“based on outrage, not actual products”

I know many regular readers of this blog will not be sad to learn that Jon Del Arroz has deleted his Twitter account. I shan’t rehash Jon’s various actions over the past few years but these links are relevant:



The latest twist in the Ballad of Del Arroz is comicsgategatecomicsgate related. According to JDA himself, Ethan Van Sciver (arguably driving force behind the online harassment campaign known as ‘comicsgate’) had told him to go away:

“Ethan finally came out and said he didn’t like me over the weekend, told me to “go away”, as if I didn’t have any part of this movement before he even showed up. The hubris in that statement and resentment shows that he blames me for his crumbling empire, even though I have little to do with him (I’ve not been around his youtube crew at all for 2 months now!). Last night, he escalated attacks by coming after someone for following me on Twitter, accusing him of being a “Jon del Arroz acolyte” and promptly blocking him.” http://delarroz.com/2018/11/13/two-face-finally-came-for-me/

JDA himself has been variously harassed and counter harassed since the conflict between Vox Day and EVS over the ‘comicsgate’ label erupted in September. Surprisingly, when a movement based on trolling, name calling and harassments falls out with itself the result is not an amicable break-up and everybody agreeing to let bygones be bygones.

JDA also has a more recent blogpost on why comicsgate failed: http://delarroz.com/2018/11/16/a-failed-movement-in-three-acts/

It’s worth a read because it provides some insights into how a participant in one of these campaigns percieves the arc it follows. Jon identifies three phases to comicsgate:

  1. Identify The Problem and Raise Awareness
  2. Alt-Hero ushers in a revolution of crowdfunds
  3. A movement falls to contraction and fighting

It is phase one that Jon identifies as the ‘fun’ part. Of course, that was the part where the comicsgaters were primarily harassing actual writers and artists. The ‘unity’ was unity in spreading hatred and inciting harassment. The second phase was when people tried to make money out of the suckers, um ‘activists’. The third phase was when the infighting started for multiple reasons but JDA ignores the most obvious one: campaigns like comicsgate reward obnoxious behaviour and hence any internal dispute is likely to escalate.

And Jon almost, almost, almost gets it:

“The whole premise was based on outrage, not actual products, and so these guys have to perpetually stoke outrage…”

Yes, yes we know. That’s what people were pointing out from wayyyy before ‘comicsgate’ started. That’s why we’ve been using the term ‘outrage marketing’


78 thoughts on ““based on outrage, not actual products”

  1. I’m sure I’ve still got that tiny violin around here somewhere…

    I’m amused that Jon correctly identifies that people don’t like not getting what they paid for, but doesn’t follow that to the logical conclusion that it was hucksters all the way down.
    (To be fair, he does actually push his own work out at a fair speed, so maybe he’s got a blind spot about how many others are just taking the money and running)


      1. I’ve made more than 6 figures in writing in 2 years in the business. I’d say that’s “respectable” by any measure. Best part is 2019 is going to shape up to be even bigger. You can’t stop the signal. Though if y’all just quit with the tribal politics we could all have fun and enjoy sci-fi together. One day!


      2. Never had any problem with you writing books and people paying you for them Jon.

        But look at the long list of people you’ve had falling outs with now – many of whom being people who gave your works favourable coverage or who had work with you etc. The list is a mix of lefties, righties and people in the middle now.


      3. Congratulations, Jon! Hopefully this will inspire you to leave your career in identity politics, stop harassing fellow fans, and rehabilitate your image to the point where people aren’t too disgusted hearing your name to attempt to read your books. I honestly wish you the best and hope you can live up to that.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Not really had “falling outs” with many if any people on the right. I was never really friends with Van Sciver. Only had a very small handful of actual interactions with him (which is why I find his harping on me as bigger fish to littler fish weird). I gave him favorable coverage in the Federalist. Wish I hadn’t. C’est la vie.


  2. Tangentially – I’ve been unable to keep up with File 770 or any other SFF new source lately (mostly due to my obsessing over current events), but I’ve been wondering – has there been any news about the JDA lawsuit against Worldcon? I haven’t been able to find anything – I suspect he’s dropped it now that attention is diverted elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Smoking dope” and “’83,” actually. (Rewatched it last night, so it’s fresh on the brain.)


  3. Poor diddums can dish it out but not take it. Sad! Hurt fee-fees are so omega.

    @Kathodus: the lawsuit thingy doesn’t come before a judge till next month, unless he wises up and drops it before then (Obviously his crappy lawyer isn’t going to advise him to, b/c traveling and showing up in court means big bucks for the lawyer).


  4. EVS is therefore the alpha of Comicsgate^(gate)^gate. He tells people to go away and they do. Even people who aren’t SJW girls.

    (Plus, y’know, having some actual talent/experience in the field.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt mildly uneasy this afternoon browsing Amazon.

