Like the rest of the world (including Donald Trump, I’m sure), I’m a bit stunned and shocked by the change in direction for our nation that took place last night. It’s going to be hard to write about comics sales and cover art today or for a while, but I’m going to try to stay focused on writing about what The Beat has always covered, out of respect to my readers and to keep from going insane.

However, I did awaken this morning (after two hours of fitful sleep) to find this tweet on my timeline:

John V is a notorious troll who has threatened me and other prominent women in comics with rape and injury for years. In fact I wrote about him before here. Four years ago, just before Obama was reelected.

I was surprised to learn that the man I call “John V.” seems to have become the focus of concentrated internet outrage for a day or so—and I couldn’t be more thrilled.John V., a message board poster who uses rotating IPs to avoid filters, has been haunting the comment boards of female writers for over two years. A few months ago, for whatever reason, he seems to have started using Twitter as a base for his insults and rape-obsessed ragings. As you can see from the above, about a month ago he made a series of posts aimed at me, Tom Spurgeon, DCWKA’s Sue, Jill Pantozzi and a few others that shocked quite a few people. Although John V. is clearly a misogynist with a deep hatred of women, he also seemed to have a mad on for men of comics like Spurgeon.

Mark Millar and a bunch of male pros led a charge to get him banned from Twitter, and he went underground for a while, only to reappear just when a bully with contempt for women was elected president of the once greatest nation on earth.

I wish I’d thought to make a screen cap of the rest of his tweets before his account was removed or deleted — there were other gloating threats against other comics women. The most interesting part to me was that he’d rejoined twitter as something like “ComicsLadyinCbus” who posed as an older woman who had just started reading comics again.  I actually noted it at the time as a little weird. I see he had exchanged tweets with a few people (myself included) and had a few months of posts that read as if Sylvester’s Granny was discovering Lumberjanes for the first time. One of JohnV’s favorite tricks is posing as someone else and then upending the apple cart.

I normally don’t call out trolls, and I’m sure the attention of me posting this is giving him the boner he so dearly craves, but to the compassionate Trump voters out there (and I know you exist),  thisthisthisthisthis. A rise in (at best) bullying and at worst overt racism and misogyny  and xenophobia. It’s all fine now. These are no longer qualities that America stands against. And we need your help to stop it.

If you’ve been with me for any of the way, you know I’m like Daryl. I’m not going to bow to Negan even if it means getting my best friend beaten to death. Today is so disillusioning for people who believed in a progressive world. I’d been thinking maybe we were making real progress, but, you know, it was always going to be a fight. Justice and equality always have to fight against ignorance, fear and hate, human emotions that were created back in our limbic system to protect us. Sadly, they can make living in a civilization where everyone has rights more difficult. And the more nuanced battles we’ve been fighting are going to go back to the utter basics of justice and equality.

Social media and targeted news networks helped get us here, but they just amplified our inner voices. Both sides have been living in their own echo chambers of nodding heads for years.  And it won’t get any better for a long, long, long time. By the time it gets better most of NYC will be under water anyway, because climate change is happening full throttle now. Good thing it doesn’t exist!

So that’s it. It’s gong to be harder than we ever imagined and right now I’m going to have breakfast with a dear friend and then maybe write some comics news or opinions or post some nice art. And carry on. Because the world needs beauty. Now more than ever.


  1. Great work Heidi. Trump seems to be the candidate the US deserves. I really saw a path for some real change, especially to have a renewed Supreme Court. Now I fear we’re going to be in darkness for another generation, at least. Not much to be happy about and nothing to do about it. Just focus on the positive and try to remain upbeat, Beat.

  2. What saddens me most is that, at age 65, I may not live long enough to see the better world I wanted for my children and future grandchildren. I have no doubt it will come. Good is nicer than evil and all. But I probably won’t be around for it.

    However, I do promise to come back as a vengeful spirit who will make the Spectre look like My Little Pony.

