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The mentality of GamerGate has shifted over into the world of comics, where a collection of white male commentators are decrying the purported push towards diversity.
Oh, those poor bigots. They’re being punched in the street, they’re losing thousands of followers on Twitter and they’re being forced to clash with anti-fascists left, right and centre. Surely there must be some place they are safe? It must be that a poor alt-right bigot can find a safe haven.
Perhaps he can settle into his favourite chair and read some comic books. Nope!
YouTuber, Diversity & Comics – or in real life Zach – has been complaining to his 61,000 subscribers about the problem with left-wing, social justice warrior (SJW) propaganda in comics. Or, more accurately, about how comics are now growing to tell stories other than those of superheroes, white male antiheroes and overly sexualised women.
His latest video, entitled “IMAGE COMICS Promotes Extremist SJW Trash While Hiding Potential Mainstream Hits Like LEVIATHAN” (capitals his, not mine) is filled with angry screeching about how Image Comics is “slitting their own throats a dull knife” because they are outputting some more diverse properties.
His complaint is that Image chose to showcase at their Image Expo 2018 the most “far-left, extremist, disturbed, violent, perverse, alt-lifestyle, freakazoid, childless weirdo, Portland comics mafia” properties imaginable. This means, in reality, that there are comics featuring women, PoC, and people with disabilities. These comics are “ticking all the boxes in the progressive stack.”
It’s a seemingly unending rant from a guy who has other videos entitled “Final Issue Of SJW HAWKEYE- Another Ironic Pseudo-Comic Gets Cancelled #praisebeuntoTBIC” and “Toxic Destroyer SJWs Unlock The Secrets Of THE ANTI-AUDIENCE EQUATION”. One of his main quarrels appears to be with disabled, queer woman of colour and comics creator Tee Franklin and how she is on “90% of the panels” because she “ticks all the boxes”.
This, by the way, despite the fact that, while Image is showcasing a variety of new, interesting and diverse comics, the “Featuring” page on the 2018 website shows that, out of fifteen special guests, two were people of colour, and Tee Franklin was the only woman. I don’t know all the comics creators intimately, some could be LGBTQ or neuro-diverse, but I just see a sea of white male mostly bearded, faces.
Nerd and geek culture has become ensconced with assholes demanding some kind of purity via exclusion. They choose to lash out for no reason other than someone else wants a seat at their special table.
He complains that the comics they have chosen to showcase are “violent” and “perverse” but doesn’t really go into why he thinks that. The comics he showcased, as I bounced around the video, were no more violent than the rest of the comics he reviews on his channel that he seems to enjoy.
The comments section is, of course, a cesspool. They are mostly, if not all, men agreeing with him that SJWs need to keep their hands off comics and how they can’t write as well as the old vanguard of comics.
One, with the genius handle Make Star Wars Great Again, said, “Zach I think you should hold a contest for all the writers that fallow you so that we can prove the sjws that these so called racist alt right whatever’s can make a story infinity more interesting then them. Ive seen plenty of good stories writers so I think they should get a shot.”
5Momikichan5 wrote, “Yes kill men and white people because that is morally righteous.” And then included an eye-rolling emoji.
This has become the norm. It started with movements like GamerGate and then became mainstream with the election of Trump and his normalisation of hate and bigotry. Nerd culture has long had a problem with protectionism, demanding that others – i.e., those not like them, those that weren’t there before, all those damn pesky women and black people and queers and Jews – keep their hands off the properties they love.
Nerd and geek culture has become ensconced with assholes demanding some kind of purity via exclusion, the kind of exclusion that made them make angry outcasts in the first place, which they now want to displace onto others. Whereas before I’m sure these same geeks and nerds – or “freakzoids” to use Zach’s wordage – would have loved to have someone to share their love with, now they choose to lash out for no reason other than someone else wants a seat at their special table.
Comics, video games, science fiction and fantasy are all mainstream now. They are publicly enjoyed. You don’t have to be some kind of a basement-dwelling outcast to enjoy them, and that really is a marvellous, joyful thing. Being an outcast sucks. It’s uncomfortable and it’s lonely. But there are those who are trying to maintain that outcast status because, for some reason, it makes them feel special, because they’re “real” fans.
Well, congratulations, you’ve become everything you’ve always hated.