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The 2020 Report: Day Seven – Finale

III.  QUESTION NUMBER THREE

WHAT DO WE WANT?

A. The Selfish Pleasures of Being Moral Online

When I type the names of some of the people we’ve been talking about into a twitter search lately, I do not find people contemplating how what they did is wrong, and how we can all try to learn from what happened. I certainly don't see solemn contemplations of their victims. I mostly just find (a) their fans, still enthusing away as fans do, and (b) Comicsgaters yelling,

That guy was constantly trying to lecture me and my friends. But look who the True Asshole turned out to be-- him! He was worse! I’m going to live forever!

But: are those Comicgaters wrong?

When we ask what “we” want, maybe where we have to start is asking…

Do people in comics even want a “Better Comics?” Or do they just want that selfish pleasure of stylin’ and profilin’ on the internet? Do they want the selfies? Do they want that little surge of dopamine of getting to be Right online?

Social media doesn’t seem like an actual force for moral change-- very little seems to be changing, anywhere, in any positive direction. And understandably-- change, real change, is scary; there’s no predicting where it might lead, whether that change will benefit you or contribute to your undoing.

But it’s a heck of an opportunity for marketing, posing, self-glorification… which persists even though social media has been repeatedly exploited and will continue to be exploited by hustlers. (One of the gnarliest things about this series is having it out at the same time as the Alex Morse situation in politics, an insane example in the opposite direction of people's desire to live in a just world being perverted and mis-used, the risks of trusting too much).

So: what do the people with real skin in the game even want? If you believe we’ve seen at least seven years of things getting worse and worse, then your answer to that question might not be of much comfort.

B. Structural Change

There’s a risk of being judgmental. With the internet, I tend to wonder if the panopticon qualities of the whole thing encourage a certain Puritanism. I tend not to not be very upset about “what people are like” when it comes to their baser appetites. I have my own appetites. Maybe you do, too.

But while people may all be flawed, there are structures in place that are supposed to mitigate the harm those flaws can cause. If Eddie Berganza is flawed, shame on him-- but if DC Comics hears about those flaws and then fucking promotes him? That’s something else. That’s not a question of fucking doing better. That’s not a question of “just firing Berganza” and then everything goes back to being fine.

That’s a question of systemic rot. And systemic rot requires structural changes.

But what changes are even possible?

To their enormous credit, the Stronger Together Group in the Ellis situation had a pretty nuanced answer, directed to a wide community-- a desire to educate the public about warning signs, to have the “protected status” of celebrities challenged, etc. That bottom-up approach might ultimately be the smarter approach than a top-down approach.

But there have been top-down suggestions, too. Alex De Campi has advocated for more “independent” HR personnel at comic publishers-- we might have different philosophies about HR departments, but sure. Kelly Sue DeConnick has an idea involving talent agents (I genuinely don’t understand that one, but okay). Look: ideas are ideas; to me, ideas are better than internet-moralizing.

So. Comics are not my business, but a short version of my wish list:

(1) Bob Harras, gone, immediately;

(2) Mike Richardson voluntarily stepping down as President, Publisher, any position of authority, and allowing someone else to run the company, even if he might continue to enjoy the financial rewards of being its owner;

(3) an immediate ban on editors attending BarCon or any equivalent after-hours events (other than dinners), with a meaningful financial penalty for violating the ban (e.g. losing a compliance bonus);

(4) Eddie Berganza and all of Berganza’s supervisors at DC waiving whatever privacy rights they might have and DC Comics thereafter voluntarily agreeing to a full public accounting of the behind-the-scenes decisionmaking concerning Berganza through some kind of carefully selected Truth and Reconcillation group (i.e. not to include any present or former CBLDF Board members);

(5) Boom! Studios, Oni Press, and all other non-Big Two publishers providing 5 years of freelancer payroll data (with names, addresses and any other private identifying information redacted) indicating page rates paid for their titles (and any ownership interest provided therewith) to the Creator Resource webpage;

(6) for Cons to start thinking about structured, catered post-show networking events in the evening that can have security present and rules in place, rather than leaving post-con socializing to exclusively take place at no-questions-asked hotels;

(7) for IndieGogo and other fundraising platforms to ban and otherwise “de-platform” individuals who in any way appear to be profiting off of encouraging targeted harassment campaigns; and

(8) for Martin Brice aka Martin Bishop’s criminal record to be immediately cleared, and a Winnebago (burgundy interior).

