NYCC: Marvel’s Retailer-Only Panel Erupts into Anti-Diversity Chaos

Retailer blames “blacks,” homos” and “freaking females” for the recent slump in sales.

Marvel hosted a retailer’s-only panel at New York Comic Con yesterday. The panel was part of the Diamond Distributors’ breakfast event, and it started harmlessly enough with Marvel’s panel — consisting of Tom Brevoort, Nick Lowe, Christina Hanigan and Charles Soule — making a series of announcements regarding upcoming titles an events. But when it came time to take questions from the crowd, the event turned ugly.

After answering questions regarding issue numbering, their ability to put out a weekly comic on time and making the Marvel Universe feel more interconnected; the event went off the rails.

Bleeding Cool gives us the play-by-play:

Then one retailer got lots of applause for objecting to the ordering process for the Marvel Lenticular covers, and got lots of applause, Bleeding Cool has covered repeatedly objections to the way Marvel Comics have handled this.

But he kept going with his objections and soon he was bringing up the fact that Marvel now had female versions of characters instead of the males, with echoing shouts from the crowd of retailers about not changing all the characters all at once – which is something I have also heard Marvel executives themselves echo. But things were getting tense.

Two older retailers started raising their voices arguing about diversity and how it does not work. The words “black”, “homo” and “freaking females” were used multiple times, at which point other retailers started to boo those retailers and the room started to turn on itself. Marvel editor Nick Lowe tried to get calm by saying that Marvel try and they tell stories for everyone, that the old heroes are not going anywhere, neither are the new ones, there is room for them both.

Marvel ended the event amid the chaos and cleared the room, but angry retailers confronted editors and executives in the hallway, continuing the argument.

While analysts have pointed to a number of causes for Marvel’s sales slump (too many “events,” the constant cancellation and resolicitation of books with a new #1), the idea that “diversity” is what has caused a sales slump at Marvel has been a staple among the “angry white male” demographic for a while — but it’s almost always prefaced with the caveat that they just “really respect the original characters,” and that they aren’t “sexist or racist or anything.”

We’ll be sure to let the “blacks,” “homos” and “freaking females” know.

Two Female Entrepreneurs Invent Silent Partner “Keith Mann” to Be Taken Seriously

The sad thing is that it worked.

The next time someone tries to say that women and men have the same level of opportunity and are equally judged when it comes to business and entrepreneurship, tell them the story of Witchsy co-founders Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer.

The pair made headlines this week when it was revealed that the third founder of the quirky online art store, Keith Mann, was completely fictional.

“I think because we’re young women, a lot of people looked at what we were doing like, ‘What a cute hobby!’ or ‘That’s a cute idea.’” Dwyer told Fast Company.

“It was like night and day,” she said. “It would take me days to get a response, but Keith could not only get a response and a status update, but also be asked if he wanted anything else or if there was anything else that Keith needed help with.”

It’s clear that the two have much to be proud of–regardless of their fake male counterpart–just by looking at Witchsy’s numbers from last year alone. They grossed over $200,000 which largely goes back to the creators that contribute to the site, but Gazin and Dwyer still make a profit.

When giant online art megastore Etsy banned the selling of witch spells two years ago, Dwyer and Gazin took inspiration and opened Witchsy. It’s known for its dark, off-color humor, and has quickly become a haven for art consumers that need to stray off the beaten path.

None of this success is thanks to Keith Mann, despite what Witchsy’s investors may have been made to believe. But when all’s said and done, if there’s any lesson here, it’s that the battle for gender equality, particularly in the man’s world of American start-ups, is far from over.

Ms. Marvel Wins Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics

The excellent Ms. Marvel won the second annual “Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics” at the Long Beach Comic Expo this past weekend. On top of honoring the best in diversity in comics, the event also was an opportunity for friends and associates of the highly regarded McDuffie, a veteran comic-book and cartoon writer, to share stories about their late friend and celebrate his accomplishments.

Appearing via video, Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson told a story about a disagreement she had with McDuffie over DC comics Vixen, who they were both writing on separate books at the time.

Ms. Marvel covers the exploits of Kamala Khan, a teenage, Muslim, Pakistani-American superhero defending her hometown of Jersey City.

The other nominees were Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Natacha Bustos; Andre The Giant Closer to Heaven, by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri; Zana, by Jean Barker and Joey Granger; and Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin.

via Comics Alliance