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Saturday, December 08, 2018

(snort)

To absolutely no one's surprise, the conclusion is that the new Diversity & Comics graphic novel sucks. When a guy who can't write hires a guy who can't draw and doesn't even bother to hire anyone to color it, you're probably not going to get a very good result. Richard Meyer probably would have done well to have left off the lettering as well while he was at it. A review of Iron Sights posted in the Arkhaven Forums.
Okay, Comicsgate finally has real, tangible product to critique. I received Richard Meyer's (Diversity & Comics) second IndieGoGo project and Splatto Comics first release Iron Sights today, and ... well, it's a disappointment, I've got to say.

Meyer received these from the printer months ago, but because he was packaging and mailing them all himself, it took all this time to get them out to the backers. I must've been right at the tail end of the list. Glad he finished the job, but there are surely better ways to print, pack and ship comics. I can think of one (**DARK LEGION**), but it's entirely possible Meyer's book wouldn't even have qualified for the DL label. All its product to date has been far, FAR superior to this.

So what did I get for US$32? Well, the book is B&W with tones, roughly 120 pages (not numbered). The art is amateurish. If he's relatively new to the form, maybe there's long-term hope for Ibai Canales, as sometimes new comics artists progress by leaps and bounds. Alternatively, if he's already taken a few years to get to this point ... well, sorry, it's just not good enough. Every Arkhaven book in print currently is leaps and bounds ahead of Iron Sights both artistically and in terms of presentation and professionalism. Backgrounds are minimal, characters are off-model frequently enough that you often can't tell who's who, and Canales shows no real grasp of storytelling or sequential art. There were pages when I simply couldn't figure out what was happening.

Part of the problem may be Meyer's script, which in places cuts back and forth between scenes to the point that you don't even know where you are anymore. The other problem is the lack of color, which makes it next to impossible to distinguish similar-looking characters from one another. And there are plenty of those. (Clarity in B&W comics IS possible. Charlie Adlard on Walking Dead has no problem making it work, but his art is tight and his characters distinctively modeled, whereas Canales' is loose and scratchy enough that there are times I couldn't tell a rifle sight from a drainpipe, and all his blond men looked like the same old guy.)

Back when I ordered IS, I had watched more than a few D&C reviews of Marvel comics. Meyer's stern critiques of sloppy SJW pap fooled me into thinking he might have the chops to produce something superior. He certainly seemed to know bad when he sees it. That said, whatever made him think this book was him putting his best foot forward is a bit beyond me. He's obviously been reading those blood-soaked, profanity-filled early Jason Aaron Vertigo comics (I can't remember the series now -- some Indian reservation thing), because the random, pointless foul-mouthedness taints every second panel. Considering that Meyer keeps his language fairly clean in his YouTube videos, that was a surprise.

All in all, I'm glad I didn't throw major money at the project. D&C's sniping at Arkhaven has not been on the 2VS level, but it's certainly been regular enough that I would have expected him to produce more professional work than this. How is this in any way an improvement over whatever it is Meyer doesn't like about Arkhaven books? I don't get it.

If Iron Sights is at all representative of what Comicsgate writers and artists can be expected to produce, Vox and Arkhaven absolutely did the right thing by putting major distance between the brands.
Now, I will commend Meyer for doing what few critics dare to do and attempting to do something better himself. That is a courageous act for a critic. However, I will also observe that most critics have no idea how hard it is to actually avoid making the mistakes they critique so gleefully, nor are they often able to do any better themselves. It's not a surprise Richard Meyer, even in his second attempt, couldn't manage to create anything anywhere nearly as good as any of the 25+ comics Arkhaven and Dark Legion have published this year, and the contrast between Iron Sights and the beautiful, full-color, 152-page Right Ho, Jeeves omnibus when it appears next week will serve as an effective measure of the yawning gap between an amateur operation like Splatto and a professional one such as Arkhaven.

The fact that Meyer has been sneering non-stop at Arkhaven since our very first release only makes his subsequent pratfall in print all the more amusing. Compare the artwork; even when taking color out of the equation, there really is no comparison. Can you guess which image is Splatto and which is Arkhaven?



That's just the art. With regards to the writing, there is Richard Meyer on the one side, and The Legend Chuck Dixon adapting The Grandmaster John C. Wright on the other. I don't know about you, but I like our odds. And yup, yup, that is indeed Ruff.

There was a happy barking, and a dog that was half Border Collie and half who-knew-what came bounding up the stairs. He had a white muzzle and chest, black ears, black flanks, white stockings, and bright eyes with a black mask around them. However, he lacked any collar, dog tags, or fixed place of residence. He was Gil’s dog in every way but legally. Gil did not know where he went during the day or where he slept, and he thought it too nosy to ask.

