Exposé: The “Whisper Network” Exists & Tries to Destroy Male Comic Pros

 

 

Many of the women promoting the “cancellation” of men in comics, and demanding they post the recent empty promise known as #ComicsPledge, are in fact hypocrites.  In this article, I’m going to present evidence of lies, collusion, rumor spreading, and, in my opinion, defamation and contract interference.

 

I personally know that they’ve colluded for YEARS to take down men. Specifically those with conservative politics and philosophies. This is an ongoing, coordinated effort. How do I know this?

 

Because I obtained access to their PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP.

 

This is Part 1 of the #Hypocralypse leaks

 

There is simply too much to put in one leak, so I will make the following three points for now.

 

1. The so-called Comic Book Whisper Network, which has been dismissed as conspiracy since 2016, is real, and I have hundreds of screenshots to prove it.

2. The Whisper Network has been targeting men and trying to destroy their careers, and use their connections in the comic book media to do so.

3. Whisper Network members have acted unprofessionally and unethically at best. At worst, they have engaged in what I believe could be illegal behavior.

 

MY STORY

I first heard about the Whisper Network back in mid-2016 from folks I knew at Image, DC, Marvel, and later, Valiant.  Depending on who I chatted with, sometimes the group was called ‘The Women’s Network’, other times ‘The Whisper Network’, occasionally ‘The Whisper Campaign’, and eventually there were more conspiratorial names used mockingly (a friend called them a gender-swapped 4Chan, which became ‘FemChan’ to some insiders).

 

Regardless of the name, it was all the same group.

 

The same five or six names kept popping up in conversation over and again. As time ticked on, I noticed a trend on Social Media: half a decade of rumors, false allegations, cancellation attempts , and they almost always traced back to these same five or six people.  The goal of this Whisper Network, according to industry folks, was simple: choose a target, smear them until they lose their reputation, their income, and are ultimately blacklisted – opening up job opportunities for the same people who started these smear campaigns in the first place.

 

 

Behind the scenes these “cancellations” are painted as morally or politically motivated, but in the end it’s all financial. As time passed, the group in question seemed more and more like a reality. I saw their influence. I saw things I knew to be verifiably untrue go viral online, appearing in what I thought were legit news sources. I felt angry and helpless seeing innocent people getting attacked, but did not know what to do. 

 

A few years passed and by 2018 almost everyone I interacted with in the industry seemed to know about the Network, from top level editors right down to the letterers. It was an open secret, but no one was willing to speak up for fear of being targeted themselves. They knew the consequences.

 

 

And after all, this was a secret network. Without proof, there was no point in going public because members would just deny its existence, and use their media connections to smear anyone who challenged them.

 

THEN THINGS GOT INTERESTING

 
December 16, 2018, Whisper Network member Gail Simone, who joined the Network 6 years ago (4 years before the following tweet was posted), mocks “doofuses” who speculate that a “whisper campaign” exists.
 
 
 
Here is another Tweet, where Gail makes a list of fake things the Whisper Campaign is discussing in an attempt to laugh away the notion.
 
 
 

At this point in late 2018, I was still skeptical of the Whisper Network’s existence. I’d heard many stories of individuals spreading rumors and lies, and plenty of malicious behavior was going on behind closed doors. Though I wasn’t ready to believe it was a coordinated effort, or collusion was involved.  Then, certain people began openly mentioning the Whisper Network and my attitude changed.

 

March 26, 2019, Heather Antos, a member herself, did not outright mention the Whisper Network or her involvement, but she made what some took as a veiled threat to those who got on her bad side.
 
 
 
Heather “milkshake girl” Antos’ colorful backstory at Marvel, and later at Valiant, is notorious in the comic industry. A conversation about office rumor-spreading and bullying is never complete without someone bringing up a juicy Antos anecdote. Everyone has one.
 
 
Up until then, I still hadn’t seen ACTUAL PROOF of a larger scheme. But then, something changed in 2020.
 
 
January 8, 2020, Alex de Campi, who I would discover is one of the most active Whisper Network members, openly admits there is a Network. I have no idea if this was a slip or a brazen attempt to show off her power and influence, but this appeared.
 
 
 
Then on June 16th, 2020. Another key member of the same group, Stephanie Cooke (someone whom de Campi often praises, converses with, and trades Retweets with) makes mention of the same group, again, without naming it directly.
 
