Today we have the lesson brought to us by an artist named Mike Miller.
My history with Mike was a pretty simple one. Mike acted like a friend, had me on his live streams multiple times, because others in his immediate circle told him to. Once they told him not to, he bowed to social pressure immediately and barely had any communication with me. It’s tragic watching someone act like that, and it should have been the end of the story, but this week, Mike decided to join the pile-on attacks on me coordinated by Ethan Van Sciver and his hate mob.
Mike doesn’t attack in a “you’re a scum!” way, he’s a passive aggressive gamma male. So he came at me in the middle of this after their private DM group where they shit-talk against other creators non-stop was losing their minds on me in order to score points with them. He showed up on a thread of mine where I was pointing out how EVS’s crowd are hypocritical with a “What would Jesus do?”
A passive aggressive public insult to try to mock someone’s Christianity is certainly not what Jesus would do. As he’s wont to do, he wouldn’t stop. He went for hours, I attempted to reconcile the situation multiple times, but Mike laughed it off, called me crazy, mocked mental illness, rambled about how I associate with racists. He would not speak to reconcile, never messaged me in private, just kept on the attack.
Now this isn’t to condemn Mike for those, I’ve done that already, but we have a very important lesson for conservative artists wrapped in this: if you operate in fear for your livelihood, you’re going to lose.
The thing is, Mike has to do what he’s doing. EVS’s club is about creating drama and enemies so they can rant about people on youtube and get superchats. Ethan’s primary business is keeping youtube going, the comic book element of what he’s doing is not important to him. And unfortunately, this summer, Mike tied himself so hard to this guy, that he has no way to extricate himself without a hard landing with no parachute.
So he lives in fear.
Being A Conservative In the Arts
As conservatives, we are already at a disadvantage. You can’t go into “being a conservative in the arts” for the money. If you want money and mainstream notoriety voicing right wing views kills you.
Mike already burned his bridges hard by being an abrasive guy who’s passive aggressive about such views to the establishments in his field at Marvel/DC. He has NO way back to them. As a comic artist, that’s career suicide. And unlike some others, Mike is no moderate. He’s a pretty extreme right winger. Yesterday he was championing the Border Wall independent funding project, laughing about how much money it was making to keep Mexicans out of the country. The things he’s said about homosexuals on public forums are cause to make anyone blink. The thing is, he’s already painted himself into the “extreme right wing corner” where he gets called racist, sexist, homophobe more than anyone else I know.
He can’t go back, and he knows it’s career suicide and he’s going to struggle feeding his family. As I understood it, he was in some pretty hefty debt before this whole comicsgate things began. He needed the Lonestar money badly, enough to do anything for it.
There Is No Trust Between Anyone In EVS’s Arena
Here’s where EVS came in. Mike was on his show day in and day out, the guy did raise tens of thousands of dollars for Mike. So Mike cannot risk crossing the guy.
When you’re a conservative in the arts and you cannot risk crossing people, it’s already a formula for trouble.
We cross people by existing. It’s what we do. We’re extremely controlversial because we voted wrong. Nothing can change that. Being in that situation, we have to know that social pressure to virtue signal against other right wingers is going to be CONSTANT, and we also know that engaging in that and going around pointing “racisssst” at people (as Mike did to several of my friends this week) and then going and slamming other conservative artists’ works (as he did with my Flying Sparks yesterday though I know he hasn’t read it), is detrimental.
The problem is Mike’s in .a tight spot. His recent IndieGoGo campaign got less backers than my second campaign The Ember War when his first did nearly 7x my backing. That big of a delta and swing is because people stopped trusting Mike, and a lot of the people he recruited from EVS don’t actually care about BOOKS. It’s the wrong audience that was targeted for expedient cash rather than trying to build something long term, but that’s another story.
Mike’s blown through the Lonestar money and needs it and sees the IndieGoGo Van Sciver train drying up, and doesn’t know what to do. But Van Sciver is still helping him with what remains of that train for a few thousand bucks now instead of tens of thousands, so Mike is afraid. He has to attack when his master says attack or he has not cash train left.
I’ve seen this happen to people before in conservative circles. This is why it’s so important to build your own platform, have your own thing and NOT rely on someone. EVS’s titanic is sinking fast, and they’re all running very scared because of it. They’ve got a group of people who aren’t on the right at all dictating things, harassing people, pointing and shrieking racist at everyone who crosses them, and Mike is in abject fear of that.
It’s a tragic story, and nothing can be done about it. I can’t repair things with Mike while he’s living in fear, because Mike will always be too afraid of a little backlash to do what’s right. His master Van Sciver requires people disassociate with others in order to please him, and one cannot serve two masters, as Jesus taught us.
If you’re a conservative in the arts, this is a lesson for you. Do your own thing, don’t care what others think. Don’t bow to social pressure ever. Build your own platform and don’t rely your family’s existence on someone–especiallly on a youtube/social media personality — because it’s a tenuous circumstance to start. E-fame almost never leads to people getting rich.
It may be slower building an audience, but sticking to your principles, sticking to producing (Mike is also 4 months late on his project and it’s looking like he’s going to be another 3-4 months if he gets it out at all) rather than joining in the chorus attacking other conservatives will get you the right fans: ones who are loyal and principled.
Loyal and principled are the type of readers I have, and I know that I don’t have to risk purity tests or offending them, so I can speak the truth without a problem.
Mike, brother, I’ll forgive you when the time comes (which I believe will be in the next year or so). But as of right now, even with forgiveness it’s going to be hard to trust you completely without some major changes to the way you operate. The ship is sinking, you can keep trying to ride it but it gets more dangerous as it falls further into the icy water. But also know this: it’s better to do what’s right early, before it’s cool to do so, because then people know they can trust and rely upon you as a man. That’s valuable.
I came out with Guard Training yesterday. James as a character is fiercely loyal, and he struggles as his King tells him something he doesn’t want to hear about his personal life. Can he do what’s right under social pressure? You’ll have to read to find out!