      It’s not bad enough we’re scared of angel statues, now everyone’s going to be scared of (spoiler climax thingy).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, given how many chances he seizes to tell everyone that he’s smart, it does seem pretty important to VD that people KNOW he’s smart, because –

        [i]You can always, Always, ALWAYS count on a Gamma to completely miss the point in search of a way to publicly demonstrate that he is a Smart Boy[/i]


        okay then.

        (it never fails, every single time he’s pointing and yelling “gamma” at someone, the characteristics he’s complaining about are always more applicable to his own self. I think it’s honest self-delusion, but I couldn’t swear to it)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure using a photo of Peterson on the cover violates his publicity rights. You can usually find photos of public figures on stock sites, but they are clearly marked as “editorial use only”.

      Anyway, this promises to be popcorn worthy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard not to get the idea that what keeps Ted and Jon together as allies is a certain subconscious awareness that they are probably some of the only people in the Puppysphere with an iota of self-awareness, even if in both cases it is buried beneath tons and tons projection and denial.


      1. I vacillate daily between “He knows what he’s spouting is bullshit, but he mistakenly believes he is being clever” and “No, he really is that stupid.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the answers, y’all. I just realized I didn’t tick the checkbox. Doing so now. Also, OMG hurrah on that new VD scam^H^H^H^H^H book. Checking it out now!


    1. Huh. I thought ranting about Satan attacking him and his kind was Brian’s schtick and maybe JCW’s? That’s WAY copycatting! Totally Scrappy Doo.

      I guess it was Satan who made him try (and fail) to pick up women when he was at cons alone, too.

      I do hope his son is okay in the terrible air. And everyone else’s kid, too. It looks like dystopia; the side by side comparisons with “Blade Runner 2048” are scary.


      1. I’ve never tried to pick up a woman at a convention even when I was single and in my 20s, nor have I ever heard that rumor until now. Not interested! Thank you for the thoughts of my kid’s health though — I did get him out of here for the week.


      2. I can’t imagine how bad the air quality must be currently. I live in a place with high fire danger myself (although Aussie bushfires work a bit differently than Californian ones I’m told)


      3. Glad you got your kid out of here. I don’t know how bad it’s been in your area, but here in Oakland, it’s been horrible. I can’t imagine how anyone with sensitive lungs was handling it. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home, but just walking a few blocks made me feel like I had sand in my throat.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thanks Kathodus. I’m over in Danville — and it’s been downright horrible so I feel your pain. Come say hi at the next con before they kick me out for sitting at a bar with friends not bothering anyone 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m not going to pretend that you haven’t been a major troll and alt-right harasser – and please let’s not even go there, conversation-wise – but if you stop your trollery and alliances with alt-right/neo-fascist groups, I’d be happy to meet with you for drinks at some point.

        Liked by 3 people

      6. “you are evil incarnate — but let’s not go there”

        See, this is how you guys start conversations and when I get mad and hit back y’all then flip out and then label me, it’s an endless cycle. But I have nothing to do with said groups unless you’re gonna hyperbolize about standard Republicans like everyone else does (which is the problem with our little community that I’ve done a great job at pointing out). But I’ll take you up on that. I’m very friendly and don’t discriminate! I assume my email’s easy enough to find or facebook messenger.


      7. Vox Day isn’t a standard Republican. He praises terrorists who want to murder people like me and the other people who comment here. I know you know that because people have pointed it out to you lots of times.

        He wants my children dead.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. I dunno about that because I think he finds you amusing, Cam, though we don’t typically talk about you and we’ve never talked about your children. But I am certainly just your very ordinary run of the mill R just trying to make my way through this overwhelmingly extremist publishing industry.


      9. If someone wants all Sneetches dead, and my family are Sneetches, then he wants my family dead, even if he didn’t say “all Sneetches, and especially Vicki’s star-bellied cousin.”

        Liked by 3 people

      10. So ALL the women who told me you hit on them clumsily were lying.
        Typical right-wing denial.
        (probably because you failed every single time, so it doesn’t count, right?)

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Jon, your buddy Ted has praised a terrorist and believes that horrific attacks on women who want an education are at all justifiable. He’s written horrendous racist screeds about other authors and constantly makes false allegations against people he hates. Look to the extremism you’re cosying up to before you go around spouting bollocks about anyone else, especially when the sum of their “extremism” is publishing a handful of women and minority authors – which they would actually stop doing if it wasn’t making them any money..

        Liked by 3 people

    2. That was my thought as well. “Huh, ranting about Satan and demons is Brian Niemeier’s thing.”
      As for the wildfire, the devil did it is a slightly more credible explanation than Trump’s “If only they’d raked the forests”. But then Trump is a city boy who probably thinks Central Park is wilderness.
      I also hope JDA’s kid and everybody else in range of the California wildfires is okay. We had a fairly minor (by comparison) bog fire this summer/fall and the smoke was notably even more than 100 kilometres away.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The smoke has made it all the way to NYC, 2500-3000 miles, across the entire continent. About the same as Lisbon to Moscow. A big swath of the country is in range of it, though it’s not dangerous so far away.

