As we are now full steam into the roaring 2020s, the comic book customer revolt known as ComicsGate continues to show it still has momentum behind it. This movement has repeatedly shown how relevant the consumer can be, and many of disenfranchised customers continue to provide support for indie crowdfunding projects left and right. Despite the harsh criticism it continues to receive from outsiders and naysayers, the number of successfully funded comics shows just how important many of the major players associated with the movement are, and how dangerous they are to the waning mainstream comics industry.
Whether people like to admit it or not, Ethan Van Sciver’s Comic Artist Pro Secrets YouTube channel maintains its strength in successfully signal-boosting many indie projects, and pushing those projects to enormous economic success. If Comicsgate were The Wizard of Oz, I suppose Ethan’s domain would be Emerald City, while Ya Boi Zack would be the man behind the curtain. Not quite sure that fits, but I’m going with it.
To properly gauge the success of Comicsgate, look no further than Richard C. Meyer’s latest project, The Expendables Go To Hell, which at the time of this article has generated over $100k in revenue. Yet the amount of money raised isn’t what’s significant, since Meyer has quickly raised this amount for his previous projects. What makes this significant is the IP itself; by securing the rights to a project with high visibility, Meyer has brought a massive amount of legitimacy to Comicsgate. His working relationship with Comicsgate supporter Chuck Dixon has lended him even more credibility in the market. And now that he is working on a project that carries Sylvester Stallone’s name and story credit, there’s really no way to marginalize what’s happening here.
And it’s not all action and superhero fare in this movement. Another significant Comicsgate project that has seen massive support is Cash Grab (Cash Grab / CG / ComicsGate, get it?). With already $92k in backers’ revenue so far, this humor centered comic project has generated a high level of support solely on the charisma of its creators, not to mention the full throated support of Van Sciver and those on his platform. This amount of money is a significant success for creator Cecil’s first comic, who remains a man of mystery.
Another notable title is Clint Stoker’s Downcast: Wrize & Fall which has generated a cool $25k, once again backed by the charisma of its creator and the power of the “Human Sunbeam”. Alongside Per Berg’s (aka: Narwhal) Foreign Agent which has raised $11k, are smaller projects in comparison, but are massively successful in their own rights for relative unknowns in the industry.
I could go on and on listing other projects that have launched and are still being funded with the #Comicsgate branding, but these four are a significant example of what I think is a good measure of the State of Comicsgate. Within two months, the movement has helped fund no less than projects to the tune of $228k in just the first 6 weeks of 2020. Boasting that Comicsgate would make $10 million this year, just over 2% of that goal has already been achieved. With the possibility of other major projects still on the horizon like Cyberfrog: Rekt Planet, and perhaps another of Meyer’s secret projects, that goal may very well be reached.
Sorry haters, but Comicsgate is just fine as it is, despite its detractors and “critics.” And while I think it’s unfortunate that a few notable creators that were once allies have since left the movement behind in pursuit of other markets, I understand and respect their decisions and I hope that they find equal success wherever they turn. But in spite of these departures, I still see lots of economic success in the coming months, with a few projects that will no doubt break current sales records. Meanwhile, more and more creators outside of Comicsgate are beginning to take notice of the successes on the CG side and are shaking off their fears of stepping out of line against the progressive gatekeepers in the industry in order to align with us.
As the Big 2 continue to hemorrhage capital and consumers alike, perhaps other major intellectual properties will come into this realm. There is a lot of pressure on Richard C. Meyer’s shoulders right now, and as the Man Behind the Curtain he is continually showing just what Comicsgate can produce when given the opportunity. Sure, there will continue to be screeching, further attempts at deplatforming, and outright insanity from those that wish to see Comisgate burn to the ground. But now it’s no longer the little brand that could, but thanks to Ethan van Sciver and others in this movement, Comicsgate has become the brand that can.
And that’s got to hurt the haters.