Labels: ,

56 Comments:

Blogger JAG December 08, 2018 10:21 AM  

Meyer went from quoting your three rules of SJWs extensively when he began his critique videos of SJW authored comics, to using you as an opportunity to virtue signal to those same SJWs. That's when I knew he was an idiot. Such shameless hypocrisy. Didn't work out for him as he was still labeled a NAZI by the SJWs in comics.

2VS and Meyer both blew a huge opportunity for the chance to virtue signal to people that it made no difference with. For all those watching from the sidelines this was a real time lesson.

Blogger Bultz December 08, 2018 10:24 AM  

looking forward to the 2VS livestream review, to put off another day of releasing his own

Blogger James Dixon December 08, 2018 10:31 AM  

> The fact that Meyer has been sneering non-stop at Arkhaven since our very first release only makes his pratfall in print all the more amusing.

Your very first Arkhaven productions were on par with an average comic I would have read back in the 70's through 90's, and superior to some. They've only improved since then.

Blogger Randomatos December 08, 2018 10:38 AM  

That is the most bizzare point of all this. DiC is appealing to the people who hate him and are striving to ruin his favorite media, and attacking the productive people who are actually getting in the trenches, fighting back effectively, and MAKING SOMETHING WORTH READING. I get that moderates are useless, but this is like watching the stages of Stockholm syndrome in slow motion.

Blogger Wolfman December 08, 2018 10:41 AM  

ComicsGate will go down in the history of 4GW as a textbook example of how to squander 'winning' momentum.

Blogger Bultz December 08, 2018 10:43 AM  

In all seriousness, I think Meyer's biggest problem funnily enough was the size of the crowdfund he achieved. This is a guy that made his name holding a cameraphone with his chin reviewing SJW comics, suddenly finding himself with $300k burning a hole in his pocket to produce the real deal. I don't know what experience he had previous to this in creating work, let alone distributing it but this is running before crawling, with the added pressure of the entire crowdfund comic business model depending on it in the future. Failure means not only does he finish his opportunity before it has started, but it will put off people from investing in other projects

His priority seemed to be "protect the crowdfund, virtue signal to appease" and waste his life personally packing and mailing every single item. Like many other social media persons who are suddenly thrust upwards when they manage to strike a few blows against the progressive industries, one day it dawns on them that they are massively dependent on single points of failure that are under SJW mercy. So they sell out and beg for mercy

Blogger VD December 08, 2018 10:54 AM  

In all seriousness, I think Meyer's biggest problem funnily enough was the size of the crowdfund he achieved.

Gammas always have problems with success. Look at Scalzi and 2VS. In both cases, they would have been much better off with fewer resources than they were given.

We didn't have that problem because I am accustomed to multimillion dollar budgets, assembling production teams, and because our resources, though sizable, needed to be carefully budgeted in order to meet our more ambitious production goals.

Look how many more pages we are producing with half the resources of either 2VS or Meyer. Scarcity imposes discipline. Excess supply encourages sloppiness.

Blogger tuberman December 08, 2018 10:56 AM  

"(snort)" Yeah!, so true.

Will these guys even notice the Crow on their plate?

Blogger hotpotato December 08, 2018 11:09 AM  

That man's eyes start at the top of his ears and above the top of his nose. Actual eyes start near the bottom of the ears and are centered at the top of the nose and center of the ears. I guess what I'm saying is that Picasso seems to have peed in the artist's Kool-aid.

Blogger Rhys December 08, 2018 11:19 AM  

"Most critics have no idea how hard it is to avoid the mistakes they criticize so gleefully"

I really, really, really do not like "professional" critics for this very reason.

Blogger crescent wrench December 08, 2018 11:22 AM  

Perhaps publicizing a good fundamentals handbook (for investors in addition to fresh, would-be entrepreneurs) will help right the direction of crowd-funding in this space by helping the community weed out the clueless and the shysters.

Time and again it seems the basics of business and product viability are eluding these people.

Perhaps the skeletal crowd-funding interface VD is currently using for alt-hero could receive a back-end which forces submission of proper business plans by would-be projects.

I'm not sure whether kickstarter or gofundme do this, but a requirements/questionnaire designed by someone who actually runs a viable business would result in a much higher viability ratio in its project pool should it be opened to the general public.



Blogger Cetera December 08, 2018 11:22 AM  

@hotpotato That's not a man.