        Supposed to rain tomorrow, which will cause mudslides and the ash to become solidified like rocks, but at least it will clean the air. The northern fire won’t be contained for another 10 days.

        I liked all the tweets of Finns standing next to trees with rakes, and their prime minister’s ever so diplomatic comment that boiled down to WTF?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The reaction over here was mostly “He can’t really be that stupid, can he?” But then, Germans are very fond of forests and hiking. They’re also fond of raking their gardens, but they clearly know the difference between the two.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Larry Correia was just trolling for Hugos, not really running a money grift. He took in Beale for the outrage marketing of his campaign and to get Gamergater voters Beale promised to deliver. When Beale took over, they weren’t really prepared; he co-opted their brand for his Rabid Puppies and led them around by the nose. By the time they tried to push him off the vanguard with the media and such, they couldn’t.

    But in Comicsgate, several people are running a high money grift off of it and had been before Beale really got involved. They were fine with Beale doing that too, but when he tried to co-opt the whole brand and hurt their grifts, they weren’t about to let him do that. JDA came late to the party on the Puppies and happily joined up with Beale, so when the fight of the brand occurred, he was caught in the middle. He was seen as Beale’s lackey trying to divert money and bounced.

    Deleting his Twitter account would seem to be unwise, but it is possible he’s been advised by his lawyer in his WorldCon lawsuit to do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kat Goodwin: Deleting his Twitter account would seem to be unwise, but it is possible he’s been advised by his lawyer in his WorldCon lawsuit to do that.

      Oh, I’m absolutely sure that’s why his Twitter account has temporarily disappeared. But both he and his attorney are morons, if they don’t think that W76 had volunteers screenshotting every one of his abusive tweets. I honestly don’t see the case getting past discovery, during which so much evidence will be produced of his abuse that the judge will likely tell him his best option is withdraw and cover the other side’s legal fees.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. If he or his lawyer had an f’ing clue, he would have deleted his account the minute he filed suit. And yet here we are.

      I read his lawyer’s Yelp reviews. So many about his bad service, and how he seemed to be in cahoots with the other side sometimes. Conversely, WC76’s law firm is supposed to be outstanding, according to what I hear from legal-type sources.

      Jonny’s lawdude doesn’t specialize in this kind of thing, and he’ll be out of town, with no one he knows to collude (that word again!) with.

      Might be decided faster than the whole “Cocky” ebook debacle.

      @KatG: It always comes down to the money grift with them, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It depends on the person. The grifts done by some work because many invest their cultural identity in the dominance hierarchy of the society. When that hierarchy is more often successfully challenged and eroded by the marginalized towards equality and less discrimination than in the past, they feel like they are losing their identity and status and fear that the marginalized will then dominate them without the hierarchy to keep most of the marginalized in lower places as inferior morally, naturally, cognitively, etc. The change towards equality challenges their sense of self and society as fair, just, superior, etc., because it shoves out the myths of the hierarchy, and so those who challenge the social hierarchy they count on are labelled dictatorial, extremist, faking discrimination, scheming, violent, and without merit. Grifters then say, side with us and we will preserve the fair, just, superior society (hierarchy) against the marginalized threats that are taking over, etc.

        Comicsgate as a “movement” is baldly this diatribe. That over the decades comics have become less discriminatory and reflect diversity a bit more rather than sticking mainly to a giant SWM quota box is seen as a threat — pushing politics that less discrimination and a more realistic range of humanity in comics stories instead of the traditional social hierarchy is a good thing and more interesting for the global comics audiences. If the dominance hierarchy and its discrimination goes, then they think they are/have been pushed out. The grift is a promise of a safe refuge from this supposed tyrannical scourge of less forced lack of diversity — outrage marketing of ideologically correct, hierarchy supportive product that is claimed will prevail to re-establish the dominance hierarchy (which hasn’t actually been all that collapsed.)

        But Beale tried to grab too big a chunk by trying to take fuller possession of the Comicsgate name and claiming minions with it which were not his minions. He stepped on EVS’ operation, so all of a sudden Beale’s open support for the social dominance hierarchy as an actual dominance hierarchy was labeled as a problem and not part of the brand. So people invested in this cultural identity had to decide who represented it better and EVS has bigger comics credentials/rep and has been doing Comicsgate longer. JDA was collateral damage. No one actually leads Comicsgate as it isn’t an organization. It’s just the latest in a series of protests that cultural entertainment is not staying discriminatory enough. But they still jockey for being the standard bearer of it to get people to support them and pay for their products. Beale can still grift within Comicsgate but he couldn’t steal the whole standard banner and make the name his own in this case.

