Mark Waid once again proves the comic book industry is in shambles as he attacks Mark Millar in a bizarre social media post, proving Millar’s description of “cancel pigs” is 100% right.
A video recently went viral featuring a comic book store owner who said he just wants to read good stories and doesn’t want writers to inject themselves into the content which ruins the stories.
Following the video going viral, various comic book pros attacked the retailer – not responding to what he said – but personally attacking the comic store owner based on his appearance.
So Mark Millar got in touch with the store owner and Millar said he couldn’t believe the reactions online from these “cancel pigs”:
“The response I got when I retweeted it and talked about it too, I just think people’s said enough is enough. What’s interesting is I call them cancel pigs, and it’s the people who try and take other people down, try and destroy people online. You know, they all went into hiding. It was really interesting. I think there was a couple of hours where it was the usual shenanigans where they were looking to lynch someone, and then it just flipped, and everybody was like, ‘Oh no, hang on, this is actually quite shameful what they’re doing,’ and people are deleting their tweets. So all the cancel pigs all scarpered, which I thought was really fascinating.”
Comic book retails confirm industry problems
Following speaking with the comic book store owner, Mark Millar set up an interview with three big comic book retailers. They went over the state of the comic book industry. The retailers revealed that both DC Comics and Marvel are in a downturn and certain things aren’t working including relaunching titles and going with so many variant covers. A former editor at DC and Marvel also came out on social media exposing comic book pros for wanting to destroy the direct market and the comic book industry.
Mark Millar has said on social media that he is grateful for what the comic book retailers have done for him as he owes his success to them. Mark Millar is the comic book creator behind Marvel’s big Civil War event, Old Man Logan, and of course is known for his movies, TV shows, and creator-owned material, Millarworld, that he sold to Netflix for millions of dollars. Millar has said he doesn’t even need to write or publish comic books anymore, he does it because he loves them.
The Whisper Network exposed
So as Mark Millar continued educating himself about the state of the comic book industry, he came across a book that is being written about the comic book “Whisper Network.” The Whisper Network is a private Facebook Group consisting of female and trans comic book creators.
Update: Mark Millar makes it clear this isn’t the book he was referring to as he tweeted: “FFS! Just when I think the American comic-book industry can’t get more insane! The book I’m referring to is THE STRANGE DEATH OF AMERICAN COMICS which is a UK musical/political journal friend is writing about an obnoxious UK comic-book blogger and in his inner circle how they destroyed the thing they loved by spending 20 years chipping away at everyone they could working in the industry. His partner is a film-maker and she is going to make a documentary about the irony of people who professed to love something ultimately destroying it. What has this got to do with Gail Simone? I have zero connection to Gail beyond knowing her a little 20 years ago and she’s always been very cordial. This is utter insanity. American comics is a playground!”
Update #2: Mark Waid responded (via Facebook): “I am told that Gail Simone and Mark Millar have sorted out their issue, and I’m glad for Gail. Mark claims that he was promoting a book different than the one pictured and, while given the crowd he runs with these days, that wasn’t an unfair leap to make, that’s what he says. Gail chooses to believe him.”
Original article continues:
According to a writer of Bleeding Fool who exposed the group in a series of articles and who is now writing a book about them, The Whisper Network aims to cancel and harass various male comic book creators and replace them with people from The Whisper Network.
It’s also claimed The Whisper Network includes comic pros and members of the comics “media” including Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool, Heather MacDonald of Comics Beat, and CBR.
An article at Bleeding Fool goes over an example where comic book creator Bill Willingham was targeted after a female employee a part of The Whisper Network allegedly embezzled money from him and she was arrested for it who ended up fleeing to Canada. After the news of the arrest got out, Heather MacDonald of Comics Beat published an article allegedly attacking Willingham.
Mark Waid’s bizarre Facebook posts
Regarding Mark Waid, apparently, DC Comics writer Gail Simone is also a part of this Whisper Network. Following Mark Millar tweeting about the book in which he never mentions Gail Simone, Mark Waid went on the attack on his Facebook page (update: Waid was assuming Mark Millar was talking about The Whisper Network book), and just like the “cancel pigs” Mark Millar described as attacking the comic book store owner, Waid attacks Millar in a bizarre rant:
And like a falling star rocketing across the sky, another former comics superstar whose heat is fading chooses to cry for attention by blaming the industry, his peers, and the audience rather than taking stock of his own professional progress, admitting that we are often the authors of our own fate, and finding the courage to reinvent himself and stay relevant.
It’s really Not. That. Hard.
My star’s not gonna burn forever, either. No one’s does, and accepting that fact gracefully is a sign of emotional maturity. But if I ever, ever become That Guy, every single one of you has permission to slap me upside the head and force me to re-read the above paragraph as many times as it takes to sink in.