Is any of that possible? Before June 2020, I’d have said no, nothing was possible, that nothing in comics could get better because there was no real appetite for change.

But then Frank Miller, Jeff Smith and Brian Michael Bendis added their voices to those of Soma and Oeming, and Charles Brownstein was gone.

But then Mike Mignola said one thing (possibly later than we’d like but still!) and Scott Allie was finally gone.

Maybe there are people in comics who have wieldable power…? Maybe they have for the last seven years! In which case, perhaps we are invited to ask: why weren’t they wielding it more often? What was keeping them from doing anything before?

C. Let Them Eat Webcomics

I would imagine there’ll be those who’ll dismissively try to wave all this way as the “Stuff of the Old Comics.” Part of me wants to do that, too, to just say “Lore Olympus! Raina Telgemeier! Women are the leaders of the two big growth areas in comics-- the future already belongs to them! What does this old, dying world and its dinosaurs matter?

But the flaw in this can probably be summed up in one word: Netflix.

Unless you’re Charles Forsman, if you want a Big Media deal, you’ve been better off being from the Old World of Comics. The dull Image pitch-comic is starting to pay off.

I don’t know that you can wave your hand away at the Old World, when the Old World’s making real money. Plus, the number of women with thoughts about industrial comic book characters is probably skyrocketing, thanks to the overwhelming spate of movies and TV shows, in recent years.

So, I don’t think we can wave it all away. I don’t think webcomics are enough of a balm here.  Even if the future belongs to them, how much runway the present has is an unsettled question, and so long as it is...

D. Do We Want to Forgive?

There is a sentiment you often see online-- what is the point of recriminations if after behavior is corrected, it is not followed by forgiveness? Is the internet to become a prison and us, its constantly vigilant jailers? “Why are you in prison?” “I did jokes.

I think the forgiveness argument is a good one. But. But I have one big problem with it.

Case Study: Brian Wood

As detailed here, in 2013, it was reported that Wood might have mistreated multiple women. Wood issued an “apology” to one of them (Tess Fowler), but one that arguably itself insinuated that Fowler was lying: he claimed he’d just made a “tacky” “pass” at a comic convention, but that Fowler had been “as incorrect as she an be about what my intent and motivations were.” Wood made sure to mention that he was “a father of a young daughter”.

Comics journalism then spackled over the whole situation by saying it “wasn’t illegal” and that was that.

One might think Wood’s conduct was unforgivable. And sure enough, comics didn’t forgive it-- it ignored it! Image Comics published a mountain of comics by Wood for years thereafter. Wood’s female collaborators praised him. And of course, Wood found a home at Mike Richardson’s Dark Horse comics. Let the good times roll… until August 2019 when Laura Hudson discussed how Wood had mistreated her, too.

Then, finally, Dark Horse at least cut him loose. At a minimum, the Hudson story plainly evidenced that Wood had not provided a full or true reckoning of his conduct, so perhaps Dark Horse didn’t want to see what other surprises the future would hold. (And indeed, the future apparently held such "surprises"-- you might remember that the first woman to say anything about Ellis also mentioned Wood, as well.)

But: I’m writing on the eve of what could be Wood’s triumphant return to comics.

After speaking out, Hudson was hired to work on DMZ, a potential upcoming HBO show by Ava DuVernay, based on one of Wood’s Vertigo comics.

Hudson explained in December 2019 that “while sharing my story in 2019 was very unpleasant, it had an unexpected side effect: It put my body of work in the sightline of Ava DuVernay, the director of DMZ. She loved it. She found my number, called me, and offered me the staff writer position.” All of Hudson’s tweets about Brian Wood now appear to have been deleted. (But: I think highly of Hudson and her writing; I think it’s great she got the gig; I have no objections to any of that part).

Ask yourself: will the industry pretend to care about ethics after a HBO show comes out? Well, we already know the answer to that, thanks to the Watchmen TV show. The Watchmen show was obviously unethical… and Comics responded to it with Excitement! Thrills! Praise! Glee! Watchmen being a hit meant comic creators might get to have TV deals too someday! Ooooh!

So, my guess: the red carpet will probably be rolled out again for Brian Wood, perhaps more than ever before. We are on the eve of a grand return and no one will fucking care about the past. No, no, worse than that: they will be angry at anyone raising an eyebrow about the past “for not being forgiving.”