Blogger VD December 08, 2018 11:24 AM  

Perhaps publicizing a good fundamentals handbook (for investors in addition to fresh, would-be entrepreneurs) will help right the direction of crowd-funding in this space by helping the community weed out the clueless and the shysters.

We tried to help the ComicsGate community once before. We'll pass on repeating that experience, thanks. As a result, we will not be making our crowdfunding platform available to any projects we are not publishing.

Blogger James Dixon December 08, 2018 11:29 AM  

> Will these guys even notice the Crow on their plate?

Notice? Yes. Admit to? No.

Blogger Silent Draco December 08, 2018 11:31 AM  

The artwork was WAY too easy to choose. Ruff is one of my favorite literature sidekicks. "Hello!! Maste ...., uh, er, hello there, human that I've never met before. Uh, who might you be?" (Wink and slight tilt of ears in vague direction of elfs).

The art captures about five pages of John C. Wright description and dialogue in a single panel. That's master craftsmanship.

The odds are like fishing with dynamite in a barrel. Case of dynamite, small barrel.

Occasionally I meet young teachers on summer programs, including some English or literature teachers. Their private complaint is about the lack of books for boys, or lack of response from them. When I'm able to pull out a copy of the graphic novel for them to look at, and show them where to find the graphic and text novels, I think many will get Ruff's happy grin response.

Blogger Red Pill Angel December 08, 2018 11:33 AM  

9 Hot potato, no, in this case the artist's poc is from below, so the proportions are distorted. One might take off half a point for leaving the jaw mostly in profile, but it's not bad for a difficult angle. Look at the drawing of Esme above it and check out the "ellipse" that represents the top of the pail. That is not good drawing, it's just careless. I mean really. Also her arm. And hand. And what is wrong with her face? No one is going to want to save that poor girl.

Blogger BassmanCO December 08, 2018 11:46 AM  

That was supposed to be a girl?!

Blogger Jack Ward December 08, 2018 11:48 AM  

At the very least, I had to laugh uproariously,
at the banner headline to this post. Snort, snort, snort; might be a pig snorting thru his mud wallow. And, appropriate to the post subject matter. Until, and if, anything else comes along, I nominate this as the all time best post headline ever. Of course, I've no where near seen all of them.

Blogger Amy December 08, 2018 11:48 AM  

Somehow, I got the impression that a Diversity in Comics publication would be more diverse? Three white guys save a stacked brunette from evil Mexican gangsters.

Huh.

Blogger Red Pill Angel December 08, 2018 11:48 AM  

POC, ha ha, I meant pov. Point of view.

Blogger Red Pill Angel December 08, 2018 11:51 AM  

17 Bassman said: That was supposed to be a girl?

pretty sure they are trans, you hater. Look at those hands.

Blogger Xiety December 08, 2018 11:53 AM  

hotpotato wrote:Actual eyes start near the bottom of the ears
No. They don't.

Blogger Amy December 08, 2018 11:57 AM  

Maybe that’s the diversity angle. Esme used to be Elmer.

And one of the commandos is mute, albeit he wasn’t born, but made.

The concepts are ham-fisted.

Blogger Jack Mikkelson December 08, 2018 11:57 AM  

@15

Occasionally I meet young teachers on summer programs, including some English or literature teachers. Their private complaint is about the lack of books for boys, or lack of response from them.

Quietly working on this.

http://snowflakeclockwork.blogspot.com/2018/12/behold-bovodar-and-bears-in-color.html

Blogger crescent wrench December 08, 2018 12:11 PM  

@13

I was referring more to "alternative to SJW converged platform X" than "comicsgate", but point taken.

The utter cluelessness regarding bringing a viable small business online cannot be understated, though.

This isn't the 1950's anymore when a good half of the middle class ran their own small/family business, and the skills taken for granted by those who still do are extinct in totality from the bulk of the population.

This is by design, as it creates dependence which helps leftists to power.

It's also self-perpetuating, as the lack of basics allows grifters to offer "start your own business" books full of utter bunk and flood the space for learning materials with noise.

