Apple-Obsessed Author Fella

Macro Monday: Harassed By Bots Edition

This is apropos of literally nothing, but the We Bare Bears Halloween special was delightful.

Listen, I’m just saying, there are some seriously good cartoons going on right now — DuckTales, Craig of the CreekApple & Onion, HildaDragon Prince, and so forth.


So, what else is up?

In case you missed it, the SUPER MEGA ULTRON MEATYFACE BOOK BUNDLE of mine is 50% off with coupon code NANO2018, dropping the price of ten books to ten bucks. Just in time for National Novel Writing Month. Click here to make with the grabby-grabby.

I’ll be at Hal-Con this weekend in Halifax, Nova Scotia! You should go! Sure, it’s in Canada, in Nova Scotia, but whatever. Do not make me doubt your commitment to Sparklemotion.

I have seen the final cover for Wanderers, and we’ll do a cover release soon — it continues the pattern of me being considerably fortunate when it comes to amazing book covers. Del Rey, as with everything, has done a phenomenal job.

Did you know you can also preorder Vultures, the very last Miriam Black novel? Fuck yeah you can. Pre-order in print (hardcover and paperback) or in digital.

Also, the novella Interlude: Tanager stars Wren, from the series, and bridges the gap between The Raptor & The Wren and Vultures. You can preorder the Death & Honey collection (with Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson!) now in limited print edition from Subterranean Press — digital and audio pre-order links coming soon.

You’ll also find me over at the Washington Post, where they talk about the Marvel kerfuffle.

And finally, a thing at The Mary Sue about it, whereupon they discuss the theoretical influence of bots and puppets on the aforementioned kerfuffle. Which leads me to —

One last quick FAQ!

Q: “Chuck, do you believe bots got you fired?”

A: Probably not, no. But it’s clear they were present — a link in the chain, at least. I think I tweeted my shenanigans, and then Comicsgate got involved (via one of the half-dozen YouTube videos Ethan Van Sciver did about me, which itself is nested among dozens of tweets about me, which makes me wonder if he’s a little obsessed with me?), and then bots, and then the alt-right celebrity clowndicks. I don’t think any one factor there did it — though maybe it was the clowndick support that pushed it over the edge, if I’m interpreting the scuttlebutt correctly. I don’t think any one snowflake made the avalanche, necessarily.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, it does posit the uniquely 2018 chicken-and-egg question of which came first, the bots or the outrage. Or do they feed one another, a bizarre Ouroborous, except for a snake eating its own tail, it’s just a recursive diarrhea fountain?

Also, it’s probably worth noting that “firing” is in many ways the wrong term — I was never an employee, so strictly speaking, I wasn’t fired. But I was taken off two comics, yes.

Q: “But Chuck, shouldn’t you take responsibility that the only person who got you taken off those books was… you? Look in the mirror lately, big guy?”

A: Hey, I take responsibility for what I tweeted, and if Marvel didn’t like that, they were free to boot my ass, as I’ve noted before. I said what I said and stand by it, nor do I make apologies for it — and getting taken off the book is no great loss for me, either in terms of prestige or income. It just sucks from a bigger picture POV, in terms of the chilling effect it’ll have on others.

As to whether I deserved it, or if I’d gone over some line — one can argue whatever they want, but nothing I said in that tweet thread was unique, or new, and in fact was pretty much a rehash of things I’d said before. Things that went just as viral, that were just as vulgar. At no point before then did I receive a warning, nor was there any kind of morality clause or speech clause in my agreement. So, were I warned and told to shut up, and I kept on doing it, that’s on me. But without warning, and with obeisance cast only toward the alt-right, it’s hard to see how anything I did now was different from anything I’d done before. Things that, frankly, are very much part of my voice as-is. And that have earned me much of the attention that Marvel traded on in hiring me in the first place. And that were considered not only okay before, but were encouraged. So, why now?

The greater point though is, it seems particularly odd to be angry with me over what I said — I think my anger, even if you find it disagreeable, is righteous. There continues to be an unholy shit parade marching down American streets and the news is more and more troubling every day — up to and including the latest news that the Trump administration wants to erase transgender identity from a legal standpoint, thus effectively trying to undo the civil rights of trans Americans. That coupled with toddler concentration camps and credible-but-unexamined sexual assault accusations and then Khashoggi and then climate change and then this and then that — what, I’m not supposed to be angry? Fuck that. This is gross. I’m going to continue to say that it’s gross.

And I think it bears noting the repeated connection between some of the negative reviews of my Star Wars work — yes, yes, disclaimer, I know some people just don’t like my writing, we all get that, huzzah, hoorah. But some people didn’t like the presence of LGBT characters in that storyworld, and those people, the Worst People, are celebrating me no longer writing Star Wars comics, are celebrating this administration, are celebrating the literal removal of legal protections and acknowledgments of LGBT Americans by this administration, and it would not be unreasonable to see them celebrating LGBT Americans being erased in other, considerably more disturbing or violent ways. It’s why I think it’s important to hold the line and to speak up and speak out. Even if it costs you something.

So, I said what I said, and what I said got me booted off some books.

I also stand by what I said.

And I can continue to think that Marvel on this sided with a particularly grotesque part of our political spectrum — the rotten alt-right fringe, who gone so far beyond conservatism they’re gladly authoritarian. And I can continue to think that this is a win for Comicsgate, because that amorphous blob of real people and their multiplicative puppets has been gabbling for my head for quite some time now. The tweets asking for Disney/LFL/Marvel to fire me have been countless. This is their victory. And they seem to be savoring it.


So goes the last I’ll speak on this.

Here, have some cool bug macros.