Friday, February 02, 2018

SJW hit piece on DC artist

Bleeding Cool is the most embarrassingly SJW of the comics fan sites that try to pose as real journalistic organizations. They don't cover much actual news, they prefer to devote their efforts to fan-squee over failing Marvel comics and striking blows for social justice at every opportunity. They've run hit pieces on my erstwhile opponent Ethan Van Sciver before, but now Rich Johnston is jumping on the campaign by four minor artists that has the objective of getting Van Sciver fired from DC.
Ethan Van Sciver is a successful superhero comic book artist. Beginning with his own character Cyberfrog, he would go on to draw New X-Men, written by Grant Morrison; Green Lantern Rebirth by Geoff Johns; go exclusive with DC Comics; and more recently draw the DC Rebirth series Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps.

Van Sciver has also continuously exhibited a rather fractious online personality, and has been accused of being an agitator and a troll. Over the course of much of his professional career, he has generally characterized such behavior simply as over-the-top, often ironic, bombastic banter, but last year even he seemed to accept the notion that it was something beyond that.

“I’m going to try to focus on being kinder. I try every day, but I have this mean streak…”, he said in part, at a candid moment in May 2017.

While Van Sciver has echoed that desire for a kinder focus on social media in more recent times, there are many who would say that this mean streak still in large part defines him, and guides his current intent in ways not too far removed from that pivotal moment last year.

Public and Private

At that time, some of his privately posted comments became subject to public scrutiny. While in a heated discussion, Van Sciver suggested that another user — someone who had been suffering from depression — should kill themselves.

View image on Twitter

This seemed to be a critical moment for the artist, and for the people around him. Many creators spoke out about the incident, and he seemed to realize he’d gone too far. Indeed, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson was made aware of the situation, and responded to it in private email that was CC'd to Dee Dee Myers, the head of corporate communications at Warner Brothers, which we are running for the first time here. Replying to concerns that a fan expressed to her, Nelson stated that Van Sciver’s comments were offensive, did not meet their standards for their creators, and that his actions did not speak for DC Comics.

Dear Deeply Concerned Individual,

Thank you for taking the time to write. I couldn’t agree more that the comments Ethan van Sciver made on Facebook were offensive. His actions do not meet the high standards we strive for from our creative community. They are inconsistent with the values of Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, as well as those of the pantheon of the DC superhero characters.

Ethan is just one of hundreds of members of DC’s freelance creative community, and I assure you his actions do not speak for the rest of us. That said, I completely understand if fans choose not to purchase Ethan’s work.

Thanks again for taking the time to craft such a thoughtful email. It’s appreciated.


President, DC Entertainment

He publicly apologised and committed to changing his ways, vowing “not to vent” on social media anymore. He also closed two of his three Facebook pages and withdrew, stating, “I’m going to try to focus on being kinder. I try every day, but I have this mean streak… I’m sorry. Truly. I’ll be a better man.”

So, the question is: has Van Sciver made good on that apology and promise? Or has his “mean streak” gotten the better of him?

Friends In Low Places

Van Sciver has shown glimpses of the better man he vowed to be in that dark moment. He has spoken up against instances of abuse directed at LGBTQ comic book creators. He has tweeted about the need to treat each other with kindness. But overshadowing those glimpses, he has continually invested considerable effort into elevating voices whose intent seems in direct opposition to those words.

He started a YouTube channel, ostensibly to share the secrets of comic book artists, to present his commentary on the industry and engage with figures from Vox Day to Chuck Dixon to Mark Waid — but more often, Richard C. Meyer, the commentator behind the Diversity & Comics YouTube channel, which stands accused of propagating bigotry, hate speech, and harassment. Meyer’s followers have aimed abuse against many members of the comic book community.

For transparency, that often includes me.
Van Sciver has hosted a number of videos with Meyer now, equivocating away Meyer’s actions, past and present.

It was in the light of this that Van Sciver openly posted an invite to one of his critics, cartoonist and comic store employee Darryl Ayo, to come onto a live YouTube show to debate comic artist Jon Malin, with Ethan as moderator. Malin recently found himself at the centre of criticism after comparing Hitler’s ideology to that of “social justice warriors”. Ayo declined. But the requests kept coming.

