Dynamite Comics announced they would no longer be publishing “Cecil’s Big Cover” a variant cover for the upcoming Vengeance of Vampirella #1 series by Tom Sniegoski and artist Michael Sta. Maria.
The comic book publisher had recently announced the variant cover and launched an IndieGoGo campaign on July 17th. At the time of writing the campaign had raised $9,140.
Here’s a look at the full cover.
Dynamite Comics made the announcement that the project was cancelled on Twitter with a quote from Dynamite Publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci.
Barrucci wrote, “In speaking with Cecil, neither one of us realized the cover would be so polarizing. We discussed and are not moving forward with the cover or the campaign.”
On the IndieGoGo campaign they also provided an update.
That update reads, “We’ve discussed with Cecil and we are no longer moving forward with the campaign. All current orders will be cancelled and refunded as soon as possible. We thank everyone for your support!”
The cancellation comes after a social media campaign involving a number of current and former Dynamite Comics freelancers including Gail Simone and Mark Russell.
However, the social media backlash against Dynamite Comics appears to have been started by ‘Black’ writer Kwanza Osajyefo.
Osajyefo took to Twitter to call out everyone in the comics industry following Dynamite Comics’ promotion of the IndieGoGo campaign on Twitter.
He wrote, “I’m only saying this once… EVERYONE in the #comics industry who been knew that Dynamite Entertainment is supporting comicsgate needs to stop with the backchannel, blind-eye, fence-sitting bullshit because of associations with Nick Barrucci or checks from this publisher.”
He then accused unnamed individuals of harassing and threatening individuals without providing any evidence.
He wrote, “The women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA in #comics who they target don’t get to CHOOSE. We’ve been harassed, threatened, and doxxed by, and because of, these motherfuckers – who Dynamite is now BLATANTLY promoting because of no backlash.”
Osajyefo continued his tweet thread and returned to targeting comic book professionals for their silence.
He wrote, “Which is too many of y’all being mad quiet, acting funny and confused. Some think it’s about fucking “politics,” others have a project with Dynamite and don’t want to fuck with your money, some of y’all secretly agree with these scumbags.”
He then wrote, “But f*** that and honestly – f*** you. The people these assholes have harassed for years are supposed to be your colleagues and friends – but y’all ain’t got shit to say now?”
He then accused Dynamite CEO and Publisher Nick Barrucci of “working to legitimize a hate group.”
Osajyefo wrote, “Y’all all making fucking declarations to not be sexual predators, blacking out your fucking profile pics, but too many of you know for a FACT that Nick Barrucci is working to legitimize a hate group… F***ing silence?”
He then appears to describe Barrucci as a “f***ing bag of garbage” and Cecil as a “one of the most notorious scumbags of this hate group.”
Osajyefo wrote, “This f***ing bag of garbage’s Twitter handle is a goddamned homage to one of the most notorious scumbags of this hate group – y’all cool tho? Times are THAT tough because of COVID19?”
He then threatened to not talk to anyone who did not support his campaign to cancel Dynamite Comics.
Osajyefo wrote, “Do not f*** at me. Don’t f***ing DM me.
He added, “Don’t f***ing talk to me at a con once the quarantine is over if you aren’t taking an active stand against this f***ing absolute BULLSHIT.”
He continued writing, “PS, if you think I’m not talking about you… I very f***ing much am talking about you. And I am mad as f*** at you.”
He then shared an image for those to use in the campaign to cancel Dynamite Comics.
As you can see below the image has the Dynamite Entertainment logo underneath a giant red circle with a slash through it that reads “Say no to hate.”
Osajyefa’s rallying call to cancel Dynamite Comics and ‘Cecil’s Big Cover’ would quickly be picked up by a number of current and former Dynamite Comics freelancers.
Former Red Sonja writer and the current architect of Lion Forge’s superhero line Gail Simone wrote, “Here’s the thing. I am not being silent for career reasons. I’m not being silent at all.”
She added, “I’m taking a minute to process something personally very disappointing and sad. If I’m not doing that on your timer, don;t know what to say.”
Osajyefo wasn’t having any of that.
He posted an update to his thread referencing Simone’s tweet saying, “Wish I had time to “process my emotions” while comicsgate doxxed me and posted my address and pictures of my wife — but f***ing go off.”
On July 18th, he would continue his campaign to cancel Dynamite Comics describing comicsgate as a “hate group.”
Osajyefo then wrote, “Y’all seem to think I need #comics more than I need women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA creators to be able to make them free of marginalization, harassment and threat for existing. I give negative f***s if anyone wants to work with me or buy my shit if it means the above are not abused.”
He continued writing, “So I will be a whole-ass problematic Black person in #comics if said industry is cool with a notable publisher supporting a known hate group. Batman ain’t real person.”
He then stated, “You worn out over sexual predators and harassment reports in #comics? Yeah well the quiet is as kept, turn a blind eye shit is exactly why that shit happened — it was a choice. Silence is a choice.”
Finally he concluded, “Those of us who wake up everyday female, of color, and/or queer… Not a choice. Not an option.”
Current Red Sonja writer Mark Russell announced he would no longer be working with Dynamite Comics following Red Sonja #24.
