IDW Publishing editor Heather Antos attacked ComicsGate over Memorial Day weekend, launching an industry buildup of the online resistance movement against mainstream woke comics.
In a passive-aggressive tweet, Antos said, “Absolutely heartbreaking to see someone you respect, admire and call a friend actively choose to align with extreme toxicity.”
One of her followers asked if the tweet was about ComicsGate, and Heather confirmed, “Yup.”
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This tweet sparked speculation from several professionals as to why someone would join ComicsGate. None of those who commented noticed that within hours of posting the tweet, Antos complained about struggling to pay her rent with her editorial job at IDW.
She said: “I tell you what, I definitely took my old man for granted. [sic] landlords who didn’t raise my rent for the entire 7 years I rented from them. This $400 raise after 1 year in the new place touches every cell of my being.
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The comics industry has been criticized for years for underpaying her talent, something Antos herself has commented on. Many professionals who have joined ComicsGate have expressed how much better paid they have been since joining the bandwagon and publishing their own independent comics through crowdfunding platforms.
These comics sell especially well when the creators appear on Ethan Van Sciver’s ComicsArtistPro Secrets channel to promote their wares.
One such person who did is former Marvel Comics inker and Fiendish creator Irene Strychalski, who appeared on Van Sciver’s channel several times while promoting her book Fiendish, which has ultimately raised $53,390.
Antos’ tweet is rumored to be about Strychalski as she prepares to launch her IndieGoGo campaign for Fiendish: Chapter 2: Origins. His entry for the second book of Diabolical is live on IndieGoGo.
In fact, Strychalski created his own tweet thread in response to Antos’ complaint. She hinted that Antos referenced her saying, “Let’s be clear on one thing. If you weren’t there to support me while I was in the trenches, for years, trying to get my dream project off the ground, then you have no right to tell me what to do or who to do promoting my book.
“If you consider someone a friend, you won’t stay silent for YEARS, only to send them messages of veiled threats the moment their dream project comes true. When you respect someone, you don’t try not ruin it just by talking to people you don’t like,” she added.
Strychalski confirmed to Bounding Into Comics that she was recently tipped off by another colleague outside of Antos that she would be listed for associating with Ethan Van Sciver. This colleague also warned her that ComicsGate had a bad reputation in the industry.
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Several comics industry professionals responded to Antos’ tweet. Jimmy Palmiotti, best known for his work on harley quinn, said: “I try to call this person in private and have an honest conversation clarifying my point of view while trying to understand what made him go down this path. They deserve a chance to explain themselves. The least I could do for someone I considered a friend.
Michael Avon Oeming, who co-created Powers with Brian Michael Bendis, tweeted: “This is the worst. Sorry, I lost a hero and a friend to this kind of shit.
Mahmud Asrar, having recently worked on Weird X-Men followed by “Oh! That sucks. Such a disappointment.
Several other comics professionals consoled Antos for his tweet attacking his fellow creator. It seems the comic book industry enjoys political gossip and dumping friends when it suits their causes.
Ironically, the behavior of Antos and his cronies on the wire is why ComicsGate was born. In 2017, an article was published in The Federalist, Forcing political correctness on employees and characters is killing Marvel Comics, which details how Marvel employees routinely put politics ahead of their jobs, and how no diversity of political opinion could be found at the company after extensive research.
In 2022, it seems the climate in mainstream comics has become so toxic, in the words of Heather, that pros will band together and attack fellow creators for daring to sell their books independently.
What do you think of the comics industry’s reaction to the arrival of a creator at ComicsGate? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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