  3. After reading JohnV’s tweet, I increased my pledge to The Comics Beat’s Patreon page. It demonstrates my continued support for the work that you do. I’m not employed by the site, nor do I have any connection to its employees, Just enthusiastic about making sure that this site remains a priority.

  4. Heidi and other comics creators think that focusing on Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams in comics are “what’s really important.”

    How about comics that focus on bringing new jobs on to the Rust Belt.

    You guys seem to have forgot that most comics fans are white males in their 30s and 40s.

  5. Mike – I’m not going to give a lecture about why art and entertainment are important, that man can not live by bread alone. I’m sure Google will find you some articles.

    Some notes though:
    – Ms Marvel and Riri are important for your men in their 30s and 40s as any comic. Or they should be. Diversity widens everyone’s scope. Diversity creates stories, make things interesting. People should be interested in, should interact and get along with people who are not exactly like them.
    – Also, comic books should be made attractive for people other than the 30 and 40 year old men.

    I might be way off course about what you meant with your comment – it’s been a long day, is all I can offer as an excuse.

  6. Yes, let’s all fight for that better world. You know, the one where a man can be accused of sexual assault and rape and no one cares as long as he’s an important politician who holds the right kind of opinions. The world where a U.S. Senator can vote for the stupidest war in U.S. history, one which kills hundreds of thousands of people, then later run for President based on her “experience” and “qualifications.” The world where being investigated by the FBI for possible criminal violations is no barrier to being nominated for President, even if you’re actually being investigated WHILE you are running for President.


  7. 1. “I normally don’t call out trolls, and I’m sure the attention of me posting this is giving him the boner he so dearly craves” Yes, that is in fact the reason you shouldn’t call them out. When you do, that boner eventually leads to their annoying habit of undergoing asexual reproduction, thus giving rise to more trolls.

    2. Election related but not the election everybody is talking about: So what effect does the SD Chargers referendum going down in flames mean for ComiCon?

  8. I’m a white guy in my late 30’s and I think comics like Ms. Marvel and Riri Williams are incredibly important! I grew up reading Iron Man comics as a kid and the new Rir Williams storyline is probably the first time I’ve come back to reading Iron Man, with the exception of Warren Ellis’ Extremis.

    These days I typically read series from Dark Horse, Image and a few other independent companies.. So if Marvel or even DC is doing something different for a change that is interesting I would like to know, as I’m not typically following news from the big two. Like Mockingbird which I unfortunately didn’t find out about until it was cancelled but is a pretty awesome comic.

  9. I really enjoy the Sales Charts columns here, but the political slant is getting pretty old. You’re running the risk of hurting your site traffic by alienating part of your audience.

  10. JohnV might be right about one thing. This could be a symptom of the backlash against the social justice warrior movement. When people that support an idea but don’t always agree with every uproar fought in its name get criticized and lumped in with the truly awful people out there, you might see some pushback. It’s that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” attitude that alienates the centrists and causes abstention or outright retaliatory action. This could be an example of that phenomenon.

    Like it or not, agree or don’t agree…it’s entirely possible that certain movements within society caused some blowback which helped to defeat their intended purpose. Which is just insanity. To think that spite-voting got us to this point…so sad. Luckily the president doesn’t have as much power as people think…yet…and like with all presidents, this one will probably accomplish about 10% of what he promised during his campaign. What worries me is all the stuff he’s going to screw up in the process. I am embarrassed for this country and afraid of what the future holds.

