Comic book author Mark Waid has started a GoFundMe campaign to collect money for legal fees related to a lawsuit filed by Richard C. Meyer, a leader in the online ComicsGate movement. The lawsuit alleges that Waid called Antarctic Press, which Meyer had formed an agreement with to publish his Jawbreakers series, and convinced the publisher to drop the title.
Meyer claims this amounts to an interference with the contract he had established with Antarctic, as well as defamation due to the alleged content of the phone call. In a post announcing the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, Waid maintained his innocence and explained why such a campaign was necessary in the first place.
"Even though I am confident that the claims made against me are entirely without merit, lawsuits are time-consuming and very expensive," said Waid. "Still, I have never backed down from bullies, especially those who denigrate my friends, colleagues and the values our community stands for, and while I am not a rich man, you have my solemn promise that I will fight this fight no matter the personal cost."
Meyer is a known provocateur in the comics industry, perhaps most recognizable from his usage of the Diversity & Comics Twitter handle, which he has used to disseminate criticism and harassment directed at minority creators in the industry. Meyer and his followers believe that the industry has become too progressive, which led him to launch a crowdfunding campaign for Jawbreakers earlier this year.
With that in mind, the series, which follows a group of ex-mercenary monster hunters, was marketed as a supposed return to form for the medium. Most of the controversy attached to the series came from its creators and their penchant for promoting right-leaning ideologies and conspiracy theories online. Nonetheless, once the Jawbreakers campaign was successfully funded, it found a publisher in Antarctic Press.
The deal between Meyer and Antarctic Press allegedly went south after Waid contacted the publisher by phone. The exact details of that phone call are currently unclear, but both Waid and the publisher have maintained that the conversation was civil and, despite rumors to the contrary, that Antarctic Press did not reach out to Marvel Comics (Waid is currently penning Marvel's Doctor Strange series) in retaliation.
Presently, Waid has set his legal defense goal at $75,000. At the time of reporting, Waid's campaign has accumulated a little under $8,000 in donations after having only been launched earlier today.