 
Cooke references, “driving shitty people out of the industry”, which is what the Facebook group had been working on in private for years. This was the most direct admission of the group’s mission statement I had ever seen in public.
 
 
I expect it will be deleted shortly.
 
 
 

 

Eventually, everything I had heard and read was confirmed beyond any shadow of a doubt after I gained access to their private Facebook group.

 

I WAS INSIDE THE WHISPER NETWORK!

 

This is the place where the Whispher Network has been colluding for years. And although their activity is not confined to just this site, from what I can tell, this was where they first met, and started their coordinated campaigns.

 

 

Members of the Secret Group called “Comic Book Women”

 

At present time, there are 440+ members of the secret Facebook group, called COMIC BOOK WOMEN. From what I can tell, a few are regular users, though many of them have never posted.

 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/comicbookwomen/ 
*unless you are a member, this will not show up in a search

 

Secret Facebook groups offer the same level of privacy as closed groups, but operate under a cloak of invisibility. No one can search for secret groups or even request to join them. The only way to get in one is to know someone who can invite you. Everything shared in a secret group is visible only to its members.

 

 
 
 
This secret group includes a list of members whose actions and connections speak for themselves. Members such as:

  • Zoe Quinn
  • Gail Simone
  • Alex de Campi
  • Heather Antos (aka Heather Marie)
  • Mags Visaggio (aka Magdalene Francis)
  • Mairghread Scott
And several key members of the group are women who work in the comics media and can be used to run damage control, including women like Heidi MacDonald of Comics Beat.  They have contacts outside of the secret network as well, with some male allies in both comics and the media.
 
 
Just the fact that all of these folks were secretly linked in a private network came as a shock to me, considering their reputations and the accusations that they’ve made. Immediately I began to connect the dots…
 
 
 
 
They’ve denied for YEARS that they coordinate their actions in private. And yet they always coincidentally appear on Twitter, retweeting and amplifying each other’s accusations, signal boosting one another, and helping them gain traction. And their allies in media – Bleeding Cool and CBR specifically – will turn those same tweets into stories almost instantly & with no fact-checking or verification, sometimes within the hour.
 
 
I’m going to start explaining who the key actors are, and, from my perspective, how they coordinate these attacks.
 

 

KEY ACTORS

There are too many people to focus on at once, so I will have to break this into several posts, but I will start with one of the clear group leaders IMO.

 

Alex de Campi is well connected, despite never being part of the Big Two (since, from what I’ve been told management is well aware of her bullying, harassment, rumor-spreading and unethical behavior that goes back years, and depending on who you talk to she’s almost as notorious as Antos or Tess Fowler).  She just wrapped up a graphic novel campaign on Kickstarter with David Bowie’s son, the Hollywood film director Duncan Jones. It grossed over $366K

 

All the while she makes baseless accusations while demanding transparency from everyone else.

 

 

 

Now, I’ll take you into their private network.

Two years ago, on May 13, 2018, De Campi launched a private campaign to target an independent creator, claiming she was using her connections to have Simon & Schuster cancel their book.

 

 

In addition to contacting the publisher, others in the Whisper Network coordinated their efforts to contact media outlets to have the narrative changed, according to the posts in this thread.  Again, in my opinion, this could end up as a defamation or tortious interference case, and has many implications regarding media bias as well.

 

The following month, on June 23, 2018, de Campi posted private text messages between herself and writer Max Bemis in what appeared to be an attempt to damage his career. Despite Bemis being mentally ill (diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2014), de Campi still posted the private messages with malicious intent IMO. According to US and UK law this is an actionable offense: posting private texts without both parties consenting.

 

 

 

 

Two months later, on August 26, 2018, de Campi singled out Cullen Bunn for a private bullying campaign, all in an attempt to damage his career, IMO.

 

This was an attempt to loosely link Bunn to ComicsGate, even in the flimsiest way, hoping it would prevent him from earning income if the rumors spread far enough. Publicly and privately this is one of the Whisper Network’s primary tactics.

 

 

Notice which names keep popping up?
 
 
Then, most recently on April 17, 2020 de Campi began spreading unverified rumors that Dynamite Comics was not paying their contractors.  This was malicious in my opinion, and was only designed to hurt the reputation of the company.
 
 
She provided no evidence of her claims, to my knowledge.
 
 
 
 
 
But lately de Campi hasn’t even been hiding her accusations and malicious behavior. It’s just that no one is calling her out on it.
 