Because we will be told he apologized.

On June 19, 2020, Tess Fowler noticed an effort during the Ellis conversation to claim that Wood had “apologized” for his behavior, and was forced to clarify what a Brian Wood apology looks like, using an “apology” Wood had sent her in 2015.

The “apology” begins with Wood sending Fowler “evidence” that he was wrongly accused (you know… a classical apology!), and then devolves from there as he begins making accusations about Fowler “using my daughter the way you did. She’s a minor.

Fowler responds that she doesn’t know what Wood is talking about, but Wood refuses to explain his dramatic accusations: “I don’t need to get into it.” But then he immediately attacks her again for “using my daughter.”

Again, Fowler states that she has no idea what Wood is referring to: “I don’t know what you mean. [..] If I said something that I shouldn't’ have, feel free to point it out.

Wood: “I don’t need to.”

Let’s add another word to our glossary, just in case:

"Gaslighting":

A tactic in which an abuser tries to make a victim question their own memory, by telling blatant lies, denying things, and otherise using manipulation to wear another person down over time.

So. This is who you’re going to want me to forgive... ? This is what you’re going to want me to forgive? And this is why you’re going to want me to forgive?

Charles Brownstein “apologized” after that initial incident with Taki Soma-- but did that help Shy Allott? Scott Allie “apologized” in 2015, but to what effect, other than allowing prominent comic people to, as Shawna Gore put it, “speak up in his defense, telling others he doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with abusers because he has changed”? And Warren Ellis issued a statement, uhhhh, entitled “Warren Ellis”, but may have continued his activities thereafter.  

I don’t know that it’s unreasonable to fear Comics in the Future, saying “you have to be the forgiving person-- but how dare you suggest that the abuser has to actually do anything to have earned it?!"

IV. QUESTION NUMBER FOUR:

WHERE DO THINGS GO FROM HERE?

A. Stupid Corny Bullshit from Comic Book Pros

As usual, with times at their darkest, comic book boys embraced schmaltz.

With all the sensitivity they showed that time that comics responded to 9/11 by drawing Doctor Doom crying, on June 23, 2020, comic books’ “most popular male creators” (“including Scott Snyder, Tom King, Joe Quinones, Joshua Williamson, Jeff Lemire, Sam Humphries, James Tynion IV, Ryan North, and more”) responded to these events we’ve discussed by posting a Comic Book Pledge on twitter promising to “never abuse.”

So: the next time a girl’s lying in a WonderCon hotel room pretending to be asleep and praying that the comic book boy she’s with doesn’t try to assault her while he thinks she’s passed out, she can now suddenly bolt up and yell “wait, you took a pledge to not assault.”

Crisis averted!

Yes, Scott Snyder’s on women’s side.

Except… Scott Snyder had a chance to be on women’s side before?

Instead he worked with Eddie Berganza on a crossover comic that was published in October 2017. So. Well.

But that's Old Shit. What about The Future, where we shall all someday live?  

After the Pledge was made by DC's Cavalcade of Studs, it was revealed on about July 20, 2020 that Dynamite Comics had been long-time supporters of Comicsgate. You might remember Comicsgate from videos of Ethan Van Sciver and Art Thibert seeming (in my opinion) to cheer about Tess Fowler having cancer.

How did your Comic Pledge boys react to the news about Dynamite? After all, the Comic Pledge included promises to “call out our friends and peers” and to “keep this conversation alive in the industry.

SyFy mentioned eight creators-- let’s check how many mentioned Dynamite between July 3 and August 13. And that list from SyFy again was Scott Snyder, Tom King, Joe Quinones, Joshua Williamson, Jeff Lemire, Sam Humphries, James Tynion IV, Ryan North.

By my count (if I did this Twitter search correctly)(big if…!), I just got a ZERO out of EIGHT.

Just setting the details of this particular crowd of dude aside, the Comic Pledge begins with a statement that none of the ideals in comics “mean anything unless men in comics change.” I just feel like… I feel like there’s something really weird that if you went up to some “I wear the Comic Badge” dude and asked him what’s causing all these problems we’re seeing, that he’d be like

I know exactly what’s causing all of the problems. *Points at crotch* Mahhh dong.

