Comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver, best known for his work on DC’s Green Lantern comics, is facing accusations of being a Nazi apologist and a white supremacist.
Van Sciver believes he was targeted by progressives because he is a Republican.
Following the violence in Charlottesville last weekend, comic book critic Kieran Shiach expressed feeling “helpless” on Twitter over his perceived rise of white nationalism in the United States. Acting upon his anger, Shiach publicly called on DC Comics to fire Sciver because the comic book artist had the audacity to employ Nazi imagery in his creations.
As part of his “evidence” against Sciver’s supposed beliefs, Schiach highlighted one of Sciver’s old sketchbooks from 2007 depicting the evil comic book villain Sinestro as Adolf Hitler. Sinestro, whose power is literally fear itself, is one of the DC Comics universe’s most powerful villains.
It’s no secret that Van Sciver has played around with Nazi imagery in his art—but it’s no different than how graphic novels like Hellboy and video games like Wolfenstein play around with the same concepts. Much like Van Sciver’s works for DC Comics, none of these creations glorify the Nazis as the good guys.
Freelance artist Tim Doyle, who proudly boasts his feminist views on Twitter, also took issue with Van Sciver for embracing the Pepe the Frog meme made popular during the 2016 election cycle.
Comic artist Ethan Van Sciver is either a legit homophobic Nazi or is pretending to be one. Either way, I’m no longer supporting him. pic.twitter.com/SBrZwZghXN
— Tim Doyle (@NakatomiTim) May 12, 2017
The meme, popularly used on 4chan and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter by supporters of Donald Trump, was condemned as a “hate symbol” by the failed Hillary Clinton campaign.
Denying these accusations, van Sciver wrote a Facebook post to clarify matters.
“There are strange people on twitter who are pretending to believe that I am a ‘white supremacist’ or a ‘Nazi’ because I’m a rare thing in comics: a Republican. It’s intolerable. It’s ridiculous to have to even declare that I’m none of these things,” he wrote.
“To me, white supremacists are villains from movies. They aren’t me, they aren’t my family, and I deeply resent these calculated efforts to make me feel unwelcome in the industry that I’ve given my life to, and by the way, which has profited greatly from my work. This industry isn’t them or me. It’s us.”
The creator also states that the “evidence” highlighted by Shiach is taken out of context, from when Van Sciver and his more liberal colleagues were on much friendlier terms.
“Being called a ‘Nazi’ by a fellow creator then was quite different, like me calling someone a commie. It was meant in fun,” he wrote, adding that the diamond logo he uses for his signature is based on Iron Maiden. He claims that another comic artist satirized it to make it look like a swastika as a joke.
Van Sciver points out that his sketch books were designed to look like extremist political tracts. Besides the “My Struggle” issue, another was called “Manifesto,” designed to look like a communist book in cyrillic alphabet.
“These people who spread these images and claim that I’m a ‘Nazi’ are liars,” wrote Van Sciver. “They are lying. Flat out. They are liars who wish this industry wasn’t tolerant of people who do not share their partisan political views. That may include you. It may not. But I’ll lay out my career and the work that I’ve done against theirs. This is MY industry too. And lying liars with a dishonest agenda cannot change that.”