Ayo, also a heavy critic of Bleeding Cool, nevertheless invited me to look into this. I reached out to Van Sciver, who initially agreed to take and answer questions about this and other matters. But before I could begin, he rescinded his agreement (more on that later). So I talked to Ayo.

Rich Johnston: Darryl, what is your history with Ethan Van Sciver?

Darryl Ayo: I don’t have a history with Ethan Van Sciver prior to January 23rd, 2018. He is a known superhero artist and I’m a minicomics creator and comics critic. I’ve never interacted with Ethan Van Sciver and haven’t made any attempt to interact with him. We are from different parts of the comics art form and industry.

RJ:  So what led to his recent invite to you?

DA: In professional terms, nothing. There was no reason for Ethan Van Sciver to even be thinking about me, much less talking to me.

That said, Ethan Van Sciver decided to invite me (and I don’t necessarily see it as an “invitation,” per se) to appear on his show after I had been highlighted and targeted for harassment by an online person called “Diversity and Comics.” At the time, “Diversity and Comics” had been focusing his attention on me and targeting me for abuse by his fans for about a week.

The supposed purpose of Ethan Van Sciver’s initiation of contact was to discuss a superhero artist named Jon Malin, who had made bizarre comments earlier that day about Hitler being an “SJW,” which is a derisive term applied to liberals, progressives and leftists. The idea of Hitler, one of the most notorious and brutal right wing thugs in the twentieth century being equated with a term that essentially means “progressive” was appalling and many people throughout the comics industries, including, but not limited to me, expressed disgust at the comments of this Jon Malin person.

As I was about to shut off my computer and go to bed, I noticed a string of notifications to my twitter account. There was a discussion and there were replies. The origin was Ethan Van Sciver, who I had never spoken with before, mentioning me on his twitter and asking/telling/pleading/demanding that I join some debate that he was currently having on a podcast that he apparently hosts. This is the first time that I had any contact with Ethan Van Sciver and therefore, the casual tone of his tweets was disturbing as they seemed to indicate a familiarity or at least a preexisting relationship between us. There was no preexisting relationship. I had never agreed to appear on this podcast and I certainly was not going to be coaxed or goaded or railroaded into appearing in public in such a manner. I made a post to my own twitter account, not as a reply to Ethan, but a plain text post, indicating that I was not appearing on an Ethan Van Sciver podcast.  Ethan pressed the issue by tweeting to me and attempting to sustain the illusion that there was a mutual agreement about a desire to debate. There was no agreement. There was no prior discussion or contact.

RJ: How did this invite and the repeated requests affect you?

DA: I thought it was all quite annoying and unprofessional. And since it opened me up to further trolling and harassment by the same parties that have already been attacking me, I was furious.

The entire affair was manipulative and frankly, insulting. The notion that anyone would drop everything and appear on a podcast to argue with a stranger at midnight just because someone goaded them is preposterous. The more Ethan tried to talk me into this nonsensical idea, the more certain I was that it was an attempt to publicly humiliate me. All of this became even more obvious after Ethan Van Sciver eventually dropped his pretense and admitted that he was angry with me about a comment that I had made months prior regarding reports that he, Ethan Van Sciver, had named a book of his after Hitler’s book.

As Ethan Van Sciver continued to tweet about me and at me, he would exaggerate this to his audience, spinning a fantasy that I had personally led a mob of hatred against him. Nonsense; many people publicly expressed disgust about Ethan Van Sciver’s Hitler-referencing title at the time of that particular report. However, since I was designated as the enemy of the moment by “Diversity and Comics,” Ethan sought to lie to his twitter followers and insist that I had led a hate campaign against him “for six months.” In other words, a comment *made* six months prior was recast as an ongoing campaign *lasting* for six months. Lies, outright lies. Flagrant lies. And of course, this further enflamed the angry bigots who, as I have said above, were already targeting me and friends of mine for abuse and harassment.

RJ: What outcome would you like to see come from this?

