*Exclusive Interview* Comic Creators Continue Speaking Out Against #Comicsgate

Comicsgate is a new movement that has stepped into the world of comics in a big way. They boast “membership” numbers in the tens of thousands, have successfully funded several creator-owned titles through platforms like Indigogo and Kickstarter, and have cultivated their own community in the comics world.
The group was formed under a group of, largely, conservative men and women that felt their political positions and opinions were being mocked and “leftist ideals” and politics were being propagandized and pushed on them by certain creators as well as companies like DC and Marvel. Many have referred to this as the “SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] taking over of comics.”
There really is no one moment that can be defined as the definitive start of Comicsgate, but their message is clear: “Keep the leftist politics out of comics.”
However, the movement has become associated with harassment and hate speech exampled in the cases of the harassment of Marsha Cooke (widow of creator Darwyn Cooke) and the hate speech lobbed against Mags Visaggio respectively.
Marginalized creators, liberal women, and “SJWs” are favorite targets of members of Comicsgate that engage in online harassment such as prominent Comicsgate supporter Richard Meyer who once suggested a female member of the comic industry had “sucked her way to the top” and, multiple times, referred to a trans woman as “a man in a wig.”
While many marginalized creators have spoken out against Comicgate for the last year, earlier this month comic industry titans like Scott Snyder, Tom Taylor, Nicola Scott, Jeff Lemire, among others spoke out against the movement called it a “hate group” and claiming there was no room for a movement like this in the comics’ industry.

Legendary comic artist Mike Deodato Jr has quickly become one of the most prominent of Comicsgate’s detractors and has been vocal about his opposition to the movement on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Shoot The Breeze Comics was very excited to sit down with Mr. Deodato and talk to him about his opinions on the movement.

You’ve recently been very vocal about the recent movement that has risen up called Comicsgate. In your own words, what do you think this movement is about?

Deadato Jr:  First of all, I have to say that I am not the best person to talk about all of this. I live in Brazil, my English is not too good, and I am also not too familiar with the history of social movements in the US neither its politics. My only real good ability is to draw. I don’t have the arguing skills either the intelligence of several other creators that have been battling this movement way before me. That said, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to speak out against Comicsgate with this interview. The more people know about it, the better. People have to know what they really are: A horde of bigots, misogynists, transphobics, racists, and homophobes whose purpose is to harass comic book creators that oppose their view.

 

What was your first interaction/when did you become aware of Comicsgate?

Deadato Jr:  I have heard the name a couple of times last year but never paid much attention till my friend Jeff Lemire tweeted about it. I have been working with him on a creator-owned for over a year and during this time I learned to respect and like him as a brother, so when I read his words about it, I knew the thing was serious and that I had to help some way. I started retweeting stuff but it was when one of their minions tweeted me insulting Magdalene Visaggio that I started getting more involved. I was so impressed with the intelligence and courage that her and others like Gail Simone, Renfamous – just to mention a few- were dealing in a daily basis with the attacks, that I felt that the least I could do was to lend my voice to spread the word

Many of the movement itself have said they feel comic books have shifted politically to a way they do not wish to remain. What is your opinion of the current political comic book landscape?

Deadato Jr:  I think comics as all other art forms reflect the world we live in. The world is changing and so comics. In any case, there are comics for all tastes. Not agreeing with the direction a comic is taking doesn’t give anyone the right to attack their creators. Criticism is valid as long as it isn’t personal or violent.

Do you think the current political standing of comic books has harmed the storytelling?

Deadato Jr:  Not at all. We are in a great age for comics. I have been doing comics for the American market since 1991 and I have never seen so many great books being created. The current level of writers and artists is outstanding.

There have been reports that leaders of Comicsgate have verbally harrassed comic creators through social media and through youtube videos. Can you speak on what you’ve heard from your fellow creators?

Deadato Jr:  I haven’t heard from them directly but I know their stories through the news and it is revolting to hear what they have been through. This movement has ruined lives, traumatized innocent people. That is something I can’t understand. WHY isn’t the police involved? There is not a law these people are infringing? Why aren’t they in prison? They are hurting innocents, making a profit of it and nothing happens to them? I don’t know American laws but here in Brazil, we have laws against racism that actually works. The leaders of the movement should be held accountable for their crimes.

Despite verbal attacks on creators, Comicsgate has said one of their goals is to promote “organic introduction” to women, people of color, and LGBTQA+ individuals into comic books. How do you feel about this?

Deodato Jr: That is a lie. They are an alt-right group. They want nothing of that sort. The racist and homophobic attacks on social media are enough proof.

Recently we’ve seen reports of Comic Book creators who are pro comicsgate attempting to attend conventions however they have been reported and removed. What is your standing on this practice?

Deadato Jr:  I already said loud and clear on Twitter that I would not work with anyone who supported the movement neither would attend a convention where they were invited, so I am very in favor of that.

Many creators have spoken out and said they will boycott conventions that host Comicsgate supporting creators, how do you feel about this?

Deadato Jr: I am glad more and more creators are standing up against the movement. Comics must be a safe environment for all. There is no place for hatred.

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James Portis

James Portis

Editor-In Chief
Founder of Shoot The Breeze Comics. Co-Host of the comic book news podcast Panel To Panel. A longtime comic book, video game, and anime nerd. Favorite Superhero is Aquaman...Fight Me
Written by
Founder of Shoot The Breeze Comics. Co-Host of the comic book news podcast Panel To Panel. A longtime comic book, video game, and anime nerd. Favorite Superhero is Aquaman...Fight Me

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4 Comments

  1. Clearly you’re either being obtuse with this article and “interview” or you really just don’t understand what ComicsGate is actually about. There are many people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations apart of and supporting the movement. That doesn’t sound like any hate group I’ve ever heard of. Plus, to leave out ALL of the attacks that ComicsGate pros and supporters have taken just for asking for professionalism and standards and better storytelling is just plain disingenuous. It’s obvious you’re trying to push a narrative instead of pushing the unbiased truth. Why not do an article talking to a ComicsGate supporter about the movement instead of some guy who, as he put it, doesn’t really understand American politics and social movements but wants to speak on them anyway.

    Reply
  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Why aren’t they in prison?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m glad you idiots live in a fake reality that is so much worse than reality. I’m glad you’re afraid of thousands of normal people because you think they’re “Nazis”. I want you to suffer with your paranoid delusions. Enjoy your moral panic. I certainly am.

    Signed, a gay liberal that is a “Nazi” and should be imprisoned according to… (snicker)… bloggers.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Hey hit piece after hit piece and yet 6 books have gone through Indigogo and have earned nearly 2 million dollars. Let the jealousy continue. Here is the information many in comicsgate come from all areas of the world, different ethnicities, genders and the like. Are there ignorant people in the movement yes, just as there are ignorant people in the industry now. But the industry cannot handle criticism, can’t handle people with different points of views. But hey, continue to believe what you want to believe, continue your hit pieces and in two years time sit back agape as reality tap dances on your forehead singing cock-a-doodle-doo

    Reply
  4. “I refuse to work with any of those Comicsgate-supporting Nazis or even be in the same building with them.” – Mike Deadato, Jr.

    “There is no place for hatred.” – also Mike Deadato, Jr.

    Oh, the irony.

    Reply

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