Besides ignoring that women and non-binary people are capable of abuse, too, it also ignores that some problems are structural-- how major publishers have consistently oriented themselves to protect men at the expense of women. The Pledge makes everything reducible to either individual actors “being good” or “being bad.” But if nothing structural needs repair, then aren't these Comic Badge people just arguing that artists existing within a historically-exploitative structure just… need to be slightly nicer?

That to me seems a recipe for hopelessness.

B. The Duty to Renounce

Perhaps the Dynamite story in particular invites a question: when you become a “big name comic creator” do you take on a duty to renounce?

I think if you went around trumpeting that you signed a Comic Pledge, maybe the answer is yes. I think if “feminism” or “representation” are at the heart of your online branding, maybe the answer should be be yes...? 

But others might disagree, and say no no no, that’s an emotional burden that’s more than what anyone signed up for when they just wanted to write stories that got drawn onto paper. Especially knowing what we know about DC Comics-- maybe staying mum is part of what makes people hirable over there. Saying someone should martyr themselves for comics seems unkind, at least.

Which is reasonable! Except! Expect my worry is this: everyone’s work in comics possibly depends upon an audience and an industry with a shared understanding and “love” for Comics, what Comics are, what Comics mean, what Comics could be. And when creators don’t speak out, when they don’t renounce, what does the comic audience hear instead?

Maybe they just hear the comic creators saying “too bad, so sad, but I got paid.

If that’s all you hear about Comics, then maybe you conclude that comics are just a racket. A flea market. Another way to get money gouged out of you in America 2020-- a country without any purpose but to gouge your money. And all their comics about how the World Should Be Moral, are just a con-- all of their themes turn to ash in one’s mouth.

If people believed in a comics with a capital-C that existed beyond them, that was greater than them, that was created before they were born and will continue after they die, then staying quiet seems foolish. Just working “Behind the scenes” seems foolish. Having to be pushed and prodded to say something-- anything!-- about Warren Ellis or whoever else, it seems foolish. Not having any kind of leadership who we can all look at, for some kind of moral response to immoral times… It seems foolish.

There’s a tension-- people who work in comics’ great dream seems to be for Comics to be a wire mother: you give them money and adoration; they give you products; you have no response to that product besides enthusiasm which can be translated to future profits. But you can’t have a wire mother that wants you to help raise money for comic retailers, wants to lecture you not to go on Russian comic piracy sites, wants you to support the Hero Initiative, wants to be able to rely on you when  etc.-- that’s not how that experiment works!

This is not the ideal time for these assholes to have a bunch of asterisks sitting by comics’ moral authority. Because of *waves hands at everything, everywhere* all of this nightmare we live in now.

C. Oh, Just The End of the World

God, things have gotten bad out there. With everything; with comics, too. Maybe worse than is being widely reported at the moment.

Is there going to be a Direct Market-oriented comic industry after this? Will we recognize it? At this point, it seems obvious the question has become not whether things will change, but “how much?” And who will survive those changes? The number of people gone at DC, we know about; but how much is still in the planning stages, on an accountant’s whiteboard, in some corporate office that knows nothing of this world, or the sad, strange people who live in it?

At some point, if you hear enough comic interviews, you figure out that every single comic creator you see probably has a story where they turned to their wife, or a parent, or a beloved teacher, whoever, and said,

Honey, I’ve decided to break into the low-pay world of comics. It's my lifelong dream to risk being poor in America, a country famously hostile towards the impoverished. Let’s goooooo!

And after you figure that out, a reduced appetite towards “rocking the boat” makes a lot of sense.

But now that boat’s going to have a whole bunch of extra new leaks. DC doesn’t have the editorial staff it had before, which would suggest that it possibly won’t have the same level of output as it had before. Which suggests that there’s going to be less gigs; maybe less money for what gigs are offered…?

So: If things were this bad during what we might look bad on as our Salad Days, what are the risks going forward? How do you see that line trending?  What happens when the world resumes?

D. The Commodification of Dissent

If I had to guess the next thing I’d expect from comics, it’s more comics about how “Women are Going to Stop The Menfolk from Doing Patriarchy, Using the noble Katana sword.

You have an energy to change the world around you-- but the institutions you’re up against don’t really want to be changed. So they nudge you over to purely symbolic acts: wear a scarf! Kneel with your mayor and some cops! Experience dissent in this nice clean tidy way that doesn’t inconvenience anyone!

Did you notice that Image Comics men who market the moral virtues of their comics keep being exposed for misconduct?