DA: Who cares. I’m already a target of abuse by the “Diversity and Comics” person’s followers. I’m already a target of abuse by the alt right. I don’t see any outcome. If you’re asking me whether Ethan Van Sciver, for his part, should lose his contract with DC Comics: absolutely. This reckless and dishonest behavior would get anybody fired from a traditional employer. But since that’s not going to happen, I don’t care. They should all definitely stay away from me and everyone I know.

A New Age Of Heroes

Van Sciver is a freelance artist working for DC Comics, and discussions with the publisher have focused on the difference between this role and that of a staffer, in regards to how the company would view their actions.

However, I have been made aware that senior DC creators have been vocal within the publisher, some going as far as refusing to work in any project Van Sciver was affiliated with, in a similar manner as some refused to work under editor Eddie Berganza. Berganza was a champion of Van Sciver’s work before he was fired following several allegations of sexual harassment. I understand that a number of letters by senior DC creators have been sent up the chain, objecting to Van Sciver’s behavior online.

It is notable that despite his critical reputation, Van Sciver was not part of the DC New Age of Heroes lineup, alongside peers of a similar background such as Tony S. Daniel or Kenneth Rocafort.

Regardless, the subject has been getting more heated. Comic book creators have again been making public statements — some about Van Sciver and some about Meyer, whom they see Van Sciver as supporting and promoting. And these creators have called on comic book publishers to do something:

I approached Van Sciver to discuss all of these issues. He initially agreed to participate, but after I asked that he not screencap or post extracts of our conversation before publication, he declined to proceed.

If Van Sciver had continued, I would have asked him about the reaction from his fellow comic book professionals, from DC President Diane Nelson, senior DC employees and other freelancers and commentators. I would have asked him if, like Trump, he saw “very fine people on both sides” regarding this.

Most of all, I’d have asked him if he felt that he was living up to his promise to be a better man. And if his expressed desire to bring unity was working.

Because it seems to be having quite the opposite effect. And I am told by a number of DC sources not to expect to see Ethan Van Sciver’s name on any other upcoming DC projects after his current run on Hal Jordan & Green Lantern Corps.

Many comic book fans enjoy Ethan’s artwork and he has a solid body of work behind him. But his self-described “mean streak” has blunted his own creative potential.  It has ruled him, rather than served him. I suspect even Ethan knows that too. I’d have liked the chance to ask.

As of yesterday, he has deleted his Twitter account with the apparent intent to move his comics commentary and work to YouTube.

Neither DC Comics nor Van Sciver chose to comment on this story.
There are a lot of interesting details to be mined from the SJW behavior here, but among other things, this is yet another lesson in never apologizing. And notice how heavily converged DC Comics is. The Hillary Clinton fundraiser who runs the show reports to Dee Dee Myers, who you may recall served as the White House Press Secretary during the first two years of the Clinton administration, worked for Alan Sorkin as a consultant on The West Wing, and wrote the book Why Women Should Rule the World.

Who better to know what young men want to read, right? As bad as Marvel's convergence has been of late, you can be very confident that DC's will be even worse within 18 months.

Anyhow, this is simply more of the same SJW DARVO that we saw the busted Googlers attempting via Wired and USA Today last week. They swarm and harass until their target hits back, then run screaming to Mommy Media that the bad mans hit them because Nazi. It's the same disingenuous routine every time; notice that the media never quotes what provoked the initial response from the target.

And if the comics-SJWs think that Ethan Van Sciver, of all people, is far Right and has a mean streak, well, then the VFM and the Dread Ilk are going to have a seriously GOOD TIME these next few years. The poor sensitive bastards clearly have no idea what the Evil Legion of Evil has in store for them. Ethan and his fans aren't the bad guys.

We are the bad guys.

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Blogger Jim February 02, 2018 11:24 AM  

Hire him.

Anonymous Steve February 02, 2018 11:32 AM  

Van Sciver openly posted an invite to one of his critics, cartoonist and comic store employee Darryl Ayo

David Holup and DaMarcus Wewuz-Kangz were unavailable for comment.

Anonymous VFM #6306 February 02, 2018 11:39 AM  

Van Sciver really should have read your book instead of judging covers.

Anonymous JAG February 02, 2018 11:44 AM  

EVS has to ask himself what he has learned through all of this.