 
Got a receipt for that, Mags?
 
 
On June 25, 2020 De Campi publicly accused DC Comics writer Scott Snyder of lying when he pledged not to abuse, harass, or groom women. Again, de Campi offered no proof of Snyder committing any sex crimes, or that he was planning to commit a crime in the future. Here is the link to Bleeding Cool publishing her claim that she doesn’t believe Scott would ‘say no’ to abusing, grooming, and harassing women.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

De Campi is the Zoë Quinn of Comic Book Media

 

From what I’ve seen and heard, De Campi has deep, personal relationships with certain members of the comic book media, which I believe is why she feels emboldened to do and say anything she wants with no fear of consequences. And from my perspective, de Campi mirrors her Whisper Network comrade Zoe Quinn in many ways, whose deep, personal relationships with the gaming media are well documented too.
 
 
The glowing praise about de Campi from certain outlets paints a picture. Take the following excerpts (more like hagiographies) for example, which are from Rich Johnston at Bleeding CooI:
 
 
 
 
 
And lately, her online bullying and harassment has gotten even more brazen. Most recently, on June 25, 2020 de Campi all but told her Twitter followers to ‘DM’ her if they wanted to hear rumors about the ‘jerks’ whose careers she’d like to damage. This sort of open and casual comment on destroying people’s livelihoods has still gone unchecked.
 
 
 
 
 
Malicious tweets like this regularly go unchecked because de Campi knows her vast media contacts – allies to the Whisper Network – won’t hold her accountable. And while others have their careers destroyed, she remains untouched, and never faces any scrutiny or is asked to even back up any of her claims.
 
 
The theory goes something like this: anyone in the comic book media is already in the Whisper Network’s pocket or is simply too cowardly to speak up. Anyone outside of the comic book media won’t pay attention to this disgusting behavior because the comic industry is simply too small to make a national story out of. But make no mistake, if Jim Lee or Joe Quesada publicly made a statement like this, every media outlet on the globe would be reporting it within an hour, and those men would be expected to resign. They don’t have the privileges that the Whisper Network provides. 
 

 

Things to Watch for When This Story Goes Public

 
 
Who defends Alex de Campi, and the rest of the Whisper Network’s behavior??
 
Her most vocal supporters will very likely be Whisper Network allies, or in the Network itself.
Which comic book media outlets will totally IGNORE this story??
 
If this were someone outside the Whisper Network, it would generate weeks of news. But for de Campi, most comic book news outlets will undoubtedly protect her. 
And finally who at Marvel, DC and other companies will take action??
 
A wider HR effort is needed to stop bullying, harassment, rumor-spreading, lying and other forms of sabotaging the careers of fellow creators – especially in cases where there is no evidence, and social media is clearly being weaponized by members of this Whisper Network.
 
If anything comes from this series of articles, I hope a level of professionalism returns to the comics and media industry, and that folks are held accountable for malicious behavior designed to destroy peers and advance their own careers.
 

Final Words

Now that they’ve been exposed, what narrative will the Whisper Network & their allies in the media run with?
 
 
‘We only target Right wing extremists’, or, ‘We only target sexual predators’ is their logical defense.
 
 
In my opinion these will be the lines they’ll use to justify their lies, bullying, and collusion – but this is simply untrue. It may have been slightly more true in 2016 when the targets were almost exclusively on the ‘Right’, though I would argue few were ‘extreme’. But in 2020, the Whisper Network is regularly targeting Liberals. And why not? Since every conservative creator has been effectively soft-blacklisted from the industry thanks to their ongoing efforts. There is effectively no right leaning creator left remaining in the industry to attack.
 
 
This is not over. I have a lot more evidence, and it continues to pour in from various sources. As you can see… there are still many more files to be opened.
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the meantime, if you will please share this article, and use this hashtag: #Hypocralypse
 
 
Help us spread the word. Share stories and start conversations. Keep your eyes on certain Twitter feeds. And let other folks know how you feel about the Whisper Network in comics. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we need a lot more light shining on this problem if we are ever going to get it solved.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
– Penny
Penny Parker

Penny Parker

Insert pretentious crap about myself here. Nerdfighter. Determined dreamer. Has ambitions to be crazy cat lady if marrying various celebrity crushes proves impossible. And yet after all this time, I’ve finally learned I don’t know anything, but I have also learned that people will pay for what I do know. Life is good.

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON