It was only a few short years ago — 2015 to be exact — that your friendly neighborhood blogger tried to warn Marvel’s Joe Quesada that seeds of unprofessionalism planted at the company were going to bear bad fruit. He liked to play dumb when readers confronted him on the partisan bile spewed by Dan Slott, Mark Waid, and others within the industry, and in time my predictions came to pass.
Fact: Alienated but social-media savvy readers connected in 2017 on YouTube after years of sounding the alarm bells in small pockets across the internet. Our collective efforts to discuss the need for professionalism, strong storytelling, and honest journalism became known as Comicsgate.
Cut to Mr. Quesada, the company’s chief creative officer. He’s flummoxed. He’s angry. He doesn’t know what to do because guys like Richard C. Meyer, aka Diversity & Comics, have over 90,000 subscribers who are regularly learning just how corrupt the comics industry has become.
What does Mr. Quesada do in response to the new status quo, you ask? Does he admit to dropping the ball in 2015 when he was warned of the coming backlash?
Answer: Of course not. Instead, he looks for the most unstable people on Twitter and tries to exploit their condition. He cozies up to anonymous individuals who spend all day (and many nights) obsessing over Comicsgate and ways to destroy the personal and professional reputations of those associated with it.
In short, Mr. Quesada has tried to weaponize troubled individuals — those who come across like Mark Wahlberg’s character in the 1996 movie ‘Fear’ — against the industry’s critics in an embarrassing display of “ends justify the means” vindictiveness. He literally follows and interacts with what amounts to full-time Twitter trolls because he has no answers for guys like myself, Just Some Guy, That Umbrella Guy, artist Ethan Van Sciver and others.
Yes, telling the truth is always an option, but Mr. Quesada decided at some point in time that honesty and transparency regarding the industry’s problems was off the table.
What Mr. Quesada fails to realize is that it’s no longer 2015. A tipping point was reached with the creation of Comicsgate, and for every underhanded and unprofessional move he (and his ideologue peers) make, tens-of-thousands of people soon hear about it.
Those alienated customers talk. They tell one, two, three, four or more friends about what’s going on. There is a cascading effect — and not in a positive way for Marvel Comics.
That, dear reader, is why more and more people every month are speaking out about the industry.
YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms have freed consumers from shill websites with Orwellian moderators.
Consumers are better organized, better informed, and unafraid to shine giant spotlights on the immature behavior of men like Mr. Quesada.
There is much more to say, but for a better picture of what’s going on I invite you to watch my latest YouTube video: Joe Quesada exploits Wahlbergian ‘Fear’ clones in blind hatred of Comicsgate.
Originally published on Doug’s blog here. Follow Doug on Twitter @DouglasErnst