Comic professionals often say “ComicsGate is a hate group,” but more often than not, it’s the industry insiders who display their unbridled hate of anyone who identifies with the independent group. Scutt Kurtz, the purveyor of the webcomic PVP Online, has shown his intense disdain about Comicsgate for a long time, with his most recent fit causing a Twitter storm because he couldn’t believe fan-favorite Green Lantern and Cyberfrog artist Ethan Van Sciver would be allowed to set up a booth at a comic convention.
Ironically, #ComicsGate started in 2017 when comic professionals were caught in a secret Facebook group trying to collude against YouTube comic reviewer Richard C. Meyer, then known as Diversity & Comics on YouTube, to harass him out of a comic con. Several Marvel and DC freelancers were shown to be involved in this incident including B. Clay Moore and Jody Houser.
The hashtag was popularized as word spread about the insanity Meyer had to endure for daring to say the comics Marvel and DC were producing at the time were subpar.
Five years later, little has changed as #ComicsGate fans and creators got together to enjoy Garden City Comic Fest in New Jersey, with several creators setting up booths, including Ethan Van Sciver, Graham Nolan, Billy Tucci, Dan Fraga, and more. This group of heavyweight creators established a presence that made the convention fun for long-time fans and created a draw to the show with their star power.
The mere sight of these creators happily selling their comics was enough to set off cartoonist Scott Kurtz, whose webcomic gained a lot of popularity among the cultural elites in the mid-2000s. He tweeted, “If a comic convention hosts or sells tables to people in Comicsgate, is it wrong for me to want to pressure them to kick out those people? Cause I wanna. I really wanna.”
His tweet wasn’t received well, with dozens of independent creators and comic book fans showing their disdain for Kurtz’s call for the harassment of fellow independent creators because of their political leanings.
Shadow of the Conqueror creator Mike S. Miller replied to Kurtz, stating, “Yes, it’s wrong, Scott. It’s actually quite fascist to try and stop people from making a living because you disagree with their politics. Trying to stop someone from making a living is the same thing as trying to end their life. Think about it.”
Vito Gesualdi, creator of Superkiller, chimed in, saying, “I understand disliking certain creators and their politics, but at no point should you be interfering with their right to simply conduct business.”
The quote tweets and replies were flooded with similar comments. Unlike several years ago, when several professionals managed to band together to make #ComicsGate creators feel unsafe to attend conventions or even get them banned in some instances, it appears the tide has turned where fans aren’t tolerating cancel culture any longer.
By all reports, Garden State Comic Fest provided a fun time for fans of #ComicsGate and others in the industry. Ethan Van Sciver even held an after-party complete with cigars and whiskey, where several men gathered in fellowship, bonding over their love of comics.
The only display of hate at the Comic Fest seemed to come from Kurtz himself.
What do you think of comic creators trying to get their peers banned from conventions over politics? Leave a comment and let us know.