Are Comics Creators Ignoring Defamation & Libel Laws?

by Jamison Ashely

The term “libel” is defined as a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation meant to defame someone. That appears to be what amateur artist Darryl Ayo has engaged in for the past several months by repeatedly attacking the reputation of popular DC artist and outspoken conservative Ethan Van Sciver, by calling him both a “white supremacist” and an actual “Nazi,” but don’t take our word for it. Here’s the proof.

This is just a sampling of public tweets posted by Darryl Ayo to his followers over the course of 4 months about what he thinks of Ethan Van Sciver, and anyone who follows or attempts to defend Ethan on Twitter. For what it’s worth, he offers no proof of Ethan’s shortcomings. While this was going on, other activists were also engaged in the toxic online attacks.

One of those includes another little-known comics artist, who is also an outspoken LGBTQ+ activist. Tim Doyle has repeatedly, specifically targeted Ethan over his alleged “homophobia” and alleged “Nazisim,” again without being able to cite a shred of real evidence.

It’s now starting to look more and more like SJWs ganging up on people who may have voted for President Trump than pushing-back against any sort of harassment. In fact, Kieran Shiach, who writes for CBR, recruited a friend who was a freelance writer for the Atlantic to do a hit piece on Van Sciver. That story has been laid out here.

In reality, this targeted harassment of Ethan Van Sciver is based on him being coy in response to being called a “Nazi” by his critics. At first it appeared to roll off him like water off of a duck’s back, but eventually the mob of SJWs clearly started to upset him.  Finally Ethan Van Sciver had enough of this ugly behavior and reached out to Darryl to invite him to discuss his issues with Mr. Sciver, to which Mr. Ayo immediately responded that Van Sciver was “harassing” him!

And although Bleeding Cool had to eventually admit last year that Ethan Van Sciver was in fact “NOT A NAZI,” they did step in this week to do a hit-piece on him, calling him “mean” after he pushed back on this targeted harassment by Darryl Ayo and others. With their exclusive interview with Darryl Ayo, they accused Van Sciver of letting his “mean streak” return. The interview came about only after Ayo attributed the term “harassment” to Van Sciver’s attempt to publicly clear the air and open some public dialogue, as he has done previously in other recent interviews with Mark Waid and Dan Slott after other internet/Twitter dust-ups. However, Ayo responded in a way that could be described as “fearfully” by immediately seeking out Bleeding Cool so he could air his grievances in the safety of other like-minded SJWs.  And while several other comic book activists rushed in to Darryl Ayo’s defense, it seems that none of them have been able to produce a single tweet or a screenshot of Ethan Van Sciver ever harassing Mr. Ayo.

Nope.

Nada.

Hmmm. No proof of harassment whatsoever. Is anyone surprised? 

So the proof is the accusation? You’re expected to do the research for yourself and/or just take their word for it. Most of the screencaps we’re providing here, along with the links, should shed light on this dishonest behavior of toxic comic creators and journalists trying to deplatform someone whose politics they disagree with. And for the record, it appears that the “fan” that the editor at Comicosity is referring to above is a friend of this website named Richard C. Meyer who runs the Diversity & Comics Youtube channel which regularly holds comic creators’ feet to the fire when they veer more into insulting fans and SJW activism than actually making good comics. The rest of the time he just reviews comics for his over 56,000 subscribers. That’s more than most comic books these days. He too has been the subject of targeted harassment by comics creators, even to the point that Mark Waid had to issue an apology for his threatening behavior towards Meyer. That incident was effectively the launching point for #ComicsGate fiasco.

This has turned into a culture war of sorts, where those who disagree with the politics and POV of those on the “right” have apparently gotten used to insulting and marginalizing those they disagree with ‘carte blanche’ for years. Now that a few fans and creators have begun to push back, it’s immediately being labeled “harassment” by the social justice warrior faithfuls. Thankfully, for the most “woke” people who are comics fans, the accusation is no longer sufficient proof.