Russell wrote on Twitter, “As I write this, I am finishing work on Red Sonja #24, which concludes my contractual obligations to Dynamite Comics. After which, I will no longer be accepting any further work from Dynamite for as long as they continue any affiliation whatsoever with Comicsgate.”
He continued, “I don’t make this decision lightly. Not only because I was looking forward to other Dynamite projects, but because when a creep walks into a bar, I think they should be the ones to leave. But the reality is they’re not being asked to leave, which necessitates this decision.”
Russell then stated, “I don’t know if this is the right move, or even a very smart one, but it’s what my conscience requires. Comicsgate is a hate group with a long history of harassment, particularly of women and LGBTQ creators. Don’t try to convince me that they’re not. I’ve seen it for myself.”
“But if they won’t leave the bar, then I have to. I refuse to provide them mainstream cover by working alongside them,” Russell added.
He then concluded, “Again, this was not an easy decision. I loved working with Dynamite. And I know this puts my collaborators in a difficult position. I’ve had several conversations with them over the last few days and I’m proud to report that they all support or at least understand this decision.”
Red Sonja cover artist Christian Ward announced he would not work with Dynamite.
He wrote, “Disappointing to see who Dynamtie have gotten in bed with. A shame as I’ve enjoyed doing Red Sonja covers but I won’t work for a company who aligns themselves with c****[email protected]”
Evan “Doc” Shaner, who previously worked on Flash Gordon, suggested stealing Dynamite’s King Features license.
He wrote, “Everybody QUICK, while they’re busy showing their ass with this comicsgate bullshit, let’s steal the King Features properties away from Dynamite.”
He added, “Years later and Flash Gordon is still one of my favorite projects I’ve been able to work on, but I have zero patience for this comicsgate nonsense and Dynamite cozying up with them is embarrassing to say the least.”
It’s unclear if Dynamite still has the license to Flash Gordon. Flash Gordon: King’s Cross was published in 2017.
Archie Comics currently has a Flash Gordon and Archie crossover solicited for September 2020.
Former Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris writer Erik Burnham also indicated he would no longer work with Dynamite Comics.
Burnham wrote, “I had a lot of fun writing pulp stuff, had great editors and collaborators. …….But yeah. I want no truck with the nonsense.”
It wasn’t just comic book professionals. Media outlets also signaled they would stop covering Dynamite Comics.
AIPT wrote, “AIPT stands against hatred and bigotry in the comics industry. Therefore, we will be ceasing coverage of Dynamite Entertainment as long as they continue to support and benefit from such groups.”
Xavier Files also wrote, “As we expand our coverage, we won’t be covering any Dynamite Comics publication while they are directly putting money into the pockets of a racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic group like Comicsgate.”
Some comic shop owners also stated they would stop stocking Dynamite Comics.
Ryan Higgins, who owns Comics Conspiracy in Sunnyvale, California, wrote, “I will no longer be stocking Dynamite Comics titles at the store.”
He added, “While this is just a custom cover, there is no reason for any company to work with these people. This is a slap in the face to the great creators that work with Dynamite who are the targets of Comicsgate.”
He would later state, “It’s no real loss, we don’t sell much past subscriptions anyway. But gotta take a stand at some point.”
Aaron Meyers of Comics Therapy stated he dropped all his pre-orders of Dynamite Comics.
He wrote, “I dropped all my pre-orders of Dynamite titles. I won’t be going back any time soon.”
He later added, “They have decided to become a full time Comicsgate publisher. Thats their right but they dont get my money at least.”
Ethan Van Sciver, who also did a variant cover for Vengeance of Vampirella #1 and raised over $33,000 from 479 backers in April responded to Dynamite Comics and Barrucci’s statement.
Van Sciver stated, “What the news is as follows. Nick Barrucci, who is the founder, president, publisher of Dynamite Entertainment, Dynamite Comics, who is friendly with Comicsgate, buckled. He cucked.”
“He cucked over Cecil’s cover. Nick Barrucci has been offering variant covers. You’ve seen a few of them. He did three of them with me. They were such a roaring success that Nick started to offer them to other Comicsgaters,” he added.
Van Sciver later recounts that Barrucci made a couple mistakes. He notes the first mistake was enjoying Comicsgate livestreams and even super chatting Van Sciver at one point.
He goes on to detail that the second mistake was promoting the IndieGoGo campaign for Cecil’s Big Cover on the Dynamite Comics official twitter handle.
Van Sciver then details that Barrucci arrived at his house on Friday night and the two discussed what next steps would be. Van Sciver relayed that he informed Barrucci to not bow to those coming for him and Dynamite over the cover and instead just ignore them.
He also responded to the accusations that comicsgate is a hate group saying that that claim is “absurd.”Instead, he claims that SJWs are “hate group” and that they want to “kill everything that we enjoy.”
As for why he believes Barrucci decided to cancel the cover, Van Sciver posited the idea that the IPs that Barrucci leases came under attack as Evan “Doc” Shaner posited doing above.
Later in the stream, Van Sciver would also announce, “As of today I can no longer do business with Dynamite.”
What do you make of Dynamite’s decision to cancel “Cecil’s Big Cover?”