ComicsGateComicsGateGate versus ComicsGateComicsGateComicsGate

Links to the other posts 1, 2, 3, 4

Unfortunately a lot of the toddler tantrums are playing out on duelling YouTube videos. I have carefully honed skills of quickly acquiring key details from written texts but video requires you to trawl through the whole boring boring thing and what’s worse, is that I’ve then got to rely on my shaky memory to remember specifically what was said. Anyway, I sat through a video by Vox Day (I shan’t link to it but it was entitled “Two-Face Van Soyer”) and a response by Ethan Van Sciver (again not bothering with links but if you have spare brain cells you want to kill it’s called “CYBERFROG $600K, LAST DAY LIVE STREAM!!” -no, seriously). For ease of typing Vox Day will be VD for the rest of this post and Ethan Van Sciver will be EVS. I used the modifier “odious” for various people who crop up but it became too repetitive.

Some observations:

  • Nomenclature: As it’s a kerfuffle about who owns the words “ComicsGate Comics” the appropriate name is “ComicsGateComics-Gate”. However, as the modifier “Gate” now also means “a campaign by a group of shouty right wing trolls”, that makes it “ComicsGateComicsGateGate”. However, however there are TWO groups of shouty right wing trolls, so I’ll use ComicsGateComicsGateGate for VD’s partisans and for EVS’s partisans ComicsGateComicsGateComicsGate because they call themselves ComicsGate. On second thoughts…maybe not.
  • VD has the advantage that he’s set himself up so that all publicity is good publicity for his business model. His main comic book line (the semi-tautological ‘Arkhaven’) is on Kindle Unlimited, making any degree of fuss more likely for KU users to check out the comics (even if it is just to rubbish them). That’s all revenue for him.
  • EVS appears to have broader support but that doesn’t get him anywhere. Like a lot of these right wing shouty campaigns there’s no clear achievable goal. There’s no obvious way of winning here. Unlike VD, EVS doesn’t gain sales of anything from the surrounding publicity and may lose out in future crowd-funding due to ill-feeling.
  • However, its not all good news for VD. The political attacks on him are quite pointed and various social-media right wingers are now pointing out things about his views that they conveniently ignored for years.
  • Both EVS and VD are claiming that the other one is in some ways double-crossing, back-stabbing con-artists trying to fleece money from hapless right wing dupes. Luckily this is bad for both of them and should contribute to general demoralisation and disaffection on the right.
  • Timothy’s only public relations management client, Jon Del Arroz is in a sticky situation. He’s characterised himself as being ‘there’ from the start and for once he has a point – he genuinely was doing weird harassment of Marvel ages ago before it became a hobby for others. JDA has a gig with VD’s comic line but he’s also been a big booster for EVS and he is also in the midst of his own crowd funding campaign. He was speaking on the EVS video I watched and characterised as a ‘friend’ of VDs – he was placed in the position of trying to defend VD without alienating EVS.
  • Somebody asked me about VD’s previous feud with social media platform Gab. Sorry, I don’t know what happened with the threatened legal action in the end but Gab still advertises on Voxopedia. I suspect they found a way of mutually backing down without losing face. I suspect the same will happen here.
  • The main winners are everybody who is getting a break from being harassed by right wing trolls because said trolls are too busy shouting at each other.
  • Can you safely ignore all this? Probably.

36 thoughts on “ComicsGateComicsGateGate versus ComicsGateComicsGateComicsGate

  1. NO! We shall never ignore it because it gives us an excuse to pop popcorn and laugh and laugh. One knows it is much less fun to pop popcorn and laugh and laugh without an excuse!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, the general transition to video disputes is incredibly annoying. I can only assume that this is because a large part of their market is now functionally illiterate? (And yes, I realise that VD et al are still publishing actual books, but I’d guess that’s just because those people are only a smallish part of the whole.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More importantly I think they’re better able to monetize youtube videos. Not to say you’re wrong–I agree with you. But it’s really all about money.

      Cam, you’re braver than I am. I hardly have any patience these days with video, and no way in hell am I watching anything by these nitwits.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, its easier to get ads from clicks etc. Plus once you have the equipment and know how to speak to a camera its easier than writing a long essay. And its easier to convey emotions.
        Its still nothing Id watch…


    2. David,
      Yes they are functionally illiterate but they buy books because Vox tells them to.
      If you’ve ever seen any of ‘Alt-Hero’, it’s remarkably short of dialogue. There’s lots of frames without any words at all. The layout reminds me somewhat of the ‘Dick and Jane’ stories we read back in 1st Grade.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Seriously, now, do we think the principals actually care about this chozzeroi, or is this just some sort of weird performance art? I actually spent some time delving through this story trying to figure out what of value is at stake, and I kept coming up with the null set.