  11. @KentuckyFriedHorse. I agree with what you said. Marvel is experiencing low sales because of Social Justice Warriors stories. People are so tired hearing about Feminism, Sexual Orientation and Race Equality issues. It is old tired carp. America is a great progressive country. We just had a Black President for the last 8 years. I voted for him twice. What happened was a lot of us had enough. We want to have just normal lives. We don’t want to constantly be told we are racists, sexists and homophobes. The Social Justice Warriors created Trump. He was the backlash.
    Another thing with all these people crying and rioting. Trump winning will have not one affect on thier lives. A year from now they will still be doing what they are doing.
    The problem is with most of these Social Justice Warriors is they never had a strong father figure,so they are rebelling.
    They don’t like their daddy Trump because all they know all their lives is that feminists said strong male role models are bad.
    Very interesting watching these riots on YouTube. All Clinton supporters causing chaos,while the Trump supporters are stoic.

  12. Heidi, having spent two years living in Seattle now after moving here from Ohio, I can assure you that many, many, many people get tired of constant complaining from Social Justice Warriors.

    You don’t seem to get that, having lived on the West Coast for over 20 years now and even before then spending all those years insulated at the Fantagraphics Mansion with Gary Groth and co., away from mainstream America.

    People in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kansas, which the media often derisively refers to as “flyover country,” can get pretty tired of the Paul Feig’s, Lena Dunham’s, Trevor Noah’s, etc. telling us that we’re racist, sexist pigs, when we’re just trying to get through our day.

    It’s even worse when it’s some 19-year old hipster with no life experience.

    Is it any wonder these people would push back against Social Justice Warriors?

  13. The issues have not gone away. Sexism still exists. Heck, you’ve got a sexist as president now.

    Telling people to shut up about it because you’re tired of hearing it is really disingenuous.

  14. I’ve never heard anyone complain about Social Justice Warriors where it didn’t make them look like an ass.

    Here’s the thing America, abusive Dad just married into the family for at least four years. It’s up to you now to protect your brothers and sisters.

  15. They’re antisocial, they’ve got no interest in justice, and their favoured method of attack is to gang up on somebody and abuse him in unison. Some warriors.

  16. “I’ve never heard anyone complain about Social Justice Warriors where it didn’t make them look like an ass.”

    To other social justice warriors. To most other people it looks like someone with a dissenting opinion. Unless that person is in fact being an ass in which case they will also appear to be one.

    It’s not just “look at this horrible thing and its negative aspects” but those topics also have an implicit “and if you don’t agree with me you’re also that horrible thing and it’s negative aspects” which is outright bullshit. I think it’s THAT attitude that is getting the backlash because that’s the tiresome part. Not being allowed to disagree with something on a case by case basis without your integrity as a human being getting brought into question is ridiculous.

    Abusing an abuser doesn’t even the score. It only turns you into an abuser yourself.

  17. I’m going to go off the reserve for a second. I don’t want to engage in the discussion about the positive and negative connotations of the term “social justice warrior.” I want to speak as the managing editor of this site and a regular person.

    I am a person of color and I am scared. I live in New York City, a bastion for Hillary Clinton, but I’ve spent the last day and a half with an intense feeling of paranoia wondering who around me might have supported a man who has actively encouraged xenophobia and misogyny. It may not be a logical fear being where I am, but I see so many instances of hateful actions being taken and hateful graffiti being scrawled across the country and I can’t help but fear for my life.

    Do I think Donald Trump supporters are racists, full stop? No. If you supported him, you likely have issues affecting you beyond race. However, by voting him into office, America has shown that it as a nation supports a man whose words and actions WILL hurt women and minorities and only MAY help his supporters. Even if you wish people like me no harm, you have thrown your lot behind a candidate that has tacitly given a new voice to groups like the KKK. That’s not a moral judgment. It’s just an observation.

    I believe you’re hurting. I know you need help. But this isn’t the way.

  18. I was doing diversity before many of these turds were born. So were guys like Don McGregor and Marv Wolfman, just to name two of my friends and fellow creators..

    Today, I’m a 65-tear-old straight white male and my commitment to diversity in our comic books is stronger than ever. If someone is reading our comics, they deserve to be represented in our comic books. It’s that simple.

    Besides my personal conviction that diversity is a damn good thing, Business Tony notes that women are the fastest-growing demographic among comics readers.