Blogger L'Aristokrato December 08, 2018 12:16 PM  

'Diversity & Comics' is the quintessential clockwork cuck.
In his comic reviews he does present valid complaints about SJW-isms, but he has neither a tangible counterpoint to, nor understanding of, the underlying issues therein.
He's perfectly content in having everything he supposedly values perverted and destroyed, so long as it's done "the right way". He's more than happy to praise "Black-girl-as-Iron-man" type characters, provided the story is not overtly political and contains a modicum of mindless entertainment, all without grasping what it means to have a "Black-girl-as-Iron-man" for a protagonist(and replacement).
In the end, he's just a guy who's happy to sit under a running shower, while his house burns and crumbles around him.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 08, 2018 12:16 PM  

Randomatos wrote:DiC is appealing to the people who hate him and are striving to ruin his favorite media, and attacking the productive people who are actually getting in the trenches,
Meyer, like 2VS is firmly of the opinion that the people who matter, the people who will always be in control of comics, are the chief editors and publishers at DC and Marvel. That in order to "fix" comics, you have to appeal to these people to change what they do.
Arkhaven and Vox in particular, are of the opinion that the failure of DC and Marvel to provide what the market is crying for makes for an opportunity to drive DC and Marvel either out of the market, or back in the direction the market wants to go. And to make a little money of course, but I don't think, based on pricing and sheer volume of content, that profit maximization is the top priority yet. Rather, their priority seems to to be to provide an alternative and to build a market from the former and potential customers that the legacy comics publishers have deliberately driven away.

Blogger David The Good December 08, 2018 12:25 PM  

Little cuckweasel. This is wonderfully satisfying.

Blogger Lance E December 08, 2018 12:29 PM  

wahr01 wrote:...help right the direction of crowd-funding in this space by helping the community weed out the clueless and the shysters.

Charity is for family, friends, neighbors and those exceedingly rare victims of circumstance in the larger community. What has the Comicsgate cult done to merit any favors from outside their little echo chamber? Apart from their intransigence and ingratitude, not one of them has demonstrated either the aptitude or stability to improve with outside help. That goes for both the fleecers and the fleeced.

I hope they continue crowdfunding, and making exactly the same mistakes. As long as the funds come from themselves and not some parasitic source like a subsidy or foundation, and as long as the transaction doesn't involve outright deception, this kind of activity serves a very important market function in redirecting capital from the incompetent to the more-competent. Fools who are unable to recognize the inflated claims of obvious blowhards and phonies should be parted with their money as soon as possible.

Blogger Bultz December 08, 2018 12:32 PM  

The book that teaches people is the real time failure of Comicsgate. Laps of honour come several months after you deliver a product, not with 2 weeks still to go on the crowdfund

Blogger Silly but True December 08, 2018 12:40 PM  

Honestly, that's only slightly better than the "comics" my friends and I were drawing with erasable Bic pens on ruled notebook pnotebook4th grade.

Blogger dvdivx December 08, 2018 12:47 PM  

The cover is good but the inside graphics are terrible. To the level of a rough storyboard for an actual comic. Only comic I've been reading lately though is the Action Bible to my kids. I also refuse to give money to SJW companies or their writers with an anti-Christian bias.

Blogger James Jones December 08, 2018 1:08 PM  

I'm sorry to say it but this exhonerates Vox. Actually, I'm not sorry to say it.

Blogger nightskyradio December 08, 2018 1:12 PM  

@ Jack Ward

- I nominate this as the all time best post headline ever.



I snort with Jack Ward.

Blogger Xellos December 08, 2018 1:13 PM  

"The other problem is the lack of color, which makes it next to impossible to distinguish similar-looking characters from one another."

Huh. That got me thinking: manga is usually B&W with tones and while there are a lot of works suffering from sameface syndrome (usually cashgrab LN adaptations), characters are usually quite recognisable. Part of it is the greater emphasis on characters in art, but I'm sure if you put the cast of Kengan Ashura in a Western-style comic, they'd be just as unique as they are in the manga.

Btw, Kengan Ashura is excellent fighting manga with daily chapter threads on 4chin /a/ and plenty of fun reaction images.

Blogger Silent Draco December 08, 2018 1:22 PM  

@24, Thanks. Bought the e-book and bookmarked the site. The first tow chapters make a delightful start. I'll add to my hard-copy handout list. I keep a couple hard copies (half-sheet) folded in my wallet for just such an opportunity.

Now, to encourage the teaches to submit purchase orders that are fulfilled by Castalia Direct, and not by the Big Five or by Scholastic. What's that sound under the other wall of the SJW paradise, where all are equal until denounced as haters?

Blogger Avalanche December 08, 2018 1:38 PM  

@29 "Charity is for family, friends, neighbors and those exceedingly rare victims of circumstance in the larger community."

Bring back the lovely old concepts of the DESERVING poor and the UNdeserving poor! Charity is supposed to be an offering of help because 'identification with' -- NOT letting chiggers and ticks latch on!

Blogger JonM December 08, 2018 2:02 PM  

@32: That cover was done by Miss Sashi, who has since been run out of the Comicsgate clique for refusing to bend the knee to Ethan. Go figure.

