Defused: Dynamite Cancels Crowdfunding Project After Pros Turn Nasty

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Defused. Dynamite cancels Cecil, Delay

Dynamite Comics has an interesting side-model to their business of producing monthly comic books starring licensed properties like BETTIE PAGE, VAMPIRELLA, RED SONJA and others. They allow for creators in the industry to create unique covers for already published books, and then crowdfund the publishing of these books. It's a neat way for collectors to get limited edition artwork, and it gives Dynamite some extra mileage from work that's already been done and paid for.

Eyebrows were raised, however, when Ethan Van Sciver delivered covers featuring Vampirella and Cyberfrog. The two characters had both been published by Harris Comics in the past, so it was a kind of a reunion. But Ethan Van Sciver is also a vocal supporter of ComicsGate, a loosely defined movement of independent artists and creators who have broken away from mainstream -- either as professionals or as consumers -- in order to pursue comics of a different kind, usually because of ham-fisted political or shoe-horned social messaging in the larger industry titles. Some in the group have been very outspoken, in ways that go beyond impolite, and have drawn the ire of comics professionals who see the entire group as a "hate group" preaching homophobia, racism, misogyny, or transphobia (despite the group being diverse in its makeup of creators and supporters). These creators were less than happy to see Dynamite Comics working hand-in-hand with Van Sciver, both for these covers and for the ongoing production deal with Van Sciver's personal project, CYBERFROG.

But it was the Vampirella variant from Donal Delay and ComicsGate mascot "Cecil" that opened the floodgates of complaints. Over the course of the weekend, comics pros such as Mark Russell (SECOND COMING, RED SONJA) and Carla Pacheco (BETTIE PAGE) announced they would break ties with the company upon completion of their contracts. Others who were not employed by Dynamite joined in as well, expressing emotions from disappointment to outrage that the company would do business with "that type" of person.

The online tantrums succeeded in getting the attention of Dynamite CEO Nick Barrucci, who issued the following statement online through the Dynamite Comics Twitter account:

We would like to be very clear on this matter.

We do not support censorship. We do not support fascist behavior.

We do support Dynamite Comics, who made what we are sure they felt was the best business decision for the company. Whether we agree that this was true is irrelevant.

However, we can do more than that. We can take a stance agaisn the abject immorality of the intolerant mob.

Effective immediately, it is Critical Blast's editorial policy that, until the industry undergoes a sea change, we will not be covering or promoting material created by or contributed to by those professionals who engaged in these fascist tactics, including but not limited to: Kwanza Osajyefo; Mark Russell; Tess Fowler; Magdalene Visaggio; Tamra Bonvillain; Matt Miner; and others. PDFs submitted for review will be deleted up on receipt, and floppies will be returned to the publishers unread.