Even more followup: in which the awful is doubled down

So here’s the story so far, for those of you who haven’t been playing along at home thus far. I did an anatomy correction of a piece of art by Jonboy Meyers. Apparently that made a lot of comics fans really, really mad. So since they found this link, I’ve been enjoying a nice little hate-a-palooza from my least favorite segment of the internet.

Because it’s the way I roll, I then posted a response to all the haterade highlighting the good, the bad, and the stupid. This has had mixed results. I got several new patrons from all this extra traffic (hello, you beautiful, wonderful people, you!) – which is pretty cool. So thanks for all the extra traffic, haters. You actually did me a favor there. But responding to haterade is like kicking a hornet’s nest. The results are eminently predictable and never pleasant.

Now, in my previous post I called out J Scott Campbell and Mark Brooks, who are themselves well-known professional comics artists, as being the instigators of a very large portion of the internet bile that has been rolling downhill in my direction. (I can’t know what portion because the trackback doesn’t break it down any further than “facebook.com”. Thanks for nothing, trackback.) Here, apparently, is what they have to say for themselves.

I’m including transcripts below each image since the screen grabs are hard to read. My comments are inserted bolded in brackets.


Mark Brooks: Hey, look at us! We got picked out in her nonsensical rebuttal! [Because any time you don’t like something a woman says, you can just call her crazy and problem solved! True story.] And now we’re apparently bullies too! I guess when you get any modicum of notoriety you’re not allowed to have an opinion anymore. Go figure. [Come on. You draw comics for a living. “With great power comes great responsibility” ring a bell at all?]

J Scott Campbell: Wait a second… So Mark and I get shrapnel kickback, and [anonymized] get’s [sic] away untarnished…?! No fair!!

[anonymized]: I’m apparently not a big deal like you two, and that hurts.

Mark Brooks: It’s official, [anonymized], you’re a victim.

[Okay, so I know they’re joking here. I do get that. But it’s a little troublesome that they’re willing to brush aside their role in stirring up this flood of bile in the first place as, you know, no big deal. Hey! We’ll just call her crazy! No need to actually reflect on the implications of my actions. Nope! Not at all.]


J Scott Campbell: Again, I made my original post having absolutely no idea of her gender, only that her artistic working knowledge seemed extremely flawed, uninformed and incorrect to offer any legitimate lectures or critiques to working published artists. So if she’s blustering on about this being part of some anti-female bla-bla-bla, I think her argument in [sic] unsound.

[OH MY GOD. “Anti-female bla-bla-bla”?? I’m not making this stuff up for shits and giggles. Sexism in the comics industry is very well documented. READ A BOOK. Or, you know, talk to any woman who’s worked for DC for more than five minutes. Or just tell yourself that I’m just craaaaaazy. Whichever. That works too]

J Scott Campbell: I mostly feel sad for her. She appears to go through life seeing only the bad in other people and their work. Seems like it’d be a tortured existence. And immediately going after mine and Mark’s artwork the very next day only adds to the appearance of her biased and emotional filled knee-jerk thinking that has little to do with legitimate art critiquing, and more to do with attempting to save face. I hope for her sake that she can pull herself out of this self-destructive mindset and work on bettering her own artwork rather than grabbing at fleeting internet fame by tearing down others more successful than her. [Italicized emphasis mine]

Okay. We’re going to take a break from screen caps for a second to respond to that last one in particular.

So, first of all, claiming that I “went after [your] and Mark’s artwork” just proves how incredibly little effort you put into ACTUALLY READING WHAT I WROTE. Here’s what I actually said:

Which. You know what? In what universe is it okay to use your very large platform to encourage your followers to harass someone? Adria Richards and Anita Sarkeesian are only two of the most recent and prominent examples of the effects that online harassment can have. There is a long and sad history online of women being harassed for DARING to commit the CRIME of HAVING OPINIONS WHILE FEMALE.

And for people who’d say “well they didn’t actually tell their fans to harass you”? BULLSHIT. They made posts in which they called me things like “laughable”, “embarrassing”, and “smug”, then continued to encourage the anger in the thread that resulted. Nor did they make any attempts to dissuade potential harassers, or tell people who made threatening comments to back off. These are grown-ass-men who pointed their very large audiences at me and told them what a terrible person I was on the internet because they want me to shut the fuck up.

 Going through these threads is, of course, about as pleasant as drinking a tuna and brussel sprouts milkshake, so I’m not going to go through all of the comments that have been made so far. I have better things to do with my time than marinate in internet bile. But here are some highlights taken from J. Scott Campbell’s hate-fest before I got too tired of humanity to continue.