Blogger Jack Amok February 02, 2018 11:49 AM  

This is the first time that I had any contact with Ethan Van Sciver and therefore, the casual tone of his tweets was disturbing as they seemed to indicate a familiarity or at least a preexisting relationship between us. There was no preexisting relationship. I had never...

Darryl Ayo, cartoonist and comic store employee, or middle school girl nuclear rejecting the nerd who asked her to the dance?

Anonymous VFM #3606 February 02, 2018 11:50 AM  

One thing he might have noticed before apologizing is that the complainers are very clearly not competent enough at suicide to take their concerns seriously.

A decent response would have been: "Wait. You are still alive? I stand corrected."

Anonymous JAG February 02, 2018 12:06 PM  

Now that EVS has removed himself from that environment, the SJWs will choose their next target.

Many years ago MTV introduced the show "The Real World". I watched the first couple of seasons, and the pattern became quite clear. Put any group of SJWs together, and their first order of business is to pick the person to be their Emmanuel Goldstein. This person was always male.

This was my first grasping of what an SJW really was.

Anonymous Iacobus February 02, 2018 12:15 PM  

I like how a lot of the commentators at Bleeding Cool are having none of it. How long before the mods memory hole them? SJWs can never take criticism lightly. They like to be told just how special they are 24x7.

Anonymous Viiidad February 02, 2018 12:24 PM  

The Mansons are nicer than these people, Ethan.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer February 02, 2018 12:25 PM  

So now it is controversial to suggest that SJWs behave like Nazis? Since when did that become controversial? If the show fits......

As a side note if the new standard is that comparing people to Hitler is beyond the pale then I suggest we employee it liberally against our adversary.

Blogger Johnny February 02, 2018 12:25 PM  

Slander-R-Us as usual. I get so tired of these people.

Anonymous Rigel Kent February 02, 2018 12:25 PM  

Notice how the guy (Ayo) goes on and on about how there's no prior relationship with EVS and no reason for EVS to contact him, and then in the next paragraph he says he complained about EVS months ago.

Give a little time before you contradict yourself buddy.

Blogger slarrow February 02, 2018 12:40 PM  

Looks like Ethan deleted his Twitter account. Bad move. Looks guilty, lacks power to respond.

I would consider going to bat for the guy, since I think he's fundamentally a decent sort and his enemies are awful. But he's already made it clear that he disavows this faction in the culture ware he doesn't really think he should have to fight. What was it Vox said again about embracing your extremists?

Anonymous Simon in London February 02, 2018 12:43 PM  

You are the good guys (as much as anyone can be in this fallen world, yadda yadda).

They are certainly the bad guys.

Anonymous six pan February 02, 2018 12:45 PM  

What a bunch of clueless, no-class shitbags.

Can't wait until they ruin their nest and put themselves out of work.

Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2018 1:35 PM  

Well, we tried to warn him. Maybe he'll believe us in the future.

You know the doors are closing, Ethan. Your talent won't be enough to save you. Vox still needs good artists and he pays on time, which is probably more than you can say for DC.

Blogger tuberman February 02, 2018 1:55 PM  

EWS, will you surrender, walk the egg-shell walk, and bow to the SJWs?

We are waiting.

Blogger Libertarian February 02, 2018 2:11 PM  

But, but, we haven't been introduced!

Blogger NO GOOGLES February 02, 2018 2:35 PM  

"He sent me a polite invite to a discussion! HOW DARE HE SEE I TOLD YOU HE WAS A NAZI!"

There are actually more than two paragraphs about what a terrible affront a polite invite to conversation was in this situation. It's remarkable how few social skills these people have.

Blogger Robert Pinkerton February 02, 2018 2:54 PM  

German National Socialism's intellectual debt to American Progressivism is enormous, and ought to be documented in detail. Such documentation could take nothing less than an entire career to accomplish. If I weren't in my seventies, documenting that relationship, thereby downing to turd-birds at once, would be my ideal quest.

Blogger tublecane February 02, 2018 2:55 PM  

@7-I remember two seasons, and only two seasons, of the Real World. One featured a would-be black male stand-up comedian roughhousing with a would-be black female pop singer, dragging her out of bed in her underwear covered in a blanket. Or maybe she was nude. Playfully threatening to expose her while she laughed. She was obviously playing along, and doing the whole Dance of the Tease girls play.

