Late last week, we discussed the upcoming challenges facing the #Comicsgate movement. This weekend, news is breaking of Richard Meyer’s lawsuit against Mark Waid regarding the latter’s interference with Meyer’s contract with Antarctic Press. While this is an important step in ensuring that Meyer receives some measure of justice, there is another precedent that this lawsuit establishes.
For months, Comicsgate creators have endured vast public backlash orchestrated by well established creators representing the Big Two, with support from representatives of the major Indie publishing houses. In the past, this backlash has included events that mirror targeted harassment campaigns, intimidation tactics, and blacklisting events that have gone largely unpunished. The intent of these campaigns has been to keep “unwanted” creators outside mainstream comics, and to punish companies that would dare support them.
In the lawsuit, Meyer launched a series of complaints against Waid’s various actions throughout the last months. Some of those complaints mention the possible defamatory claims that Waid and others have made against Meyer, with the intent to poison the well against any potential support that Meyer may receive in the future. As Antartic Press’ response show, this type of campaign has proven to be a success for Waid and his followers; a success that contributed to driving Alterna Comics owner Peter Simeti to the brink of suicide. Customers and supporters of the Comicsgate movement saw this attack take place, and banded together to make a stand against this coordinated attack. The full story was covered here.
Waid’s published words gave an appearance of intervention in a contract established between Meyer and Antarctic Press to publish Jawbreakers: Lost Souls. As a supporter of the book, I personally believe that if Waid had not interfered with the publisher’s contract, I would have received my book by now and it would’ve been available in local comic shops. Instead, Meyer has been forced to self-publish his books, causing a major delay in product delivery that the customer is forced to endure. Antarctic Press should be looking closely at the amount of lost profit; not just to customers that may have walked away from their publishing house altogether, but from the revenue generated by Richard Meyer and his books.
By my calculations, Waid may have cost Antarctic Press upwards of $200,000 in what could have been a 50/50 revenue split for publishing Richard Meyer’s books. However that profit margin could have been exponentially larger had Meyer been able to use Antarctic Press’ advertising networks.
Regardless of the result of this lawsuit, its effects are already being felt across the comics community. Meyer’s actions have put toxic creators on notice that Comicsgate is ready to strike back; that supporters and creators have had enough of their terrorist tactics. As Ethan Van Sciver said in his latest stream, its time for comics to grow up and for creators like Waid to understand that their actions have very real consequences.
Ethan’s livestream regarding the lawsuit:
Here is the erudite Rekieta Law discussing the lawsuit: