Alterna Comics | Eric Borden
I’ve been on hiatus from social media of late. It’s late Summer and the time was better spent with my son, the summers are precious at his age. It’s back to school for him now, and as I prepared to resume the business of promoting an indie comic I watched as my publisher, Alterna Comics, became embroiled in controversy. I occupy the smallest corner of the comics world but I have a deep appreciation and respect for the fans and folks who read my work and I feel obliged to make my stance clear.
The situation that has developed in the world of comics is a tragedy in a medium that has brought people together for decades. The arguments used to be Marvel vs. DC , who would win in a fight, or who was faster. Regardless of one’s allegiance, the unity was there and the community was whole. Now unfortunately the arguments have taken a dark turn, a massive rift has developed, and hatred has affected so many people. That situation is diametrically opposed to all of the reasons I love comics.
I’ve been a fan of comics since I was old enough to read. For a kid who grew up in a house without much extra cash they provided an inexpensive escape to be taken at any time just by peeling back the cover. I took that escape while I sat in the Laundromat as my Dad washed our clothes or in the front seat of our pickup truck as the Florida sun set on whatever construction site he was working. It was magic then and it still is now.
I’m quite a bit older now and I get to introduce the worlds I grew up with to my son as well as a host of new worlds. (His favorite is Miles Morales as Spider Man) We get to adventure together and see what unfolds. One of the joys of my life is watching him scan the shelves looking for the next adventure he wants to take. Whose art speaks to him, which stories will hold him rapt? What voice might stir something in him, as it did me a long time ago?
I would never seek to limit him or anyone else from finding those things and just maybe finding themselves in the process. Because comics are for everyone. Period.
Social Media is a marvel in it’s own right. It has leveled the playing field like never before, providing a conduit for fans and creators to connect. At a moments notice anyone can log in and be inspired by someone’s work or words of encouragement. Conversely we sometimes get to see the very worst someone has to offer. But we all have the choice on whether or not we want to participate in social media.
I personally prefer kindness. I’ve taken enough lumps in life to know that it’s the only way. I feel like lifting up your art opens you to criticism which is why so many of us don’t take the plunge. Poor reviews and petty online jabs are all very real specters that exist in any creative game. I am far from the first person to say that developing a thick skin is necessary. This is why I have made the personal choice not to block or mute anyone.
That said I HAVE NOT experienced any behavior that has made me feel unsafe or threatened. If that should ever be the case then of course it will be handled accordingly. No one should be made to feel unsafe as they participate in an artistic endeavor, attend a con, or just plain live their life.
As far as my relationship with Peter Simeti and Alterna Comics is concerned, I truly believe that Peter’s feelings on the matter are in line with my own. I pull my opinion from both my communications with Peter and observing his conduct on social media in relations with the fans over the past 2 ½ years. I feel confident that Peter and Alterna will maintain a consistent and accepting code of conduct as I have experienced in the past. I will continue to work with Alterna as we seek to bring Scrimshaw and the diverse cast of characters contained within to as wide an audience as possible.
It is my sincerest hope that the comics world finds a way out of this dark age and into a new era of acceptance, creativity and prosperity for anyone who wants to be involved.
Be kind to one another,