After Bleeding Cool Interviews Vox Day, IndieGoGo Axes Latest Alt-Hero Comic Campaign

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 —

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 —

This campaign has been closed by Trust and Safety due to a violation of our Terms of Use. The campaign will no longer be accepting contributions, and the Campaign Owners no longer have access to the campaign.

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.

53 thoughts on “After Bleeding Cool Interviews Vox Day, IndieGoGo Axes Latest Alt-Hero Comic Campaign

  1. Apparently the Bleeding Cool post has been taken down in the past hour.

    The Internet Archive has a copy — which I just read — and yet now that I’ve changed to their link, I can neither get to the page from here, nor by pulling it up on the Wayback Machine itself. Don’t know what the explanation is for that problem.

  2. But I am bothered by the mystery of why the link works for some people and not for others.

  3. Oh god, that fluff piece was just horrible. Couldn’t finish it, the introduction and its argument to tolerate the white supremacy, racism and pro-terrorism of Beale was just too much.

  4. I think Sherman and Peabody are getting even with Mike for the unauthorized images in the File 770 header. 😉

  5. It reminds me of a quote from a German who survived the Nazi era: “When we first saw them, we thought they would a bunch of clowns. Then we woke up one day and discovered they were running the country.” Watched a couple of videos about Steve Bannon. According to the first video, relying heavily on the book, “Devil’s Bargain,” Bannon rose to power through gamers. According to the second video, quoting influential conservative British leaders, Bannon was responsible for Brexit through Breitbart. He’s been on the cheerleader circuit in Europe, telling rightwingers in power what they want to hear. Now he’s got a new documentary out targeting the midterm elections. The lesson here is that Vox Day could accomplish the same feat through sci fi. This is why I was alarmed when Prager U, a site with a billion clicks, included him in a report about the alt right. He might fade instead of rising to power, but in the meantime, it’s important to monitor him and report on his activities. So kudos to Mike for keeping track of him.

  6. I am amused by Seifert’s assertion that the prolific author of a couple thousand cookie-cutter boys’ adventure dime novels was more influential to the development of science fiction, as it exists today, than Donald Wollheim.

  7. After reading that ‘article’, I remember why I never bother with Bleeding Cool. I personally found it incoherent, scattered and difficult to read. Some people can make stories with a hundred tangents work. This didn’t.

  8. 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.

    That would have been an outrageous statement by Tor as clearly Vox should never be published by them because of his turgid prose as well as his “ideological beliefs” (i.e. his support for terrorists who murder children)

  9. Camestros Felapton: That would have been an outrageous statement by Tor as clearly Vox should never be published by them because of his turgid prose as well as his “ideological beliefs”

    Yes, his delusional belief that, were it not for his “idealogical beliefs”, his “novels” would be considered for publication by Tor, is pretty hilarious. 😀

  10. Mike Glyer: Bleeding Cool not only removed the interview, it has published an apology:

    Today one of our writers   our Managing Editor Mark Seifert made an error in judgement resulting in giving exposure to viewpoints that we abhor.

    There, Bleeding Cool, fixed that for you. 🙄

  11. I found the interview via an archive.is link. The Mark Siefert introduction is really long and meandering, such that I found myself skimming quite a bit. (Excuse: I’m busy trying to do a write-up and analysis of the ballot for my vicinity, and I couldn’t spare much time.) When I finally got to the interview, dozens of paragraphs down, and a full 1/3 of the way down one extremely long frakkin’ page, it seemed to me that Siefert made some quite telling critical points and politely asked some pointed questions, i.e., based on a sample of several passages skim-read, it wasn’t a puff-piece interview, and Siefert wasn’t inclined to let Theo Beale get away with vague handwaves.

    (I haven’t read anything like the entire piece, and probably won’t unless I find a bunch more free time.)

  12. “Today one of our writers our Managing Editor Mark Seifert made an error in judgement resulting in giving exposure to and defending viewpoints that we abhor.

    More fixes were needed.

  13. Rick Moen:

    It was absolutely a puff piece. How about these apologetics?