(SEVERAL of whom I should note are professional comics artists. I’m not going to name all the names here, because I don’t actually hate myself. But it is worth asking that HOW is any of this anything resembling professional behavior? But then, given that the mainstream comics industry is happy to regularly re-affirm how much it hates women, I guess none of this should come as a surprise.)

Got it? Okay, so let’s review. Did I say that they were knowingly using their audience to harass me? Yup! I sure did. Did I say that their behavior is unprofessional and imply strongly that it was also irresponsible? You betcha! Did I say ANYTHING ANYWHERE about artwork created by J Scott or Mark Brooks? NOPE. Go ahead. Re-read that. I’ll wait.

And of course, the “I feel so sorry for this poor bitter tortured sadsack” tactic is just a fancy variant of the “bitches be crazy” defense. Except, I’m sorry, how is it that I’m the nonsensical crazy one when I’m not the person who is saying straight-up NOT TRUE STUFF? Oh right. I’m a woman, and women who say things that people don’t work are crazy. Right. The ancient Greeks even invented a term for it – hysteria. Somehow that slipped my mind.

Also, you know who hasn’t (to my knowledge) participated in these threads? JB Meyers. You’d think the way J Scott Campbell is reacting that I went and personally kicked his puppy. But nowhere did I ever say anything about his art, or about Mark’s art. So I’m really not sure why J Scott and Mark are getting so wound up about this when JB himself seems to be restraining from participating in this disgusting vortex of internet hate.

Okay. Sidebar over.


J Scott Campbell: I also welcome counterpoints and as long as they’re civil and respectful (more or less) and I wouldn’t delete them just because the opinions differ from my own. That’s where we are different as well.

[Pretty classic form on the tone argument there, although the equivocating means he doesn’t stick the dismount. B+ effort.]


Okay, I’m not going to transcribe this, but this is basically Mark Brooks plugging all of his portfolio sites. Because when I get traffic from a storm of internet negativity, that’s bad. But when Mark uses a storm of internet negativity to advertise his professional services, thats’… um… good?

Anyway. That’s all I have for now. Since I don’t have anything more clever to end on, please enjoy these links to my favoritemale tears” GIFs. May they brighten your day. (I do apologize to my regular readers for the lack of actually important contact. But hey, you know how it is.)

23 thoughts on “Even more followup: in which the awful is doubled down

    • J. Scott Campbell, Frank Cho, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, and most of the other 90’s mainstays are perfect examples of what happens when you professionally have your proverbial dick sucked for 20 or 30 years and suddenly the social climate has changed and people are calling you out for shit because no one outside your bubble was paying attention to what you were doing, and you can’t handle it.

  1. [Okay, kids. Because I can’t trust the internet to play nicely in my absence, I’m going to turn comments off until the morning while I go and do some real-life shit. (MISANDRY!) I’ll cautiously re-open them tomorrow.]

  2. I’ve been following all this and shaking my head. Who knew having an opinion is such a terrible thing? There’s something a little insulting to JB Meyers in all the backlash–as if he’s a frail flower that will wilt in your criticism. I’m sure he’s heard worse, and has become the better artist for it.

  3. Well I for one am glad I discovered your blog over the last few days and I’ve added it to my favourites. I’m shaking my head at all of the drama and people who are seriously missing the point, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this.

    Also what is with all these claims that critics have to be more skilled than the artists they are critiquing? Last I heard that was not a criteria on most reviewing sites and it’s more about being objective and having excellent writing skills. Did Ebert ever even direct a film?

    • Ebert did WRITE a film, but it’s really beside the point. He wrote a film after he was already well-established as a critic, and it had no bearing on his abilities as a critic.

  4. It would be pretty awesome if JB Meyers came out of the woodwork now and admitted he did an anatomically crappy job on that poster, that he admits his art (but not his alone) badly represents the female form, that he’s going to try to learn about feminism, and in future works to try harder to be aware of his own biases and skewed viewpoints.

    If he’s reading this, I can highly recommend “The Gender Knot”, it’s a really good introduction to feminist thinking, especially for people who currently only know feminism through pop media.

    • We’re so deep into the rage parade at this point that even an “i think my art’s awesome but come on you guys you’re embarrassing me” would be heartening.

    • Wow. Aside from the fact that I think she’s more than demonstrated that she’s not “defenseless,” I’m always fascinated at how upsetting hypocrites find it to have their hypocrisy pointed out. Sucks, huh? But piling logical fallacies upon logical fallacies doesn’t actually do anything to shore up the base.

