Comicsgate figure head and Cyberfrog writer/artist Ethan Van Sciver recently went deep into the reason he believes comic sales are being driven down the drain: industry infiltration by woke left-wing activists.
Appearing on The Daily Wire YouTube channel, Van Sciver argued that Marvel and DC Comics comics have become unreadable because these activists have replaced traditional liberals and decided comics are “sexist” and problematic – a crisis they themselves invented and for which they conveniently decided they were “the fix” for.
He also noted that while comics have had a long history of diversity, with many black, female, and gay characters leaving their mark, it’s not the boxes they check that make them special.
Readers identify with Spider-Man, Van Sciver gave in example, not because Peter Parker is a non-Hispanic white, but rather due to the responsibilities that fall on him as a hero and as a regular person.
Modern comic creators can’t work within those lines anymore, said Van Sciver, so there is a Spider-Man of color, an Iron Woman of color, and a bisexual Captain Marvel (who is set to make her way into the MCU soon) – all introduced in service of appealing to a small sub-sect of fans who might find some way to take offense (but in reality don’t actually read these comics in the first place).
Continuing, Van Sciver says Comicsgate arose from this phenomenon because most readers want characters like Captain America or Superman who represent the spirit or the heart of heroism rather than a focus on matching sexual preferences.
The former DC creator also said that he took notice of changes being made to the Man of Tomorrow during his time at DC – mainly the deletion of the spit curl in his hair and the switch to jeans and a T-shirt in lieu of a costume in 2011.
DC’s maneuver there was necessitated by the ongoing legal suits with the family of Jerry Siegel, who wanted the character rights to Superman reverted to his estate. The redesigns of Superboy and Superman during The New 52 helped them circumventing the Siegel heirs and successfully worming through their way through a legal loophole.
Finding out about these changes later on, Van Sciver said he was was remorseful for his part in this subterfuge. “Much to my chagrin, I realized I was part of hurting the family of a character I grew to love,” he said, also remarking that Superman is his favorite superhero.
According to the artist, DC’s current business tactics and creative decisions are designed to harm and deprive the creators of their legacy characters. As for the invasion of woke progressives into the industry is concerned, he believes it began long ago.
Van Sciver pointed to the years of the George W. Bush administration as the beginning of comics’ “political poisoning”, but added that it was the Trump years when the crazy train went off the cliff.
To that end, he believes that the moment he tweeted a photo of himself wearing a MAGA hat in celebration of Trump’s 2016 election victory was when both “the SJWs” and people he thought were his friends turned their vitriol toward him.
People who disagreed with the ALL CAPS impresario not only wished death and violence upon him, but also attacked him online or at signings, and even combed his social media for anything they could use against him.
Contumelies of Van Sciver being a Nazi and hit pieces followed soon after, all of which he says led him to “understand what cancel culture was,” with the artist describing the despicable practice as “running afoul of a group of activists who are organized and who have tactics they’ve used quite successfully to destroy the lives of people in the way of their agenda.”
According to Van Sciver, DC, not wanting to be the target of harassment, requested he scrub his social media and stay away from ComicsGate – but he refused, asserting that he agreed with the movement and wished to defend himself.
Although he left DC some time ago, Van Sciver remarked that the other side has continued to hound him even after he was fired, wanting to make sure he never works again under threat that they’ll vilify and destroy anyone who gives him another job.
However, despite all the weird facts and risks to his and others’ careers which resulted from these developments, Van Sciver sees a quasi-silver lining: The fate of the mainstream comic industry is in jeopardy as the way things are going can’t last.
“I think the mainstream comic industry is gonna continue to limp along for a little while, but it cannot last forever because it doesn’t offer anything wonderful anymore,” he asserted.
Van Sciver views the business as at a crossroads similar to the one Stan Lee faced when his wife urged him to do a comic the way he wanted, providing the spark of inspiration for the Fantastic Four and eventually the entire Marvel Age.
In his view, independent crowdfunded comics are at the dawn of the next great age in the medium, and as such Van Sciver urges everyone to support these comics and their creators – but especially for said creators to support one another.
What do you make of Van Sciver’s latest appraisal of the modern comic book industry? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!