2015 New
York Times interview Andrew Wheeler said, “We need to get from some to
enough. And really, we’ll know we’ve achieved success when Captain America can
have a boyfriend, and Wonder Woman can have a girlfriend. For queer
representation in superhero comics, that’s what success looks like.”
Queer representation can ONLY be a success when historically significant
characters, who have always been straight, are gay. Wonder Woman officiating
gay weddings was never enough. Wonder Woman NEEDS to be lesbian, bisexual
or transgender herself. This is a direct quote from the former EIC of Comics
Alliance. They were never interested in quality stories or characters in comics.
Comics Alliance was only interested in using beloved characters, with decades of
history, to push far left progressivism and identity politics.
Former EIC and Comics Alliance founder Laura Hudson and writer Heidi
MacDonald also have significant presence in online comic’s culture. Hudson
served as editor at The Verge and WIRED and penned articles for The New York
Times, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, FiveThirtyEight, TIME, BBC, Vulture,
Complex and The LA Times. MacDonald’s been online disparaging comic book
readers as toxic for over a decade now. She’s a former DC Comics Vertigo editor,
founder and EIC of Comics Beat and has written for Publishers Weekly. Comics
Beat was acquired by Syndicated Comics, Lion Forge Comics sister company, in
2017. I need to address former Comics Alliance Writer
Kieran Shiach. He isn’t an industry leader or professional creator and
carries no influence in the industry or with readers.
Comic’s readers affectionately call Kieran “Sandwich Boy” after e-begging for
sandwich money after a night out in London seeing a production of Hamilton. The
former CBR and Polygon writer has a reputation for constant e-begging and even
launched an emergency GoFundMe campaign for rent money. In a bit of poetic
justice, former DC Comics artist Ethan Van Sciver pointed out Shaich tweeted
about his upcoming move a month prior and was lying.
Beginning in July 2017, Sandwich Boy made it his personal mission to get Van
Sciver fired from DC Comics for supporting Donald Trump’s successful presidential
campaign. Kieran constantly refers to EVS as a Nazi and promised to continue the
campaign. Van Sciver vigorously dined the claims stating, “These people who
spread these images and claim that I’m a ‘Nazi’ are liars. They are lying. Flat out.
They are liars who wish this industry wasn’t tolerant of people who do not share
their partisan political views.” In May 2017, Shaich launched a Kickstarter
campaign for his Mossy #1 comic with transgender artist Traci Shepard. Over nine
months after the successful campaign completed Shepard took to Tumblr to offer
details of her experience, “It’s been about nine and a half months since the KS
ended and as far as I know, there are still outstanding backer rewards that have
never been fulfilled, I myself have never received a copy of my own book, and
I still haven’t been paid my share of the money.” She also claims Kieran ignored
her requests for travel expenses and she missed a friend’s wedding.
Comics Alliance was a destructive force during its time but nothing could have
prepared the industry for the after-life. Comics Alliance’s Acolytes have destroyed
DC Comics Vertigo, fundamentally altered Marvel for the worse, led countless
harassment campaigns, one of which ended in a murder attempt. The comics
industry is on the verge of collapse and many of the current issues can be traced
to the day Comics Alliance began spewing its plague on the industry.
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