Okay, you’ve heard the refrain.
Guys like Ethan Van Sciver, Diversity & Comics, and Kasimir Urbanski all love to roast the more ludicrous efforts of the SJW’s within the comics scene. It makes for entertaining YouTube videos, that’s for sure. But Arkhaven comes onto the scene and suddenly they all want to run an angle on it claiming that these guys are just like the SJW’s except they’re just coming at from the opposite end of the political spectrum. Two sides of the same coin and all that.
Here’s why that’s wrong:
In the first place, the ideology the SJW’s are pushing is so incoherent, it isn’t really fair to characterize it with “politics”. And what they are injecting into the comics media is something fundamentally different from the way that, say, A Princess of Mars or Dune deal with political issues. Actual politics is really quite interesting– from the French and American revolutions to various civil wars throughout history… there’s a lot to it! But there really isn’t any substance to the SJW’s brand of so-called “politics”. There’s nothing to engage with. There’s nothing to have a conversation about. There’s no room for a different viewpoint on complex issues. There is only the opportunity for people signal their support for their freakish revolution as they tear down the cultural reference points of the people they seek to bully and humiliate.
Arkhaven is not doing anything remotely like that. In the first place, they are creating their own characters and settings rather than subverting longstanding icons of the field. And they’re doing it in such a way as to appeal to people that have been under-served by comics, movies, and publishing in general.
Ethan Van Sciver, Diversity & Comics, and Kasimir Urbanski have a particular narrow perspective on all this. It’s as if they would be content with the comics medium if only it were just a little bit less obnoxiously SJW. They are fine with the overall leftist tilt that could be taken for granted within the field throughout the eighties and nineties. And they are triggered at the idea of anyone violating the sort of boundaries and restrictions on expression that were laid down by the sort of people that take for granted that everyone on the right is necessarily boorish, déclassé, and hateful by definition.
But the problem with comics and media in general is that its creative palette has been artificially limited for so long, that people can’t even imagine what things were like when ideological diversity could be taken for granted as a given.
It’s time for that to change.
UPDATE: Kasimir Urbanski doubles down on the “Arkhaven is the mirror image of the SJWs” argument:
I don’t see what you guys are doing as creating “ideological diversity”. I have yet to see ANYTHING from the Alt-heroes previews that leads me to think that it will be even one micron more sophisticated in its propagandism for the ultra-reactionary Collectivist Right than, say, Ms.Marvel or She-Thor are shallow propagandism for the totalitarian Collectivist Left.
I want comics (and RPGs, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, film, novels and TV) that talk about politics, of any kind. I don’t want ANY of the above that are just PROPAGANDA.
My answer: People that would otherwise be systematically no-platformed by the left showing up, producing content, and reaching an audience by definition creates ideological diversity within the field.