Last week, Bleeding Cool ran a piece about the internet user who goes by the name Diversity & Comics, with a popular YouTube channel that — depending on your point of view — targets what he sees as publishers pandering to an undeserving and audience betraying real committed comic book fans, or participating in or emboldening an online hate mob engaging in a systematic attack of harassment against comic book creators, often on the basis of their gender or sexuality.
This week, more comic creators have been stepping up their criticism of his actions, naming him as US veteran and comic creator Richard C. Meyer (who yes, to be fair, had named himself plenty of times in his work). And it had been noted that at one point, Meyer had been planning on attending Baltimore Comic Con this weekend. But talk, especially online, is cheap. And last night, comic industry legend Mark Waid posted the following on Facebook:
"For anyone attending this weekend's (excellent) Baltimore Comic Con, I have an important request. There is a serial YouTube harasser named Richard C Meyer who I'm told may be attending as a fan. If anyone sees this gentleman or any of his friends, I need you to come find me and tell me immediately. Even if I'm on a panel, come up and interrupt.
Please circulate this request as widely as you possibly can through all your social media accounts. Fellow pros, tell each other. This is about attempting to lessen the harassment of women in comics, and it is important. Please spread the word. Thank you."
Waid has an occasional reputation, as he points out below, of losing his cool. This led some to see this as post as a threat of physical violence, and started tweeting around that Waid was threatening Meyer. But, it seems, conversation was had, and an accord reached. Waid followed by saying:
"I'll be having a civil conversation with Richard and others next week after Baltimore, for those of you hanging on to my every word tonight. 😉
… I don't know what can come out of a conversation, and I'm not fooling myself into thinking that the industry is in store for a Comics Lovefest anytime soon, but I think we're all agreed that hatred and rage (speaking as an occasional rager when I lose my cool) have reached the point where no one is being served and nothing is improving.
'night, folks. See you in Baltimore. Which, despite what you may have heard, is not a threat."
I spoke to Richard C. Meyer, who told me:
"I wasn't intimidated by these people. I noticed in multiple videos a week or two ago that I was not going to go to Baltimore because I was going to New York Comic Con which is just 4 blocks from my house. And also the cost of trains in America is prohibitive.
I just read your article and it seems very accurate in my opinion. The only thing to add is that Captain Cummings a YouTuber negotiated all of us to talk in Google Hangout but that there were technical difficulties so we've tabled it toward next week sometime. Although I didn't like the way that Mark Waid made the allegations, we did seem to talk like gentlemen and it seems like everything cooled down. Additionally I asked for people to give specific complaints and I can address those. For instance, a prominent creator at DC asked me to stop using two of the favorite tongue-in-cheek catch phrases I use frequently on my channel and I agreed to do that
Additionally as a message of good faith and to allay Waid's fears that I would misrepresent him I offered to not discuss him in any videos or record anything that he said not that I would have in the first place. So my channel is going to kind of oddly not be discussing him either even while I discuss things that are related to what he said."
We look forward to hearing more about this meeting of minds next week.
Stay safe, people.
Featured image credit: Loren Javier via Flickr