Buy Bitch Planet.

Did you suspect that DC Comics has persistent scandals because the workplace culture of permissiveness that Didio, Lee and/or Harras encouraged has inspired a generation of perverts to flock to it?

Buy Female Furies.

Do women need comics now more than ever as solace from a world that seems more eager every day to harass them for speaking their minds?

Buy Maneaters. And hey, if you criticize its TERF-y themes, you can even be targeted for harassment in the pages of the comic itself! Congratulations! Maneaters: finally, a comic book creator that allegedly attacks women and exposes them to potential harassment is a feminist, for a change!

Consider Thomas Frank: “We consume not to fit in, but to prove, on the surface at least, that we are rock 'n' roll rebels, each one of us as rule-breaking and hierarchy-defying as our heroes of the 60’s.

Like the Comic Pledge, maybe gesturing is not enough. But as people realize they have no real outlet for their anger and disappointment, I would expect meaningless gestures to multiply-- more performative comics, more misdirected anger, more inconsequential culture wars, more yelling at the Bad Article for not being a Good Article, more boring “A Man drew a Cover I Don’t Like-- What Shall Be Done???” controversies, more people who think that sanitizing their bubbles can cure their heartache.

Maybe people will take their eyes off the donut; maybe they’ll look at the hole.

E. A Great Dissipation of Energy

Time for a Susan Sontag quote? How about this one-- kind of a classic:

“Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question is what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing "we" can do-- but who is that "we"?-- and nothing "they" can do either-- and who are "they"?-- then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.

As we hit publish on this series, it felt like it was already all fading away, all the things people had done to each other, all the indignities. The conversations were dying down. If people wanted to yell about “how we talk about it” more than what happened? Oooooof, that’s not usually a great sign!  That just sounds like the squabbles of academia, like the welcome mat of the powerless and impotent.  

How much can get done when people are angry so briefly? Why do you think the response of all these guys is just to go quiet for a little while and wait patiently? Left to the Good People of the Internet, all of the events we’re describing seem likely to end up another One of those Crazy Times, another blip on our increasingly timeline, with no end in sight.

As Tess Fowler mentions, the “best way to deal with the missing stair situation in the comic industry” would be “unionizing and sweeping reform for publishers and conventions.”

I would like to think that some collective action is possible. But whenever unions come up, I remember in 2013 when comic creators all united to mourn Carmine Infantino on his passing. Remember how they ignored this Comics Journal interview?

GROTH: Yes. Let me get back to your stint as publisher at DC. You started using Filipino artists. Did you do that during your stint as publisher?

INFANTINO: Bring them over? Yes. [...] What happened was... I understood that some of the boys were going to start some kind of a union, and they were going to pick on DC first. They were going to break our back. So this one guy, he was working for us, he was a Filipino, and he said, “You know there is a group of talented guys in the Philippines you can get.” I said, “Well, we better get somebody because if this thing happens, we’re dead!”

GROTH: The union.

INFANTINO: Right. So I, Joe Orlando, and this guy — his name will come to me — all went out. He was the brother-in-law of somebody connected with [he can’t remember name; probably Marcos] who was in power then. The dictator. So we went out there and met all these wonderful artists. Some of them came with no shoes.

The shoeless artists ended up getting $5 a page from DC, though Infantino denied in that interview that it was his fault.

But when he died? Not a dry eye in the house in comics.

He had drawn a Flash comic that people had liked.

But maybe there's steps short of a union that could still be effective, though.  I keep coming back in my head to how impressive the Stronger Together group has been, in articulating a coherent message, in an appealing format. If a union's too much, what about Associations? Associations can put out "position papers", share information faster about pay or royalty issues, etc.? Maybe there are existing groups that can be transformed; maybe there's space for new groups.  

I'd like to believe there are good people out there who want better than just doing dopey Pledges. I would like to believe that there are people who want to live in a better world than this. But as with other things in life generally, I don’t know if anyone acting individually can effectuate change of the scale required-- I think that might require concerted action.

And maybe those conversations are happening, far from where I can hear them. But then I also become reminded about the Kate Leth situation we discussed on our first day together-- how easily things fall apart, especially when our times seem constantly to find new ways to divide people.

F. Small Kindnesses

I don’t know if I believe a significant amount of change is truly possible, though. Faith in my fellow man-- that's a tough one!

