Bleeding Cool interviewed Vox Day about his nascent comics publishing business in “Vox Day: Altered States of America” [Internet Archive link — but see Update] . Day’s Castalia House imprint Arkhaven Comics has published 22 comic books and graphic novels in the past year, using crowdfunding to generate capital and create sales.
Mark Seifert precedes his interview with a multi-thousand word apologetic seeking to manage fan reaction to Bleeding Cool’s platforming of the controversial figure, the kind of response Vox Day anticipated (see “Interview with Bleeding Cool” [Internet Archive link]) when he promoted it on Vox Popoli —
I expect a fair number of SJWs will be outraged by the fact that Bleeding Cool acknowledged my existence at all, and when they did, failed to devote the entire interview to angrily denouncing NAZICOMICSHATE, but then, birds will fly and fish will swim too.
And, indeed, there was a hostile reaction on Twitter —
I was just reading about how “cancel culture” is toxic and harmful.
Well, @bleedingcool is fucking cancelled. Forever.
This is dressed up ComicsGate propaganda normalizing Vox Day’s neo-Nazi bullshit.
Enjoy the click, assholes. It’s the last one you’re ever getting from me. https://t.co/L3A8tPhuoc
— Matt Wallace: The Epic Two-Part Season Finale (@MattFnWallace) October 11, 2018
Sorry my dudes, but @bleedingcool giving Vox Day a platform to spout his skewed white nationalist rhetoric is a new pretty impressive low in comics "journalism", or "journalism" in general.
— Tom Muller (@hellomuller) October 11, 2018
Throughout Bleeding Cool’s interview Matt Seifert delivers plenty of pitches right into Vox’s wheelhouse. For example —
BC: Now let’s talk about the other part of your response there — your assertion that major publishers are restricting who they will hire to produce comics based on their political beliefs. One of the elephants in the room there is that Ike Perlmutter, chairman of Marvel Entertainment, is one of the Republican Party’s largest donors. He’s a man who has President Trump’s ear. He is also legendary for his attention to the details, and for the level of control he exerts over those details. There’s little doubt that if he thought an ideological course correction in Marvel’s output was necessary and/or more profitable, he would be bringing that about with speed. Why hasn’t he been doing that?
VD: Mr. Perlmutter’s mysterious inaction notwithstanding, it is an absolute fact that major publishers, in both comics and science fiction, restrict who they will hire and who they will publish based on their political beliefs. Two of the writers I publish, Chuck Dixon and Nick Cole, were directly told by editors at Marvel and HarperCollins that they would never be permitted to work with them again. I am a novelist myself and I have been personally told by people who work for Tor Books as well as authors published by Tor Books, the largest science fiction publisher, that I would never be published by Tor due to my ideological beliefs. I also know several illustrators and colorists who have been blackballed by either Marvel or DC. Why do you think it’s so easy for Arkhaven to find excellent, experienced artists who are excited to work with us? They understand we aren’t interested in policing their thoughts or opinions.
An unexpected consequence of the interview is that IndieGoGo shut down Arkhaven’s current fundraiser for Alt-Hero: Q, refunded backers’ money, and posted this banner over the webpage —
The comic had been advertised to be “an incendiary 150-page graphic novel in six parts that explores the mysterious phenomenon of QAnon. The story is written by the legendary Chuck Dixon, who is backed by a first-rate professional art-and-production team.”
In a video commentary posted this afternoon, Vox Day said he believes Bleeding Cool readers lobbied IndieGoGo to get the Alt-Hero: Q book pulled from the crowdfunding site.
And he told readers of his blog (“Indiegogo cancels AH:Q” [Internet Archive link]) —
Needless to say, we’re looking into this. We’ve got everyone’s email addresses and so forth, so if we have to set up our own crowdfunding platform, we will do so. However, in light of the fact that Indiegogo has done this retroactively, we are already looking into the legal aspects of their actions. I am not yet aware of any reason, in fact, I do not even know if the scheduled payment for the campaign was delivered on schedule or not two weeks ago. I assume not, but I won’t be able to confirm that until tomorrow.
Update: Bleeding Cool Removes Interview and Apologizes: Seifert’s interview didn’t last to the end of the first day before public reaction prompted Bleeding Cool to remove it and issue “An Apology Concerning Vox Day: We Made a Mistake” —
Today one of our writers made an error in judgement resulting in giving exposure to viewpoints that we abhor. We will do better, going forward, and that is a promise. The author admits that this was an extreme error of judgement that never should have been made and that other members of the Bleeding Cool writing staff were unaware of the contents of this article.
Seifert has been Bleeding Cool’s managing editor, however, Kaitlyn Booth, who wrote the apology, announced —
In a first step towards that end we are announcing, effective immediately, I am stepping into the role of Editor-in-Chief and will be implementing new review policies across the Bleeding Cool teams.
Update 10/11/2018: Soon after this post went online Bleeding Cool yanked the Seifert interview. I then changed the link to the Wayback Machine’s capture of the page, which worked when I first searched it, however, that link isn’t working now. No idea what’s making it impossible to retrieve. Subsequently Jon Del Arroz posted a different archive link which is working and looks like a valid copy, so I have changed to that.