Editorials

Alt-Right Figures Should Not Star In Comic Books

Alt-Right Thug Gets Vanity Comic Project

The “alt-right” has been in ascendant in power since the election of Donald Trump. Often clashing with liberal protesters, these right wing thugs have a large internet presence, often swarming to attack liberals and minorities. They are bullies and extremists, promoting a hateful agenda of xenophobia and sexism.

So let’s make one a comic book star!

This weekend, it was announced that a comic inspired by alt-right “American Nationalist” Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman would be made. The comic would feature a fictionalized version of Chapman, who came to fame by beating up left wing protesters at Berkley back in March. It will be written by Mike Barron, who wrote the 90s version of The Badger.

This is a terrible, terrible idea.

Four Color Neo Nazis

Alt-right Based StickmanLet’s continue this editorial by making something very clear. “Alt-right” is just a nice way of saying “White Nationalist” or “White Supremacist”. Kyle Chapman IS a White Nationalist. Despite having an Asian wife and biracial son, he is the head of the “virtually all-white Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights.” This is a hate group already on the radar of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti Defamation League. This organization is also the publisher of the comic. Chapman is also not someone to admire in the first place. He has a rap sheet going back years, mostly for violent behavior. He has been incarcerated, violated parole, and is known to have mental health issues. Yet somehow, after being jailed for his assault on a protester in Berkley, he has become a superstar for a violent and bullying segment of the right wing.

So, this comic, promoted by white nationalists, and starring and glorifying a violent thug, is supposed to be done without a reaction? Hell no. This is someone who calls anyone who disagrees with him “Antifa communists” who deserve to be killed. This is someone who calls for white nationalism, which is a racist ideology. This is someone who in most comic books would be considered a villain. And not a particularly bright one either.

Conservative Politics Make For Bad Heroes

These kinds of characters are not people to look up to. They are people usually meant for the heroes to defeat. Even more conservative heroes such as The Punisher would be repulsed by the actions of the alt-right. The characters being promoted by Chapman and Barron lack an essential attribute of heroes: altruism. Altruism means looking out for the little guy, for those in need. It means protecting minorities, women, LGBT, protestors, etc, even if you disagree with them. Modern Conservatism lacks this trait (among other things). This can be seen in the recent health care bill struggle, where the GOP’s proposals were voted down by fellow Republicans for either being too cruel or not cruel enough.

This isn’t the first time the far right has tried to promote their twisted ideas through comics either. A major example was Liberality For All. Published by a conservative group, it starred a version of Sean Hannity that was like a cross between Winter Soldier and Nick Fury. Along with a roided out version of Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Libby, Hannity attacked the liberals “ruining” America, including President Hillary Clinton and Vice President Michael Moore. This comic had a short run and has been repeatedly panned and mocked for being the four color Chick Tract that it is.

Look, politics have been in comics since the Golden Age. They tended, by and large, to be lean towards left wing politics. But heroes also tend to lean liberal based on their actions, even the more avowed conservative heroes. I don’t see Hawkman, a proud conservative, being very sympathetic with those who beat up protestors, even if he disagreed with the protestors.

The Alt Right Ain’t Right

At the end of the day, we can’t stop this vanity project from being done. It’s being self-published, so we can’t exactly send letters of protest to a publisher to stop it. We shouldn’t stoop to the bullying tactics of the alt right. What we should do is make people aware of why this is a terrible book and idea. At the end of the day, all we can hope it flops like the musical version of Carrie.

Original cast or revival, take your pick.


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About the author

Daniel Kalban

Daniel is the writer of The Eagle webcomic and aspires to one day join his favorite writers at the Big 2. Until then, he keeps plugging away at various projects, as well as serving as a reporter for Word of the Nerd on various subjects, especially the DC Comics “beat”.

Contact him at [email protected]

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