リンク note(ノート) コミックスゲートの話をざっくり漁ってみよう。|三務|note ツイッターで時々目にするコミックスゲートという単語。昨今は日本でもアメリカンコミックスの実写映画が頻繁に公開されているし、togetterであれこれ記事も紹介されたことだし、原作のコミックには詳しくないがここは一つネットから情報を漁ってみよう。 まずはウィキペディアの日本語版から。コミックスゲートというのはアメリカンコミックス関連の政治運動だそうだ。 主張としては 1.スーパーヒーロー(アイアンマン、ソー、ハルク、スパイダーマン)の正体が従来の白人男性から女性や人種的マイノリティに代わるストーリー展開。

This is a translation of the article above, "Let's root through the talk about the comicsgate." This could still have mistakes here and there but criticism is welcome.


Comicsgate, the word I sometimes see on Twitter. Recently the live action of american comics are being presented frequently and there were articles on Togetter. So I'm gonna get some info from internet despite not having knowledge on original work of comics.

I'm gonna first begin from the japanese article from wikipedia. It seems like an political movement involving american comics.

(TLnote: Wait. He will read the article related to Jawbreakers, Diversity In Comics aka Richard Meyer and EVS with Deepl. So please continue.)

The claims are:

  1. The progression of stories where the super heroes's true identity are being changed from white male to woman and racial minorities.

  2. The imagery of female figure that is outside of ideal shape.

  3. Story that talk about modern social problem.

It seems like they are criticizing these points.

The first one, If there are a huge setting change it's obvious to have the opinions being divided about it. It seems like changing the authors or rebooting to have an long serialization is the style of main stream american comics of printing their comics. So if you make the aging and the flow of time real, there would be times that have to create successors or else would be hard to continue the serialization. But if the successor would be accepted or not are another story. I'm the generation where 007 was Pierce Brendan Brosnan so when he was changed to Daniel Kraig the image was so different that I didn't recognized him as James Bond so I understand that. (Despite this one is not race or gender swap...) White washing is a problem, right? Turning the white to colored or vice versa is the same thing. If you say it's different, it's unacceptable. I could understand the changes for lack of cast on live action but you don't need to do it in a reboot from comic to comic. Sometimes I saw minorities saying "I'm not being represented in media" but taking over the existing IP is not the way. I saw before an article in internet wanting the Princess Zelda to be black but doing a free ride on IP with different race is nothing but shameful. Thing like this has to be created by yourself and be successful by yourself. Creating new IP must not be an hard task in America.

The second one. Are they really claiming that? There are old man and woman, right? This can only be lack of words to explain, right? So I went to the source. (http://archive.today/aklCw)
There were the text "The breast was reduced" was written there. (Translation of translation so I think it's "giving female superheroes smaller breasts was part of the issue.") As I said before, If there are changes in design of course there would be people who would not like it. No matter the content, if something one like get changed, one will complain. It's normal. There is something wrong when it's labeled it as racism or sexism. Listening to stuff like this the exact opposite of concern came to my mind. Is there some group who think showing woman with ideal body as unforgivable? When Wonder Woman live action movie was published I remember some people protesting about the Wonder Woman's actress's body being "not realistic". It's live action, right? It's reality itself! I dunno english enough but are they saying it is not realistic meaning it is not american average or common body shape? There are people saying that is "fixing" when cut out the characters's tits and making them fat so I think this kind of group exists. From most recent in memory was the Uzaki chan incident. Since there are indeed people with similar body shape as her, incident like this I think it's nothing but insanity. Since the male character is muscular macho so female character with good body shape must be accepted. It wouldn't be fair if they don't complain about a ultra muscular female actress appear in live action movies either. Are they doing it properly? It would make better sense if they say something like "The profit from live action is extremely large from the perspective of whole industry but it's hard to find a actress with same attribute and enough skill if the character of original work is so busty. So we adjusted the original work to the average body shape of actresses." instead of talking about weird talk about values.Bringing person who is nothing like the original work would have complain in same way here in Japan.