    I’ll be writing about diversity in my fiction and my non-fiction. I’ll be appearing on panels discussing this important issue at several 2017 conventions.

    And the jerks out there? The forward march of history might be slowed at times, but it can never be stopped. You’re caveman and you are doomed to extinction.

  19. To Tony Isabella-

    If you’re so progressive, why didn’t you tell your editors at Marvel and DC: “Guys, I may have created them, but I should NOT be the writer on either Black Goliath or Black Lightning. We need a black person to write these characters. Count me out.”??!!??

    Shame on you for not taking a stand and demanding to Marvel/DC execs that black writers be hired to write Bill Foster and Lightning.

    And as an agnostic comics fan, shame on you for trying to force Jesus into the 616 universe as “The Friend.”

  20. Shame on you for being so cowardly as to not use your real name. You that scared of a 65-year-old short guy? Yeah, you probably are.

    But, baby, you’re the complete package otherwise. Trolling ignorance of history. Unwillingness to accept that people of faith (of which I am not one, save for being pastor of the First Church of Godzilla) also read comics and should not be dismissed.

    Poor sad little troll.

  21. Alexander Lu “I am a person of color and I am scared.”
    Maybe you’re just a coward.
    I don’t care if you’re offended by this judgement but I think that maybe you exist in an echo chamber where no one EVER CHALLENGES what you say.

    Here’s why I think you are a coward.

    A coward overreacts to perceived threats.

    You may not think you’re overreacting but what you wrote came across as a neurotic mess.

    That is my subjective opinion.

    If no one has threatened you, beat you up, or has refused to give you food , tried to throw you in jail because of who you are, etc….what are you afraid of?

    When was the last time anyone has heard of hate crime being committed on an Asian, in America?

    What we have a situation of growing scarcity and people are fighting, over the scraps. We DO NOT have a society where everyone can expect a good job, anymore. It’s a lot harder to be tolerant when you are struggling for your piece of the American pie–something those on the (current)Left are completely disconnected from because many of them come very socioeconomically privileged backgrounds. Our politics aren’t going to reflect the politics of abundance going forward. “Free college” ” Universal Basic Income” and women who come from 150k households complaining about “oppression” are the politics of wealthy people.

    Universities are under pressure to limit Asian students because they are OVERREPRESENTED, even though most of them got in on merit, in order to admit, black kids with lower grades.

    “Even if you wish people like me no harm, you have thrown your lot behind a candidate that has tacitly given a new voice to groups like the KKK”
    Where’s the proof of that? The KKK is irrelevant to today’s white supremacists groups. Many of them are reactionary groups to groups that formed on the Left that sought to punish “White People” today for sins their forefathers committed centuries ago. There are many poor white people who feel left out by diversity programs that help people based on their skin color–irregardless of their need or merit.

    The typical Trump voter laments , PERHAPS in error, of an America where merit mattered more than one’s skin color and abhors racial quotas, special treatment (shorter hours, lighter workload) for anyone in the workplace.

    Maybe we are coming full circle and we are realizing that it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a society where one’s station is not dependent on whether people “like you” or that you “fit in”. Terms like “cultural fit” and “social network” are new expressions of discrimination–and discrimination is what gives people a sense of belonging and identity. This is something everyone has in common–the need for “representation” is a mask for prejudice=”I want to see people who are like me or the people who I know”. That is bias and that is prejudice, even if you don’t intend to do harm to others.’

    If I value education, that means I will tend to treat uneducated people like crap…
    If I value political correctness, that means I will be much more likely to discriminate against white Christians….I will be biased against them. You will often catch me talking trash about them.

    “You’re caveman and you are doomed to extinction.”
    Actually, it’s our high tech society that will doom humans to extinction. High Technology is the enemy of sustainability.

