This weekend was my formerly favorite local con and I didn’t go.
Trigger warnings for:
homophobia, transphobia, hate speech, hate group, harassment, misogyny, slurs, and pretty much anything you can think of when it comes to the comic book convention scene and the industry.
The Garden State Comic Fest is close and they move around to different venues in New Jersey. As much as I have love for the show and longed to visit my friends, I held out on principles. A certain comic creator who has crowned himself the leader of C0m1csG4teSorry I have to disguise this from searches was there. I wrote to the owner of the show and professionally, I think, explained the issue with this. It’s Pride Month – not that it particularly matters – and they were allowed this hateful person to table at this show. This person who throws around the same slurs and pejoratives you see on Twitter now. He riles up his fans to spread hate. Sound familiar?
Before I launch into this tome, support truly welcoming conventions like FlameCon. At this point, I cannot think of another one.
Here’s my email to GSCF:
I debated for days whether or not to say anything about EethanVaaanSciverrrrAgain, misspelled to disguise this from searches being a guest or even getting a table at GSCF. He is proudly misogynist, homophobic, and tauts Nazi memes.
He took the title bestowed upon him of comics and gamer fans as leader of the hate group C0m1csG4te. This group has tried their best, like GamerGaters, to drive women; queer creators, journalists, & fans; and other industry professionals out of the comics industry.
This isn’t a situation where one person has a “he said/she said” disagreement years ago. His group, which he takes ownership of, participates in trolling, doxxing, SWATing, and other abhorrent activities.
All it takes is a look at his Twitter feed or videos by him or with him as a guest to see that he and his supporters are still a pox to the comics community.
Today is the International Day of Awareness Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. People like him and his supporters can have their own place in a cesspool corner of the internet, but they should not be at cons which have supposedly enforced policies against harassment and abuse.
He leads people who say, their “transition” was left to right; and they reference their “red pill” agenda. I hope you are connected enough to the everyday fans to see how dangerous that line of thought is.
Websites like Twitter and “Bounding Into Comics” give hate a voice. Patreon and Crowdfundr have had the guts to boot EeeeVeeeEsss and CG (which he now owns the trademark to) from their platforms.
Please do the right thing and side with marginalized people in the industry and ban EeeeVeeeEsss and CG from your shows.
I hope to see you soon.
I can’t see where people who harass others and spread hate belong at a convention where they’re selling branded Pride shirts. Pride is about equal rights, existing free from harm, and love. Those people don’t have to love me, but they absolutely should keep their fucking beliefs out of my relationships, my body, my gender (and I’m cis which is not a slur), or my religion.
I’ve written for Northwest Press—a successful QUILTBAGan easy way to say LGBT+ comics publisher. Our anthology was specifically about bullying and harassment of people in the rainbow. There have been DC Comics Pride stories; there was national coverage about a gay wedding in Marvel comics years ago; Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn are allowed to be openly part of the rainbow (though DC still represses Wonder Woman the most).
And guess what? You’re allowed to not like gay people! However, you can’t tell them they have no right to exist. Nor can you oppress basic human rights that cisgender (not a slur!) people are granted.
I looked at my friends’ photos of the con and they had a fantastic time. I’m so happy for them! The creators made money. The cosplayers gathered and had a blast. But my heart hurt at the hypocrisy.
I didn’t even get a response. I thought this con owner was my friend. He’s been to my house. I’ve hired him for jobs. I thought the least I deserved was an email back saying, “I hear your concerns but he’s coming anyway.” Nothing.
Per a video on YouTube by EeeeVeeeEsss himself, he said he was a “guest” of GSCF. That means perks. That means a creator doesn’t have to pay for their space which is HUGE. They also get a hotel suite and green room access. Normally, being a “guest” also means extra promotion by the convention. EeeeVeeeEsss claimed he asked the promoter not to have him on the guest page or promote him until the last minute. He also said he was so incredibly supported by the convention owner that he (Dave) fetched him an extra table and told him how much he was loved there:
That video of his live stream includes Billy Tucci, Kelsey (no idea), Michael Bancroft, and Shane Davis; other people joined at times. I’m shocked that Billy Tucci would associate with the -g4ters. He’s always been a kind soul. I don’t care that he’s conservative if he treats people well; but that video shows clearly that these men refer to it as “their show” meaning CG’s show. I truly despise sending traffic there, but I’m unable to rip the audio and video to take the segments that are most awful. At around mark 3:49, EeeeVeeeEsss says Garden State Comics Fest was like a “practice for their (C0m1csG4te) con.”
Is that how GSCF wants to be known?
Here’s another part of the transcript of his live stream; keep in mind the auto-generated text doesn’t differentiate when the speaker changes. I highlighted where EeeeVeeeEsss says “they” meaning CG, look like a January 6th (Insurrection) meet up and that they definitely would have done that.
Oh, of course there’s more. I could not stomach listening to their nearly 4-hour video so I scrolled ahead and found a segment at the 3-hour mark where they discuss whether or not to bet on the Special Olympics. And this where…you guessed it…the R word is dropped by a couple of people on the screen (I don’t mean the viewers in the chat audience). I mean Ethan’s personal friends, Jon Malin and Cecil. Yet, EeeeVeeeEsss claims he’s donated a lot of money to that cause (unspecified which organization) and that he loves people with Down Syndrome.
3:04:01 (speaker Shane Davis): attention Friday and he thinks it’s it’s why not he thinks I’m actually the asshole for not wanting to bet on the Special Olympics right. (speaker changes Jon Malin): same things (Shane thinks*) betting out of r—–s is wrong (speaker EeeeVeeeEsss): and yet he’s a part of comic skate (C0m1csG4te*)
3:06:46 (speaker Cecil): I would like to see it like a bracket system like the best wrestler from Special Olympics like (best r—–ed) wrestler then has to like wrestle one of those trans ambo guys … (speaker EeeeVeeeEsss): I would love to see that.
3:07:16 (speaker EeeeVeeeEsss): he’s afraid they’re gonna breed Thoroughbred t–ds, biological men and women sports equals Special Olympics
Their bizarre and offensive discussion of the Special Olympics goes on for a long time. Of course, being hate-fueled phobics, someone brings up the subject of identity posing the question whether someone with limbs could identify as an amputee (3:25:45). That’s what this group is like! It makes no sense if they say they are supportive of something when they obviously are vile.
I do love that the transcript bot could not understand him and came out with this: Columbus Gay Kings tomorrow night instead of “comicsgate kings.”
If we want change to happen in our world, we may not have any influence over the law makers, but we should be able to act locally and work with our small groups of community. These comic cons aren’t the G7. They are our “small” (even with 200k people) networks of people with something in common.
When the 501st had a neo-N*z1 in the group, I wrote them a letter too. They booted the person eventually — I think other people noticed so it wasn’t just me being “too sensitive” as the radical right likes to say. Asking for human decency is not being overly sensitive.
This goes to all conventions and publishers: Don’t you dare have Pride merchandise with your logo, panels featuring queer creators, or claim to be a harassment-free space if you allow Hate in your community.