The third. That I don't understand. It's normal to manga and novels to touch about recent problems. Let's read the article presented.

セリエマ🔞 @seri3ma

Just to import the links to "min.t" for translation. Link does not working as expected. comicsgate.fandom.com/wiki/What_is_C…? pic.twitter.com/zpntb19shS

2021-07-06 07:46:44

I see, I don't get it. So let's ask to Deepl for translation.

"ComicsGaters believe the following are problems that pervade the comic book industry:

  1. The adoption of art styles influenced exclusively by Progressive politics, & by the awkward, stilted injection of said political messages into stories regardless of whether context demands it or not.

  2. The hiring of people based purely on their surface traits and "oppressed demographic" status (Women, Minorities, LGBT) rather than hiring based on merit, affinity or enthusiasm for craft.

  3. The change or outright replacement of beloved classic characters to pander to Progressive and/or Leftist politics instead of creating new characters for this end.

  4. The elitist purge of anything that is "not progressive enough."

  5. The rejection of honest criticism, swept aside as harassment or discrimination."

I don't trust completely the Deepl translation but let's work with this. 1 and 3 are the only ones what is similar between wikipedia one and this one. Well, Wiki or Fandom, they are written by amateurs without having much responsibility. Whatever.

Well, let's see it. The first one. I saw this one on movies rather than comics. 2017 power rangers....That was awful. It must have the concept of making the minorities heroes but how many hours are you trying to spend in their gloomy private life? It's a sentai hero series despite being localized for America after all. Of course, there are many kind of people in the world. There are people who have given up sports due to injury, people with autism, people that are sexual minorities. I gave up sports due to injury. But do you really think that those people are going to be happy to be introduced as the ones who control the uninteresting parts of the movie? Do you think entertainment are some easy shit? I hear diversity is for business but quit having such easy thinking like "If it have diversity you would see anything, right?". If you just only mix the color of oil paint you can make nothing but sludge. To begin with, If you sacrifice the fun of the work the hate will be directed to the minority. Star Wars 8 was the example of it. What Rose was? The reason she was hated was not the fact that she was an Asian. It's because of her shit role. Did the Asian in Rogue One brought the same hate as her? It didn't, right? She stop the kamikaze of the allies with an kamikaze, luckily both survived, they kiss with the explosion of allies's HQ in background that happened because she stopped the kamikaze. Are you fucking with me. Well, It wouldn't matter the presence or absence of Rose because this trilogy is not fun anyway.

The second one happened in anime. Yasuke. I dunno about the English dub but the japanese trailer was awful. The Yasuke's speaking was monotone. Since there were no black VA, an half japanese half black actor was hired. Despite having experience as actor, this is the first time of acting as VA and it is as a protagonist. I understand it is better than bringing any amateur average black person but this happens when you hire by race instead of skills. I do not want this idea of the character's race and VA's race should be the same. Because all dubs of movies would be not OK to be done. What are you gonna do with movies where most of the people are black people, like the movie from Gana?

the 3rd is the same as said before so I skip it.

4th and 5th I dunno what is this about for lack of text. Could this be relative to the second one from the wiki cited before? Speaking about it, it seen like oversea is clearly hiring unhealthy fat people, causing a healthy problem that is polar opposite of before that was unhealthy skinny. But I heard that was considered healthy and beautiful in progressive values. That's too hard to understand for a japanese. Are they bringing this to american comics? Well, I don't understand what the 4th and 5th is talking about so I will put this to the side. But all this talk is before corona. Since obesity makes the risk of corona right the conscience about fatness could have changed, right?...That's the thing came to my mind while writing this but since it's claiming obesity as healthy for ideology and not medicine, maybe it not has changed.

Well, let's show another article shown as comicsgater's claim.

The title means it's not corona's fault that american comics industry is in danger. It says it's because it's hiring people based on characteristic like minority instead of hiring people based on technique. Here the image given as example.