    “I’m sure you noticed I left something dangling there in the second para of the post: do Vox Day’s politics intend to harm others? I think they don’t, but there are complications. He’s not a Nazi, or a White Nationalist, and while he’s stated support for White Nationalism in the past, he’s explained pretty convincingly during the course of our interview that he no longer thinks White Nationalism is viable.”

    This about the man who several times have defended child-murderer Anders Behring-Breivik. The man who argued that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote and that it was good of the talibans to throw acid into the faces of little girls. No intention to harm? And it is quite a difference between being against white supremacy and thinking it might not be viable.

    This is defending him. Trying to present his hate as slightly problematic, but not wishing anyone harm.

    And what the hell was the talk abiut Beale being “a student of political and military history”. Where has he studied? To what degree? Sitting in his chamber reading conspiracy sites hardly makes him a student. Puff the freaking cuddle drake.

  14. do Vox Day’s politics intend to harm others?

    I’m sure his multi-year campaign to burn down the Hugos for being too progressive was just a bit of a laugh.

  15. It’s also worth noting that Chuck Dixon hasn’t had anything to do with Marvel other than collect residuals for twenty years now. He’s been working in what I’d called the minor leagues for a very long time now.

  16. Dixon just had a Bane mini-series at DC a year or so ago. His complaints that Marvel won’t hire him never mention that he accused Marvel’s editor-in-chief of hoodwinking John Severin into drawing a miniseries where the Rawhide Kid was gay.

    I knew he was always a right-wing nutter, but a QAnon comic?

  17. @JJ – maybe that’s because DAW was a Michelist/Socialist/Communist and (absent the overt politics), it was basically he and the Futurians who “won” those early battles for the hearts and minds of fandom.

    (That “socialist” bent is still evident through the manner in which we hold traditional conventions, if not elsewhere in the community…)

  18. There are several instances in the interview in which Siefert brings up the things Day objects to being called (NAZI, White Supremacist, etc).

    Day is on record having objected to such nomenclature for several years now (on my end, most recently with the Foz Meadows piece we ran after Blackgate dropped it).

    Howewer, I noticed this morning that no one has ever asked Mr. Beale if he would object to the statement “things you say and write come across as ….”, leaving out the personal “you are a” part.

    Knowing how fond he is of playing with words, I wonder why no one has ever gone there.

  19. Archive.org has been having issues the last few days, so I’m not surprised that the link is working for some and not others.

    Beale himself had this line in his post about funding his comic:

    if we have to set up our own crowdfunding platform, we will do so

    It’s interesting, given that Freestartr.com (the alt-right crowdfunding platform that he previously used) was shut down when their payment processors dropped them. Rootbocks.com – another alt-right crowdfunding platform – had the same thing happen to them. I don’t know what happened to “goyfundme.com” but it’s just a spam/ad site, now. I have a hunch their payment processors dropped them, too.

    Good riddance to all three of them, but this suggests to me that he may have some difficulty in setting up his own crowdfunding site. At least for the long term.

  20. That would require someone having done an in depth examination of Vox Day’s bullshit, and I suspect a journalist who’d actually done such an exam would have no desire to do an interview, unless if were for The Daily Stormer or some such publication.

  21. That bloviating interview is exactly what VD wants. It provides him cover – something to point at and say “see, even left-leaning publications admit my expertise and that I make valid points,” when in reality they are for some reason playing along with his dishonest game. Accepting his ret-conned attempts at veiling his blatant white supremacy because he talks in fancy circles plays right into his hand.

  22. The Bleeding Cool piece was offensive in its level of flattery for Teddy Beale. Here’s one of the more egregious examples:

    I’d also suggest you read as much of his blog as you can, because you’ll find a sort of dev kit which can be used for altering our ideological source code, and other interesting purposes, if you read carefully. You certainly don’t have to be Alt Right to use it. Anyone at all can use it for any purpose. You do have to understand the language of history to use it effectively though, and sadly, no one does. Almost no one.

    I am flabbergasted that some people are characterizing the introduction and interview as critical. It avoided talking about the worst things he has said and done and accepted his bullshit self-characterizations at face value, as if he’s the sole authority on whether he’s a bigoted white nationalist. Then it gave him thousands of words to expound, as if he was someone the comics community believes worthy of our attention. Bah humbug to that. Beale’s a nobody in comics trying to become a somebody through right-wing culture war nonsense.

