Howdy! First blog of 2019! Sucks it’s got to be this one.

So last night a person I look up to as a hero and hold in the highest regard was swatted. Peter Simeti, the founder of Alterna Comics, was streaming a discussion with another publisher when the police showed up with weapons drawn. An anonymous caller pretended to be Peter, said he was suicidal, and already stabbed his girlfriend to death. Luckily no one was hurt and now our boy is on the offense trying to get to the bottom of this. Why anyone would do something as disturbing as this to the single most affluent supporter of the independent comic creator scene is beyond me, but it’s caused me to finally come to a crossroads I never really cared to cross: #ComicsGate.

Yes. It’s old news. And quite frankly the biggest part of the movement is over with already. The community has already rallied and won. Independent creators sprung up to combat thickheaded writers who used the medium for propaganda like purposes. They even crowdfunded books that went on to even outsell popular IP’s from Marvel and DC alike. For any of you that have no clue what the #ComicsGate phenomenon is, I’ll try to give you a quick explanation. It basically all started (hilariously enough) when a group of gals who work in the industry went out for milkshakes. They got upset over a couple of Twitter comments about their festivities and instead of just muting these dudes they chose to birth one hell of a crusade. Essentially the same thing that started #GamerGate started #ComicsGate; a handful of words tilted several individuals that believed they had some sort of influence and decided to show their true colors. Instead of confronting their constructive critics and processing anything they had to say, they blamed an entire community of readers and creators. This in turn galvanized the community causing many to seek out alternatives to these creative mainstream platforms—like Peter’s Alterna Comics.

I know #ComicsGate is charged politically for many folks out there, but all you need to have a conversation about it intelligently and objectively is to know the root cause of the issue: People are just tired of mainstream writers unable to tell the difference between “story” and “rhetoric” anymore. No one wants to feel like they’re being scolded for reading a comic book. Oh, and before someone ends up trying to cut me down, saying “but comic books have always dealt with social issues and political things”, let me just go ahead and say that you aren’t wrong. Our society loves its fiction because it takes things like our values or our problems and recontextualizes them so we’re able to explore those ideas in a capacity regular dialogue just can’t seem to do. The issue here comes down to the unavoidable fact that the bumbling writers for Marvel and DC are garbage at doing just that. They have no idea how to tell a story or form a narrative and they just come off as transparent. If you think I’m wrong, go look up examples for yourself. Most of their writing consists of characters outright giving speeches that you’d swear are copy and pasted from blue checkmark tweets. They paint the faces of their political targets on infamous villains. Let’s be real with one another here for a second–when someone does something as blatant as that, they really ain’t trying hard to hide their intentions. You can’t expect someone to take your point of view serious if you’re just painting the President’s face on Modock. That isn’t story telling. That isn’t even allegory. You’re just shit posting at this stage of the game. When fans read comic books, they crave a good story. Some of the best stories I’ve read growing up explore those societal woes. It lead me to love the real discussions about the problems of the times, which I guess takes us to my final point.

I’ve no real polite way to put this after what happened to Peter. People need to chill the fuck out and stop trying to censor others. Its so damn frustrating that people won’t calm down and try to use a lick of sense when it comes to addressing any real issues in the comic book industry. Instead, a good number of people just sit on either end of the horseshoe and take any opportunity they can grab at to trash one another. It doesn’t do a damn thing but pollute the waters. It’s also amplified in the comic community because everyone thinks it’s just another unironic case of “the good guys versus the bad guys” too. #ComicsGate (as a whole) definitely has polarized its fair share of the community. The worst thing to have come out of the lot by far are the extremists though. These dumpster fires filled with burning diapers are the embodiment of what’s wrong in the art world in general. The few that I’ve met are hands down the shittiest people alive who will stop at nothing to tear down anything they don’t agree with. They seek to silence other artists that only want to share their stories, creative endeavors, and beautiful works of art. After failing numerous attempts to apply censorship that would stifle independent creators, these radicals are now employing life threatening tactics like swatting publishing companies. It doesn’t matter to them if honest people like Peter are neutral on the issue. His mission has been to simply try and make as much quality literature available to as many readers possible. The message Alterna comics has promoted is a positive one that’s free of censorship and fostered a love for the medium as a whole among a community in mending.

If simply having an aversion for censorship and a willingness to take in and process all kinds of criticism is all it takes to categorize me as pro #ComicsGate creator? Then screw it. Here I am. There’s simply no place for #ComicsHate here. I hope you’ll get to the bottom of whoever did this to you Peter. I hope they get the justice they deserve.