Is this a comedy comic? Very specific things aside, you know the place of bathtub and the door is weird in first glance. Of course a new manga artist could draw such a strange composition but the editor would point it out to fix it. Even if the door is completely closed and there is another entrance, the water will get into the gap and it will result in mold there. And the article says if you criticize the change of the race of the characters or the propaganda content you will get called as racist and nazi. Recently there are a lot of country speaking those words carelessly so it must be true. Continuing it's written about the problem of overshipping of comics. As it's written, it's a scheming of overshipping comic books for free to comic shops in order to make the market seen as big. It must be like the "oshigami" problem we had in Japan where the publisher forcibly shipped newspaper to stores in order to force them to pay money. That was scolded by the Fair Trade Commission. Well, it must be less of a problem compared to this one since the comics are overshipped for free. But since it occupy a physical space it still continues to be a problem. I thought "Isn't there a law in America to forbid it?" but maybe they can do it because it's for free, making it outside of the scope of the law. In Japan there is a Consignment Sale System where you are allowed to send back the publication until certain time. (Except newspapers). It is common in Japan to have an intermediary between the publisher and the bookstore, but then there are rampant contracts of distribution where the intermediary disregards the will of the bookstore. It's an system that protect the bookstore from this situation. The article ends claiming for a improvement for distribution system, be meritocratic and stop being so preachy.

There is one more article

It's written about publisher that prints a comic called Jawbreakers and it's creator Richard Meyer and Ethan Van Sciver getting bullied by someone from media industry. There were a case where a mangaka got arrested for death threats but there are so much of people like this there. It looks harsh to endure. The industry should administrate better the people who are being hired. It makes sense.

I was reading the wiki and comicsgate side claims until here. Let's read the stuff from another side.

セリエマ🔞 @seri3ma

アメコミ界で広がる嫌がらせ「コミックスゲート」 コミックの多様化を攻撃 (The pestering, harassment in american comic community, "Comicsgate" is attacking the comic's diversity.) archive.today/UkL3B pic.twitter.com/xm9MAAYw7W

2021-07-06 07:46:47

First it says "The diversity progressive side of comic industry are planning to bring up LGBT communities and minorities and woman in the works." but it's not written how they will do it. It's very important, you know? Are they make new IP instead of overwriting long‐established IP or not. Also it's written that this kind of movement is being targeted by the comicsgaters. From what it is written I think overall it's an method that comicsgate is suffering too. Looks like it has become an retaliation war. No one know who begun it. Well, that's the internet. Also It's written about the cancellation of Mockingbird, that put feminism on the front with all force, for lack of popularity and it has become toys in the hand of internet. Here in japan comics that got cancelled became toys for internet so it feels the same. But do not go directly to them to make fun of them. It's better to not do it. This work seems like a spin off with the already said character and it has the problem of distribution cited before so I understand your feeling. But stop. No good shit will come from this if you cross the line. You could end up getting banned.

The article now talk about to Aubrey Sitterson. He lose jobs due to his tweet about 9.11 terrorist attack. The tweet in question...

Well, let's translate it with Deepl. "Good, today is the day where people who weren't in New York remember the tragedy of a the selfish country."The article and the the person who said it think it was because the alternative cover for GI Joe where Salvo was drawn different from the normal for the LGBT Pride month of July 2017 but if this is america, he would be fired no matter how the work is going, right? Making Salvo into a female character or alternative cover must be just a opportunity to justify the firing. Speaking about it, I didn't find the the so called alternative cover of Salvo. So I googled. I won't reupload but what I found was hairy males grappling. Japan also have covers and frontispiece that has nothing to do with the content of magazine but does this one result in higher sales? No I won't complain anything about drawing stuff like this. I live in a country that anime like this is aired so I won't say stuff about the act of drawing it itself.