But afterwards, she acted as if she had been sexually assaulted and got the guy thrown out of the house. He was an a-hole with a comic's personality, so I don't care. But she was obviously a liar.

The second season I remember was the one with the Cuban(?) AIDS posterboy and the punkish bike messenger-boy (I think) everybody hated. He, too, got kicked out. In his case deservedly, for being generally unpleasant. But he didn't fawn over the dying gay Latin (but barely non-white in appearance, being Cuban [I think]) AIDS-man, which was endearing.

I don't think AIDS-man died on-screen, which probably bummed MTV out. But he did die. Afterwards, I remember another character--an insufferable would-be cartoonist intent on creating the "Gen-x Simpsons," even though the Simpsons is the Gen-x Simpsons--yelling at the bike messenger in front of a crowd, accusing him of being cavalier about AIDS-boy's death. Messenger-boy was cavalier, saying something like, "Get off your soap box, dude."

Virtue-signaling stymied.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan February 02, 2018 3:11 PM  

I really doubt there is any proof of abuse or threats of any sort directed to that clown. My guess is that the clown has documented mental issues and is on a medication, and is suffering from side effects.

Go back a day, Google allows the mentally ill, people under a doctor's care for mental health issues free run to harass the productive employees, so DC or whatever outfit is probably ran the same way.

Blogger Wolfman at Large February 02, 2018 3:15 PM  

Very nice of the SJWs to be turning EVS into a rock star with all these hysterical public attacks instead of quietly purging him in the dead of the night.

Hail Medusa

Anonymous Aeoli Pera February 02, 2018 3:17 PM  

The problem with crying wolf about de-escalation is...eventually you'll be in a situation you want to de-escalate.

Anonymous John VI February 02, 2018 3:17 PM  

He may have. Did you catch the part where he refused to do the interview if he couldn't record it for his own records and post it?

The right is learning.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum February 02, 2018 3:21 PM  

He's getting there. I've watched a couple of his recent videos, and he's done a very respectable job of keeping his cool given the fire he's been under. I enjoy his stuff and sincerely hope he dredges up the humility to give Vox a call. Alt-Hero or anything else would look damn good with EVS pencils.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum February 02, 2018 3:22 PM  

Not to mention he brings a built-in following that DC can't decimate.

Blogger tublecane February 02, 2018 3:28 PM  

That article is difficult to read, and I gave up partway through. They're all junior high girls. But a few things stand out:

1. The writer puts "social justice warriors" in quotes, and the other guy prog-splains that it derogates liberals. That's your term, guys. You used to love it.

2. When they point and shriek and isolate and swarm for no apparent reason, firstly there's always a real reason, usually one of which they're not proud. In this case, apparently Van Scriver's crime was associating with some other guy, as well as trying to entrap a Good Guy into appearing on an embarrassing podcast. Big deal.

They possess various fallback options if they lack even those meager grounds for outrage, however. I notice a few causes for a not-so random two-minute hate:

A. His tweet history, and any record of him saying anything "controversial" in his entire life.

B. The actions of his "followers," who need not be minions acting under his orders. They could merely be people who have commented under one of his video once. Once they post, he is eternally responsible for them, as if a "life-debt" has been incurred.

3. Simple guilt-by-association. They hate lots of people. Often, they hate politically meaningless figures like Diversity in Comics, who qualifies for Literally Hitler status merely because he doesn't sufficiently appreciate diversity in comics.

Brush up against these pre-indicted figures, and it's like wearing gang colors in front of cops. Unless you turn on them and pointing and shriek (and that may not be enough), you share their status.

Finally, the whole non-invitation invitation business. For some reason--or no reason--this guy presents a whole array of verbs to describe the crime Van Sciver committed in trying to get him on a podcast. Which is essentially the entire reason for the article. Not once but twice he runs the descriptive gamut from the benign to the malign.

Let's review all the words used to describe Van Scrivers "invitation":

Invited, asked, told, pleaded, demanded, coaxed, goaded, railroaded. (It's like poetry.)

