Comic book writer Alex de Campi – famous for having written Wonder Woman, Judge Dredd, Ghost in the Shell, Archie vs Predator and No Mercy (among many others) – took to Twitter to complain recently about diversity in comic books. Presumably in reply to the recent news about Marvel canceling a number of SJW-themed comic books heading into the new season in 2018.
Campi’s diatribe was posted via a long string of tweets, where on December 20th, 2017 she wrote…
“As a woman writer, whose friends are primarily queer and/or PoC, I never stop being amazed how the Big Two companies don’t see us as worthy of being marketed to. Why do they keep doubling down on their shrinking legacy audience of 40-something white guys? More and more stunts to fight for Chad’s dollar.
“At the same time they’re duking it out for Chad’s $1, they are walking by Tanesha’s $20 and Deshawn’s $20 JUST LYING THERE IN THE STREET. THIS PAINS ME, as a person who loves money. Seriously, fuck social justice, THERE IS MONEY. THAT IS BEING IGNORED. It causes me physical pain to watch.
“Every bookstore publisher is starting up a graphic novels division. Image and Boom are thriving. And yet… white male superheroes are only allowed to be written by the same ten white men Chad likes”
Well, this isn’t necessarily true. There are a lot of replacement heroes and new heroes that Marvel has been introducing, as well as re-imagining certain established heroes like Iceman as a homosexual, and The Incredible Hulk as an Asian man. There’s also the new Muslim Ms. Marvel, a more androgynous Captain Marvel.
And there were comics like Hellcat, which featured a female writer, but it was cancelled due to an 81% year-over-year sales drop. There was also Black Panther and the Crew, written by a black male, which had a six issue run but was cancelled after the second issue due to abysmal sales. Just recently Marvel cancelled Gwenpool after 25 issues, and that was also headed up by a woman.
Even DC’s re-launch of Batwoman featured her as a lesbian above all else, which garnered headlines everywhere. So it hasn’t just been “white males” written by “white males” for “white males”. The diversity movement has been strong; the sales have not been.
Nevertheless, Campi goes on to say…
“Fans wanting to explore comics after the hugely successful movies are shut out, unable to navigate continuity, or just… being confronted w comix that are antithetical to what they loved about the movies (Steve is a Nazi! Let’s focus on Wonder Woman’s brother!)
“So the conpanies try. They try this diversity thing and hire a female, PoC, and/or queer writer for a book. It fails. Welp, back to Chad then. They know Chad. Because that’s who edits comics.”
Well, in an open market any product is considered a failure if people aren’t buying said product.
As mentioned above, Hellcat — with a female writing the comic — had an 81% year-over-year drop in sales. It only managed to retain 19% of its readership over the course of a year, which means… people just didn’t buy it.
Blaming men for the capitalist failures of women is… petty.
Comics like America Chavez couldn’t even move 8,500 units during the month of November. The gay Iceman did less than 13,000. And Captain Marvel — the one comic that Marvel puts front and center as their new flagship hero of their brand — only managed to move 15,037 units in November, according to ComicChron. Worse yet? Pakistani heroine Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel actually moved 500 more units than the Carol Danvers comic.
If these poor-selling comics aren’t selling, and comic fans are asking for the classic heroes to return… how is it the fault of white male comic writers that fans aren’t interested in the Diversity ‘R Us replacement heroes?
That really has nothing to do with “Chad”, but everything to do with understanding the market demographic: If a product isn’t selling, it has nothing to do with the demographic but everything to do with the product you’re trying to sell to that demographic.
Don’t try to fix your customers, fix your product.
Campi goes on to state that white guys hanging out with other white guys are part of the problem, writing…
”There is a huge tier of female assistant editors who are paid terribly and worked to pieces and who do five years then leave. But the office editors? With a few exceptions, white guys, who only hang out with other white guys. ‘But so-and-so has an Asian wife! And other-so adopted a black kid!’ Yeah, but who are their FRIENDS? Who do you see them in photos with? Chads.
“So the Big Two will never see us, because their senior staff don’t interact with us on any level. At least not in publishing. Studios is different. They don’t like walking past easy money.
“It’s [frustrating], as many of us have a real love for these characters, and we want to spend money on stories that don’t only show us as victims or gangsters or punch lines.
“It’s why sooo many folks inside and tangential to comics read fics on AO3 instead of buying comics. I mean, there are fics with 500,000 views. When was the last time a comic sold HALF that? Fuck, we hit 300k with Hells Kitchen Movie Club.
“This is what happens when you move outside your comfort zone and hire people who don’t look like you. This is the power of diversity, properly committed to (and not a C-list character with zero marketing, eg America). It expands your audience.”
Well, once again, according to ComicChron, Marvel Legacy moved nearly 300,000 units back in September, 2017. So it sold more than what some free, highly shared fanfics receive in total cumulative views.
A better question is: When was the last time an SJW comic sold half of what Marvel Legacy #1 moved?
Campi rounds out the screed-of-blame by writing…
“It’s FIELD of Dreams, fam, not plant pot of dreams. If you build it properly, people will come. More than you ever imagined. But another book by a Chad-fave writer? Snoooooze. Even the Chads are starting to go “meh”.
“So while I don’t believe it will happen in the next five years, I do believe in meteors and evolution and the decline of dinosaurs. Eventually folks with a more normal friends group will rise to positions of power in these companies and they won’t think it odd to hire a Black writer for Steve Rogers or a queer writer for Superman or a woman writer for Iron Man.
“Because it’s not odd. And it’s not us. It’s you.”
Well, for now Marvel’s new editor-in-chief, C.B. Cebulski, is apparently cleaning house and fans are excited for the possibility of Marvel moving away from the current SJW agenda to focus on telling compelling stories with interesting characters again… something that hasn’t happened for the last five years under the current Leftist comic book regime.