    I may easily be missing something, because in 2018 my standard answer to the ‘your favourite online game’ question remains ‘Usenet’, so if anyone can tell me what’s going on besides absurdist ankle-biting, I’d love to hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My goodness, I read Jon Del Arroz’ pitch to write for Marvel. Not saying things like “Your stuff sucks, but I’ll make it good” is such a basic rule of pitching to anyone that I’m astonished he didn’t get the memo.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. frasersherman: I read Jon Del Arroz’ pitch to write for Marvel. Not saying things like “Your stuff sucks, but I’ll make it good” is such a basic rule of pitching to anyone that I’m astonished he didn’t get the memo.

    JDA is one of two things: 1) a very, very slow and stupid person, or 2) an utterly dishonest exemplar of Dunning-Kruger who engages in performative assholism while believing that he’s doing this very cleverly — the end result being that a lot of people figure that he must just be very, very stupid. I think it’s the latter: he’s seen other people being very clever and sly, and he mistakenly believes that’s what he’s doing as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think on some level he’s just not interested in his writing career any more. If Marvel actually bought his pitch, he’d have to do some writing, and that would take time away from his true calling: trolling. If the pitch fails, though, it allows him to play the victim and troll Marvel.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. @michael: He can’t even bother trolling IRL, too much work. Didn’t show up at the con after more organized fascists showed up to be shuffled over to the side. And despite claiming to have a sick kid, wasn’t there a photo of him time and date stamped showing he was out sailing while his compadres were blocking the bloodmobile?

        Can’t let his writing get in the way of his trolling, and can’t let his trolling get in the way of his recreation.

        @JJ: I’ve thought from the beginning that he’s the living manifestation of Dunning-Kruger. He’s just hoping to get picked up for wingnut welfare where he can be “the good Hispanic” and rant incoherently for money. We know he’s got a lawyer who’s the personification of D-K; the few times I’ve hired a lawyer, I picked someone smarter and more energetic than myself (a white woman and a black immigrant man, BTW), who had good records. Not so Jonny D.

        I see Twitter’s finally perma-banned Alex Jones; wonder if it will stick?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Or else he forgot to pay the bill. Maybe he was having cash flow problems with all his yachting and terrible lawyer charges.

        Either that, or they are turning on their own. If one can consider him one of their own — he does, but do they?


    1. @Lurkertype: Mr. Del Arroz said to me over SMS that he’d taken his son, who suffers breathing difficulties from cystic fibrosis, up to the Lake Tahoe basin. In spite of his really annoying SMS a day or so before that he’d be joining the File770 dinner I’d organised at Back-A-Yard Caribbean Grill Restaurant, when I saw his Internet comments to his son, I’d SMSed him back to suggest the Monterey Peninsula, so he thanked me and said he’d considered that but the Tahoe basin actually had cleaner air.

      All of that is perfectly reasonable, and he certainly had my sympathies — and the picture of him on a boat is of course entirely consistent with him spending time with his ailing son at Lake Tahoe.

      Look, I don’t like a lot of what the man has done, either, but I really don’t think casting everything he does in the most cynical possible light is warranted. And also, at the end of the day, I’d rather be the person who shows some friendliness when it’s the right thing to do and costs nothing to make the gesture.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Rick —

        I have nothing against JDA getting his kid out of bad air. OTOH, I keep wondering why Jon had to go himself, thereby breaking multiple prior commitments, when his wife is presumably capable of taking care of her own children.

        I also have to keep shaking my head at Jon’s claim that someone “doxxed” his kids by revealing his son’s medical condition, when in reality that info is publicly available in a **news article** from when Jon ran for local office several years ago. Talk about playing the victim!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Contrarius: I also have to keep shaking my head at Jon’s claim that someone “doxxed” his kids by revealing his son’s medical condition, when in reality that info is publicly available in a **news article** from when Jon ran for local office several years ago. Talk about playing the victim!

        Oh, his claim of being “doxxed” is even more egregiously false than that. In the month or so prior to a commenter mentioning the info in a non-hostile comment on JDA’s blog (what he is calling a “doxxing”), JDA himself had mentioned the same info in both a Tweet, and a video he had posted publicly. It was a trumped-up claim. No one “doxxed” JDA in any way.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. @Contrarius: I obviously have no idea about arrangements between Mr. Del Arroz and his wife. (To my knowledge, I’ve never met either of them.) As his ‘multiple prior commitments’ weren’t to me and were to pester and malign Worldcon attendees, it certainly doesn’t bother me in the least that he was a no-show at his own annoy-a-thon. That was one fewer pest for me, Alex Acks, and the other volunteers directing attendees away from the dozen-odd shouters out on the plaza and the large squad of police standing around looking bored.

    In present context, my only point was to mildly protest against Lurkertype’s highly uncharitable and unmerited conclusion that Del Arroz couldn’t possibly be taking care of a sick kid just because he posted a photo of himself on a boat. The one doesn’t contradict the other in any way.


    1. @Rick —

      “In present context, my only point was to mildly protest against Lurkertype’s highly uncharitable and unmerited conclusion that Del Arroz couldn’t possibly be taking care of a sick kid just because he posted a photo of himself on a boat. The one doesn’t contradict the other in any way.”

