It’s a pretty telling train of wrecks constantly coming out of the “other side” of what has come to be known as #ComicsGate. What other proof is needed when Peter Simetit, publisher of Alterna Comics, one of the most respected, humble, appreciative and kind – fan oriented creator and innovator – comes under a social media assault.
Comic fans are some of the greatest fans in the world.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a fandom with more passion, dedication, diversity, ingenuity, and imagination.
I’m a creator and publisher but I’ll always be a fan first; grateful to be a part of this industry and community.
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) June 24, 2018
Peter Simeti‘s crime? He had the absolute audacity to go on Twitter to give “thanks” to his many, many followers no matter who they may be, for supporting his art, his business, his employees and contributors.
It’s unreal. Comics are apparently for “everyone” as long as “everyone” is first approved of and vetted. I’m getting crucified for saying “thank you” to readers but I shouldn’t be upset by that… no no, it’s just my life’s work and character that’s being assassinated is all. https://t.co/4EQAnWSIOq
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) August 27, 2018
Peter has never endorsed, aligned himself with, or encouraged any form of hatred or harassment. But I’ve seen him getting a lot of it today for no valid reason whatsoever. Which seems like a big heaping bowl of hypocrisy.
— Leanore (@LostLeanore) August 27, 2018
The medium of comics is in a terrible nose dive presently, due to a very complex variety of reasons. Currently, the “death blow” seems to be coming from a socially abusive, destructive and very angry and bitter segment of the population. These people are moral authoritarians. They want to control what you say, how you feel, who you associate yourself with – all of it. No matter who it is that tries to be inclusive, non-partisan and fair, they become a terrific target for these subversives and anti social tyrants. It has become predictable, sad and quite repetitive.
WOW… I’m beyond shocked right now that Brett Booth blocked me. I was a BIG fan of his work and welcomed the conversation and any insight he had to offer to me about the piracy situation in comics.
And he went and blocked me.
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) June 30, 2018
A very sad day indeed when someone who is trying so desperately and unflinchingly, to keep the medium alive by literally going back to a style of print media that made comics so affordable and accessible to so many millions of folks in the first place – is hobbled and hacked down.
Comic books will never die, but if the bad trends keep going, shops will suffer greatly. We can’t afford to keep losing dozens of shops a year. Something needs to be done at the publisher and distribution level that benefits these shops. They’re bearing too much of the burden. https://t.co/1WagTx2AlX
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) January 6, 2018
It would seem like such a terrible risk at first glance, but we are seeing a resurgence of the heart and soul of comics that lies directly on the path it originally wore down in the old wilderness of publishing. Fans everywhere are supporting this venture with incredible enthusiasm and support.
The bile being poured out on Twitter is growing worse by the day. I don’t have the patience to read all the garbage being tossed around, but I’ve followed you long enough to know you’ve been a solid champion for comics, creators, and fans. I don’t see any evidence to the contrary
— Kody Chamberlain (@KodyChamberlain) August 28, 2018
It should be seen by everyone else to be a very good thing that Peter isn’t being affected by these attacks as those responsible would have liked.
He isn’t associated with any hastags that aren’t related to #BringingNewsprintBack or Positivity. So to imply otherwise is narrative manipulation at it’s finest being used to justify fucking harassment. The hypocrisy is fucking REAL with this one…
— 🌟Goddess Julia🌟 (@KaliAradia) August 27, 2018
In fact, the exact opposite is true. The more these bigotards attack and attempt to humiliate, shame and de-platform good people like Peter, the more the normies among us and other folks who normally wouldn’t deign to get involved find the courage to do so and find a voice. What is that voice saying?
We see you for exactly what you are.
When will these people understand that just because they’ve somehow managed to coerce and manipulate the mainstream, they do not represent, nor are they reflective of the mainstream in any other way than fringy, cringy and triggly extremists?
you're aware that i'm half-chinese right? don't talk to me like i have no idea about racism or bigotry. you have no idea about what i've been through in my life. i have never been silent. i'm preaching PEACE and all that i'm seeing in return from folks like you, is WAR.
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) August 30, 2018
What will it take for them to see that the tide is indeed turning and that they have upset so many people in so many ways; that they are in danger of being swallowed by their own wave?
I can’t understand why people are offended by someone being nice to fans and customers.
— Max West (@maxwestart) August 28, 2018
If you were ever in any doubt as to where the truth lies in the matter of “Comics-Gate” then look no further to the thousands upon thousands of tweets that Peter Simeti answers personally. It would appear that he answers every single one, astounding as that may sound. Take this grace combined with the effort and time that such responses require. The only things you will find in his feed is his immense gratitude and his genuine expressions of humble thanks throughout. It is really something to see and something for all of us to follow by example.
Over one thousand comics ordered since yesterday from readers and retailers alike…!
This pic isn’t even showing a tenth of it. I am going to need a few days to pack and ship them all. 😵
Thank you for once again proving that Alterna readers are the BEST readers in comics. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/gsPUGnV8Ad
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) August 28, 2018
Compare such wonderful customer appreciation and respect with the vitriol, virtue signalling demands and “horror” at the fact that Peter doesn’t care a single iota what your politics or views on anything are….He just wants to put books in your hands and hopes that you will think differently about them and that you would support them if you are able. Above all he simply wants you to enjoy them for just what they are and not what you think they should be. That’s a great role model in times like these. So to Peter himself…
Keep it up Peter, thousands and thousands of us out here are behind you. You are a legend to many of us already and with an attitude and the personal ethics you show to everyone you meet, you’ll soon be legendary to everyone, everywhere – as it should be.