It’s hard to argue that what Van Sciver is saying here is wrong. The four people he calls out did suddenly begin a coordinated attack on Van Sciver when Jordan Peterson’s latest book, 12 Rules for Life, was released which Van Sciver illustrated.


In a statement on his Facebook several months ago, Van Sciver tried to address these bullies.

“There are strange people on twitter who are pretending to believe that I am a ‘white supremacist’ or a ‘Nazi’ because I’m a rare thing in comics: a Republican. It’s intolerable. It’s ridiculous to have to even declare that I’m none of these things.

To me, white supremacists are villains from movies. They aren’t me, they aren’t my family, and I deeply resent these calculated efforts to make me feel unwelcome in the industry that I’ve given my life to, and by the way, which has profited greatly from my work. This industry isn’t them or me. It’s us.

Their evidence is some ridiculous out of context images from a decade ago, when we were all much more friendly. Being called a ‘Nazi’ by a fellow creator then was quite different, like me calling someone a commie. It was meant in fun. But occasionally, some truly weird people would make a claim that my little diamond logo was a swastika (oh?? HOW? It’s based on the Iron Maiden logo). and a friend would satirize it by making it look like one. For laughs. Because it’s absurd.

Around the same time, I decided that I’d make my sketch books look like extremist political tracts. One was called MANIFESTO and contained communist dogma, with backward letters to look like Russian language. The other one was called ‘MY STRUGGLE’ and contained my earliest work on Cyberfrog up to my recent work. The cover was SINESTRO, who we’d redesigned that year to resemble Hitler, and with the fact that most people knew I leaned right, this was a JOKE. Made self-effacingly to my peers who I considered my friends.

These people who spread these images and claim that I’m a ‘Nazi’ are liars. They are lying. Flat out. They are liars who wish this industry wasn’t tolerant of people who do not share their partisan political views. That may include you. It may not. But I’ll lay out my career and the work that I’ve done against theirs. This is MY industry too. And lying liars with a dishonest agenda cannot change that.

I’ve chosen to avoid Twitter. It is a toxic wasteland of negativity. I’ve chosen to avoid discussing politics, for this very reason. But I won’t stand by and let these creeps continue to go unanswered.

And neither should you.

If you see this, please, as a fan, CORRECT IT.

It is evil.

Thank you.”

This strategy had no effect on the SJW activists, such as Tess Fowler and CBR’s Keireh Shiach.

Here’s a level-headed breakdown of the EVS vs Tess Fowler shenanigans by That Umbrella Guy

Eventually, even an avowed socialist who appears to loathe the comic properties he was once hired to work for had to chime in…

Even when concerned comic fans have reached out to Ayo to see if this silly flame war could be mitigated in some way, Darryl Ayo answered them in the same fashion he answers anyone who he disagrees with… offensively and with extreme prejudice.

And this guy calls other people bigots on a regular basis… Maybe he should look up the term “projection.” This kind of mean-spirited attacks on people you disagree with is toxic to the comics industry and is quite ugly. It isn’t helping the comics industry and needs to stop. You must do better toxic creators. If you are unable to tolerate the POV and politics of someone else in the industry who disagrees with you, then it is YOU who is demonstrating bigotry and it’s a terrible look for you and the industry as a whole.

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Follow Ethan Van Sciver on Twitter, and we encourage you to check out his Youtube channel ComicPros Secrets.

Bleeding Fool

We cover geek news in regards to movies, television, gaming, politics, and comic books via commentary, news, videos, and ranting. While poking a bit of fun at some of the more highly revered comic book websites, we’ve decided it’s time to respond to either their boring ‘unbiased’ reporting with something a bit more nuanced and interesting, or respond to their decidedly progressive liberal politics with opinions from the libertarian and closer to the right side of the aisle. Follow us on Twitter @BleedingFool

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