      Right. Posting such a photo isn’t a sign of dishonesty in this case, only a sign of stupidity. He undermined his own attempts to garner sympathy — and his attempts to claim a “noble” excuse for running out on his commitments — by showing himself having fun, especially having fun at a place like Tahoe. I felt much the same about that Bond-villain photo of Mnuchin and his wife posing with a sheet of cash at the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing: not illegal, not dishonest, just a really stupid thing to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. He didn’t tweet that he was getting his kid out for some cleaner air — which is something everyone in California can appreciate — he showed no remorse at missing his own rally, but instead gloated about how other people were doing the things he’d been agitating about and posting a photo of himself ALONE, with a shit-eating grin and bragging about his sailing.

        He could have had the kid in the photo (sans face, if he’s so worried about “doxxing” himself again) and everyone would have said, “aw, isn’t that nice, what a good dad”. But no. He had to be all “hyuck hyuck, lookit MEEEE, losers! wheeeeee!”

        It was also really convenient that even though the air’s been terrible for weeks, he just happened to have to take the kid out on the very day both the event he’s been protesting for months, and the other event he was supposed to lead were going on. Instead of a wife who presumably has the capability of looking after the child most of the time when he’s at work, cons, his lawyer, etc. Did the kid need fresh air? Sure. Did Jon need to brag about sailing with no kid in sight? Nope. Did it work out really well for him that he didn’t have to show up at an event that both got bigfooted by a national group and was sure to become a yooge embarrassment? Yep.

        Believe me, Rick, I’ve had more to do with him than you, and I wasn’t being uncharitable. I *have* met him (not the wife — I think she looks after the kids while he’s at cons), and I know exactly why he isn’t much wanted on panels — and it’s nothing to do with his politics, his race, his talent, or his IQ. Seen it with my very own eyes.

        It’s great that you’re willing to be all Pollyanna, but that’s what chancers like him count on. Not all of us are big strong gainfully employed white men who can afford that. He’s infinitely more pleased at you defending him than you are with yourself about being kind.

        He has absolutely no idea of optics, or what’s actually good for him.

        Of course, I’m also not keen on anyone who has a chronically ill child wanting to end health coverage for other children in the same position, but that’s right-wingers for you. Like the Mnuchins, he’s got his and the rest of us can go suffer. Talk about uncharitable!


  7. @Lurkertype: He didn’t tweet that he was getting his kid out for some cleaner air.

    Um, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what he tweeted.

    The day of the File770 dinner, I saw a news item Mike Glyer posted that Del Arroz wasn’t going to make his own (alleged) protest because of a family emergency, thought ‘Huh?’ and checked Del Arroz’s twitter stream, where he said specifically that his son had breathing difficulties because of the smoke from Lake County, so (IIRC) he was taking his son somewhere to give him relief. I haven’t delved through vast amounts of Del Arroz’s tweets to reconfirm that, but that’s my strong recollection.

    I really don’t understand why it’s necessary and desirable to malign basically irrelevant aspects of the man’s personal affairs in which there’s no reason to accuse him of wrongdoing. Aren’t the well-established public deeds that can be well established and are actually offensive to others enough, not to mention a far stronger argument?

    (FYI, if you think I don’t know the back story, think again, and check the Friends of Baycon roster. And if you think I’m ‘defending’ Del Arroz, you’re smoking the funny stuff.)


    1. I stand corrected on that. I only saw one of the tweets, in which the child wasn’t mentioned, only the boat.

      He still has no sense of optics, as I witnessed in person at the last Baycon he was at (you’ve probably heard the story). Heck, he thought I was Susie for quite a while, not realizing us regular people can notice things at a con too. (And I’ve also had private dealings with him, of a very different character than yours; allow me my own lived experience)

      I’m kinda surprised that Tahoe had cleaner air than Monterey, but you never know with fires and winds. I presume he checked the particulate count, though.

      I’m angry on his child’s behalf that his father’s wasting a lot of time and money on a dumbass lawsuit. And livid about his MAGA-ness, which means he thinks other children with the same problems should die just b/c their parent can’t afford overpriced health insurance and boats at Tahoe. Am I allowed that, or do I get tone-policed some more?


      1. You’re of course perfectly welcome to be angry all you want. I’ll note in passing that anger is not an argument, let alone a compelling one.

        This notion of having said that a particular personal attack is unwarranted and mistaken constitutes denying you your lived experience is an intriguingly novel one. How does that work, exactly? Curious minds want to know.


      2. I get tone-policed, asked to explain/defend myself through revealing private information, told my anger is unseemly, and mansplained at enough from the right. I don’t need it from friends, thanks. I thought I made that pretty clear, particularly in the 5 PM comment, fifth paragraph.*

        I did admit to being incorrect about the Tweets; shall I abase myself further? No. You can have the last word, if it’s so important to you — and if it’s not, why are you attacking me and defending him?

        (Sorry, Cam.)

        *Two number fives! Of course!


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