Far More Liberal Comic Creators are Blacklisted by Marvel and DC than Conservative Ones

There is a rule in the comic books industry that to get creative work, get more work, and get ahead in your career, you need three attributes: to be good, to be fast, and to be nice. Most comic creators make it with two of these. Very occasionally you can get by with just one, but you have to be extraordinarily good, fast, or nice. But the only politics that come into it are office politics.

There are a small handful of conservative comic book creators who cannot get work at Marvel and/or DC. But, despite what they may think, their politics don't come into it.

Some people fall out of fashion, some are taken for granted… and some are just complete asses. And you have to be an extraordinary talent, be very useful, or have a lot of industry appeal to get out of that hole.

From my own particular viewpoint in the UK, most people working in comics are conservatives. There seems to be no left-wing rallying for collective bargaining anymore; everyone's working as an individualist. And plenty are writing escapist fantasies in a superhero world where exceptionalism is rewarded, everyone acts on a motivation of individual duty rather than state intervention, and might generally makes right, winning the day. And no one is having to register their superpower — and if anyone asks them to do so, they're the bad guy.

But I know some people define such labels differently from me. Especially in America. And that's fine; let's go forward with that. But even then as industry figures have told me, for every American-conservative creator they are not working with for being an ass, there are 50 American-liberal ones they are not working with for being even bigger asses.

I'll say that again: If there are a small handful of conservative creators who have been blacklisted, there are truckloads of liberal comics creators have been blacklisted by the Big Two for the exact same reasons.

Now, that is probably because there appear to be more American-styled liberal comics creators than conservative creators. A product of a) arts colleges not being right wing havens, b) the publishers tending to be in New York or California, and c) the money being better in advertising drawing away those who value that more.

But none of them have been blacklisted for their politics. Most conservative comics creators don't wear their politics on their sleeves, but people know their politics well and don't have a problem with that.

A number of blacklisted creators could get work if they called up and apologised for whatever it is they did to whomever it was.

But not all of them. Especially for those who are on their third runaround…

For some, however, it seems easier to blame being dropped on their politics, rather than the abuse they ladled on their co-creator which got passed around editorial, the comments they made on social media about their editor's work colleagues, the article they wrote and published that targeted their editor, the editor they belittled by shouting down the line or, of course, the ultimate sin, being really, really late and blaming it on the dog eating their digital files.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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