Eric July’s ‘Rippaverse’ Shows Progress of Conservative Media

 

I’m guessing most of you have seen some version of a meme regarding the call for conservatives to create their own media and free-speech spaces; it has the response from the left being a horrified “not like that!!” when someone actually succeeds. Well, we can observe that happening in real-time in the world of comics.

I haven’t been into comics since [checks for a publishing date] 1991. Not that I necessarily outgrew them, but other things took over. I’ve intended to check out some of the more well-regarded graphic novels for a long time but did so only recently, triggered in part by my oldest two sons’ interests in graphic novels.

It was also caused partly by the YouTube rabbit hole [note: massive content warning on those videos; not for the faint-of-humor, nor the even remotely sensitive] I’ve been going down lately, as mentioned here a couple of weeks ago.  This loosely-defined group of “content creators” (awful term, but still better than “influencers”) that has caught my interest lately have been promoting one of their own’s new venture. It is intended to be a non-woke comic book company.

The Rippaverse was created by Eric July to be an alternative to the uber-woke products coming out of DC and Marvel in the last few years. On the creative side, it remains to be seen how successful it will be, but on the monetary side … yikes. He blew past all the stretch goals in his 75-day campaign in less than a week and is sitting above $2.7 million as I write this.

[understatement] So I guess there’s a market for it. [/understatement]

From what I’ve seen — of the part of his personality he projects online — July’s got a decent shot at keeping a level head and making a go of this long-term;  getting this far purely on his own nest egg with YouTube and social media word-of-mouth can’t be a bad sign.

And naturally, the knives are out on social media and various media and comics sites. But apart from some heat when Fox News and the NY Post covered it, things have been surprisingly quiet. I can only assume the usual suspects are furiously trying to dig up dirt about Mr. July, but so far nothing has come up that he wouldn’t freely and happily admit (in the strongest possible language). Reddit’s r/comicbooks has banned mention of the campaign due to his association with “comicsgate.” (Which, despite sorta-kinda being able to follow “gamergate” at the time, I had no idea was a thing … and can’t really make heads nor tails of retroactively using the usual [biased, crappy] online references.)

Meanwhile, through all this, I keep getting little reminders of the mid-aughts blogosphere, with loose-knit groups of people joining together to take traditional media to task, generally cooperating and making friends and having a great time doing it. With that came some big successes; a fair number of book deals were generated, a few media scalps were collected, a few new media ventures were created, and the downfall of newspapers was accelerated a bit. So I wonder if YouTube will take the same path as blogs or if its path will at least rhyme. Things like the success of the Rippaverse comics launch make me wonder if the parallels are less strong than they initially seemed.

But I really hope that the reason online videos might start to fade and stagnate like blogs did will be absolutely anything but the “metaverse.”

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There are 15 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Interesting news from another world.

    • #1
  2. Mowgli Coolidge
    Mowgli
    @Mowgli

    On a recent podcast (Mad Dogs and Englishmen?) it was mentioned that at a certain point having a book banned made it more intriguing and therefore sold more copies.  I can imagine the larger comic book audience would be interested in a non-woke set of comics purely due to it going counter culture.

    Here is a good write up on the Watch and Ward Society as part of Banned in Boston book review:

    http://tuftsjournal.tufts.edu/archives/878/how-to-get-banned-in-boston

    Key quote:

    While the Watch and Ward now seems antiquated, the struggle to balance competing public interests lives on. Notes Miller, “Society struggles with the question: how do you set limits and who decides what those limits are?

    • #2
  3. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Will Isom be available only via their website, or will I be able to get it at the comic store?

    • #3
  4. SMG Member
    SMG
    @SMG

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Will Isom be available only via their website, or will I be able to get it at the comic store?

    Apparently there are a few comic shops that have inquired about buying copies and he’s willing to sell to them, but he’s not defaulting to distributing to comic stores (do they go through distributors like other products generally?).  So, the best bet is likely to be through the website right now.  

    • #4
  5. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    SMG (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Will Isom be available only via their website, or will I be able to get it at the comic store?

    Apparently there are a few comic shops that have inquired about buying copies and he’s willing to sell to them, but he’s not defaulting to distributing to comic stores (do they go through distributors like other products generally?). So, the best bet is likely to be through the website right now.

    Most stores purchase their comics through a distributor because it makes it easier.

    • #5
  6. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Will Isom be available only via their website, or will I be able to get it at the comic store?

    Consider asking your comic store to stock them. 

    • #6
  7. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    TBA (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Will Isom be available only via their website, or will I be able to get it at the comic store?

    Consider asking your comic store to stock them.

    I will mention it to them.  We go most weekends and have a few titles on subscription.  I have been reading the new Firefly comics and the Dune adaptations both by Boom.

    • #7
  8. SMG Member
    SMG
    @SMG

    Er, the new title should probably be “Eric July’s ‘Rippaverse’ Shows Progress of Conservative Media.”   (Although he would argue with being labeled conservative… which would be an interesting argument to have.)

    • #8
  9. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    There was another crowdfunded comic book that was nominally anti-“woke,” inasmuch as having characters who did not sit around and talk about identity and inclusion was considered conservative. The author got his start doing sarcastic reviews of new enlightened comics – the height of the Comicsgate terror –  and was challenged to do something instead of just criticizing. So he did! And it was pretty danged good. First comic I’d bought in 20 years. 

    • #9
  10. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee Coyote
    @WyleeCoyote

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    There was another crowdfunded comic book that was nominally anti-“woke,” inasmuch as having characters who did not sit around and talk about identity and inclusion was considered conservative. The author got his start doing sarcastic reviews of new enlightened comics – the height of the Comicsgate terror – and was challenged to do something instead of just criticizing. So he did! And it was pretty danged good. First comic I’d bought in 20 years.

    Jawbreakers?

    • #10
  11. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    If y’all are not following Chuck Dixon and Steve Baron on social media, you should be.

    • #11
  12. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    And just a minute…I thought the name was familiar. This is the man who led the Metal Band that appeared in the Thomas Sowell documentary, is he not? 

    • #12
  13. SMG Member
    SMG
    @SMG

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    And just a minute…I thought the name was familiar. This is the man who led the Metal Band that appeared in the Thomas Sowell documentary, is he not?

    Very possibly.  He’s been front man for 2 different metal bands that I’m aware of over the years, but I didn’t know that they were in that documentary.  His livestreams tend to have a poster of Sowell in the background…

    • #13
  14. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    SMG (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    And just a minute…I thought the name was familiar. This is the man who led the Metal Band that appeared in the Thomas Sowell documentary, is he not?

    Very possibly. He’s been front man for 2 different metal bands that I’m aware of over the years, but I didn’t know that they were in that documentary. His livestreams tend to have a poster of Sowell in the background…

    Yup. Though the item here refers to him as a “rapper”.

    https://blackcommunitynews.com/watch-new-documentary-on-the-fascinating-thomas-sowell/

     

    • #14
  15. SMG Member
    SMG
    @SMG

     

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    SMG (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    And just a minute…I thought the name was familiar. This is the man who led the Metal Band that appeared in the Thomas Sowell documentary, is he not?

    Very possibly. He’s been front man for 2 different metal bands that I’m aware of over the years, but I didn’t know that they were in that documentary. His livestreams tend to have a poster of Sowell in the background…

    Yup. Though the item here refers to him as a “rapper”.

    https://blackcommunitynews.com/watch-new-documentary-on-the-fascinating-thomas-sowell/

     

    I think  he did a solo rap album more recently, and did a lot of rapping in the metal bands he was/is in, so it’s not totally off-base.

    • #15
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