Writer Mark Waid is raising money for his legal defense in a law suit brought by Richard C. Meyer, a writer and pundit whose online presence under the ID “Diversity And Comics” has sparked controversy in the comic book industry.
Here’s how Waid’s GoFundMe explains the situation: “My name is Mark Waid. I’m a New York Times-bestselling comics writer. In September of this year, I was sued by one of the perceived leaders of a relentless online harassment movement called ‘ComicsGate’ which I and many comics professionals strongly feel has unfairly and offensively targeted women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ creators working in our industry in an effort to make them feel unwelcome. (You can read more about some perspectives on ComicsGate and its harassment techniques in the Washington Post and on Inverse.) I firmly believe this lawsuit is an effort to silence those of us who stand up publicly against bigotry and racism and who continue to defend diverse creators from harassment. You can learn more about the lawsuit here, here, and here, and I encourage you to visit my website markwaid.com for further details.”
Meyer’s lawsuit alleges Waid interfered in a publishing agreement Meyer had with Antarctic Comics to publish and distribute his comic book Jawbreakers. Waid contacted Antarctic following the announcement of their intent to publish Jawbreakers, resulting in a conversation both parties allege was civil and in which Waid and Antarctic say Waid expressed concern over Meyer’s online presence.
Operating under the ID “Diversity And Comics,” Meyer produces videos and writing that he characterizes as “criticism,” but which have caused controversy through language and content that has been perceived by many as targeting minority creators and critics with harassment.
However, Meyer alleges Waid made unspecified threats to Antarctic resulting in a Meyer being “blacklisted” from the mainstream comic book industry, blaming Waid directly for interfering with his efforts to publish his comic book, which was financed through a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Notable contributors from the comic book industry to Waid’s defense so far include Jamal Igle, Chris Ryall, Kevin Mellon, Eric Palicki, David Macho, Jordan Plosky, Erica Schultz, Dan Slott, Joe Henderson, Dean Haspiel, and Jim McLauchlin.