The comic industry has its fair share of unique factors and happenings. Not the least of which is the ability to completely separate oneself from reality… and that’s not always a good thing. Let’s look into the dark side of detachment.
There is a little consumer movement in indie comics called, ComicsGate. CG, as it’s shortened to, has been and remains to be a big fat target for radicals and weirdos to attack, defame, slander, and generally harass. Both in denigrating the name and movement, as well as the folks within it. Now, every once in awhile the constant slew of hateful and nasty things that come our way in CG stand out—even among the already insane rhetorical barrage. The comics industry is in the midst of quite a shakeup right now, if you weren’t aware. This has brought about a discussion about the state of the industry and those that make it up. In all of this, one man chose to attack a comic creator (Ethan Van Sciver) in a particularly vitriolic display. This man’s name? Mike Wellman. Now, if you’re asking who the hell Mike Wellman is, you’re not alone. I had no idea who this weirdo was until this little “episode” of his. In short, he’s a comic shop owner. Why am I talking about a random comic shop owner? Cuz he be cray-cray. When Mr. Van Sciver addressed another one of the many slanderous comments by comic book pros (Larry Hama, this time), Wellman decided he couldn’t suffer through a stranger using words on the internet. The big bad LCS owner made his move. In a legitimately psychotic manner, Wellman went at Van Sciver with all the rage of a regretful post op panda bear with low sugar.
Now, that’s not very nice, is it? But that’s just the tip of the soyberg. Wellman continued to threaten EVS with the flailing of his life.
Hmm, quite salty, it seems. Probably all the tears seeping into his superbly thin skin.
Eesh. The guy just hasn’t got any self awareness, does he? That’s especially apparent when you see the poor little guy. Now, I get that he’s a shop owner, and shops are going through a tough time. Many of them won’t survive and that could very well be the case for Mike Wellman. But this kind of behavior is the last thing you need to engage in when you’re in need of customers more than ever. I’d like to say that’s where it ended but… no. It’s not. Mikey decided to go a bit further and message Mr. Van Sciver with more insanity. These photos were posted by Ethan Van Sciver on Twitter.
Ahhh, now it becomes a bit more clear. What we have here seems to be a quite severe case of TDS. Acute, I’d say. But, wait! There’s more! That’s right, it didn’t end there. This psycho, Wellman, went ahead and one-upped his threats of violence with some good ol’ fashioned death threats.
Oooo, and there’s the cherry on top, eh? How good it must feel to be on the right side of history. Of course, this whole display had repercussions for little Mikey. His behavior has alienated patrons of his shop. Folks let him know how out of line he was on his Facebook page. He responded in a familiar fashion.
Where this level of detachment comes from, I have no idea. But it’s clear that Mike Wellman is not well, man. Mr. Van Sciver, on the other hand is doing just fine. In fact, check out his latest project, Cyberfrog 2: Rekt Planet, here. Check out an archive of the Facebook rant, here.
What Not to DO?
So, what not to do in comics… Well… in general, don’t be a fucking psychopath. But it’s a doubly bad idea, when you’re an LCS owner, to show your ass in public and garner the negative attention of news outlets, causing them to point out just how unhinged you truly are. This is especially true when you need good favor from the comics community far more than you need to be “virtuous.” I’d say good luck to Wellman but… nah. Figure it out, stupid.