  22. Geez, the shits are really out in America aren’t they?
    Obama won and supporters partied in the streets, Trump wins and supporter hit the blogs to whinge and whine at, as well as insult, the people they claim to have somehow just beaten? Weird shit.
    (Like if you don’t like reading Heidi or Alex, why the heck would you come here any time, let alone in what should be your moment?)

    Also, I know there’s clearly bubbles and echo chambers in America these days, but if you honestly think people you call “SJW’s” writing about comics and video games is what swung the rust belt to Trump, you’re in a smaller bubble than the people you’re trying to mock. It’s the economy, stupid, not diversity and representation in entertainment.

    And whilst I’m already pissing in the face of mouth breathing sore winners, diversity in characters isn’t why Marvels sales are down – it’s across the board with their books.
    My guess is it’s a combo of over exposure of core characters, over reliance on renumbering, soft rebooting at the end of every run, line wide concepts spread too thin, too many books and using the same tricks for multiple characters (who hasn’t been replaced in the past few years? If sales had been better I imagine everyone would be meeting teen versions of themselves like the train wreck that is now the X-Men)
    I’m also throwing in too much SHIELD. SHIELD suck and they always have, yet now they are everywhere. Go back to having the heroes being outlaws and rebels, or at least let some of them be.
    See, plenty of issues with Marvel that drag down their sales, your focusing on them creating a few black, female or Muslim characters as their #1 problem says more about you than it does about Marvel.

  23. Perhaps, we are trying to persuade them that they are wrong and their moral crusades often have the opposite effect of what they desire.

    There is hate on the “Left” side just as much as there is on the Right.
    Where there is a lot of anger, there is hate.

    The difference between the Left and Right is that the Left are in denial about their hate…

    Neither Heidi or Alex have proven that they are capable of rising above their prejudices. Maybe they should stick to comics and stop making everything a “Black Lives Matter” issue, an “Islamophobia” issue or a FEMALE OPPRESSION issue.

    Right now, you people have the opportunity to convince Travis Bickle that he’s wrong to not respect soldiers who have gotten captured or shot, basically low performers, It’s perfectly okay to have contempt for low performers in other areas of life, work, family, and sex,

    But soldiers are supposedly a sacred cow…even though we routinely try to cheat them out of their benefits.

    “I’ll be writing about diversity in my fiction and my non-fiction.” It’s hard to preserve diversity if there isn’t much to keep a diverse group of people together.
    What binds people with different values together? It certainly isn’t democracy or freedom of expression–with MANY people here, many of whom are liberal expressing the desire to have people who voice opinions different from them to be silenced. This used to be something people associated with the Right-Wing.
    What’s happened?

    Neither Heidi or Alex have proven that they are capable of rising above their prejudices. Maybe they should stick to comics and stop making everything a “Black Lives Matter” issue, an “Islamophobia” issue or a diversity issue.

  24. Yeah,’Travis’ heaven forbid someone in the service of our country gets shot down. We’re Americans and we should never get shot down. The enemy should realize that and just not shoot us down.
    You’re an idiot.
    P.S. Not a fan of John McCain.

  25. Actually since it’s Veteran’s Day all vets get double candy! Also, I’m not a vet. I’m also not a terrible human being who bashes a group of people who already get enough grief as it is.

  26. “Perhaps, we are trying to persuade them that they are wrong and their moral crusades often have the opposite effect of what they desire.”

    I’m going with perhaps not. Or you are the worst persuader ever.
    If you don’t like their POV on comics, just go somewhere else to read about them. You’re gaining nothing by ranting about what you perceive as their personal and professional failures in their comment section.

    As for Travis Bickle, pretty sure he’s taking the piss. And if he’s not, why would I bother? No gain there. Only calling you out so that when The Beat writers have to read this shit they see that there are readers who think you’re ridiculous.

  27. Oops sorry, I’ve removed Travis, and a few others that were over the line.

    I don’t like bullies. PERIOD. The ends do not justify the means. Black Lives Matter.

    And these comments are closed.

Comments are closed.