Since this article was written, Peter’s company, Alterna Comics publicized their social media policy that all freelancers and contractors that work for Alterna Comics are expected to adhere to.
To reiterate and isolate a part of our policy: we acknowledge that unpleasant experiences through social media, sadly do occur, and creators *can* block/mute individuals if they have had those unwanted and poor experiences with them.
— Newsprint is BACK at Alterna Comics! (@ALTERNACOMICS) August 30, 2018
As you probably suspect, the outrage addicts were wildly upset and threatened to boycott.
Alterna’s new policies are a load of steaming horseshit. Everyone is entitled to curate their social media and promote themselves as they see fit, especially with how volatile things are right now.
DO NOT work for a publisher that puts sales ahead of your comfort and well-being.
— Eoin Marron (@eoinmarron) August 30, 2018
Alterna’s issued social media policy
Never worked w Alterna before, but I have been targeted by comics gate trolls, and block chaining D&C was the only thing that stopped me waking up to HUNDREDS of abusive messages daily. They’re basically requiring their creators to endure this pic.twitter.com/CNa8WfyjF0
— Tamra Bonvillain (@TBonvillain) August 31, 2018
I will be chainblocking everyone who follows @ALTERNACOMICS and then blocking Alterna Comics, so careful friends who do follow them, you have been warned 👍🏾
— Taneka Stotts [𝓉𝓸𝓶𝓫𝓪𝒆] @ XOXO then SPX I1A (@TanekaStotts) August 30, 2018
Oh, in case there is any doubt that Peter Simeti –the guy who runs Alterna Comics– is a supporter of Comicgate, here’s his non-answer when asked for his thoughts on the actions of EVS, Meyer, etc. pic.twitter.com/Vx287ls0WK
— John Cullen (@nellucnhoj) August 30, 2018
— Jennifer de Guzman Strikes Again (@Jennifer_deG) August 27, 2018
ALTERNA COMICS has been my publisher since I began over ten years ago. I thank Peter Simeti for what he has done but it’s time for us to part ways. I thank everyone who read my graphic novels and hope you’ll stay tuned.
— Jeremy Massie makes comics (@jeremy_massie) September 1, 2018
In spite of this toxic response from those in the #ComicsHATE movement, real fans of Alterna and regular comic book fans (normies) were quite supportive.
Very professional of you, as always, Peter. There is so much the likes of DC and Marvel could learn from you guys. I hope Alterna goes from strength to strength.
— DAJB (@DavidAJBerner) August 31, 2018
Alright folks, with all the bull that @petersimeti is receiving I say we do our best to make his day tomorrow, so let’s sell out every retailer that carries Alterna Comics over the weekend. Lets order every book in stock, as I’m bummed out by this bs. So he must be mortified.
— Bob Jones (@Brainiac420) August 31, 2018
Once again, Alterna setting the standard, protecting their brand. No different than the vast majority of companies. If you publicly represent a company, you need to act in a professional manner. That includes not indiscriminately blocking customers or potential customers.
— John Powell (@POW2112) August 30, 2018
Bravo. Now this is how a successful business is run! 👍🏻
— Marsupial Gamer 🕹 (@AvatarJohn) August 31, 2018
Bounding Into Comics weighed in with this salient point:
What’s really interesting about the negative responses is that people seem to believe this social media policy is out of the ordinary. However, DC Comics issued extremely similar guidelines in an email to their freelancers back in February. In fact, DC Comics’ policy was much more thorough going so far as to “recommend that you avoid negative comments in this very public forum.” DC Comics evens recommends to their freelancers that they “refrain from engaging with individuals who may be speaking negatively about you, other talent, DC, our fans, and the comics industry as this is a no-win situation.”
But maybe the biggest piece about DC Comics’ social media policy is where it states, “Comments that may be considered defamatory, libelous, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or that incite violence are unacceptable and may result in civil or criminal action. In addition, comments that may be considered insulting, cruel, rude, crass, and mean spirited are against company policy guidelines. We ask, and expect, that you will help to create an online environment that is inclusive, supportive and safe.”
That sounds extremely similar to Alterna’s newly released guidelines, but no one was throwing a fit when DC released their guidelines. In fact, a number of DC Comics and Vertigo Comics freelancers have repeatedly broken the DC Comics guidelines including Richard Pace, Zoe Quinn, Robbi Rodriguez, and Ramon Villalobos. However, DC Comics hasn’t taken any action whatsoever. So, their guidelines might be similar to Alterna’s but they sure don’t enforce them. It will be interesting to see if Alterna enforces these guidelines.
The Social Marxists have their panties in a bunch about #AlternaComics having Social Media guidelines, but these same people were glowing with joy when #DCcomics created theirs in order to muzzle @EthanVanSciver
You’re truly a sick bunch of hypocrites. pic.twitter.com/Oz7CVo7Uzh
— Mike S. Miller (@AbacusMike) August 31, 2018
We love Alterna Comics. They’ve brought back newsprint paper to their floppies and while Marvel and DC Comics don’t have any titles with a cover price less than $3.99 and frequently publish books at $7.99 and $9.99, Alterna Comics publishes their books for $1.50. Unheard of and worth investing a few bucks to support them for trying to save the comics industry.
And give Peter a follow on social media and show your support there as well: @PeterSimeti