It’s been a proxy war for the last 2 months. Ethan Van Sciver — aka Two Face — said platitudes to me for awhile, while he had private chats where he sent people both after me, and he was even so paranoid to think that people were “spying” on my behalf.
This is what happens when someone who’s ill-equipped to lead gets tapped as a leader. Ethan is an artist, used to solitary work, he’s not a person to redefine and change an industry. It’s a personality type, and it was pretty obvious to most of us that comicsgate was going to implode when he grew his audience — not because of comics — but because of bashing Star Wars. A crowd that didn’t care about the products came on, threw money at him and others, and because of the dollar amounts coming in, people thought this was going to be a great ride and hitched their horses.
I’m one of the very fortunate few who was able to run 2 successful crowdfunds with very little help from EVS. My first book, Flying Sparks, I can trace $3-5K of the $31,000+ total to the youtubers promoting it. about 15-20%. A chunk, but not a deal killer. On The Ember War, we’re at $24,000 without a single one of the YouTubers supporting it, mentioning it, or saying anything about me except for negative comments. So I have my own fanbase, which is the good news.
Many of these guys do not, however. They’re stuck. This youtube money was never going to last forever. The whole premise was based on outrage, not actual products, and so these guys have to perpetually stoke outrage — at Vox Day, at me, at Miss Sashi, at smaller creators (Ethan dedicated several shows to attacking a guy who had an indiegogo with less than 20 backers because he spoke ill of EVS), at fans even — who I won’t name to protect them. They’re using the same tactics as the pros at Marvel/DC that they were originally mocking to get big.
Ethan finally came out and said he didn’t like me over the weekend, told me to “go away”, as if I didn’t have any part of this movement before he even showed up. The hubris in that statement and resentment shows that he blames me for his crumbling empire, even though I have little to do with him (I’ve not been around his youtube crew at all for 2 months now!). Last night, he escalated attacks by coming after someone for following me on Twitter, accusing him of being a “Jon del Arroz acolyte” and promptly blocking him.
He knows he’s messed up, but instead of patching up the situation and working together to build something, he’s going to keep escalating and doubling down, because he can’t admit that this was too big of an animal to wield. Imagine a world where he would have focused on Cyberfrog getting done on time instead of on youtube… we’d probably be having a different conversation right now.
I’d only been kind to Ethan. I wrote him up in the Federalist, promoted him, backed his going-to-be-late comic book, helped prop him up along the way because he claimed he was a Trump supporter and trying to build something new out of the ashes of the industry. But I always got the sense he didn’t like me from day one, and I couldn’t understand why. I think there’s a couple of reasons for it: 1. I can’t be controlled, I have my own thoughts and he didn’t want folk around him who wouldn’t just toe the line and make him feel good and 2. because I’m a writer, and there’s a rivalry between artists like him and writers that date back to the Image Comics early days. Those guys and the people who followed them have an “art is everything” mentality with comics, and when they see a good writer it actually plays to their insecurities cuz they know they can’t put together as good a story as someone like me.
Regardless of the reasons, it’s out in the open now. He can’t be Two Face about me any longer and put on the smiles on one side of the face, while trying to have his sycophants destroy me from the other. It’s good. I’m going to keep writing, keep making comics and keep winning. I hope the guys who followed him through this thinking there’s a money train don’t dig themselves into too deep of a hole.
My writing wins awards and is a #1 Amazon Bestseller. It all starts in For Steam And Country, my steampunk novel which launched my career and got me the readers that will follow me to whatever I write (and I love you for it!). Check it out here.
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