        If Beale had been able to co-opt the Comicsgate name, it would have given him another chunk to advance his position/identity as a far right player and get media attention for it. And he might try it again. But the Comicsgate stuff is already winding down, so who knows. A lot of them are moving away from it and trying to find other channels, including somewhat EVS. But he clearly expressed that he thought Beale was challenging him and his status. And the circumstances were rather different than the sleepy world of one SFF book award.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. If anyone’s interested Mark Waid is running a go fund me to cover his legal expenses in getting sued by the Comicsgaters.


  8. I’ve think we should remind ourselves (and I fully include myself in this) that although it’s amusing to analyse Jon and then watch him try to spin his way out of things, he isn’t *just* an amusing buffoon, he’s someone who has bullied, harassed and upset real people.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. In fire news, it’s finally rained in Northern California, and the air is down to acceptable levels everywhere and all the way back to good in some places. Still crappy nearer the fire, though.

    Cam: I see it has also come to Oz. Your turn to look like Blade Runner 2049. There were lots of side by side photos of the Bay Area last week comparing them. No sight of Mr. La La Land or H. Ford to make up for it, alas.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to hear. Of course you’ve lots of summer to go, and our big fire didn’t start till 6 weeks after autumn equinox, sooo…

        It still smells like smoke out there, just wet smoke. Like right when you put out the campfire. It’s breathable.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s raining again, which is kind of a drag for going home in on Thanksgiving night, but as one of the things we’re thankful for this year is rain, not much complaint.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, BTW and for the record: Jon wasn’t ever banned from the strictly local cons.

    He had a tantrum about not being guaranteed an automatic programming slot at Baycon, and pretended he’d been banned. In fact, he was just as able as anyone to pay the membership fee, turn up, and network/sell all he wanted. Like many other authors do each year. He preferred to lie about what happened and be abusive instead. His choice all around.

    Just over a year ago, Con-volution was held very close to his house (literally the next town over), and since he hadn’t managed to attack and insult that concom, he could have shown up there too. It was a swell con, BTW, lots of networking, lots of laughs.

    But since he believes he’s too important for that, he just went ahead and burned all his bridges through “outrage, not actual products”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not banned because I’ve never caused any trouble at a con. Worldcon knew this but because they’re a bigger stage they had to make a sabre rattling against me because of my outspoken conservativism.

      As far as Baycon, I was removed from programming because of my outspoken Trump support, a very similar thing but yes different than banning.

      As far as Con-volution I wasn’t able to make it that weekend because of kids’ sporting events but it’s usually one I’ve attended prior to that. I attended the even smaller FogCon this year which is also very local to me — they sicced security on me when I was talking at the bar with fellow authors and friends even though I wasn’t bothering anyone and had them cordon me off for the entire evening. Next year I’m going to plop at the bar and refuse to move as it is my civil right to be at a restaurant/hotel bar without being harassed.

      Making up my “motivations” just makes you look silly, Lurkertype. Try not to do that.


      1. JDA: I’m not banned because I’ve never caused any trouble at a con. Worldcon knew this but because they’re a bigger stage they had to make a sabre rattling against me because of my outspoken conservativism.

        Yes, that’s the big strawman argument you’ve been making for months. No one is buying it.

        No one ever said you were banned from Worldcon because you had caused problems at a convention. You made that up.

        You weren’t banned because of your conservatism, either. There were a number of conservatives at Worldcon, and their presence was perfectly fine. This is an excuse you’ve invented.

        You were never banned from Baycon. You were never “removed from programming” — because you weren’t on programming to begin with. This is another invention of yours.

        You were banned from Worldcon because you had repeatedly harassed and abused many writers, reviewers, and fans who were planning to attend Worldcon, and because you had promised to “look them up” at the con and harass them some more (yes, unwelcome conversation, lunch invitations, and “drive-bys” are further harassment and abuse, as is forcing your way uninvited into the SFWA suite).

        You’ve used these things as fuel for your outrage marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Gab, and your blog, and no doubt you’ve had some small success at it, because there are always morons willing to throw a few bucks at someone who caters to their smallmindedness.

        Until you acknowledge your repeated harassing and abusive behavior, make public apologies to those you’ve harmed, and promise to cease from any further harassment and abuse — and then actually cease doing it, no one needs to invent any motivations for you. You’ve made your motivations quite clear.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. One little quote tells us most of what we need to know about Jon’s real relationship to the sff community:

        “Commence Operation: Troll The Shit Out Of SJW Sci-Fi Authors On Twitter. If you want to participate, ping me. I’ll start a chat.”


      1. Jon knows that he’s lying, and he knows that we know it. What he’s actually doing is continually stirring the pot so he can keep that outrage factory running and make more grift off of it.


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