In anime this begun the sumo tournament among horny males. Speaking about it, there were stuff like "2017 there were a thing that made the comicsgate activists happy. One of the top of Marvel David Gabriel said that 'no one wants diversity' on the meeting of distributors, criticizing the diversity for the decline of sales." but when I took a look it was just one of the retailers saying and David did not criticized it. "Anyone who have slightly different opinion is enemy" is a thing that happens a lot. But it's better you never do it. It will just divide the society more. The article continues and it's just retaliating each other between comicsgate and anti-comicsgate so I pass. But there are a lot of "Pro-Trump", "Trump side" and "Far Right" in the article. I can see from here, in Japan, that Anti trump side is demonizing not only the Trump but Trump supporters. Supposing that comicsgate people and trump supporters overlaps, bringing this kind of atmosphere on comics must be not fun for them. Maybe the 3rd one in Wikipedia was referring to this. But I must be cautious about the point that this article is old and it was written before the Biden got into office. The article is not about something happening now. I stop reading the article here.

Well, that should do.

Let's see the flow of this movement. From wiki to this (https://thefederalist.com/2018/08/08/crowdfunded-rebellion-identity-politics-comics-nets-1-25-million-counting/), I read it translated by DeepL. First, there were Gamergate that was similar to comicsgate but with games. It must be rare to play games and not read comics so the people involved must be mostly the same. Then the american comics publisher Marvel and DC begun to make reform with identity politics in mind, like making stories that changes Thor and Iron Man to woman or minorities, like putting comments about 2016 election in story. So really it went along the public movement of demonizing Trump and their supporters, isn't it? And then they presented Jawbreakers and other crowdfunding and independent creators making success... Hmm, it's going into a very constructive way. Very good. But instead of going that way they are wishing to know the danger of where this flow of is going.

By going alongside this flow one thing I got is the difference of attachment to the mainstream between us. When it comes to mainstream in japan, it would be something like Weekly Shonen Jump and others. But after the final episode, the new series starts. Not many works continued for decades straight while changing authors If you look at the industry as a whole, despite some exceptions. The works you like is only one of the tree that calls more attention in the middle of the woods. And you know one day the tree will die. So if it become not interesting you seek another tree. You don't need to care about the fate of a tree you don't see interesting. That means, stuff considered mainstream ,relatively speaking, are not so strong. There are infinite trees. Meanwhile the american comics with their nature of share world and complicatedly entangled cross overs makes them look like an eternal Yggdrasil that lives as long as the company does not disappear. It must be hard to endure the feeling of the motherly gigantic tree being distorted. It must be like the mixture of feeling of love and hate you have with a mother who got into a weird religious cult and you hate it enough to live elsewhere but did not wanted to cut the ties with the mother. Personally, I think if the independent creators are growing then it would be better to cut out mainstream and focus on indies. But I feel like I would be scolded by Americans saying "You can say it because you are japanese!". And in fact they would be right.

I was writing my thoughts about comicsgate in a messy way until now but there is two important points about this. First is the posture of talking about it having the gamergate to now. And other is the detailed knowledge about american comics in this same period. The former is generally a problem that arises from the business strategies of DC and Marvel that were established during this period. To put Comicsgate simply, "the current management strategy of the American comics community is not good", so if we start talking about the problem on a historical scale, we lose focus. In the history of American comics, there have been several times when the management strategies of publishers were not accepted by readers and it resulted in the decline of popularity, isn't it? And the latter is the reason for the half-assed content on this writing of my thoughts. My knowledge on american comics are next to zero. So I can't talk about it properly. When comicsgate say "This part is a problem", I can't argue because I can't verify which work's "which page", "which panel" in "which flow" it's happening and use it as the base for argumentation.

Well, I'm just a follower who listened some and decided to take a look so it's obvious that my knowledge is shallow. If there are any Japanese who is familiar with American comics, it would be a good idea to write the article with these two points in mind.

Concluding. The problem of over shipping must be debated without the involvement of political ideologies. It would be a criminal problem in Japan so it can't be helped that there are no Japanese who pay attention to this point. Because we abandon fast. As mentioned above, most manga ends in few years, and there are plenty of other mangas, so readers are rather indifferent. Political ideology aside there are people who complain but none to make it big enough to make it into a social movement. There are more people complaining in changes in media mix (Multimedia franchise) but when it becomes but when it becomes so big that it can be called a movement, the original author controls it and it deescalates. I don't think it will be the same as Japan in USA but if indies grow and become a good competitors to mainstream, I think movements like this will be deescalated. Over.