    Howewer, I noticed this morning that no one has ever asked Mr. Beale if he would object to the statement “things you say and write come across as ….”, leaving out the personal “you are a” part.

    That seems like a complete waste of time to me. Who cares about what Beale thinks about what he is called? Actions have consequences. People don’t forget what he’s said. He can try to wiggle out by shedding labels he has embraced in the past, but I don’t any media outlet great or small needs to give him a platform to do that.

  23. Eric Franklin notes It’s interesting, given that Freestartr.com (the alt-right crowdfunding platform that he previously used) was shut down when their payment processors dropped them. Rootbocks.com – another alt-right crowdfunding platform – had the same thing happen to them. I don’t know what happened to “goyfundme.com” but it’s just a spam/ad site, now. I have a hunch their payment processors dropped them, too.

    They likely stopped paying their hosting service as their domain name service is paid up through next year.

  24. rcade correctly notes That seems like a complete waste of time to me. Who cares about what Beale thinks about what he is called? Actions have consequences. People don’t forget what he’s said. He can try to wiggle out by shedding labels he has embraced in the past, but I don’t any media outlet great or small needs to give him a platform to do that.

    He’s a xenophobic racist, period. Bleeding Cool which has all the intregriity of a cat playing of a mouse and seeing of how much it can make it bleed while appearing to be not doing so is only dropping the interview because of the severe negative reaction to doing just that.

  25. @Hampus

    It was absolutely a puff piece. How about these apologetics?

    I believe you’re quoting there from the ridiculously long and rather fatuous introduction, which I just said I pretty much skipped. My comments concerned some of Siefert’s probing within the interview proper, where at intervals he appeared to me to be intelligently questioning some of Beale’s characteristic handwaves and logical problems. As I said, I skim-read the thing last night mercilessly, because I’m working on the latest iteration of my ballot analyses, and I really didn’t have time for an in-depth plow through that monstrosity.

    I suppose I could go back and cite examples of what I was speaking of, from the archive.is cached copy, but the problem there is that I still really don’t have time for this mishegoss, sorry.

  26. Interesting, via his blog, Vix is saying that Indiegogo pulled his campaign because of “unusual activity”. That pretty much implies unusual patterns of payments into the campaign. That was a feature noted about his previous crowdfunding campaigns on the defunct Freestartr platform.

    I suspect Vox may have been crowdfunding himself 🙂

  27. Rick Moen said:

    As I said, I skim-read the thing last night mercilessly, because I’m working on the latest iteration of my ballot analyses,

    If you don’t have enough time to read a thing in its entirety, you don’t have enough time to comment at all. In my not-remotely humble opinion.

  28. Camestros Felapton says that I suspect Vox may have been crowdfunding himself ?

    Well that’s certainly one interpretation. An equally valid one is that he wasn’t actually taking in any pledges at all. If Indiegogo decided that his public statements misrepresented his campaign that would be an equally valid reason to shut him down as that would be ‘unusual activity’ by him in form of fraud.

  29. @Nancy Sauer:

    I’m sorry, you think it’s inappropriate for me to comment on aspects I noticed, passim, in the middle of a ridiculously long interview, explicitly mentioning that I skipped an overlong, wretchedly edited, and apparently content-free introduction, because my friend Hampus might ignore what I said and accuse me of insufficiently heeding the introduction that I just explicitly said I skipped? Well, OK, you’re entitled to your opinion, and I’ll certainly give it all due consideration.

    ETA: Among other things, I can’t even begin to count how many genre books I read only 40 pages of before giving them up as a bad job, but sleep quite soundly about having commented about them despite not having read the thing in its entirety. Brief impressions are a thing. Sorry you don’t like them.

  30. Pingback: Is Vox Day Crowd Funding Himself? | Camestros Felapton

  31. Rick Moen:

    The problem was that you gave an opinion about the whole article – not being a puff piece – when you skipped all the huffing and puffing in the introduction

    I do have sympathies for people who skipped the introduction. That was a ridiculous amount of word salad.