Some of which are worse than others, but none of which I could possibly bring myself to care about.

Point is, what we have here is an extended form of the "seems" ploy. He won't just say that Van Scriver harassed him, even though that's the take-away he wishes us to have. Instead, he describes the infamous "invitation" 500 ways, some of which are bad, others neutral.

Why waste our time like that, you gossipy teen?

Blogger tublecane February 02, 2018 3:30 PM  

@28-Whoops, I screwed up the numbers and letters there. I probably shouldn't have bothered.

Blogger Budd February 02, 2018 4:02 PM  

lol, no contact. DA basically called out EVS every day for year calling him a Nazi.

Blogger tublecane February 02, 2018 4:07 PM  

By the way, one looks up Dee Dee Meyers expecting to see the usual hag, though if she was Press Secretary I suppose you should expect her to be presentable. You see her, and she's fine-looking. I mean, I wouldn't look twice if I passed her on the street, but there's nothing apparently wrong with her.

Why couldn't she just land a husband and make babies instead of writing a fantasy novel about women ruling the world?

Extra-weird, they tell me she was the inspiration for "C.J." on the West Wing, portrayed by character actress Allison Janney. Again, not a hag, but not hot by Hollywood standards. You'd think Dee Dee would've preferred someone drop-dead gorgeous to play her part on the Fantasy Clinton Administration Hour. But I guess they went with acting talent. If Janney is in fact talented; I dunno.

By the way, I like various Sorkin movies--a Few Good Men, some of Charlie Wilson's War, the Autistic Network, Moneyball--but find his tv shows insufferable. Sports Night was even worse than the West Wing.

Anonymous SmockMan February 02, 2018 4:08 PM  

Welcome to Arkhaven Comics, EVS. (Previewed)

Blogger Were-Puppy February 02, 2018 4:26 PM  

Good luck EVS.
I'd love to help u with that SJW swarm, but I think i'll hang out here with the Mansons instead.

Blogger Were-Puppy February 02, 2018 4:27 PM  

All kidding aside, I hope he survives this retarded SJW swarm.

It feels to me as if they are really angry at the D&C character, and they can't isolate D&C without first removing all of his supporters, one being EVS.

Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2018 4:52 PM  

> It feels to me as if they are really angry at the D&C character,

Oh, I'm sure they are. Little do they realize he's shortly going to be the least of their problems...

Blogger Michael Maier February 02, 2018 5:44 PM  

Huh... check out the link. Larry Hama sounds like another pussy too.

Blogger Wild Ape February 02, 2018 6:46 PM  

Ethan, you need to brush up on SJWAL and SJWADD and watch a little Cernovich. You did not get ahead of the narrative and so they have the media high ground. You would have been better off getting kicked off Twitter than to quit it. Go on offense and get a good lawyer because you will be fired and you need to sue the crap out of DC for your hostile work environment.

Blogger SteelPalm February 03, 2018 12:09 AM  

I'm impressed at that "interview" Rich Johnson did, where only a small part of Darryl "Fuck you and your entire family, you motherfucking Nazi" Ayo's insanity came out.

If you want to get a good laugh at what a deranged lunatic he is, check out these two videos by "Diversity and Comics";

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot February 03, 2018 12:58 AM  

SJWs as disgusting "scab eaters": EVS is the proverbial "scab buffet" right now for them to feast on. They don't want to wound him to the point where he dies completely, only so much that they can continue to feast on his scabs.

Definitely yuck.

I'm waiting for the moment where EVS channels James T Kirk: "I ... have had ... enough ... of YOU!"

And then it's on for all of the SJW scab-pickers and scab-eaters he's been tolerating over the years.


Blogger wreckage February 03, 2018 2:41 AM  

I've pointed out ad-nauseam that these clowns are collapsing the middle towards the right. They make their own monsters. It's all they do.

Blogger Iowahine February 03, 2018 5:38 AM  

EVS also committed a Lindsay Shepherd-level offense by not punching Jordan Peterson. When showing a TV clip that included Dr. Peterson, Shepherd didn't trigger-warn her students they would be watching a villain akin to Hitler - or Milo. EVS illustrated Peterson's latest book, so, no tolerance for him. 'Nuf said.

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