      The reality is that men, and maybe white men in particular (and in the interest of full-disclosure, I am one) find ourselves at a point in history where much of our historical advantage is being increasingly called into question. And I think most of us, whether consciously or subconsciously, recognize that we’ve (collectively) had things pretty good for a damn long time. And that that isn’t fair, or part of the natural way of things or whatever. It’s just how things worked out and we won the lottery. So when some of the last “non-infiltrated” bastions of white maleness — comics, games — come under much-deserved scrutiny, it’s pretty easy to see the writing on the wall. We’re going to have to give up some of the 99% of everything that is made exclusively for us and share.

      It’s terrible, I know. I hated it in Kindergarten, too. But there’s this incredible misapprehension that we’re talking about a zero-sum game. That if “the feminists” take over, there will never be another cheesecake picture ever again in the history of comics and THEN where will we be? But, of course, that isn’t true. And the reality is that people who love comics and love games should be excited about a more inclusive, diverse ecosystem because, frankly, it’s vital to the longterm health and well-being of these mediums.

      And as long as we’re on the subject of “irony,” (indirectly, anyway), does anyone else find it ironic that this whole thing originates from a discussion of perspective?

  5. The comments those two artists made and their reaction on Facebook strikes me as being really immature and unprofessional.

  6. As a feminist who takes many of the devices you use in your rebuttals very seriously, I am disappointed to see many of them used incorrectly. It weakens the feminist effort.

    Disagreeing with you isn’t misandry. Suggesting that your opinions are off-base, or that your degree is irrelevant to your earlier critique isn’t anti-woman, it’s a criticism of your opinion-driven post. You come off as hyper-sensitive or irrational, and you throw about feminist language (tone-policing, etc) whenever it suits you, but not always when it’s applicable. And for that, I’m insulted, because it means that people will take thoughtful feminist critique less seriously after the sour taste you’re likely leaving in their mouths.

    (I suspect you’ll delete this, but hope you don’t. Everyone is capable of being educated and critiqued, even you.)

    • Even me? Wow. That’s pretty harsh.

      Humor has an important place in feminism, because there’s nothing misogynists hate worse than being laughed at. Which is what my MISANDRY! is about. It’s a joke.

      Also, I think it’s generally bad form to judge another woman’s feminism.

      • First-time visitors don’t know that MISANDRY! is a joke. How about trying to actively be as inclusive as you suggest others should be?

    • Oh hey look guys! There’s a ‘feminist’ using the exact same tone argument as the rest of the butt hurt brigade. I love how disagreeing with the blogger is not ‘Misandry’ – little slip of the tongue friend? Additional points given for using ‘hyper sensitive’ and ‘irrational’ as well. I know mansplainin’ when I see it. Up your game and try again.

      • Thanks so much for your ironic quotes and use of ‘mansplaining.’ It’s a super constructive response.

        • Oh your welcome! Thanks for the mansplainin and rehash of the tone argument. Haven’t seen that for a whole 5 minutes. I was beginning to worry.

  7. Just dropping by to say I love this blog, and I’m happy that I kept it in my reader during the long hiatus. I also absolutely love the anatomy corrections. As someone without much background in art, I always found most depictions of women in video games and RPG art unsettling, without realizing why. Thank you for pointing to a layman like myself the difference between real women and jelly-spine chimeras with spherical breasts hanging from their collarbones.

  8. I’ve just stumbled across this … incident. I really appreciate your work regarding oversexualization of women in gaming. Misogyny in geek culture is kind of horrifying. As you noted, women have to give their credentials, so here are mine. I have studied figure drawing for 7 years, doing life drawing and painting the whole time. Never been a full time bona fide art student; I squeeze it in around my day job. However, seven years. Before that, I got a BS in biology, followed by a Master’s degree in anatomy at an Ivy League school. For 5 years I studied anatomy, specializing on the movement of bones and muscles. I taught anatomy to pre-meds, dancers, artists, and veterinary students. Even in the field of anatomy, sexism is deeply entrenched, and I have several monologues on the topic that I am happy to deliver to anyone willing to listen. Some of my art addresses this sexism directly.
    I hope my credentials in life drawing as well as anatomy are adequate.
    With that established, I honestly find nothing wrong with the original art you criticized. We can nitpick the specific things if you want, but they look absolutely fine to me.
    The reaction to this whole thing has been over the top. I agree that there is genuine misogyny in many of the responses. However, I feel that you have lumped all criticism into the misogyny bin. Sometimes criticism, even that which is wrapped in misogyny, is legit. You went after an established artist, and you were wrong, People got upset. Some of them were assholes about it. They were still assholes, and you were still wrong.

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