A fan remarked that Mark Millar is not wrong to highlight that “there is a disconnect between the Big 2’s editorial, the LCS owners and the readers” which didn’t sit well with Waid:
Sigh. All this complaint about how “comics are dying” because familiar characters are being written “out of character” by people who want to “self-insert” their own political causes or turn them into “SJW mouthpieces”…but not one single legitimate example given. Not *one.* Who? Superman? Batman? Green Lantern? Flash? Wonder Woman? Spider-Man? Captain America? Daredevil? Iron Man? Nightwing? Harley Quinn? Damian Wayne? Seriously, what am I missing here? Have these complainers read a single Marvel or DC comic in the 2020s?
So as Mark Millar cares so much about the comic book industry and wants to save it, Millar came up with the idea that experienced comic book pros could mentor upcoming comic book writers. Mark Waid didn’t like that idea:
“The Captain America series by Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the bad examples (which seemed like a political manifesto shoved inside a comic unlike the writings of Kirby, Gruenwald and your very own Operation Rebirth) followed by post Hickman X-titles and most recently The Punisher by Jason Aaron.” Cap hasn’t been written by Coates for some time now. The Punisher book that’s being published today isn’t reflective of your complaint. Isn’t that what you wanted? Why are you arguing so hard for something you already have? As regards the current X-books, I need you to be more specific about your complaints. In what way are they any more SJW then they have been for decades?
“Frankly you’re too benevolent when it comes to today’s comics which is surprising considering the kind of work you have produced for our favorite Marvel characters namely FF and DD” I’m not “benevolent”; I simply acknowledge that not all of these comics are written to my specific taste, any more than the war and romance books were when I was a kid. Or any more than half the DC and Marvel superhero line when I was a teenager. And that’s perfectly fine. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t automatically make it bad.
I’m not trying to minimize the fact that there are real problems in the industry right now. But strawman complaints about comics that simply don’t exist aren’t helping.
Waid also said he wouldn’t be doing it:
well, since you asked, first off – that’s presuming other writers want to mentor younger writers. That’s a very special kind of effort, and it is not easy to do. It is quite an investment of time and energy. I don’t know that I would have the bandwidth myself, and I certainly can’t speak for the people Mark is talking about. I have no idea how much money you would have to throw at Cary Bates to get him to come back to comics to do a job that he has expressed no interest in having, and may simply not want to do. Also, frankly, I really think the industry can do a lot better by today’s audience, then to rely exclusively on the creative points of view of a bunch of white men in their late 50s, including me. The argument Mark is putting forth is confusing craftsmanship with storytelling.
Waid also considers Mark Millar and those who want to fix the comic book industry the “alt-right” and would rather have the comic book industry destroyed than work with them. Waid was sued for “tortious interference” as Waid allegedly stopped a comic book publisher from hiring Richard Meyer due to Meyer’s politics that Waid allegedly didn’t agree with. Screenshots from The Whiper Network also reveal comic book creator Alex De Campi making similar comments about Meyer and a publisher. Waid posted:
I think a lot of us would just rather see the industry burn down than “get together” with the alt-right. I know I would. Sorry. And I call bullshit on “anyone who tries to highlight the issues gets piled on.” I think it’s far more accurate to say “anyone who wants to blame everything on SJWs gets piled on” or “anyone who wants to complain that their favorite characters are being written as political mouthpieces but can’t provide any examples of this is being piled on.”
In another bizarre rant, later on in the thread, Mark Waid blames white men for the problems, of which he notes that includes himself:
that’s where the problem is: “bunch of white men in their 50s”. If they are willing to mentor, contribute, why stop them? Especially when their work is revered to this day
We agree about the financials and how this would come about smoothly but this attitude towards “bunch of white men” isn’t healthy even if you include yourself with them
You, too have a lot to offer for us fans
Responding to Mark Waid’s comments, Mark Millar revealed that he and Gail Simone are on good terms and have no problems:
Pleased to see Gail has had the typical class to delete those tweets from last night since someone stirred this up with a concocted post (see below). We remain, as ever, good friends. https://t.co/5wpqzpM2BV— Millarworld (@mrmarkmillar) December 14, 2023
I have nothing else to say other than I'm sure you meant no ill will based on our good relationship in the past, but I would appreciate you deleting these tweets considering they're based on nothing but an idiot faking a narrative. https://t.co/warA251HCW— Millarworld (@mrmarkmillar) December 14, 2023
…and I don't want it used as an excuse to trash other people. If we learned anything from these characters as kids I hope it's basic decency. The industry has problems, but any debate should be carried out with civility or you only make yourself look bad.— Millarworld (@mrmarkmillar) December 15, 2023
This is not a time for pretty factionalism. I've no interest in groups that divide people or vicious to others. This is a time for people to come together and do their best work. Now I'm sticking my page on NO REPLIES and would encourage everyone have a peaceful Christmas!— Millarworld (@mrmarkmillar) December 15, 2023