Artist J. Scott Campbell and writer Blake Northcott have come out defending Frank Cho after the Editor-In-Chief of Comics Alliance Andrew Wheeler penned a scathing personal attack and utter hit piece directed at Cho.
Campbell originally defended Cho on his personal Facebook page saying:
Despite the best efforts of finger waggers, “internet moms”, and overzealous SJWs, I fervently find myself on the side of Cho in this argument. When I was growing up, in my early teens, I remember moving on from safe entry level pop music to the edgier sound of Rock. Rock lyrics are often dirtier, more sexual and packed more bite. The lyrics in Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses and Prince albums would often make some blush, but they also had more of a pulse! And in a very similar way, I also remember my early attraction to comic book art and illustration, and it’s similarly edgy, even “dangerous” look. When I’d walk into a comic book shop in those days, it felt more grown up. The Frazetta posters hung up in the shops were of these voluptuous women being rescued from serpents by these muscular men in similarly skimpy warrior outfits. The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke both DEFINITELY felt dangerous and certainly not the “all ages” Batman I had been seeing on TV up until then. I liked this edgy artwork. I liked the Danger! It felt like a right of passage and part of growing up to enter that world.
As much as self righteous articles like this one just love to lecture all of us “men with boners” as they so tastefully put it, like religious uptight schoolmarms with their rulers in hands ready to whack us all on the knuckles, I am proud to inform them that there are plenty of women out there who enjoy an unapologetically drawn sexy female form just as much as the men do who draw them. Don’t believe me…? I invite any of you to witness the makeup of my line at San Diego or New York Comic-Con to see for yourselves. Or just glance around at the next con you attend and see all of the enthusiastic young women there are who gravitate to the sexier cosplay costumes. No one is making them dress up that way, they do it because they prefer the sexier more feminine costumes.
I’d also like to wrap up by reminding these critics that museums around the world are packed with artwork and sculptures depicting the human body undressed, in occasionally sexually suggestive poses, and yes, throughout history there have been prudes writing and saying these very same things about how they shouldn’t be doing that. So don’t pat yourselves on the back too much that you’re the first to accuse art of being simply “boner inducing” Many persecuting religions and political censorship champions have already been shaming art in this same lazy way for centuries. And Cho is most certainly not it’s last champion. there are PLENTY of us who love nothing more than to push right back against this nonsense!
Unfortunately, Campbell took this post down with the following explanation:
I took down my previous post. (though, I imagine it’s been reposted somewhere if anyone still wants to read it.) And while I stand by what I wrote in general about having comic book art singled out and attacked, I’d rather not get into specifically defending the merits or the reasoning behind any specific artist who’s under fire. I was simply expressing a sense of solidarity since I have been under similar attacks in the past. But I’m finding that this is far too vast and complicated of a topic to simply boil down to generalities, and while many of you seemed to understand my more generalized point, a great number seemed to go in drastically far out directions that were becoming too exhausting to clarify. So It’s simpler to just disengage for now.
While Scott may have taken his original post down, Blake Northcott took the defense of Cho a step further, firing back at Wheeler:
This hit-piece about Frank Cho is very interesting, because it’s by one of the new breed of comic book ‘journalists’ – this angry vocal minority who don’t even READ comics, but complain about them incessantly.
Every comic is ‘problematic’ in some way because it doesn’t check of the boxes on their list of personal politics, but these people rarely – if ever – mention a STORY. You know, the actual words the people say and the stuff that happens in the narrative?
Their entire online existence revolves around if a comic is politically correct enough.
I had an online argument with a woman a while back on Twitter – her account was something about how ‘Kick-Ass DC Women are!’ or something to that effect. I wanted to know who this person was so I scrolled her stream … there were maybe 100 posts about ‘The Patriarchy’ and why Donald Trump sucks and how we need a female president.
Maybe 3 posts in all of 2016 were about an actual comic book.
Now, if you’re a full-time activist/slacktivist – that’s AWESOME. Go champion gay rights and women’s rights and the political leader you like best. Those are noble causes, and it’s great that you’re passionate about those subjects. I believe in those causes too.
But why the bait-and-switch? Why HIDE all this politicizing and wrap it in comic books, when you probably don’t read or even care about comics in the first place?
You NEVER see this anywhere but comic sites. You won’t go to a NASCAR fan site and instead of racing, someone is screaming about lead pollution in Michigan’s water supply 50 times a day. You won’t go to a website about stamp collecting and find out it’s really a cover to complain about income tax increases for the middle class.
If you’re a comic book fan, that’s awesome – be a fan.
If you’re an activist, go and join a protest.
Just leave the ACTUAL, paying customers alone, and let us enjoy our medium instead of trying to police it like the book burners of 1948.
The colorist of the Cammy #1 cover, Nei Ruffino, had this to say about the initial outcry to the cover, “I can not stop laughing over the response to this sort of thing on the internet, but here you are, my first work for Udon!”