But in America 2020, look, that’s the Normal. Even if we get through this year (?), climate change and the post-COVID economy are about to drop down on us like a fucking anvil, and all of our institutions are in shambles. None of us are getting saved from above.

So the lesson of 2020 seems to be that you just have to hope that there are smaller kindnesses we can show each other, as things around us get worse and worse-- that there are ways for people to work together, even if bigger structures are arrayed against them.

In comics? The word mentorship keeps coming up.

If there’s anything for a person to put their faith in, I think it has to be that. 

But?

But consider Mairghread Scott. While this was all going on, a comic writer named Mairghread Scott wrote about what it was like being a woman writing for DC Comics.

You know the day I knew I’d never be able to make it big in comics? The day I bumped into another writer in an airport and accidentally learned he was heading to DC’s Burbank offices for a Bat-family summit. I was writing Batgirl at the time. I wasn’t invited.”

NOTE: As part of my “research” for this, I read an issue of Scott’s 2016 comic Transformers: Till All are One, for IDW, and having never read a Transformers comic before, it was one of the most truly bizarre comic experiences I’ve had in some time, in that in June 2020, I found myself reading about children’s transforming toy robots having a peaceful protest which was violently disrupted by police robots:

You wanted this person at your retreats!

How do you mentor someone to be a part of an industry that doesn’t see them as equal human beings?

The aggravating thing about me just waving my hands around and saying “mentorship” is that this isn’t really a situation where I think young women are the ones who need to learn things! It’s buying them a rape whistle while letting Brock Turner run free…

And of course, what shadows that mentorship might create, for bad-faith actors to hide within. What opportunities for just more performance online. If the problems are in significant part structural, any answer that just involves do-gooding rankles a little.

But what other alternative is there? What’s the Plan B? Where else can we put our hopes other than the small kindness that people can show each other in a world that has other given up pretending it cares about them?

G. Random Acts of Underappreciated Heroism

And there will be acts of heroism, which will not be nearly appreciated enough.

This all happened because Aviva Maï didn’t stay quiet. Because the Stronger Together group found each other, supported each other. Shy Allott and Shawna Gore, Lauren Tracey and Bridgit Connell, Cara McGee and Coutney and Babs Tarr and Tess Fowler and every other women we have mentioned here, fighting not just for themselves but for each other, for women they hadn’t even met yet but knew were counting on them. Taki Soma, who waited fourteen years for people to truly listen to her, who had to wait too long. And Kate Welch, who I think it’s incredibly important that we quote: "Fill that asshole's head with my asshole's music."

The Comics Journal and this author are both grateful for what they’ve done, the example they’ve set, and that asshole line because *chef's kiss*.

In Conclusion

Anyways, those last couple bits were as close as we're getting to hopeful, "happy ending," so you might want to stop reading there, if you want to end on that note.  

Here's the real ending, though:

I'd retired from writing long essays about comics like this in early 2019. Anyone over the age of 35 having opinions about comic books? That's just lipstick on a corpse-- anybody excited about that probably needs help.  (Plus: the internet's gotten a little too unpleasant!So I took things for one last spin, and then that was that. And my intention is and has always been to slink back to retirement after this one wrapped up.  

Because I don’t really know if I learned that many lessons from writing about comics. But I did learn at least One Big Lesson which I'd like to end by mentioning:

When someone out there was 14 years old, or 24, or 34, they owned a Warren Ellis comic book. And that comic book made them feel cool. Even though I assure you that they were not.

That person will protect the parasocial relationship they formed with the characters (and then, in a distant second, creators) of that comic book more than anything else. They will as a rule not tolerate anything that threatens their imaginary friendship with a complete stranger. And they will lash out at anyone that questions it.

And therefore, there might be nothing we can ever meaningfully say that people will listen to with an open mind. About anyone or anything!

Extrapolate that to everything. All of it. All of it.

And so, every fight's still worth fighting, for those of you with any fight still left in you, but every fight may have already been lost before the first shot has been fired.  

...But maybe I’m wrong. And maybe this is it!

Maybe this is when the Serious People fix all of comics, through Comics Badges-- maybe this is the moment where everything changes.

Maybe this is where these headaches end and this the last time we have to hear repeatedly about abuse in comics.

And maybe, the comics industry finally can move on from this one repetitive Story about sexism and get back to what it’s best at:

Hardcore, institutionalized racism.

I yield the remainder of my time.

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