  32. IMHO, Bleeding Cool was only ever “left-wing” to people whose Overton Window went so far right it fell off the edge. So I’m not entirely surprised they ran the interview, I’m only surprised they pulled it and are now letting a guuurl run things (but not surprised a woman has to deal with the aftermath/clean up the mess).

    I suspect that the statement “other members of the Bleeding Cool writing staff were unaware of the contents of this article” implies that it wasn’t only a Twitter/email/etc. reaction against it, but that Siefert decided to sneak this in and the rest of the staff went “wait WUT?” and there was plenty of pushback from them against it as well. Not being representative of anybody’s feelings except his.

    @Cam: I wonder what qualifies as “unusual activity” under crowdfunding rules? Lots of consecutive hits from the same IP/domain? Pledges coming in at weird times/from odd places? I would like to know, just in general; I was of the opinion that moneys is moneys to crowdfunding, though I’ve never run a campaign myself and have contributed to few. Which is why I’m asking. But it must have been VERY suspicious for his previous alt-right platform didn’t even put up with it.

    Cam and Kat E. might both be right.

    And finally: if it quacks like a duck…

    (Here in 9540, our robot business partners figure this stuff out for us.)

  33. Lurkertype on October 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm said:

    @Cam: I wonder what qualifies as “unusual activity” under crowdfunding rules? Lots of consecutive hits from the same IP/domain? Pledges coming in at weird times/from odd places? I would like to know, just in general; I was of the opinion that moneys is moneys to crowdfunding, though I’ve never run a campaign myself and have contributed to few. Which is why I’m asking. But it must have been VERY suspicious for his previous alt-right platform didn’t even put up with it.

    I’m speculating but I assume that most campaign would follow patterns of donations that would follow common patterns. For example maybe a logistic growth curve (starting slow then increasing rapidly then tapering off) or variants on it (e.g. spurts of growth or ending before the tapering off begins). If you weren’t aware of that and just kept adding your own money every few days or added big chunks of money (as seems to have happened on the alt-right crowd funder Freestartr) then the pattern would be recognisably at odds with a normal campaign.

    For example, in March I drew a graph of a crowd-funded campaign by a certain person who shall remain nameless https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/looking-at-some-crowdfunding-data/
    Now I would describe the AIM of the campaign as dodgy but the data and pattern of contribution looks like what I would guess is a legitimate pattern. That’s not enough to confirm the contributions are legit and a weird curve wouldn’t prove contributions are not legit but it might be sufficient for a platform like IndieGoGo say IndieNoNo 😉

    In principle a crowdfunding site could be misused for money laundering or dodgy accounting practices by making internal movements of money within an organisation into external transactions. So the platform and whichever financial service is providing that platforms payment processes have good reason to crack down on self-payment.

    Of course making your campaign look more succesful than it actually is, would also be unethical and another motive for self-payment. I’d think crowdfunding platforms wouldn’t be keen on that either but the impact on the platform is less.

    Either way, most other reasons for suspending a campaign make less sense if only implimented once the campaign had finished. Of course, its possible IndieGoGo felt that a comic book about the “QAnon” conspiracy theory violated some of their content guidelines but I find it both unlikely and a bit late in the day given that the campaign was effectively over. What IndieGoGo stopped was the final transaction of money from contributors to Vox’s company, rather than the promotion of Vox’s comic book (the promotion is still visible on IndieGoGo, you can still read the sample comic book pages etc, you just can’t contribute).

  34. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 10-14-18 - Amazing Stories

  35. I ran across this kerfuffle on BleedingCool by chance. And BC did the one and only thing that would cause me to read that terribly long and (thus far) not very interesting interview.

    They black-holed it. So congrats to them???

    I’ve got a PDF copy that I made via Archive.org due to their links going pear-shaped.

    It’s so good that a couple of comic books and the latest issue of Grimdark Magazine someone jumped ahead of it on my TBR pile, but if anyone wants a copy, let me know.

    Regards,
    Dann
    I don’t think I’ve met anyone with a stronger work ethic than Ray Charles. – Clint Eastwood

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