Pre-order sales for Youtube commentator Eric D. July’s very first comic book, Isom #1, rose above all expectations when the first time indie comic book publisher launched his Rippaverse. With plenty of time left in his crowdfunding campaign, overall sales income for July’s debut comic series is already approaching $2.5 million in crowdfunding funds, far exceeding his initial pre-order campaign objective of $100,000 in sales, and doing it in only one week. That’s likely far more than all of last month’s gross sales at DC Comics.
Welcome to the Rippaverse pic.twitter.com/fP5TfENYdh
— Rippaverse Comics (@TheRippaverse) July 8, 2022
July’s spectacular debut officially puts the comic book industry on notice and heralds the birth of what RazörFist has dubbed the “Iron Age” of comics, which he sees as the harbinger of the death of mainstream comics.
It is such an exciting time to be a creative.
— Eric July (@EricDJuly) July 17, 2022
In addition to creating comics, Eric D. July is also a musician aka “YG Rippa” who performs as a metalcore vocalist, and is the lead singer of BackWordz. He’s also a Youtube star known as YoungRippa59, where he frequently discusses politics, pop culture, and regularly criticizes what he calls “wokeness” and “tokenism” in entertainment, particularly the comics industry, where he’s noticed more and more identity politics at outlets like Marvel, DC, and other comic book publishers. While he regularly praises comics he enjoys, he gives no quarter to comics that he feels are poorly done, or that ignore established canon, which he considers of primary importance to the long term success of any comics universe.
The outspoken libertarian not only co-founded ‘Being Libertarian,’ but is also a regular contributor at the Blaze, where they spotlighted his recent success and offered their take on why July has become so popular with other comic book fans.
In recent years, legacy publishers like Marvel Comics and DC Comics have taken a leftward turn that has alienated some readers. Controversies over sudden and dramatic changes to long-standing characters — like making Batman’s sidekick Robin bisexual — have divided the fan base, with some embracing the push for diversity and others lamenting that good storytelling has been undermined by “woke” industry activists.
July, a content creator, musician, and lifelong comic book fan, is among those who do not like the direction the industry has taken.
“Between changing all of these characters and you have this ridiculous kind of push for social justice, insulting the audience and all of that — and I was like, you know what? I am going to be a solution to the problem,” July told TheBlaze in an interview.
July thinks his quick success demonstrates how many comic book fans are prepared to support a “parallel economy” that will challenge the industry’s “old guard,” and with the support of his thousands of fans, July also wants to use his comics to tell good stories. In order to avoid the excesses of other confusing comics storylines, July says that the Rippaverse’s code of ethics will first and foremost respect for the consumer. He also says his comics publishing endeavor shall “keep reboots to a minimal” and better let fans easily understand the Rippaverse’s stories.
“The Flash was a character that was my first favorite comic book character. Why? Because he ran fast and I was a fast kid. You know, you do the Field Day thing, and people that know me, I went all the way through the collegiate level as a track and field athlete. And that’s why it resonated with me,” July said. “But as I got older, it was like Batman and some of the experiences that he had, basically growing up without a father being present and all those sorts of things I resonated with as I got older.”
“We’re not writing down to the audience,” he added. “I’m not in the business of lecturing people and telling people exactly how to live their lives. But there are universal truths that I will acknowledge and I think that’s what’s sort of missing, because people have, unfortunately, definitely in comic books these days, put other stuff at the forefront, and telling a good story is secondary. Acknowledging those universal truths are secondary, if they are ever acknowledged at all.”
July also wants to use his Rippaverse platform to allow other creators to come and tell their stories without fear of censorship or judgement:
“There are a lot creative people that are in our space, on our side of the line of thinking, in support of the value of liberty. No matter whether you are conservative, libertarian, or whatever, and they’re just undiscovered. They’re in hiding because they have to work for the old guard,” he said.
“What feels good is that I get to reach out to them first or that’s the pool that we have to choose from. Before I start doing external stuff, I get to point to our community. I get to point to people that are in our space and say, ‘Hey,’ or put that call out at — ‘Hey, we’re looking for this. We’re looking for that’ — and give these guys well-paying jobs to be able to create or be part of something that is fresh, that is new, but also that they know doesn’t hate them.”
It’s still quite an amazing feat that Eric had hit his initial goal for the crowdfund within just a few hours of his launch, proving how much support a creator can get when they give the audience what they want and show them that you don’t hate them.
We do not need the Old Guard. That’s what this pre-order campaign highlights.
Their model is archaic. We had No inorganic mega-corporate push or placement. All the promo has been from our amazing corner of the internet.
— Eric July (@EricDJuly) July 12, 2022
Unsurprisingly, since July is an frequent critic of modern comics, there were immediate detractors that came along with his massive triumph. The largest being the comic book subreddit, who was among the first to start outlawing references to the comic and banning any users just for discussing it.
As Bounding Into Comics has covered, July isn’t the first comic book creator to be immediately banned from the comicbooks subreddit, former DC Comics artist and creator of Cyberfrog, Ethan Van Sciver has been banned, along with well-known comic writers such as Eisner-winner Mike Baron for merely associating with “Comicsgate.” In other words, the millions of reddit users that have joined the biggest online forum discussing comic books are not even allowed to mention comic books from these creators without potentially getting permanently banned because any creator associated with the Comicsgate tag is by default “part of a hate group that promotes racism and is against inclusivity” or something like that.
No. They’re not “fighting over Eric”
He’s friends with CG and G+G
He’s an outspoken libertarian
He’s a contributor to right wing website The Blaze
Those are the reasons why the Left (Reddit, etc) tried to cancel him
— All-American Male (@AllAmericanMaIe) July 14, 2022
Since Eric D. July just happens to be Black, there were also plenty of racist comments from his detractors, which might be upsetting to people made of less stern stuff than July.
The over racism ands stupidity of the haters didn’t slip past July.
Eric is proving that you don’t have to ask permission to create. We hope he can manage to handle this massive success with nimbleness and accuracy, because rest assured the haters are going to hold him accountable for any mistakes or errors, including production and fulfillment. Like all independent creators, we wish Eric the very best.
“Isom,” tells the story of Avery Silman, a common Texas rancher who gains superpowers and becomes the superhero Isom. After walking away from the superhero life, Silman is called back into action to confront an old friend who has since become one of the most feared men in his city. You can pre-order the Isom comic and back this project here.