Blogger James Dixon December 08, 2018 2:05 PM  

> ...but I don't think, based on pricing and sheer volume of content, that profit maximization is the top priority yet.

When you know how to run a business, if your top priority is making good products, you'll still make money. If your top priority becomes making money, you'll eventually wind up making neither good products nor money.

Blogger FreedMind0102 December 08, 2018 2:07 PM  

"Well the top pic doesn't look too bad. It's pretty evocative and..." *clicks to zoom, notices that face* "Oh dear..."

Blogger David The Good December 08, 2018 2:46 PM  

I should get into comics. 300k? Yeah, forget good gardening books. I'll just insult some SJWs, crowdfund, then release a horrible comic book.

Blogger Student in Blue December 08, 2018 3:45 PM  

@Xellos

Yeah, "sameface syndrome" isn't the fault of not having color, rather color is used as a crutch to hide sameface. Instead it's the fault of the artist.

Blogger S1AL December 08, 2018 3:56 PM  

"That cover was done by Miss Sashi, who has since been run out of the Comicsgate clique for refusing to bend the knee to Ethan. Go figure."

Sounds like potential...

Blogger Laramie Hirsch December 08, 2018 4:03 PM  

I still continue to enjoy Van Scriver's attacks wants Star Wars and the MCU. I could give a crap about his stupid comic books.

Blogger Xiety December 08, 2018 4:13 PM  

David The Good wrote:I should get into comics. 300k? Yeah, forget good gardening books. I'll just insult some SJWs, crowdfund, then release a horrible comic book.
Careful. I'm pretty sure that Nick Rekieta would advise you that any attempt at making a horrible comic of your own would be an infringement upon the associated something or other of horrible comics.
Horriblecomicsgatecomics...gate.

Blogger Jill December 08, 2018 5:16 PM  

Will the Jeeves omnibus be available in print next week? Really would like to buy it as a Christmas present. Or 4-6 in print. I have 1-3 in print as of now.

Blogger MegaBusterShepard December 08, 2018 5:29 PM  

Black & White art is amazing when done right. But it needs to be done right. You can't just ink a black and white book like you do one that's fully colored otherwise it comes off as stale and lifeless. Black and White might seem to be easier but pulling it off successfully is something of a lost art.

Blogger John December 08, 2018 5:45 PM  

I stopped listening to the Diversity and Comics guy when I heard him virtue-signalling about his 'Muslim daughter.' That's a moderate for you: he'd be pleased as punch to see Western civilization overrun; he'll even help, as long as he gets to keep his funnybooks.

Blogger Nate73 December 08, 2018 6:32 PM  

Is this an application of Taleb's idea of skin-in-the-game? Ergo, anonymous comments should be devalued accordingly as they have the least investment in whatever project you might be doing.

Blogger Rex Leroy King December 08, 2018 8:19 PM  

Jill Domschot wrote:Will the Jeeves omnibus be available in print next week? Really would like to buy it as a Christmas present. Or 4-6 in print. I have 1-3 in print as of now.

Yes, the omnibus will be available in print within the next few days.

Blogger Dave December 08, 2018 10:26 PM  

That's a great looking Ruff.

What a treat; The Grandmaster, The Legend, and Bonk. An All-Pro team. Really glad I'm a backer.

Vox, with Arkhaven crowdfunders being done in-house now, why not start a 2.0 campaign for this?

Blogger daddynichol December 08, 2018 10:27 PM  

I'd buy it.

Blogger JovianStorm December 09, 2018 12:28 AM  

Honestly, whatever one might think of Vox Day politically, even his critics are going to be forced to admit that he is writing the book on how to spin straw into gold.

1. Choose a field
2. Become extremely competent at it
3. Produce something of value
4. Keep doing it without SJW convergence

It's simple but only a rare few are doing it well. Vox is one of those few.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit December 09, 2018 3:25 AM  

Fantastic Ruff! Really grateful for Arkhaven

Blogger VD December 09, 2018 4:10 AM  

Vox, with Arkhaven crowdfunders being done in-house now, why not start a 2.0 campaign for this?

I had no idea there was potential interest. But we're already running a campaign and we don't want to put excessive pressure on Arkhaven's backers. Especially since we have a big, brand new campaign we'll be launching this spring.

Our current plan is to do two per year. The consensus among the backers was that was a sustainable level. As our readership grows, we can consider doing more, smaller campaigns. But right now, our manpower is limited anyhow.

Blogger Bear Of Logos December 09, 2018 1:23 PM  

The art looks like the badly dated art on the cover of GTA 3.

Seems like making Youtube videos whining in circles about SJWs all day doesn't automatically grant you talent or competence, who would have thought?

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