Another anti-fandom site bites the dust. A comic book website that spared no opportunity to berate and badger comic book fans and gamers alike, has announced that it’s shutting down and ceasing operations for now.
The report on Bleeding Cool notes that Comics Alliance first popped up in 2009 when it was under the AOL umbrella, but then it shut down in 2013 when AOL liquidated various properties, one of which included Comics Alliance. Later on a media conglomerate named Townsquare picked up Comics Alliance, and the site ran up until recently, where it was announced by editor-in-chief Andrew Wheeler that Comics Alliance was shutting down for good.
I'm sorry to report that today is the last day for the current ComicsAlliance team. TownsquareMedia has elected to place the site on hiatus.
— Andrew Wheeler (@Wheeler) March 31, 2017
A statement was sent to Bleeding Cool, stating…
“We’ve always had amazing writers at ComicsAlliance, with a shared dedication to celebrating creativity and community, and elevating originality and diversity. As devastated as I am that none of us will be writing for the site anymore, I’m excited to see those writers take their voices elsewhere, whether in comics criticism or in creating comics of their own. Editors would be smart to snap these people up, because they are the heart of comics. I love my team, and I’m proud of them, and of the work we’ve done together.”
It wasn’t all lollipops and rainbows, though.
As pointed out in the thread over on Kotaku in Action, Comics Alliance was one of the many large media websites out there that decided to go on the offensive against their own audience during the height of #GamerGate and the seemingly indomitable influence of Social Justice Warrior topics taking over the entertainment medium.
As you can see through the search listings of Kotaku in Action, there’s a number of topics centered around Comics Alliance related to Social Justice activism. One of the links points to the editor-in-chief saying that the art in comics need to be more socially aware and adapt more to progressive identity politics.
Deep. Seated. Issues. This is the guy who runs ComicsAlliance. He thinks every piece of art requires a justification for social justice. pic.twitter.com/O7sCN2RBcY
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 23, 2016
Ian Miles Cheong from Heat Street also tweeted out another comic that Comics Alliance produced, where they riffed on the idea of a nightmare scenario where #GamerGate lived on into 2016 and comic books still featured sexy female characters.
GamerGate outlived ComicsAlliance, which made this comic. ComicsAlliance announced its death today. pic.twitter.com/XXonQuuLgH
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 31, 2017
Essentially they had taken an anti-fandom stance, especially when it came to fandoms who aren’t on board with SJW progressivism and identity politics.
They also took jabs at #GamerGate when possible, and even penned an article back in October, 2016 where they further tried to push the so-called progressive envelop, and ridicule both fans and executives in the industry who weren’t on board, writing…
“[…] when Marvel announced a new Hercules series last year, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso categorically stated that the character was straight, and not bisexual as had been established earlier in Marvel’s own comics (and even earlier than that in Greek myth). When fans voiced their concerns, Alonso made fun of them on Twitter, and retweeted a meme about it created by individuals who identified as members of the hate group Gamergate.”
“Imagine the dialogue that could have opened up if instead of laughing at LGBTQ fans desperate for representation at a publisher that has failed to provide it, Alonso stopped and considered he may have been wrong. Even if he wasn’t wrong, it’s important to consider that you might be able to learn and grow by listening to people with different positions.”
The reality is that Marvel has been trying, and failing, to adapt their comics to the so-called “marginalized” groups’ desires. They’ve introduced more LGBTQ themes, more focus on female heroes, more interracial relationships, more of what the so-called SJWs want out of the medium.
It wasn’t a hit.
Various comics attempting to adapt the progressive agenda were met with ambivalence, derision or harsh criticism from the core audience due to poor writing, poor art, and poor storytelling.
Marvel recently announced that they were getting out of the SJW business, and going back to what actually draws money. They’ll be rolling out the more classic stories and heroes this upcoming fall.
Comics Alliance is just one of the many (former) large scale media websites pushing for an agenda the general audience was just not on board with. It’s no surprise that things tipped over for them and Townsquare Media decided to put it on ice. Whether or not they re-brand or refocus their efforts on something more mainstream remains to be seen.
SJW politics just haven’t been proven to be a big seller or a hot ticket to saturating a market that appeals to broad audiences. Media websites will likely keep trying, and fans will likely keep pushing back. I just wonder how many more sites, studios and brands have to fall before the SJW crowd calls it quits?